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Author Topic: TASCAM DR-100mkIII NEW Unreleased Recorder  (Read 55403 times)

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Offline mjwin

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Re: TASCAM DR-100mkIII NEW Unreleased Recorder
« Reply #120 on: November 24, 2016, 03:01:50 PM »
Hi fellow tapers, I'm new here but have lurked behind the scenes for a while & read through the *whole of this thread* before making the decision to buy a DR100mk3!  I just wanted to say that this forum has been by far the most useful source of info I've found on this device so thanks to everyone!  I don't want to repeat what's already been said, but FWIW:

First impressions

The DR100mk3 is certainly solid and the design appears well thought through (or evolved, since it's mk3 after all).  The ergonomics are great. It's a tad bulky, but couldn't really be any smaller without compromising connectivity and all of the tactile controls. Having a real switch for phantom power is so useful & the fact that this requires an "ok" confirmation prevents accidentally blasting the inputs with 48V while recording!

Originally I was looking for a replacement for a dead Sony M10:(   but that machine was really one of a kind in size, battery life, quality, etc.   I do have an ageing LS10, but the mics are too noisy for the quiet stuff that I record.  My main rig is a Fostex FR2LE, which I love.  I've had this it first came out (9 yrs?) and, although I constantly gnash my teeth  dealing with the dreadful user interface, I've never had a glitch & I know I can rely on it.  Actually, it's great over a shoulder, it's the top panel controls which bug me.

Now, I didn't expect to say this but... the DR100-3 beats the  FR2LE in pretty much every respect.  Size and connectivity win hands down. In terms of sound quality using the XLR inputs, I did a few comparisons using the AT BP4025 stereo mic which I often use for ambiences etc, and I really couldn't hear much difference between the two recorders. If anything, the Tascam has cleaner pres, but  the recorded noise level sounds pretty much identical on both machines.   

I have to say that I'd hoped for lower noise internal mics, but I think I have to accept that built-in mics on handhelds aren't going to offer the kind of quality and low noise that you'd otherwise pay as much again for. They are useable for louder stuff though. When close-up they don't spit & the shockmounting  is very soft: when prodded the mics wiggle around easily within the protective cage. The result is that handling noise is minimal, unless you actually rub the case. With a furry windjammer and the 80Hz Low cut filter on, it's possible to walk around outdoors and not have obtrusive wind noise. The stereo spread is contained, but ok as the mics are actually angled out at 90 degrees inside the mesh, not pointing straight ahead as they appear.  There's good rejection of rearward sound, though the off axis frequency response is rather uneven. I guess this is to be expected. That's why decent mics cost $$$!

I like to measure what I hear (it's the tech background!)  so I've just done a few rough'n'ready (unweighted) noise measurements  and the internal mic noise works out to ~30dB spl.  This is compared  to the BP4025 at ~16dB.  (The 4025 mic noise spec is 14dBA, so my measurements are pretty close). But the really interesting figure is with mic inputs shorted (150R), which shows just the system noise. In comparison with the FR2LE,   the Tascam, is actually *better*, with the equivalent noise  = 1dBSPL  compared to 2.6dBSPL for the FR2LE!  Of course, with a high sensitivity mic like the 4025, these figures are all a bit academic, and taking into account measurement errors, I'd say these were too close to worry about.  But it's good to see that Tascam take this seriously.

Incidentally, Phantom power is completely silent, though I'll have to check this again next halloween...

The figures confirm what I hear:  the internal UNI mics aren't quiet enough for serious low-level recordings.  I think they'd be ok for quick grabs of stuff: close-up recordings to be played back at lower levels, samples,  city ambience, even mountain streams, but not for anything with any kind of "silence" as the backdrop. It's not so much the hiss, but the veiling effect that this has on the sound. 

Finally, another measurement which might be useful, as I don't think this is in the specs.  Plug in power = 2.5V through 2.5K (ie it gives 1mA when shorted).  Pity they couldn't have upped this to 5V. So don't chuck your battery boxes!

Offline dogmusic

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Re: TASCAM DR-100mkIII NEW Unreleased Recorder
« Reply #121 on: November 25, 2016, 06:10:42 PM »
Hi fellow tapers, I'm new here but have lurked behind the scenes for a while & read through the *whole of this thread* before making the decision to buy a DR100mk3!  I just wanted to say that this forum has been by far the most useful source of info I've found on this device so thanks to everyone!  I don't want to repeat what's already been said, but FWIW:

First impressions

The DR100mk3 is certainly solid and the design appears well thought through (or evolved, since it's mk3 after all).  The ergonomics are great. It's a tad bulky, but couldn't really be any smaller without compromising connectivity and all of the tactile controls. Having a real switch for phantom power is so useful & the fact that this requires an "ok" confirmation prevents accidentally blasting the inputs with 48V while recording!

Originally I was looking for a replacement for a dead Sony M10:(   but that machine was really one of a kind in size, battery life, quality, etc.   I do have an ageing LS10, but the mics are too noisy for the quiet stuff that I record.  My main rig is a Fostex FR2LE, which I love.  I've had this it first came out (9 yrs?) and, although I constantly gnash my teeth  dealing with the dreadful user interface, I've never had a glitch & I know I can rely on it.  Actually, it's great over a shoulder, it's the top panel controls which bug me.

Now, I didn't expect to say this but... the DR100-3 beats the  FR2LE in pretty much every respect.  Size and connectivity win hands down. In terms of sound quality using the XLR inputs, I did a few comparisons using the AT BP4025 stereo mic which I often use for ambiences etc, and I really couldn't hear much difference between the two recorders. If anything, the Tascam has cleaner pres, but  the recorded noise level sounds pretty much identical on both machines.   

I have to say that I'd hoped for lower noise internal mics, but I think I have to accept that built-in mics on handhelds aren't going to offer the kind of quality and low noise that you'd otherwise pay as much again for. They are useable for louder stuff though. When close-up they don't spit & the shockmounting  is very soft: when prodded the mics wiggle around easily within the protective cage. The result is that handling noise is minimal, unless you actually rub the case. With a furry windjammer and the 80Hz Low cut filter on, it's possible to walk around outdoors and not have obtrusive wind noise. The stereo spread is contained, but ok as the mics are actually angled out at 90 degrees inside the mesh, not pointing straight ahead as they appear.  There's good rejection of rearward sound, though the off axis frequency response is rather uneven. I guess this is to be expected. That's why decent mics cost $$$!

I like to measure what I hear (it's the tech background!)  so I've just done a few rough'n'ready (unweighted) noise measurements  and the internal mic noise works out to ~30dB spl.  This is compared  to the BP4025 at ~16dB.  (The 4025 mic noise spec is 14dBA, so my measurements are pretty close). But the really interesting figure is with mic inputs shorted (150R), which shows just the system noise. In comparison with the FR2LE,   the Tascam, is actually *better*, with the equivalent noise  = 1dBSPL  compared to 2.6dBSPL for the FR2LE!  Of course, with a high sensitivity mic like the 4025, these figures are all a bit academic, and taking into account measurement errors, I'd say these were too close to worry about.  But it's good to see that Tascam take this seriously.

Incidentally, Phantom power is completely silent, though I'll have to check this again next halloween...

The figures confirm what I hear:  the internal UNI mics aren't quiet enough for serious low-level recordings.  I think they'd be ok for quick grabs of stuff: close-up recordings to be played back at lower levels, samples,  city ambience, even mountain streams, but not for anything with any kind of "silence" as the backdrop. It's not so much the hiss, but the veiling effect that this has on the sound. 

Finally, another measurement which might be useful, as I don't think this is in the specs.  Plug in power = 2.5V through 2.5K (ie it gives 1mA when shorted).  Pity they couldn't have upped this to 5V. So don't chuck your battery boxes!

Great stuff! Thanks.
"The ear is much more than a mere appendage on the side of the head." - Catherine Parker Anthony, Structure and Function of the Human Body (1972)

"That's metaphysically absurd, man! How can I know what you hear?" - Firesign Theatre

Offline petphi

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Re: TASCAM DR-100mkIII NEW Unreleased Recorder
« Reply #122 on: December 03, 2016, 12:56:57 AM »
Power-On problems?

I'm new here (another lurker), and made the decision to buy a DR-100mkiii after finding this thread to be a good early source of information. I have used a MixPre-D / Sony M10 combination for a couple of years, but was looking for a more portable equivalent - one that combined reasonable price with good quality.

Just wondering if any other purchasers of this device have encountered a problem with the device locking up / not powering-on after a couple of days without use, despite a fully charged Li-ion battery?

It's happened a number of times to me (i.e. weekend-warrior fails to fire up the recorder!). I updated the firmware to 1.01 and it still happens. If I plug a USB power source in or add AA batteries, the unit comes back to life (albeit with the date set a few days behind (why?)). After a short while, the unit will resume powering on from Li-ion battery only.

Luckily I have not been caught out without a spare "boot" power source, but this is inconvenient and seems very peculiar! I'm not sure if it might be an isolated problem with the Li-ion battery or the firmware, but thought my experience would be worth sharing.

Apart from that, I really like the recorder! Provides the quality and flexibility I was after; I just want it to be dependable!

Cheers,
Peter


Offline mepaca

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Re: TASCAM DR-100mkIII NEW Unreleased Recorder
« Reply #123 on: December 03, 2016, 04:20:54 AM »
Never had that problem but I always have lithium AA batteries loaded in there too.

Offline dogmusic

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Re: TASCAM DR-100mkIII NEW Unreleased Recorder
« Reply #124 on: December 03, 2016, 07:57:56 AM »
Power-On problems?

I'm new here (another lurker), and made the decision to buy a DR-100mkiii after finding this thread to be a good early source of information. I have used a MixPre-D / Sony M10 combination for a couple of years, but was looking for a more portable equivalent - one that combined reasonable price with good quality.

Just wondering if any other purchasers of this device have encountered a problem with the device locking up / not powering-on after a couple of days without use, despite a fully charged Li-ion battery?

It's happened a number of times to me (i.e. weekend-warrior fails to fire up the recorder!). I updated the firmware to 1.01 and it still happens. If I plug a USB power source in or add AA batteries, the unit comes back to life (albeit with the date set a few days behind (why?)). After a short while, the unit will resume powering on from Li-ion battery only.

Luckily I have not been caught out without a spare "boot" power source, but this is inconvenient and seems very peculiar! I'm not sure if it might be an isolated problem with the Li-ion battery or the firmware, but thought my experience would be worth sharing.

Apart from that, I really like the recorder! Provides the quality and flexibility I was after; I just want it to be dependable!

Cheers,
Peter

If it's convenient for you to do so, you should return it and get another unit.
"The ear is much more than a mere appendage on the side of the head." - Catherine Parker Anthony, Structure and Function of the Human Body (1972)

"That's metaphysically absurd, man! How can I know what you hear?" - Firesign Theatre

Offline 2manyrocks

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Re: TASCAM DR-100mkIII NEW Unreleased Recorder
« Reply #125 on: December 03, 2016, 08:43:19 PM »
IMO, send it back ASAP. 

Offline petphi

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Re: TASCAM DR-100mkIII NEW Unreleased Recorder
« Reply #126 on: December 04, 2016, 03:43:38 AM »
Thanks for the feedback, and for the advice dogmusic and 2manyrocks.

I will enquire with the place I bought it from (6 weeks ago) and see what can be done. I am mostly concerned that I'll get the "return to manufacturer" run-around, and thus be without the device for weeks (especially over the Christmas holiday period), but let's see...

Cheers,
Peter.

Offline dogmusic

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Re: TASCAM DR-100mkIII NEW Unreleased Recorder
« Reply #127 on: December 05, 2016, 03:00:14 PM »
Here's a link to a short test recording I made on my piano with the "UNI" internal mics on the DR100MKIII.

The record level was 16.0 for both channels. The DR100MKIII was placed on the centre of the music stand laid flat and was aimed toward the tail. It's a 24/96 wav file.

https://app.box.com/s/4hnp9kk60bxpb2nx3wrsi5gbaxjytab1
"The ear is much more than a mere appendage on the side of the head." - Catherine Parker Anthony, Structure and Function of the Human Body (1972)

"That's metaphysically absurd, man! How can I know what you hear?" - Firesign Theatre

Offline noahbickart

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Re: TASCAM DR-100mkIII NEW Unreleased Recorder
« Reply #128 on: December 05, 2016, 03:01:18 PM »
Maybe I missed it, but has anyone been able to get one of these recorders to lock onto a digi signal from a Mini-Me?

I was going to try this: https://www.amazon.com/Neutrik-NADITBNC-FX-Female-cable-input/dp/B01JUVQW9C/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1480968040&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=Neutrik+NADITBNC-FX so as to use the aes out.

Recording:
Capsules: Schoeps mk41v (x2), mk4v (x2), mk22 (x2), mk3 (x2), mk21 & mk8
Cables: 2x nbob KCY, 1 pair nbob actives, Darktrain 2 and 4 channel KCY extensions:
Preamps:    Schoeps VMS 02iub, Naiant Littlebox, Naiant IPA, Sound Devices Mixpre6
Recorders: Sound Devices Mixpre6, Sony PCM m10

Home Playback: Mytek DSD 192> McIntosh MC162> Eminent Tech LFT-16; Musical Fidelity xCan v2> Hifiman HE-4XX / Beyerdynamic DT880

Office Playback: Grace m903> AKG k701 / Hifiman HE-400

Offline mepaca

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Re: TASCAM DR-100mkIII NEW Unreleased Recorder
« Reply #129 on: December 13, 2016, 07:14:50 AM »
Here's an online album that I recorded in October with a DR-100mkIII and an Audio-Technica at4050st.
https://jasonanick.bandcamp.com/album/rhythm-future-quartet-live-at-49-west-2
For a 2 piece rig that ran me about $1000 I find it quite acceptable. There is an abundance of red hot
fiddle and guitar playing on this recording.

Offline theGeneral

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Re: TASCAM DR-100mkIII NEW Unreleased Recorder
« Reply #130 on: December 14, 2016, 01:54:32 PM »
Maybe I missed it, but has anyone been able to get one of these recorders to lock onto a digi signal from a Mini-Me?

I was going to try this: https://www.amazon.com/Neutrik-NADITBNC-FX-Female-cable-input/dp/B01JUVQW9C/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1480968040&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=Neutrik+NADITBNC-FX so as to use the aes out.

I just returned a Marantz PMD561 and bought a DR-100mkIII that will be fed by a Mini-Me.  As soon as I get it I will test the spdif connection and let you know if it works.  Gosh, I hope so as I expected this to be easy....

Jeff

Offline theGeneral

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Re: TASCAM DR-100mkIII NEW Unreleased Recorder
« Reply #131 on: December 26, 2016, 03:11:09 PM »
The Mini-Me spdif to DR-100mkIII worked fine at all bit lengths and frequencies.  Good luck with yours.

Offline F.O.Bean

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Re: TASCAM DR-100mkIII NEW Unreleased Recorder
« Reply #132 on: December 27, 2016, 05:19:16 AM »
Here's an online album that I recorded in October with a DR-100mkIII and an Audio-Technica at4050st.
https://jasonanick.bandcamp.com/album/rhythm-future-quartet-live-at-49-west-2
For a 2 piece rig that ran me about $1000 I find it quite acceptable. There is an abundance of red hot
fiddle and guitar playing on this recording.

Sounds great, thanks for the link! I really love the "Come Together" cover :) GREAT example of a HQ rig at/around $1k IMO :)
Recording Gear:
Schoeps MK 4 (MP) & MK 41V (MP) Capsules ->
Schoeps 250/0 KCY's X2 ->
Naiant +60v/Low Noise PFA's x2 ->
DarkTrain Right Angle Stubby XLR's x2 ->
Sound Devices MixPre-6 & MixPre-3 ->
SanDisk 128gb Extreme Pro & 64gb Ultra Plus

Portable Playback Gear:
Campfire Audio Andromeda & Dorado IEM's ->
Linum G2 SuperBax & Bax 3.5mm | FiiO LC 2.5c 2.5mm ->
Shanling Audio M5s | Sony NW-A35 DAP's

DAW:
Dell Inspiron 5570-5521 SLV Laptop
(Pentium i5/8gb RAM/256gb SSD)

http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/diskobean | http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/Bean420 | http://bt.etree.org/mytorrents.php

Offline mepaca

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Re: TASCAM DR-100mkIII NEW Unreleased Recorder
« Reply #133 on: December 27, 2016, 09:03:31 PM »
Here's an online album that I recorded in October with a DR-100mkIII and an Audio-Technica at4050st.
https://jasonanick.bandcamp.com/album/rhythm-future-quartet-live-at-49-west-2
For a 2 piece rig that ran me about $1000 I find it quite acceptable. There is an abundance of red hot
fiddle and guitar playing on this recording.

Sounds great, thanks for the link! I really love the "Come Together" cover :) GREAT example of a HQ rig at/around $1k IMO :)
Thanks Bean

Offline morst

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Re: TASCAM DR-100mkIII NEW Unreleased Recorder
« Reply #134 on: February 15, 2017, 09:23:09 PM »
Here's an online album that I recorded in October with a DR-100mkIII and an Audio-Technica at4050st.
https://jasonanick.bandcamp.com/album/rhythm-future-quartet-live-at-49-west-2
For a 2 piece rig that ran me about $1000 I find it quite acceptable. There is an abundance of red hot
fiddle and guitar playing on this recording.
HEY! It's the POTATO mic! (see TeamPickle and the long term story arc of how the AKG 522 M/S can't be repaired and so it was replaced with a 4050st!)

Sounds really good! If band camp didn't stream the whole thing, I might just buy it!

I think CD baby and amazon only give samples of every track, so the techies can't hork the stream, not that I have done that! I'm fine with streams as long as I have flat-rate bandwidth!
« Last Edit: February 15, 2017, 09:25:19 PM by morst »
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