I have no idea why all four worked, but I don't look a gift-eBay-seller
in the mouth, so to speak. They were from a university that thought they
needed them and it appears they received little use.
Eddie Ciletti told me these were a good choice which is why I grabbed them.
They were a later model (remember, I said MK II).
I was amazed when they played the couple of LP Sony tapes I had...I was
just about ready to dig out my D9 Walkman, but then didn't have to. I
liked the D9--it blew away the Sony TCD5M cassette in wow and flutter as
well as dynamic range and as much as I used it, it was reliable. I now
have a Zoom F8 for portable recording. It is larger than the D8 but has
8 XLR mic inputs and can record 8 tracks plus a stereo mix.
Anyway, I am pleased with the TASCAMs. I also have a Sony PCM-7030 that
I reserve for special client tapes as it will report errors and I can go
back an check each one...which can get expensive (because of the time
On 2017-05-05 4:27 PM, Ellis Burman wrote:
> 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.
Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
Aurora, Ontario, Canada 647 479 2800
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.