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Author Topic: Tascam DR-70d mods  (Read 633 times)

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Offline ts

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Tascam DR-70d mods
« on: September 21, 2022, 07:05:16 PM »
Anyone still modding these? Reached out to Busman. No answer. Thanks.

Offline Charliebrm

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Re: Tascam DR-70d mods
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2022, 09:08:09 PM »
I'll perk up if there's anything new to read about it. I have a DR-70D I scored when it was added to inventory of a clear out sale happening a week after the customer returned within a week after they bought it. It doesn't get the use it deserves but I really like the physical format so I'm hanging on to it. Just bad timing with my current changes in situation.

Offline voltronic

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Re: Tascam DR-70d mods
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2022, 09:51:12 PM »
I used to own a modded DR-70D, modded according to Jim Williams' specs. Cheesecadet did the same, and I used the same shop he recommended to mod mine.

It made an improvement, but in retrospect I wouldn't do it again. No disrespect to any modders, but I think these mods (Busman, Oade, etc.) are no longer worth the incremental improvements they make for the cost, because we now have reasonably-priced professional-spec recorders available. The mods may replace opamps and caps, but they aren't going to do a major overhaul to the input stage or install a better ADC.

If you want something better than a 70D that does 4+ channels, sell it and put the money towards a Zoom F6 or Sound Devices MixPre-II 6. The step up in quality is not small, especially in self-noise (a particular weakness of the 70D). If you only need 2 channels, get a Zoom F3.
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Offline goodcooker

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Re: Tascam DR-70d mods
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2022, 10:59:24 AM »
The mods may replace opamps and caps, but they aren't going to do a major overhaul to the input stage or install a better ADC.

This is exactly what Doug Oade does when he modifies a recorder - new opamps and caps IS a "major overhaul" to the input stage.

His modifications also accomplish other things which are useful for concert recordists like lowering the sensitivity to give more headroom in loud recording environments but also providing better filtering from the noise created in the circuit by the display.

. A lot of people here are recording concerts with large sound systems - not marching bands or choirs - so would benefit from things like a concert mod on a deck like the DR70d.
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Offline ts

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Re: Tascam DR-70d mods
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2022, 11:44:37 AM »
So the JW mod could be done by any electronics repair shop? I have a local guy that's pretty good. I would just present him with the parts list and the note from JW and my guy would know what to do. I guess.  :shrug:

https://www.rocelec.com/part/TISLME49720MA-NOPB
« Last Edit: September 23, 2022, 01:48:06 PM by ts »

Offline voltronic

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Re: Tascam DR-70d mods
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2022, 07:15:50 AM »
The mods may replace opamps and caps, but they aren't going to do a major overhaul to the input stage or install a better ADC.

This is exactly what Doug Oade does when he modifies a recorder - new opamps and caps IS a "major overhaul" to the input stage.

His modifications also accomplish other things which are useful for concert recordists like lowering the sensitivity to give more headroom in loud recording environments but also providing better filtering from the noise created in the circuit by the display.

. A lot of people here are recording concerts with large sound systems - not marching bands or choirs - so would benefit from things like a concert mod on a deck like the DR70d.

I would only consider a major overhaul if the mods lowered EIN and improved max input level. I'm not aware of any that do, and the lack of noise improvement was my biggest disappointment after having my 70D modded even though the improvement to the treble was quite noticeable.

Lower sensitivity I could see being useful if you are always recording loud PAs. Noise created in the circuit by the display? I have never experienced that before. Sounds like a pretty big design flaw.

Like I said, I am not disrespecting any modders out there. I was one of them. My position is that I don't think it makes much sense to do it anymore with what's on the market now. You could put the mod money towards a new recorder that is superior in every way to your old one, particularly in the areas any of the mods cannot touch such as the ADC.
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Offline goodcooker

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Re: Tascam DR-70d mods
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2022, 11:32:40 AM »
I guess this is the thing -

SNIP < You could put the mod money towards a new recorder that is superior in every way to your old one > SNIP

What someone wants in a recorder is subjective. Most people aren't looking at specs or even have any idea what those numbers mean. People weigh many factors in deciding what to use for their particular use case - cost, form factor, powering options and so on. Most importantly for many is how does it sound?

Tony didn't start this thread to be told what he SHOULD do based on your "position". He wants to know who's doing mods on the DR70 not to have to justify whether or not it's worth it and to be told just buy a different recorder.

Sorry to derail your thread. Looks like your options for modifications are to get a shop to do the JW mod, the Oade route since he's modding recorders that weren't bought straight from him which is different than he used to do business, or getting in touch with Chris although you said he didn't answer you the first time you reached out. I'm not sure he's doing as much mod work as he used to after he moved to Austin. Jason - picklemic here on TS - has a Busman modded DR70. Maybe he could point you in the right direction.
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SD MixpreD || Oade Warm Mod UA5
Tascam DR680 || Marantz PMD661 || Korg MR1 (homebrew internal battery mod)

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"Are you the Zman?" - fan at Panic 10-08-10 Kansas City
"I don't know who left this perfectly good inflatable wook doll here, but if I'm blowing her up, I'm keeping her." -  hoppedup

Offline datbrad

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Re: Tascam DR-70d mods
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2022, 09:52:15 AM »
I know Doug offers mods for the P2 and DR100 but not sure if he still does on any of Tascam's multi-channel units. I have 2 Oade modfied recorders and I can tell you the improvements to headroom and SNR are quite noticable. ADCs encode the analog signal quality delivered to them. I think there is nearly total parity between the A/D converters used in the field recorders. It's the analog path that impacts the final results the most. A mic preamp enhanced for loud concert recording has a different gain structure than one optimized for very soft nature or foley recording. Stock preamps need to be able to cover the widest range of applications out-of-the-box, which is fine for 90% of users. If the application is primarily environmental, very high sensitivity combined with very low noise is needed. For concerts, it's high headroom and low distortion. The mods Doug does are optimal for what they are designed for while at the same time making them sub-optimal for what they are not. A stock preamp will make a better recording of crickets than a concert modified preamp, and a better concert recording than a recorder modified for ambient/ENG use. While the merits of mods have always been debated among tapers on this and other similar forums, there is no such conflict among nature recording professionals and the like. Within their ranks the high value of Oade mods is almost universally accepted as fact. And Doug told me years ago that concert/warm modifications are a tiny fraction of the mods he makes, and he really only does them because of his own heritage as a concert taper and the deep links to tapers over decades. That's my 2 cents, take it or leave it.
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