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Tascam DR-100 MKIII
Old 28th August 2016
  #1
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Thread Starter
Tascam DR-100 MKIII

I am not sure if this has been discussed but I did a search and nothing came up. This has been released from Tascam and is available on BH photovideo.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ..._recorder.html

It looks very interesting, preamps have been updated and look at that noise floor
Old 30th August 2016
  #2
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdastoor View Post
I am not sure if this has been discussed but I did a search and nothing came up. This has been released from Tascam and is available on BH photovideo.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ..._recorder.html

It looks very interesting, preamps have been updated and look at that noise floor
I have two of them. They work well and sound great. I just recorded 14 concerts with them and the client was well pleased. Good unit!
Old 30th August 2016
  #3
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Peter Allison's Avatar
I was thinking of getting one, any up/downsides
Old 30th August 2016
  #4
Up: rechargeable battery, without the need to open anything up. This alone (knowing that it is pretty much always ready-to-go) puts it a step above almost every other recorder out there (for what I use it for).
Old 30th August 2016
  #5
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Peter Allison's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorseHorse View Post
Up: rechargeable battery, without the need to open anything up. This alone (knowing that it is pretty much always ready-to-go) puts it a step above almost every other recorder out there (for what I use it for).

Thanks, I have been a little undecided until I saw this thread, but have made up my mind
Old 30th August 2016
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
I have two of them. They work well and sound great. I just recorded 14 concerts with them and the client was well pleased. Good unit!
Thomas, if a remember well you had a FR2LE. How do you compare the Tascam and the Fostex ? Thanks
Old 31st August 2016
  #7
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Clockwise's Avatar
What about the built-in mics? Tascam's portable recorders are known for noisy built-in mics but good conversion and usable pre.
Old 31st August 2016
  #8
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Thread Starter
Clockwise, I have no idea but I ordered one and I will do a test with the inbuilt mics and also a test using my MKH50 with the Tascam's preamps and compare it to using it with sound devices preamps.

It also does dual recording and records up to 192/24 bit, has a digital in. A bigger display and supports SD Cards up to 128gb. low-noise HDDA mic preamps
Old 1st September 2016
  #9
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Clockwise's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdastoor View Post
Clockwise, I have no idea but I ordered one and I will do a test with the inbuilt mics and also a test using my MKH50 with the Tascam's preamps and compare it to using it with sound devices preamps.

It also does dual recording and records up to 192/24 bit, has a digital in. A bigger display and supports SD Cards up to 128gb. low-noise HDDA mic preamps
Excellent! Very looking forward to the comparison and impression!
Old 10th September 2016
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
I have two of them. They work well and sound great. I just recorded 14 concerts with them and the client was well pleased. Good unit!
I have been researching this unit and am wondering how quiet the hiss is on this. I am interested in recording low volume subjects so need a very quiet device. Any thoughts or experiences on the noise floor/self noise of these?
Thanks
Todd
Old 11th September 2016
  #11
I use the DR-70D with similar mic preamps. I did replace the pair of 5532 SOIC opamps with National LME49720MAX, less noise, much lower THD and much higher slew rate.

I cannot detect any hiss with my AKG 460 and 414 mics. The sonics are excellent.
Old 11th September 2016
  #12
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
I use the DR-70D with similar mic preamps.
Do you know what the difference might be between the preamps in the DR-70D and the preamps in the DR-100MKiii? Or did Tascam use exactly the same ones?
Old 11th September 2016
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogmusic View Post
Do you know what the difference might be between the preamps in the DR-70D and the preamps in the DR-100MKiii? Or did Tascam use exactly the same ones?
I think it's likely that the DR-100MkIII is going to have superior preamps to the 70D. Tascam does not say much about the preamps in the DR-100MkIII since they are busy crowing about the A/D conversion, but if you compare the distortion, S/N, and EIN specs to the DR-701D (a recent upgraded version of the 70D) they look very close, so my theory is that they borrowed the preamp circuit from the 701D.

From the DR-701D product page:
Quote:
Texas Instruments OPA1652 op amps were selected for their high quality and low noise – with even better audio performance than the previous DR-70D model. As a result, the unit boasts an equivalent input noise of -124 dBu or better.
The TI OPA1652 opamp appears to be (on paper) almost as good as the TI LME49720 Jim used for his 70D upgrade. The 5532 used in the stock 70D look to be inferior to both of the TI chips.
Old 11th September 2016
  #14
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by voltronic View Post
I think it's likely that the DR-100MkIII is going to have superior preamps to the 70D. Tascam does not say much about the preamps in the DR-100MkIII since they are busy crowing about the A/D conversion, but if you compare the distortion, S/N, and EIN specs to the DR-701D (a recent upgraded version of the 70D) they look very close, so my theory is that they borrowed the preamp circuit from the 701D.

From the DR-701D product page:


The TI OPA1652 opamp appears to be (on paper) almost as good as the TI LME49720 Jim used for his 70D upgrade. The 5532 used in the stock 70D look to be inferior to both of the TI chips.
Thanks for that very detailed reply.

Along with its digital input, the DR-100MKiii looks like a very useful machine.

It'll be interesting to find out if the internal mics are any good.
Old 12th October 2016
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdastoor View Post
Clockwise, I have no idea but I ordered one and I will do a test with the inbuilt mics and also a test using my MKH50 with the Tascam's preamps and compare it to using it with sound devices preamps.

It also does dual recording and records up to 192/24 bit, has a digital in. A bigger display and supports SD Cards up to 128gb. low-noise HDDA mic preamps
So what are your experiences with the MK3 model? Would be very interested as my original mk1 just broke and i am now looking for a new handheld recorder. I am especially interested in its internal mic quality (low noise)...

Would you care to share your insights?

Thx
Old 13th October 2016
  #16
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I am using the Tascam DR-100 MKIII for quite a long time now and i am pretty happy with it.
Old 15th October 2016
  #17
-124 db EIN means that either the front end SOIC transistors are somewhat noisy (they dominate the noise floor at higher gains) or the ADC/processor is adding some. At lower gains the opamp noise will become more of a factor in a mic preamp noise measurement. Well made SS preamps can do -129.5 db EIN with common 5534 opamps and quiet TO-92 Japanese input transistors. I haven't been able to do a base level noise test with my Audio Precision rig because of all the extra stuff you will measure, preamp, ADC, processor, DAC, output opamps.

Tascam probably went with the BurrBrown parts due to TI discontinuing most of the LME opamp line. They made a lower power LME49720MA, the LME49725MA that would have been a less colored alternative to the BB part.
Old 16th October 2016
  #18
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voltronic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Tascam probably went with the BurrBrown parts due to TI discontinuing most of the LME opamp line. They made a lower power LME49720MA, the LME49725MA that would have been a less colored alternative to the BB part.
According to the images on the Tascam site, the opamps are TI OPA1652. You can see them in the first image here:
Product: DR-100mkIII | TASCAM

These are the same opamps Tascam uses in the DR-701D. Specs look close to the LME49720MA, but a bit lower in certain areas, particularly the slew rate. I'll defer to you on how much of a difference that would or would not make in this application.

The 49720 is still available under a slightly different model name, the LME49720MAX.
Old 17th October 2016
  #19
Tascam did make a bean counting choice as the OPA1612 is the better BurrBrown part.
Old 17th October 2016
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Tascam did make a bean counting choice as the OPA1612 is the better BurrBrown part.
I'm confused - do you mean the LME49720 is the better part? The 49720 has the better specs in a few areas though it is much more expensive than the OPA1612.

It also looks like they've put a better DAC in this one than earlier units. Given what you've said about the input transistors, it sounds like the same situation as with the DR-70D.

To that end: Is swapping out the input transistors for superior parts on recorders such as these practical? I have had my DR-70D modded per your suggestions with the 49720 opamps and Wima caps, and am very happy with it. I wonder if even greater improvements for high gain levels could be made with a transistor upgrade.
Old 18th October 2016
  #21
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How does it compare to the Sony PCM d100? The Sony does not have XLR connectors, but everybody keeps harping about the sound and build quality of the unit.

Also, why don't these recorders (especially the higher track count units) offer overdub capabilities?
Old 20th October 2016
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by voltronic View Post
I'm confused - do you mean the LME49720 is the better part? The 49720 has the better specs in a few areas though it is much more expensive than the OPA1612.

It also looks like they've put a better DAC in this one than earlier units. Given what you've said about the input transistors, it sounds like the same situation as with the DR-70D.

To that end: Is swapping out the input transistors for superior parts on recorders such as these practical? I have had my DR-70D modded per your suggestions with the 49720 opamps and Wima caps, and am very happy with it. I wonder if even greater improvements for high gain levels could be made with a transistor upgrade.
Those are sot 23 tiny surface mount transistors. IIRC there is also a conformal coating on them. The stuff downstream will wash those gains out as even noisy common 2N4401 transistors can do -129 db EIN at +60 db gain.

Realize compromises must be made for all that processing/feature sets. I prefer the neutral sonics of the LME opamps over the colored tone of the modern BurrBrown opamps. Those made the largest improvements as the mic pre sound is set by them. I don't find the DAC or monitoring section as important as the encoding part. Those files are exported anyway.
Old 29th October 2016
  #23
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New member with a brand new dr100 mkiii. My intent was to use the line in to record raw M/S array from a sd302 and monitor as decoded stereo through the dr100 mkiii. The M/S decoding function does not work as it should. It does not work at all if it is selected and set up through the menu system. It will work as a function if you change either the mid or side level and remain in the function window. As soon as you exit the function window to monitor recording levels the unit reverts to monitoring the undecoded raw inputs. Has anyone else had any luck monitoring decoded M/S stereo? If so, what am I doing wrong? My unit arrived with firmware version 1.01 so it is up to date.
Old 30th October 2016
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flatbroker View Post
New member with a brand new dr100 mkiii. My intent was to use the line in to record raw M/S array from a sd302 and monitor as decoded stereo through the dr100 mkiii. The M/S decoding function does not work as it should. It does not work at all if it is selected and set up through the menu system. It will work as a function if you change either the mid or side level and remain in the function window. As soon as you exit the function window to monitor recording levels the unit reverts to monitoring the undecoded raw inputs. Has anyone else had any luck monitoring decoded M/S stereo? If so, what am I doing wrong? My unit arrived with firmware version 1.01 so it is up to date.
I just figured out that m/s monitoring only works when the input type is set to MIC. It will not work with input set to LINE.
Old 30th November 2016
  #25
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songman's Avatar
 

An annoying aspect of the mark II was that it did not display the name of the file in a stationary way but in the same way as the news-lines on the bottom on some TV stations, moving from right to left all the time alternating with the name of the dr100. This was absolutely silly and annoying. Does the new mark III still have this or is the name of the file being played now displayed in a permanent stationary way?
Old 30th November 2016
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by songman View Post
An annoying aspect of the mark II was that it did not display the name of the file in a stationary way but in the same way as the news-lines on the bottom on some TV stations, moving from right to left all the time alternating with the name of the dr100. This was absolutely silly and annoying. Does the new mark III still have this or is the name of the file being played now displayed in a permanent stationary way?
It moves for awhile and then it stops for awhile. But at least it's the file name only.
Old 1st December 2016
  #27
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Clockwise's Avatar
So what about the internal mics on DR-100 mkIII? I've heard that those on mkII are quite noisy and not as practically usable for recording quiet sources. I wonder if there's any step up with mkIII in this regard.
Old 1st December 2016
  #28
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songman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dogmusic View Post
It moves for awhile and then it stops for awhile. But at least it's the file name only.

Thanks for this info. Still a silly move by Tascam then!
Old 1st December 2016
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
-124 db EIN means that either the front end SOIC transistors are somewhat noisy (they dominate the noise floor at higher gains) or the ADC/processor is adding some. At lower gains the opamp noise will become more of a factor in a mic preamp noise measurement. Well made SS preamps can do -129.5 db EIN with common 5534 opamps and quiet TO-92 Japanese input transistors. I haven't been able to do a base level noise test with my Audio Precision rig because of all the extra stuff you will measure, preamp, ADC, processor, DAC, output opamps.

Tascam probably went with the BurrBrown parts due to TI discontinuing most of the LME opamp line. They made a lower power LME49720MA, the LME49725MA that would have been a less colored alternative to the BB part.
Hello Jim,
according to this website, Avisoft Bioacoustics - Microphone Input Noise Comparison , the new MKIII is rated at -126 dB EIN , dynamic range at max. gain = 73dB
Old 3rd December 2016
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clockwise View Post
So what about the internal mics on DR-100 mkIII? I've heard that those on mkII are quite noisy and not as practically usable for recording quiet sources. I wonder if there's any step up with mkIII in this regard.
This is exactly what i am curios about!
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