DAT Recorders

Get that song on tape! Errr... disk?
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somanytoys
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DAT Recorders

Post by somanytoys » Thu Oct 03, 2019 6:01 pm

I’ve had a DAT tape of a studio recording mix that my old band did back in like 90 or 91, one of the “master copies”. It’s been sitting around forever because that format didn’t last, and I haven’t done anything with it.
It’s tucked away, somewhere... I think I know where, I just have to look.

So recently I went to see my friend that runs a sales & repair shop, and he had one for pretty cheap and I bought it. They’re not getting any less scarce, but the prices are still good.

It’s a Tascam DA 30. Not as swanky as the later stuff just before it went extinct, but pretty nice. it should serve it’s main purpose (to pull that into today’s media format), and hopefully still be useful, at least for backups, maybe (?).

Aside from normal high end cassette tape decks, back in their day, I’ve never jacked with one of these. No manual, and I can’t seem to find one to download. I’m a pretty RTFM kind of guy with electronics. And still have questions

Anyone have any experience with these or similar ones? Is it all pretty straight forward, is there anything nuclear I need to know besides don’t hit the record button on that master tape and ruin it forever? Any tips about anything?
-David

It's a boost booster, to boost your boost - it makes your tone much muchier.

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Critical Distance
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Re: DAT Recorders

Post by Critical Distance » Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:05 pm

It's basically a mini VCR, so standard tape path maintenance is required. Clean heads, tape guides etc. Then test with a sacrificial DAT tape - just in case there is an issue with it lacing and loading.

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somanytoys
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Re: DAT Recorders

Post by somanytoys » Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:22 am

Cool, thank you. I suspect that my friend has it in good working order, but I’ll still check & clean it if it needs it.

I bought a few unused tapes, too, so I’ll use one of those first. Great idea.
-David

It's a boost booster, to boost your boost - it makes your tone much muchier.

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sookwinder
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Re: DAT Recorders

Post by sookwinder » Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:59 am

I bought the Professional SONY DAT recorder designed mainly used for on site film/TV recording audio.

Used it for many sweaty pup gig recordings in the 90s. Awesome technology.
There are "cleaner" tapes that can be purchased, but in my experience many DAT recorders were not used that much (expensive units and tapes), so the odds are the head still is pretty clean. A lot of units had a "fuse" (not really a fuse , but that is what the manual called it) in them that logged how long the head had been used and when the "fuse" indicated it needed cleaning you did so. In 10 years of used, never got near needing the head being looked at.

Good luck.
relaxing alternative to doing actual work ...

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somanytoys
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Re: DAT Recorders

Post by somanytoys » Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:28 pm

Very nice, thank you. I’ll check that out.

I found a service manual that I downloaded, which may help me to do things correctly when I do something, but no op/owner’s manual.

I also found some new belts for sale, I may buy those while there are still some available.
-David

It's a boost booster, to boost your boost - it makes your tone much muchier.

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