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Sony PCM 7040 DAT Question
Old 21st May 2020
  #1
Sony PCM 7040 DAT Question

I know. DAT? Really?

A retiring friend is selling his stuff and it included a really minty Sony PCM 7040 studio time code DAT. He's not looking for a lot of money but before we can sell this thing, we sorta have to know it works as it should.

So it seems to handle tape well and records, plays back, syncs TC, all good things. But there is a light on the "error strip" labeled Playback Condition.

The manual seems to indicate that if this light is lit, it indicates a problem. But every DAT that I have played back, all of which sound perfect (no drop outs, no artifacts, nothing out of the ordinary) show a solid lit Playback Condition lamp.

If any one has recent experience with this machine and could tell me if this solid lamp shows an error(s) or if the error(s) would be shown by a flashing lamp (which I might suspect to be the case) and a solid lit lamp shows correct functioning.

Or any place I could put this question with some different eyes.

Thanks tons!

Stay safe and be well.

D.
Old 22nd May 2020
  #2
Lives for gear
You could direct your question to Eddie Ciletti at Tangible Technology...what he doesn't know about DAT isn't worth knowing: http://www.tangible-technology.com/index.html
Also Scott Dorsey (who's posted recently here as kludge audio) will very likely know.

I have a recollection that such warning lamps frequently lit up to indicate that moisture condensation on the rotary heads was present (often when the machine was turned on during a cold morning for example). Leaving the machine turned on to warm up would remedy the situation, and the light would go off...or perhaps not, depending on the calibration of the mechanism which caused it to light (optical/led, or perhaps local temperature near the heads ?)

Before purchasing such a device (if intending to use it on a regular basis) ensure you have an easily reachable tech who can calibrate, service, replace parts etc. Are such parts even available now...Eddie or Scott will likely know ? The last DAT machine I turned on drew the tape cartridge into the dark interior as usual...then proceeded to chew the tape as it wrapped it around the heads. It's still in there....
Old 22nd May 2020
  #3
It's not for me. I would never EVER go back to DAT for any imaginable reason. I did have an HHB Portadat for a number of years that was rock solid although I merely attribute that to good luck.

But there are some folks out there with thousands of DAT tapes that need dubbing over to something more durable. I suggest elcassette.

Thanks for reminding me of Eddie. He worked at Record Plant NYC at the same time I was working there.

D.
Old 22nd May 2020
  #4
Gear Addict
 

Hey Doug,
I don't really know this machine well, but my manual infers that the light should be off, unless it is doing either 1) error correction or 2) error interpolation, which is user selectable. You probably already knew this but didn't say as much yet.

It could very well be doing a fairly constant correction especially considering old DATs are very likely to have high error rates that aren't really easily audible when corrected.

One of these went through my hands last year, but I usually run Sony R500s.
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Old 22nd May 2020
  #5
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
It's not for me. I would never EVER go back to DAT for any imaginable reason. I did have an HHB Portadat for a number of years that was rock solid although I merely attribute that to good luck.

But there are some folks out there with thousands of DAT tapes that need dubbing over to something more durable. I suggest elcassette.

Thanks for reminding me of Eddie. He worked at Record Plant NYC at the same time I was working there.

D.
The real test is whether it's capable of playing back tapes recorded on machines other than itself !

Re lights...could be warning of copy prevention active (SCMS) or pre-emphasis active or not, or errors as mentioned above....depends if it's a pro, semi-pro or domestic/consumer player, being Sony I'd guess pro ? The error correction on CD was pretty robust, and I believe for DAT also...a bit like digital radio/TV, when the signal falls off the cliff, it's really gone !

Yes, who'd want to return to those days ? Sadly the machine that ate a tape was one I'd hoped to use as a transcription deck for a mountain of tapes, but it was not to be....

More specific DAT FAQ page from Eddie: http://www.tangible-technology.com/DAT_INDEX.html

It's also possible that always-on light is simply saying "please clean me !" .....Eddie again:
http://www.tangible-technology.com/m...FIVE%20MINUTES

Last edited by studer58; 23rd May 2020 at 01:16 AM..
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