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Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: Newbie question about DAT
« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2021, 07:53:48 PM »
bump- about to add some info and questions.
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Offline OldNeumanntapr

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Re: Newbie question about DAT
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2021, 09:27:24 PM »
A lot of thanks for your help guys.

In the meantime, we've tried out the LP cassettes on a (properly aligned) Fostex D5, which was my only and last option - luckily it played them flawlessly. 

jefflester, are you sure the Tascam DA-30 should play LP tapes ?  I'm asking because I simply can't find a way to adjust it to LP mode, or to 32 KHz (which I do find on pictures of the DA-30 MKii - is this what you mean you've tried ?).  I know the heads of the mentioned DA-30 are aligned, so in my humble opinion this could either be that the LP tapes were recorded on a misaligned D7 (and the Fostex D5 still played them), or that the DA-30 actually does not read LP tapes.  Anyone could pop in here and share your knowledge on this please ?

I had a 1st generation Tascam DA-30 and I don't believe that it supported 32k LP. I'm pretty sure my Sony 59ES did, though I never used that feature.

Offline rocksuitcase

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NOT a noob Re: Newbie question about DAT
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2021, 10:44:10 AM »
NOT a Newbie question about DAT
So I picked up a Tascam DA-20 from a person who swapped ex boyfriend leftover items with her best GF when they both became Exes at the same time TEN YEARS AGO. So I got a DAT deck she had stored in a storage room and never touched for ten years. I gave her $80 for it which was probably $30 too much, but it was a friend of a friend dealio. It did not play tapes, it FF'd and REW'd but no play, no levels etc.
Then I took the deck to Juan at Stereo Repair World who found the belt needed replacing, cleaned it up, checked the electronics and told me it was almost a zero hours on the head, he had not seen such a clean DAT deck in a long time. HE recorded on it and that tape played back great. I brought four tapes I had recently taken off and knew they were not precious. The deck plays all tapes but has some digi zaps and dropouts which I suspected to be the tapes not the deck. Especially after the third tape I played ran for 10-15 minutes flawlessly. (Gov't Mule 1996 master on an HHB DAT tape) $130 is what he charged me for the servicing, so I have $210 plus gas for two trips to Long Island in this thing.

So I get the deck home and start testing it. Aside from not having a long enough spdif digi cable to use, I finally got it set up and running into a Tascam DR680, analog in. (HQ commercial RCA to 1/4 inch interconnects)
Each tape Ive played out of four has had some digi zaps and drop outs. They seem to not start until 70-80 minutes into the tape, and/or when a track marker comes up. I had a Joan Osborne tape (Maxell DAT125,1996 master) which played flawlessly until the track marker at about 78 minutes. Then: I heard zzzzn stststst digizap noise and both channels would drop 90% down then back up. I had already just stopped the takeoff on two other tapes (both Fuji 90m's)which did this. But this one I really wanted a clean takeoff. So, I paused the recorder, stopped the tape, rewound it about 15 minutes, FWD'd it to the track point and it played flawlessly until the end (about 25 more minutes), so with some editing of the raw file, I will have a clean copy.

Questions for the DAT heads among us:
1] should I be FF and REW each tape before I transfer?
2] Is this possibly a tensioning element in the tape guide which Is beyond Juan's servicing ability? To be clear: I think he has done what he could, made it work, cleaned the heads etc. Playing back all these old tapes, many of which were made on not studiously aligned decks is not his fault.
3] I have several different brands of DATS, most of them Fuji 90m DDS tapes. But a lot of HHB DAT, Maxell DAT 125's and Sony 60m DDS. Am I going to have to have different players for these tape types?
4] has anyone experienced the deal where the DAT takeoff has issues then you FF or REW and it plays flawlessly?

Lastly, if anyone wishes to part with a working Fostex D5, shoot me a PM.       8) >:D
« Last Edit: December 29, 2021, 12:48:33 AM by rocksuitcase »
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Offline rigpimp

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Re: NOT a noob Re: Newbie question about DAT
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2021, 05:59:44 PM »
Questions for the DAT heads among us:
1] should I be FF and REW each tape before I transfer?

I would always recommend a full FFWD and REW of all DAT/DDS tapes.

2] Is this possibly a tensioning element in the tape guide which Is beyond Juan's servicing ability? To be clear: I think he has done what he could, made it work, cleaned the heads etc. Playing back all these old tapes, many of which were made on not studiously aligned decks is not his fault.

It's possible but remember that this run like a miniature VHS machine with a drum head.  Tension MUST be maintained across the tape as it crosses the drum.

3] I have several different brands of DATS, most of them Fuji 90m DDS tapes. But a lot of HHB DAT, Maxell DAT 125's and Sony 60m DDS. Am I going to have to have different players for these tape types?

VERY, VERY likely.  Remember how everyone complained that the TCD-D7/8 would/would not play tapes of a certain length but they'd playback fine in other decks?  I have seen the exact same thing in Panasonic decks.  The sv3700 would play 3 hours tapes w/o a problem but the sv3800 would puke on them every, single, solitary time.

4] has anyone experienced the deal where the DAT takeoff has issues then you FF or REW and it plays flawlessly?

I have.  I have also seen the track marker issue you describe.  It may have just been luck but I found that an FFWD/REW followed by starting from the first track marker and NOT the tape's beginning worked well for me.  I also used cleaning tapes regularly but not to excess.
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Offline jbosco

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Re: NOT a noob Re: Newbie question about DAT
« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2021, 03:31:17 PM »
Back in the day I had all Sonys, D3, D7, D8, M1 and a 60ES, they have all died. A friend loaned me his Sony R300 however it no longer reads tapes it just says "No Tape". I'm not really sure if the deck is broken or it can't read "data grade" tapes, I used mostly 90 meter DDS tapes from Terrapin, KAO being the being the most popular at the time. I can't even find a "DAT" tape to try out at home. Does anyone know if the Sony R300 even reads DDS or 90m or am I wasting my time? If they should have that ability does anyone know where I can send this deck in for a tuneup and repair?
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Offline morst

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Re: NOT a noob Re: Newbie question about DAT
« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2021, 03:45:37 PM »
Back in the day I had all Sonys, D3, D7, D8, M1 and a 60ES, they have all died. A friend loaned me his Sony R300 however it no longer reads tapes it just says "No Tape". I'm not really sure if the deck is broken or it can't read "data grade" tapes, I used mostly 90 meter DDS tapes from Terrapin, KAO being the being the most popular at the time. I can't even find a "DAT" tape to try out at home. Does anyone know if the Sony R300 even reads DDS or 90m or am I wasting my time? If they should have that ability does anyone know where I can send this deck in for a tuneup and repair?
Up in the corner of a DAT cassette are some little holes, and they are matched by some little pins in the DAT machine, which activate switches when a DAT is inserted.
I think one switch detects when a DAT is inserted, one detects the "write protect" status, and one might have to do with tape length? If you can get your finger or a non-metallic tool (plastic knife?) in there, and manually exercise the switches, perhaps you will dislodge a bit of dirt which is preventing their function?


see diagram, holes 1,2,3,4 which I found here
https://www.4crawler.com/Hardware/Tape_Drives/DAT.shtml





Offline jbosco

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Re: NOT a noob Re: Newbie question about DAT
« Reply #21 on: December 23, 2021, 08:21:59 AM »

Up in the corner of a DAT cassette are some little holes, and they are matched by some little pins in the DAT machine, which activate switches when a DAT is inserted.
I think one switch detects when a DAT is inserted, one detects the "write protect" status, and one might have to do with tape length? If you can get your finger or a non-metallic tool (plastic knife?) in there, and manually exercise the switches, perhaps you will dislodge a bit of dirt which is preventing their function?


see diagram, holes 1,2,3,4 which I found here
https://www.4crawler.com/Hardware/Tape_Drives/DAT.shtml




I think I found the probes you mentioned however there is a loose part in there with a couple of screws, on the photo it's in the lit area. Obviously this is not be design so perhaps a visit to a repair shop is in order.

« Last Edit: December 23, 2021, 08:31:58 AM by jbosco »
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Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: Newbie question about DAT
« Reply #22 on: December 28, 2021, 11:17:15 AM »
Reporting back about my "progress" understanding the limitations of this DA-20.
1] MOST "limitations" are that my DAT's have multitudinous digi zaps, drop outs etc, anything which is a "clone" and not recorded on my TC-D7 or TC-D8 probably has some of each.
2] Even shows recorded as a master can have issues, but most of them appear to be related to the mics > DMIC-20 cabling etc. and most of those tapes are OK to process
3] I found in the owners manual of the DA-20MkII (mine is an MKI) a section titled: Tape Loading and Removal, which states:
 
Quote
This unit cannot be used with thin tapes (Longer than 120 minute tapes). If these kind of cassettes are used, the unit might malfunction
     
hmmmmmmm
https://tascam.com/downloads/tascam/289/DA-20mkII_manual.pdf

My strategy as a result after reading rigpimps advice and speaking with kindms:
1] Rewinding and FF'ing each tape before playback.
2] inspecting the tape window to ensure nothing is odd (I found one with the tape curled over and wound incorrectly, marked on the j card- BAD Tape)
3] If a tape has more than a minor digizap up to the two minute mark, I stop, RW, take it out and put it in its' case with a note, "Won't play on DA20" (kindms advises this for sanity sake)    ;D

Any more serious DAT user advice or offers to sell me a Fostex D5 invited and encouraged!  >:D     
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Offline RyanJ

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Re: Newbie question about DAT
« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2022, 09:03:58 PM »
I have a DA20, D8 and M1. I agree on the FF/RW prior to transfer. I find my D8 to be the best at transferring almost anything that may give problems in the other decks. But the DA20 is an absolute tank.
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Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: Newbie question about DAT
« Reply #24 on: January 03, 2022, 11:51:47 PM »
I was talking about this with another taper friend who has his share of DATs, most transferred. HE says his M1 is the best at takeoffs of problematic tapes.
Re the OP- I am certain that my D8 had some signal path or cabling issues (DMIC20 -> D8 )and a lot of the digizap type noise I am hearing is on the master recording.
Best troubleshooting advice I received on this is: To make a recording on one and playback a few times. If it all tracks and plays then the issue trends toward the tapes, I now have several blank, sealed DAT's so I am going to do this.
music IS love

When you get confused, listen to the music play!

Mics:         AKG460|CK61|CK1|CK3|CK8|Beyer M 201E|DPA 4060 SK
Recorders:Marantz PMD661 OADE Concert mod; Tascam DR680 MKI

 

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