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What risks are there in buying a used Tascam DA-P1?
Old 4th April 2003
  #1
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808st8's Avatar
 

Question What risks are there in buying a used Tascam DA-P1?

I found a used Tascam DA-P1 portable DAT recorder at a local business for a very good price, and it looks to be in excellent condition. My question, without having contact with the original owner to ask about previous use, is there risk in the heads being worn, if so are replacements insanely expensive? Could a person look at it and tell? Everything is there except for the manual and strap, but it comes with a shoulder bag. If I'm correct, the battery charges inside the unit, you don't need the external charger, that's only a convenience if you have extra batteries? Been doing some research, trying to put all the pieces together. Last question, are these puppies serviceable? The price on it is so good, ridiculously good, that I shouldn't pass it up, but I don't want to get into a money pit that approaches new cost if it has issues, know what I mean. How do you test it, just record and check the quality by ear? So, yeah there's risk, ofcourse, just wondering what the risks are with a unit like this. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Can't wait to start field recording with DAT.

Thank You,

808st8
Old 5th April 2003
  #2
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bjornson's Avatar
 

I've had mine for 6 yrs and heres my 2Cents..
1) the batteries are ****ty, if you need battery power, get the ecocharge system.
2) The mic pre has a preset gain, buy some pads for the front end.
(i'm working on a mod.)
3) My unit sometimes refuses to record unless i eject the tape and cycle the power. I don't know why. Other than that it's a great little unit. Market value seems to be about $250.00 or so.
Good luck
Old 5th April 2003
  #3
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Curious G's Avatar
 

I think DAT is a DEAD format.... does that present a RISK?
Old 5th April 2003
  #4
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Roland's Avatar
One of the biggest drawbacks with any secondhand DAT is head replacement. Costs can vary widely, but are never cheap, and on the two occasions I opted for a head replacement (both carried out by well considered official service companies) the decks were never as good as originally and presented other problems.

If you really want a DAT machine I would seriously consider buying new and look on the cost of the machine as a "write off" when the heads give up the ghost, I have always found this cheaper in the long run.

Also re: this particular model I would take heed of bjornson's comments.

Regards


Roland
Old 5th April 2003
  #5
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808st8's Avatar
 

You guys rule! :-) Thanks for all the feedback. I should be weary of Pawn Shop gear in the first place, 1 day return policy!? No offense pawn brokers, but with no history on the device, and a firm price of $600.00, and missing accessories, I'll pass. New is the way to go.

I'll run with my Sony MD for now, rent the big guns for projects. Someday buy the nice stuff.

Have a good weekend yall!

Later,

808st8
Old 5th April 2003
  #6
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MD? hmmm... nope, I'm thinking more about a 16bt/44+k portble format thats easily imported to PT and has a proven track record... MBox? MarantzCDR300 (new for $599.00 US)?

Honest, I'm askin' myself the same Q's but DAT is definately dead...
Old 5th April 2003
  #7
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808st8's Avatar
 

I hear ya Curious G. Audio technology is changing rapidly, video too. Hard to make a huge investment in a piece of gear when in a year or two it might be replaced by the top secret portable device you're talking about. It's right around the corner. I'll go with the industry standard for the time being, just rent it now and then. We'll probably carry around a small Hard Drive w/ mic pres, or something down the road. Who knows. I don't think DAT is dead, dead, but on it's way out for sure.

808st8
Old 5th April 2003
  #8
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Curious G's Avatar
 

Yeah, but the real question for me is maintain DAT?... or replace it? I'm getting less and less call for DAT, the media is still expensive (compared to CDR's for example) and it is a real -time transfer to the desktop.

What I'd love to see is a 24 bit/96K portable/reliable (with track record) hard disk recorder (CDR or hardrive) compatable with PT at a $600 pricepoint...
Old 5th April 2003
  #9
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Yeah, me too. Digital Cameras are already doing this. If a pro level portable DAT costs $2100 dollars, and a external Firewire drive costs $250, well, where is the damn recorder we want. Hmmm. Guess we'll have to wait.

Until Then,

808st8
Old 7th April 2003
  #10
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DAT is dead.. yeah yeah. Tell that to the 10 radio stations I do upwards of 60K worth of work a year for. Thats all they use! Go figure. Since i try to run a full service facility, I make it a habit to keep every format I've ever used around and in good condition.
Better still, my old neumann cutting lathe everybody used to laugh at seems to have made quite a comeback.....
Old 7th April 2003
  #11
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Curious G's Avatar
 

I had to stop stocking wax cylinders this year heh
Old 3rd May 2003
  #12
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally posted by bjornson
DAT is dead.. yeah yeah. Tell that to the 10 radio stations I do upwards of 60K worth of work a year for. Thats all they use! Go figure. Since i try to run a full service facility, I make it a habit to keep every format I've ever used around and in good condition.
Better still, my old neumann cutting lathe everybody used to laugh at seems to have made quite a comeback.....
i agree with you all the way.

i usually make dat and cdr's. i have also recorded to da98hr and masterlinks when higher res is necessary.
Old 1st March 2006
  #13
Gear Head
From past experiance of Dat head wear, I'd advise recording with the machine at half speed, or put a tape in that is at the slowest speed. Then play back in the portable, if the heads are duff the sound will break up. I did this with a Sony when I was having drop out problems. As far a I'm concerned Dat is verually dead.
Old 2nd March 2006
  #14
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Remoteness's Avatar
I also believe DAT is dead especially since Tascam, HHB and others are NOT manufacturing DAT machines anymore.

I’m not sure what the motivation is to buy DAT when HD recorders are so inexpensive these days.
Old 2nd March 2006
  #15
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Worst case - but something like a Nomad JB-3 which records in .wav format @ 16 bit - uncompressed (unlike MD). You can pick them up for ~$150.
Old 3rd March 2006
  #16
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Phil Cibley's Avatar
 

One more negative to think about is that nobody is making DAT transports
any more either. In my experience, the transports have been way more of
a problem than the heads. Alignment tolerances are extremely tight and
you need a very expensive test tape and a scope to do it correctly.
Definietly go with a flash card or hard drive based unit.
Old 7th March 2006
  #17
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And even if you were to consider a DAT machine after all of this threads warnings about
buying into a format that is truly dying.

I would caution you even more to consider the Tascam DAP1.
Back when I was pimping gear that machine came in easily twice as often as the Sony and HHB portable machines for jammed or mangled tapes.

So definitely beware of the DAP1
Old 7th March 2006
  #18
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I believe the machine we all want is here already:
http://www.sounddevices.com/products/722.htm

Except for the price that is, but apart from that everything is nice.

G.
Old 8th March 2006
  #19
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pkautzsch's Avatar
 

Yeah, the 722 is what I'm dreaming of.
But if I had to buy something in the DA-P1 league, it would probably be the Fostex FR-2. Never liked the DA-P1 for its not-so-good pres and its not-so-reliable buttons, and I'm afraid the CF successor HD-P2 isn't that much better...the FR-2 operation seems similar to the PD-4 (with that big red record switch).
BUT: the most reliable thing can be seen to the left of this post. And it has the most simple and intuitive operation switch.
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