Hi Richard. Thanks for weighing in. I never knew that about the Tascam
Is there a reason why all 4 worked? Were they made later than the '90s?
Or are their transports somehow more robust? Belt-less?
On Wed, May 3, 2017 at 4:56 PM, Richard L. Hess <[log in to unmask]>
> Hi, Eli,
> The best move I ever made was dump my Panasonic and Sony 1990s DAT
> machines and picked up four used Tascam DA-20 MK II machines. All worked.
> What is neat is that they play four DAT "standards."
> They output SPDIF. The 32/12 is output as 32/16, I believe. You've already
> found out that the 12 is non-linear. I upsample all the 32 stuff (which in
> my collection was very sparse) to 44.1 or 48 for ease of use.
> The "joy" of 32/12 was its tape economy and recording time. It sounded OK
> but not great. In the beginning, only Sony seemed to have it. I recall it
> on DAT walkman machines.
> Anyway, the going price for a working DA-20 MKII is about $125, or was a
> couple of years ago. Probably less now.
> On 2017-05-03 1:03 AM, Eli Bildirici wrote:
>> Hey Corey,
>> Yes, I'm aware that clock sync is important and suspected it was somehow
>> at the root of my problems. (I thought I said as much in my OP?) I was
>> hoping to get specific recommendations re capture equipment that's
>> economical and reliable - I'm sorry if this was not clear. (It appears our
>> M-Audio FW Solo, despite having an external sync option in its control
>> panel - which, if not toggled, yields silence when trying to record - it
>> still never properly locked on for whatever reason; in any case that it
>> doesn't support 32kHz inputs limits its usefulness in this case).
>> It would be pretty cool to have an entire capture chain with word-clock
>> inputs and a separate master clock device - and I should have surmised that
>> many of you here are fortunate enough to have access to such equipment -
>> but as far as I can tell this would unfortch not be cheap and would in fact
>> be far more expensive than the SCSI DDS solution. Our gameplan now is to
>> borrow one of these but I hope to try recording via the SPDIF input of a
>> CM6206-based device as well (for my own edification/to be used in a pinch)
>> and report back, especially now that people here (thanks guys!) have
>> explained that the non-linear 12/32 data is most likely mapped to 16/32
>> before leaving the deck. I spoke to someone today who actually called me a
>> few minutes after I had posted and mentioned (among many other things)
>> having had success with a C-Media-based card before - likely one with a
>> much older chipset but still heartening all the same. I'm not married to
>> this particular chipset though: I just don't know what other capture
>> equipment is out there that accepts external sync, and supports 16/32 input
>> (to say nothing of not costing an arm and a leg). It was hard enough to
>> find the datasheet on the CM6206 (it has a 32khz input mode, though I'm not
>> sure about external sync: I think I linked to the datasheet in an earlier
>> post) and was only lead there after finding that that's what these eBay
>> boxes use (kind of a backwards way to go about it but I guess it is what it
>> In any case thanks for at least confirming (I think?) that I'm barking up
>> the right tree. Any other comments would be most welcome.
>> May 2 2017 10:47 PM, "Corey Bailey" wrote:
>> The bottom line:
>> You need a capture card (or A/D, D/A converter) that has the ability to
>> sync its internal clock to
>> the SPDIF stream of the source. Same goes for an AES source. The
>> alternative, which Ellis no doubt
>> used, is to sync the player, the converter and your ingest computer to an
>> external clock (House
>> sync or clock) running at the sample rate of the source. Otherwise, you
>> will get clock errors
>> because everyone is not marching to the same drummer (or: clock source).
>> The end result is dropped
>> frames by your capture device which manifests itself as random ticks or
>> Hope this helps,
>> Corey Bailey Audio Engineering
>> On 5/2/2017 2:49 PM, Eli Bildirici wrote:
>> OK great, there is hope! I will try to play back via a CM6206 capture
>> card (spec sheet
>> (http://www.bramcam.nl/NA/8663-XS/CM6206.pdf (
>> http://www.bramcam.nl/NA/8663-XS/CM6206.pdf)) indicates 32kHz input
>> support - see page 15) or our
>> G5 and hopefully report back. Thanks a lot for this insight!
>> May 2 2017 5:39 PM, "John Chester" wrote:
>> On 5/2/17 5:15 PM, Eli Bildirici wrote:
>> 'Sending encoded 12 bit values to a linear DAC will surely give horribly
>> distorted audio.'
>> Aha. If that is the case, then can we presume that when output via
>> S/PDIF, a 12/32 DAT has already
>> had its bits mapped to 16-bit linear values? That would be good news for
>> my purposes, I think...
>> In order to produce analog output from a 12 bit recording, presumably the
>> DAT machine converts to
>> 16 bit linear, which it then sends to its internal 16 bit DAC. Thus, the
>> sensible choice would be
>> to send the converted 16 bit values to the S/PDIF output -- but I have no
>> idea if that's what
>> actually happens. If you listen to the 32 kHz S/PDIF output, and you hear
>> undistorted audio that
>> sounds similar to the DAT machine's analog output, then I think you can
>> assume that is what's
>> -- John Chester
>> Eli Bildirici
>> (347) 837-8337
>> Eli Bildirici
>> (347) 837-8337
> Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
> Aurora, Ontario, Canada 647 479 2800
> Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.
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