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OvrMyHd 21st April 2003 05:11 PM

Tascam M3700, need advice please
I've come across an auction for a Tascam M3700, 32 Channel/8 buss, however, I can't find any reviews of it online and have no personal experience with one.

Since this is a significant purchase for me, I'm a little nervous about buying a boat-anchor. Has anyone had any experience with this console or can you direct me to a "user review"?

davemc 22nd April 2003 03:57 AM

I had a 3500 a while ago, the 3700 has basic automation.
I would say better sounding then a Mackie, not as quiet though, I modded mine...
Has it the full meter bridge as they are hard to come by they also come with or with being fully balanced.
Heres a usenet search, happy reading.

PlugHead 22nd April 2003 08:16 AM


I too, have worked on a 3500 a bit over the years, and I can say they are OK, but merely that. To me, IMNSHO, they sound plasticy. They are useful to an extent, but I find the EQ unuseable, and the pre's sound very generic. Never worked on a modded one tho - but that's another couple of grand far as i can tell...


Jay Kahrs 23rd April 2003 07:25 AM

Not a horrible desk, not amazing either. It's comparable to most A&H stuff, maybe low-end Soundcraft and other Trashcan boards. I view them as better then a Wackie 8-bus, I know one guy who thinks the Wackie was better having owned them both. Now he owns a D&R and made the cover of Mix so whudda I know? confoosed The only real gotcha I can think of is that those desks are -10 only. That may or may not make it a boat-anchor for you.

OvrMyHd 23rd April 2003 04:16 PM

Thank you for that link!

As I understand it, the 3700 that I'm looking at has the +4db mod. However, after reading Plugheads' impressions, I'm thinking that I should avoid it and continue my search. 3 thousand for sketchy eqs and plasticy pres is too risky.

I have a line on a Wackie 24x8 for half the price of the Tascam, and tho Slipperman may strike me dead for saying it, I'm beginning to think it's a safer way to go b/c it's an already known entity/evil (as opposed to a $3K risk on the Tascam).

Thank you all for the guidance howdy

Jay Kahrs 24th April 2003 06:56 AM

$3K is waaaaayyy too much for a 3500, and a 3700 would have to be mint to fetch that much. I forget which one I was looking at, but it was either a 3500 or a 3700 with a custom built producers desk/stand which looked very very hip and expensive and I had the seller down to $1800 and I was still chipping away when I bought my Trident. The theory being that I had $7K to spend on a new desk, I could either spend $7K on a whole desk or I could spend under $2K and get some outboard to go with it. My first console was a Tascam 8-buss and I cut some decent sounding stuff on it with no outboard mics or pres. At the time I thought it sounded really bad but 5 years later it's actually decent.

If you can live with -10 and can get the price down by at least $700-1000 I'd take it over a Wackie. Also, if your studio is open to outside clients it does look more like a real desk and it does have automation. I wasn't aware of a +4 mod for it, nobody mentioned it at the time I was looking at one and I'd imagine it wouldn't be a simple deal since there isn't a -10/+4 jumper. That alone might be worth the extra bucks that's making it $3K.

Hey, the Macarana was mixed on a 3700. boing

davemc 24th April 2003 07:08 AM

$3,000 is way to much a lot better stuff to look at for that price range.. Around US$1,500 should be right..They sell for cheaper in OZ then a Wackie but then you could always get something that is a bit better for not much more.. As you seem to have the room as you looked at the big 3700's.. There is a lot of old consoles going for cheap, although watch teh tech condition. This is where the wackies are good they are not as old.

sonic dogg 24th April 2003 10:42 PM

The Tascam is way cooler looking than a Whackie and it sounds far as reliability, Tascam cornered that market long ago...thats why there are so many of their products still in use everywhere...the +4 mod is a good thing as is the balanced i/o...(they did that too???) there are burr brown ics for an even further upgrade...all in all a good machine...I never found them to sound plastic at all...they could use a bit more headroom but the +4 should help there....IMHO anything that doesnt have that annoying mid-high and high end rasp like the whack sounds just fine...

davemc 25th April 2003 03:22 AM

The one things I forgot about the M3500 is it can suffer from grounding problems becuase of the star grounding. Although mine was unbalanced and I used the direct outs and went straight to daw..

Jay Kahrs 25th April 2003 08:04 AM

I think that grounding "issues" are just that for some people. The Tascam's I've used have been fine. My Trident also has a bunch of grounding "issues" according to some people but I've never had a major problem where I've been like "Ohhh man, that nasty ground". YMMV.

littledog 25th April 2003 08:44 PM

Back in the day when I was looking at those sorts of boards, the thing that really bugged me about the Tascam line was their affinity for RCA connectors. Maybe it's just an illogical personal idiosyncracy, but I could never that feel comfortable buying a console where half the connections would be made into RCA jacks. Maybe because I hate soldering them, or maybe just because they remind me of Radio Shack...