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24 bit DAT
Old 16th June 2005
Gear Head
aiff's Avatar

24 bit DAT

Old 16th June 2005
Here for the gear

We have a Tascam 24bit dat here at the studio where I work. The pros are really good converters (don't have Apogee, Lavry, etc. to compare it to, but they sound good to me). The cons, just about everything else! I really dislike working with dats. PNOs are a pain to work with, plus, no matter what you do, it has to go to a CD burning format at some point anyway.

The only time I use the DAT machine is when I know that the mastering engineer prefers it (there is only one we work with who does). I also use it for A/D and go digital to the alesis masterlink. I've been reading about mixing to the RADAR, once I try that (and presuming I have 2 free tracks) I'll probably use the DAT even less. If we had a nice 2 channel A/D, it would probably see use only a few time a year.

Especially if you have nice A/D, I would recommend the Masterlink, or possibly the new Tascam hard drive based 2 track (though I haven't used that one yet) over a 24bit DAT.

Old 16th June 2005
Gear Maniac

I sold my dat machine about a year ago. Although it sounded good for its era, it was too much of a hasssle, making copies, spacing songs, rew, ff and I can go on and on. I am now a proud owner of an Alesis Masterlink and I am well pleased with its flexibility.
Old 16th June 2005
Lives for gear

I think DAT's still make fine mobile two track recorders. I much prefer them to a CDR that still scares me to use for live recording. I don't have a 24bit DAT, but one of the nicer Sony PCM500 machines. I hope it never breaks.
Old 17th June 2005
Here for the gear

bait & switch

Originally Posted by aiff
Would you say it sounds better than the 24bit dat ?
the Masterlink converters are average... definitely not as good as the Tascam DA-45HR (the 24bit dat we have). But, if you use separate A/D and D/A, then the Masterlink is just recording the 1s and 0s you send its way. If you don't have/can't afford separate A/D, I'd probably steer clear of the Masterlink. I've heard the new Tascam 2 track (TASCAM DV-RA1000) is supposed to have pretty decent converters, but I haven't listened myself...

The TASCAM DV-RA1000 may become the "new Masterlink." Tascam basically copied the Masterlink then added a bunch of new features. Maybe search for other slutz opinions on the Tascam, or start a new thread asking for some real world reviews of it. The more I read Tascam's slick marketing, the more I want to replace my Masterlink.

Sorry to get you all worked up about the Masterlink, then tell you to try something else, but as good as the Masterlink is for what it does, it is beginning to show its age. I'm not sure exactly when they were originally designed/built, but our unit is at least 3 years old. Much has happened in the past 3 years...

edit... I thought this thing had a hard drive! Looks like it doesn't. One of the features I do really like about the Masterlink is that you can have a whole bunch of songs/playlists stored on the hard drive at the same time. So, I can burn a 16/44.1k CD for the band, then later that day, or even a week later, burn a 24 bit CD for the mastering engineer. In the mean time, I can start a whole new set of mixes without having to move/delete/backup what's already there.

I guess there's never a perfect piece of gear, everything comes with pro and cons...

Maybe Alesis will update the Masterlink soon... Now I've confused you, and given you false hopes of a new product...

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