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forkstriker4
2006-12-27, 10:00 PM
Does anyone have any recommendations for a DAT (Digital Audio Tape) deck? I'd like to get one to transfer my DAT tapes, however, I am having trouble finding recommendations for any (this is why I have included the definition of the acronym in this thread so that other people in the future may find this thread). I personally am looking for one which must have a coaxial (RCA) digital output, as I do not have an optical or any other kind of digital input. Also, as a less important piece of criteria, I'd like the deck to be rackmountable.

Thanks for any assistance!

Have a happy New Year!

STLBlues
2006-12-27, 10:50 PM
I recommend the Sony PCM-R300 deck. I've got 2 and they've always worked perfect. I would search ebay, they are fairly cheap there. I wouldn't pay more than $200. $100-200 is a fair price, depending if it's brand new, or has very few hours which sometimes represents a good majority of the ones sold on ebay. It has both coax and optical digital outputs. Self-cleaning heads. Also works as a great A/D converter with Sony's super bit mapping (SBM) function as an added bonus. Good luck.

forkstriker4
2006-12-27, 11:07 PM
I recommend the Sony PCM-R300 deck. I've got 2 and they've always worked perfect. I would search ebay, they are fairly cheap there. I wouldn't pay more than $200. $100-200 is a fair price, depending if it's brand new, or has very few hours which sometimes represents a good majority of the ones sold on ebay. It has both coax and optical digital outputs. Self-cleaning heads. Also works as a great A/D converter with Sony's super bit mapping (SBM) function as an added bonus. Good luck.Thanks for the suggestion!

Are there certain feature I should be looking for, such as the ones on the PCM-R300? Are there compatibility issues with older tapes or new ones with certain players?

LEDZEPZOSO
2006-12-28, 12:20 AM
I would not go with the PCM-R300, they have a problem with the transport.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&hs=5cS&q=pcm+r300+sony+transport+problem&btnG=Search

http://taperssection.com/index.php?action=search2

If you can get one with a upgraded transport go for it. The PCM-500 is a great machine but can be expensive used. A couple of other option are the Tascam DA-30 and DA30 MKII. They are cheaper option then the PCM-R500.
I picked up both of my Tascam in the $75-100 range. The PCM-500 usually sells anywhere from $250-500 on Ebay.

forkstriker4
2006-12-28, 11:08 AM
If you can get one with a upgraded transport go for it. The PCM-500 is a great machine but can be expensive used. A couple of other option are the Tascam DA-30 and DA30 MKII. They are cheaper option then the PCM-R500.
I picked up both of my Tascam in the $75-100 range. The PCM-500 usually sells anywhere from $250-500 on Ebay.What is the difference between the DA-30 and the DA-30 MKII? The DA-30 MKII looks much more visually appealing...

LEDZEPZOSO
2006-12-28, 10:57 PM
What is the difference between the DA-30 and the DA-30 MKII? The DA-30 MKII looks much more visually appealing...

The initial MK II that came out was set up not to read 90 Meter tapes. You can send the units to Tascam to have them upgrade the unit or do like I do. On the back of a DAT tape they have a bunch of holes/ sensors, one of the holes is used to determine if the DAT is a 60 or 90 meter. Cover the hole and it will trick the unit into thinking your 90 Meter is a 60 meter. (This is real easy to do, when I got my MKII I did not know about this. Spent 5 minutes with google and was able to find out about this fix).

The DA30 sells for a lot less than the MKII on Ebay

forkstriker4
2006-12-29, 04:25 PM
Thanks for the recommendations, you two.

I think I'll be looking at getting either the Tascam DA-30 or DA-30 MKII.

LEDZEPZOSO
2006-12-29, 10:26 PM
One advantage of the Sony 300 and 500 is it is easy to find the number of hours the heads have been used. So if you see a Sony at a good price have them check the head hours, this summer someone had a 500 with only 25 hours on the heads.

To get the head hours you press the menu button and turn the shuttle knob (Or something like that, it has been years since I actually did this. If you google this it is on a few web sites).

The Tascam has no way of finding the number of hours on the heads. That is why initially I was going to get a a Sony DAT, but the price of the Tascams where so cheap I figured I could buy 5-6 Tascam for about the same price of a Sony 500.

The one thing I have noticed about the units on Ebay is that the Sony usually seemed to be taken care of more than the Tascam's. I think has to do with that in general the Sony's are used by more business/radio stations while the Tascams are more in the personal user. Again, this is just a observation from looking at Ebay auction for the last 3 1/2 years.

forkstriker4
2006-12-29, 10:46 PM
One advantage of the Sony 300 and 500 is it is easy to find the number of hours the heads have been used. So if you see a Sony at a good price have them check the head hours, this summer someone had a 500 with only 25 hours on the heads.

To get the head hours you press the menu button and turn the shuttle knob (Or something like that, it has been years since I actually did this. If you google this it is on a few web sites).

The Tascam has no way of finding the number of hours on the heads. That is why initially I was going to get a a Sony DAT, but the price of the Tascams where so cheap I figured I could buy 5-6 Tascam for about the same price of a Sony 500.

The one thing I have noticed about the units on Ebay is that the Sony usually seemed to be taken care of more than the Tascam's. I think has to do with that in general the Sony's are used by more business/radio stations while the Tascams are more in the personal user. Again, this is just a observation from looking at Ebay auction for the last 3 1/2 years.Are the number of hours of use on these DAT decks really a concern when I am just playing back some tapes? I mean, it is digital after all, so the deck will or will not play tapes, correct?

It is looking as though the Tascam will be the way to go based on prices.

forkstriker4
2006-12-30, 11:24 AM
Does anyone have any opinions on Panasonic DAT (Digital Audio Tape) decks?

LEDZEPZOSO
2006-12-31, 03:23 AM
DAT tapes are almost like the old cassettes of yesteryears, so your unit will have wear on the heads and transports. The thing is most homes DAT units are made sturdy and should last well over 1000 head hours. They are not like the portable DAT players. I never fast-forward or rewind on my portable deck and have had gears on the transport break a couple of times in the last couple of years.


If you purchase one from ebay try to buy from someone that knows a little bit of history on the unit. I have seen pawns shop welling DAT players and they have no idea if the unit even works or not. At least with most personal sellers it is a unit that they have used in the past.

tilomagnet
2006-12-31, 06:51 AM
Tascam decks (the DA-30 in particular) were quite the standard in studios for a long time and therefore there are lots of these decks around with a ton of hours on the heads. Tascams are said to be much more durable than Sonys, the Sony consumer DATs are mostly crap and often broke down while still under warranty. The few really well build and durable Sony DATs are very expensive (DTC-2000 etc.).

I've got a Tascam DA-20 MkII, which is the little brother of the DA-30. Bought it a few years ago and it has worked like a charm. If you are only planning to transfer some DATs I can really recommend the DA-20. It doesn't have all of the additional features of the DA-30, which you do not need anyway for transferring . It is a nice durable deck and can be had for a lot less than a DA-30. And it does have coax out as well of course.

forkstriker4
2007-01-02, 08:46 PM
DAT tapes are almost like the old cassettes of yesteryears, so your unit will have wear on the heads and transports. The thing is most homes DAT units are made sturdy and should last well over 1000 head hours. They are not like the portable DAT players. I never fast-forward or rewind on my portable deck and have had gears on the transport break a couple of times in the last couple of years.


If you purchase one from ebay try to buy from someone that knows a little bit of history on the unit. I have seen pawns shop welling DAT players and they have no idea if the unit even works or not. At least with most personal sellers it is a unit that they have used in the past.I'll put the hours on the heads into consideration then. Thanks!
Tascam decks (the DA-30 in particular) were quite the standard in studios for a long time and therefore there are lots of these decks around with a ton of hours on the heads. Tascams are said to be much more durable than Sonys, the Sony consumer DATs are mostly crap and often broke down while still under warranty. The few really well build and durable Sony DATs are very expensive (DTC-2000 etc.).

I've got a Tascam DA-20 MkII, which is the little brother of the DA-30. Bought it a few years ago and it has worked like a charm. If you are only planning to transfer some DATs I can really recommend the DA-20. It doesn't have all of the additional features of the DA-30, which you do not need anyway for transferring . It is a nice durable deck and can be had for a lot less than a DA-30. And it does have coax out as well of course.I guess I'll be looking for Tascam DA-20s, DA-20 MKIIs, and DA-30s. They all seem well suited for my needs.

I must ask again... Does anyone have any opinions on Panasonic DAT (Digital Audio Tape) decks?

Thanks for the input, everyone!

forkstriker4
2007-01-13, 10:57 AM
Bump for a response about Panasonic DATs and any other possible responses...

AAR.oner
2007-01-13, 11:04 AM
i'd go Tascam ;)