The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Do You Know 'Dis DAT? Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 2nd September 2007
  #1
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Do You Know 'Dis DAT?

The other DAT thread brought up a memory and I was hoping some of you might help me out.

I worked in a studio just as DAT machines were starting to appear here. Total grey market. In fact, this particular machine was actually purchased in Japan (although all the words were english).

We used that machine for years (may still be in use) but it wasn't til I tried other DAT machines that I noticed this SONY DAT player was very different.

This player used to record super hot and never distorted. In fact, you could record any uncompressed mix and it would be as loud as any of the crushed mastering mixes of today. A mixer's dream. This was before the loudness wars so it wasn't a big deal at the time but now I'm thinking about it. The metering looked normal until you hit 0 and then it stayed there until you fed it like 12dB more level. Then it would finally hit red. The sound never changed. It got louder but it didn't compress or limit. I never had the chance to look at the waveforms but I did have CDs manufactured from those masters and they were loud.

Anyway. Has anyone else experienced these crazy SONY DAT machines?

thx
Old 2nd September 2007
  #2
Lives for gear
 
loujudson's Avatar
Picture or model number?
Old 2nd September 2007
  #3
Lives for gear
 
The MPCist's Avatar
 

Due to my travels and work abroad, I've bought alot of gear in Japan over the years. I bought one of those too. This was many years ago but I noticed that I could record into it really hot without the problems with distortion the other units had. I remember quite a few studios (in Japan) had them and took them for granted.
Old 2nd September 2007
  #4
Lives for gear
 
travisbrown's Avatar
I had one of these too. Apparently the one I had was the first DAT in Canada - Bryan Adams had brought it back from Japan, it knocked around Vancouver for a while, then Little Mountain Sound passed it off to me.

I got it after it had been passed around like an old girlfriend, but it was a good machine in respect to distortion. Never ate a tape and sounded good. It had a big transformer bolted to the back - a mod for North American power by one of the studio techs.

When there wasn't anything better than DAT for digital, it was a good machine. I think I sold it for $600.
Old 2nd September 2007
  #5
Gear Guru
 

I had a Japanese grey market DAT, it was wider than your standard 19" and it had wood side panels etc. definitely a home machine.

No magic limiter, though and it would only go into record mode at 48k, in some neolithic attempt at DRM.
Old 3rd September 2007
  #6
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by loujudson View Post
Picture or model number?
Not a clue.

I'll call that studio next week.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
I had a Japanese grey market DAT, it was wider than your standard 19" and it had wood side panels etc. definitely a home machine.

No magic limiter, though and it would only go into record mode at 48k, in some neolithic attempt at DRM.
I remember that. They didn't want any 44.1kHz machines here. I believe you had to pay much more for those and some companies would (quietly) fix (ahem) them for you.

The machine I'm talking about was definitely before that. No copy protection at all.

I have to get a hold of it to see how loud it will get.

How cool would it be to have competive mixes (volume-wise) without having to crush them?
Old 13th September 2007
  #7
Gear Nut
 
MeatPye's Avatar
 

Anyone found the model number of this yet?
Old 13th September 2007
  #8
Lives for gear
 
superburtm's Avatar
 

O lord
Old 13th September 2007
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Slaytex's Avatar
 

This one?
Old 13th September 2007
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Sugarnutz's Avatar
I had one of the first ones available here in the US. It was 2 seperate units, the DAT machine and a seperate unit of the same size attached to it for the analoge I/O. I think the model number was 2500. All I know is I bought it from Boynton Studio for the ungodly amount of like $7900. I never tried to really smack it, +4 out of my Neve was calibrated to -15 on the DAT per the setup instructions that came with the machine. $7900? Makes me sick, I think the list at the time was $10K, but I bought a 480L and some other stuff, like mics and a H3000, so they cut me a deal on the DAT.dfegad
Old 14th September 2007
  #11
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slaytex View Post
This one?
It looks similar but that's not exactly it.

I'll try to call him tomorrow.

thx
Old 14th September 2007
  #12
Gear Addict
 
16/44.1's Avatar
 

It's this Sony #87: PCM-2500 one you're talking 'bout, right?
Old 14th September 2007
  #13
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 16/44.1 View Post
It's this Sony #87: PCM-2500 one you're talking 'bout, right?
No. But your page linked me to the correct one.



Les platines Sony

It's the first one.

Sony ES #20: DTC-1000ES


Sony DTC-1000ES

Thanks for that.
Old 14th September 2007
  #14
Lives for gear
 
loujudson's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 16/44.1 View Post
It's this Sony #87: PCM-2500 one you're talking 'bout, right?
Wow, the back of the processor looks a lot like the back of my Sony PCM-701ES - makes me want to drag it out of the old video gear pile and fire it up just to hear it again. There was something silky-smooth about them, even if it was only maybe 14 bit on a good day...

Thanks for the link! Is this the unit originally spoken of? I have a now-recently-dead 2300, which was wonderful until the deck broke last May. Now I have a Panasonic 3800 - never liked panasonics at all, but it works and can stil be repaired...

Lou
Old 14th September 2007
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Cellotron's Avatar
I used the PCM-2500 side by side with a number of other DAT models "back in the day" and they tended to be finicky, often prone to not being able to correct read errors, with transports that would flake out at less use hours than many other options. Their onboard converters weren't that great sounding either - later models by Sony, Panasonic, and Tascam all sounded better to my ear (obviously OMMV).

I never used or heard the DTC-1000ES but based on the description it sounds like the ADC's might have had a little bit of input attenuation padding built in and/or that it could handle hard clipping at the input stage a lot better than the converters on their other models.

This stuff is kind of moot though - nearly any current 24bit ADC going to even an inexpensive DAW will get you better sonics, reliability and portability than recording to DAT. I still keep a Sony PCM-2600 and a Tascam DA-20 in the racks though to handle the rare occasion that a client brings a DAT in for a transfer - last time it got used was about 2 months ago for a client from Kenya.

I also have a back log of mixes of my own demos and live recordings from the 90's still just on DAT that I keep procrastinating getting transferred to wav - this thread reminds me that maybe I should try and get through some of this stuff.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 14th September 2007
  #16
Gear Addict
 

First DAT machine

I, too, brought back one of these from Japan in the late 80's. It was such a trip to tell people, "Oh yeh, I've got a DAT player". Ha!

Benjy





Quote:
Originally Posted by Produceher View Post
No. But your page linked me to the correct one.



Les platines Sony

It's the first one.

Sony ES #20: DTC-1000ES


Sony DTC-1000ES

Thanks for that.
Old 14th September 2007
  #17
Lives for gear
 
MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
The Sony 2500 was a DTC1000 with a balancing box W/format conversion to AES
Old 14th September 2007
  #18
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

I have to get my hands on one to see if the convertor does what I remember.

I swear. It had no compression but the meter was as pinned as today's mastering horrors.

I think?
Old 14th September 2007
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Fleaman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Produceher View Post
I have to get my hands on one to see if the convertor does what I remember.

I swear. It had no compression but the meter was as pinned as today's mastering horrors.

I think?
Just sounds like it wasn't full scale even when the meter said it was. Not at all uncommon....even today! Yet that unit seems to have been way off, probably because they calibrated the meter like an analog unit, so that it wouldn't hit full scale until +6 red or something. With an early unit like that and the world not knowing how to record digital correctly, it would seem to make sense, especially considering how you describe it as just getting 'louder' w/o any other artifacts.

I doubt very much that this ancient dat unit had some magical recording ability hitting full scale w/o bad artifacts.
Old 15th September 2007
  #20
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleaman View Post
Just sounds like it wasn't full scale even when the meter said it was. Not at all uncommon....even today! Yet that unit seems to have been way off, probably because they calibrated the meter like an analog unit, so that it wouldn't hit full scale until +6 red or something. With an early unit like that and the world not knowing how to record digital correctly, it would seem to make sense, especially considering how you describe it as just getting 'louder' w/o any other artifacts.

I doubt very much that this ancient dat unit had some magical recording ability hitting full scale w/o bad artifacts.
When I first read your post I thought you were on to something…

but then I remembered something. I sold the studio my DAT player for making duplication copies.


My DAT player functioned pretty normal in the metering department. It was a later model. You needed to average about -6dB to ensure no overs.

But…

If I connected the Digital outputs of the Super DAT player into my DAT, my levels would be just as hot. We never used the analog ins of my machine for this very reason.

And if you played back the Super DATs tapes on my machine, they were pinned on my machine.
Hmmmm.
Old 15th September 2007
  #21
Lives for gear
 
Fleaman's Avatar
 

What's a Super DAT?
Old 15th September 2007
  #22
Lives for gear
 
colinmiller's Avatar
 

The 2500 brings back memories. I spent so much time with that thing when it first came out.
Old 15th September 2007
  #23
Lives for gear
 
e-cue's Avatar
 

Weren't these the ones that would have trouble playing in Panasonic machines?
Old 15th September 2007
  #24
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleaman View Post
What's a Super DAT?
The machine in question.

It lets you record SUPER hot with no compression. I was trying to differentiate it from my regular DAT machine.
Old 15th September 2007
  #25
Lives for gear
 
Cellotron's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Produceher View Post
The machine in question.

It lets you record SUPER hot with no compression. I was trying to differentiate it from my regular DAT machine.
Actually - there were a number of DAT players during this time (such as the PCM2600) that had what Sony called "Super Bit Mapping" - nominally 20bits at the input of the ADC (with a real world 18bit performance) dithered down to a recorded 16bits.

But trust me - having worked with them and other DAT players at the same time such as the Sony PCM7010 / 7030 / 7040 Panasonic SV3700 & 3800 & Tascam DA-30- there honestly was nothing all that "super" about PCM2500's.

fwiw - there were indeed some folks back in the day that would push a little into the red in order to get hard clipping of the highest transients at the inputs of DAT's ADC in order to get increase average level on masters. It was really easy to f this up though and just get digital distortion at the peaks instead. If you're looking to increase average level of masters via clipping current high end ADC's and digital gain stages will get you a lot farther a lot cleaner than looking for some imagined retro-magic from a DAT recorder.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 15th September 2007
  #26
Lives for gear
 
loujudson's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Produceher View Post
I have to get my hands on one to see if the convertor does what I remember.

I swear. It had no compression but the meter was as pinned as today's mastering horrors.

I think?
I'd guess tyhat when digital and DAT was new, seeing the PEAK reading meters approaching the very top of their range gave the impression of "pinning" compared to analog and true VU meters. So maybe the big impression in your memory was just an adapting process to get to where we are now...

In those early days I had trained myself to set levels by the single peak LED in analog meters - so adapted by reading the highest light on the DATs consistent with proper level (I used -6 as my peak level, which turned out to be ideal for 16 bit. Now with 24 I go much lower as an average for tracking.)
Old 15th September 2007
  #27
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

OK. So nobody believes me.

I'm going to grab that deck this week.
Old 15th September 2007
  #28
Gear Addict
 

Original Sony DAT

Quote:
Originally Posted by Produceher View Post
I have to get my hands on one to see if the convertor does what I remember.

I swear. It had no compression but the meter was as pinned as today's mastering horrors.

I think?
I've got one. Haven't used it in years because the take-up arm (the little mechanism that pulls the tape into the path) needs repair. Come and get it if you like.

Benjy
Old 15th September 2007
  #29
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjy King View Post
I've got one. Haven't used it in years because the take-up arm (the little mechanism that pulls the tape into the path) needs repair. Come and get it if you like.

Benjy
Does yours do what I describe?
Old 15th September 2007
  #30
Gear Addict
 

I don't remember. I've owned way too many DAT machines since then.

Benjy
Top Mentioned Products
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
XSergeantD / So much gear, so little time
0
tubesandteles / So much gear, so little time
0
Nahuel / Rap + Hip Hop engineering and production
4
zarathoustra / High end
5

Forum Jump
Forum Jump