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Author Topic: DAT Transfer Rig  (Read 985 times)

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Offline Scooter123

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DAT Transfer Rig
« on: May 19, 2021, 09:59:40 PM »
I hope this post is in the right section, if not, then Spy has my permission to move it. 

I've had a number of PMs on the rig I use to transfer DATs.  I transferred about 1,000+ DATs (and some R2Rs) of national live bands from a local radio station to digital, and made a bunch of mistakes in the process.  By mistakes, I mean not fast forwarding and rewinding the DATs multiple times before playing them, using a cheap DAT deck for playback, and going directly into a computer through my I/O.  What has worked the best for me is this:

First, buy the best playback deck you can find.  I went through a bunch of DAT decks, almost all of which were crap.  I happened to find a Sony 7030 on eBay for $500  and had a local shop rebuild it.  It was the finest DAT deck made, and the original cost was $8,000, was rack mount, and weighs about 50 lbs.  It is a beast.  It has a 4- head rotary system, variable speed, 16 bit and either 44.1 or 48k with a signal to noise of > 90db,  It was designed to be easily serviced, with each section is clearly marked and separated into distinct boards much like Sony Broadcast video machines.  Digital out is three pin AES, not SPDIF.  It was replaced with a 7040 (with a remote), but otherwise the 7030 and 7040 are identical. 

Second, an AES to SPDIF converter.  I am no expert here, but I understand there is a difference, and that AES with its third pin was similar to a balanced analog signal.  I was going to hack a SPDIF connection into the AES and tried it, but the AES with a tried and true converter sounded way better.  My hack sounded, well, wonky.  Hosa makes a cheap AES to SPDIF converter for about $75.  I will admit that I do not know the difference between AES and SPDIF and why the converter supposedly sounds better. 

Third, I opted with a stand alone recorder with a SD Card.  I tried going directly into the computer via an I/O but got interference unless I disconnected my computer from the Internet and disabled all applications other than my DAW (which is Reaper).  It is way easier to use a stand alone recorder with a SPDIF input.  These seem to be rare now, so an old borrowed broken DR-680 (with bad channels) works great, since channels 5-6 (the digital input channels) were operating.  Make sure to adjust the output of the DAT to the same bit rate as the recording on the menu.  Hoserama helped me on this, thanks. 

Then just pluck out the SD Card or use a mini USB to USB cord to go into the computer and copy the files.  I find it easier to use the SD card and a card reader, but really its no big deal here.   

The key to this rig is the Sony 7030 which has had about 1,000 DATs run through it with two rebuilds.  The rebuild was $200 and I think was just a belt or two and cleaning and calibrating from a local LA vintage recording gear repair shop in North Hollywood.   
Regards,
Scooter123

mk41 > N Box  > Sony M-10
mk4 > N Box > Sony M-10

Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: DAT Transfer Rig
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2021, 11:35:34 PM »
Very nice. Anyone know where to locate a Sony 7030?    ;D :drool:
music IS love

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Offline hoserama

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Re: DAT Transfer Rig
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2021, 10:27:17 AM »
The Tascam 680 finding a new career in retirement!
Audio: Countryman B3 + AT853(hypers/cards/subcards) + SBD feeds
Wireless Receivers: Lots of those
Antennas: Lots of those
Cables: Lots of those
Recorders: Cymatic Utrack24, Cymatic LR16, RME Multiface, Zoom F8, (3) Tascam 680, (2) Tascam 2D, Zoom H6, Zoom H4n, and a graveyard of irivers/nomads/minidiscs.

Offline Scooter123

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Re: DAT Transfer Rig
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2021, 10:53:25 AM »
Hard to find recorders with a SPDIF input.  I guess they are obsolete.
Regards,
Scooter123

mk41 > N Box  > Sony M-10
mk4 > N Box > Sony M-10

Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: DAT Transfer Rig
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2021, 11:04:52 AM »
Hard to find recorders with a SPDIF input.  I guess they are obsolete.
I also use a PMD661 for digi in capability
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

Offline Scooter123

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Re: DAT Transfer Rig
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2021, 11:53:29 AM »
What would people use a SPDIF in for, these days? 
Regards,
Scooter123

mk41 > N Box  > Sony M-10
mk4 > N Box > Sony M-10

Offline Sevoflurane

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Re: DAT Transfer Rig
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2021, 02:55:24 PM »
Great stuff. I use a Tascam DA-20 > Marantz PMD 671. Way better than trying to transfer this stuff to newer computers IMO.
http://www.ninlive.com
Mics: Schoeps MK4s, AT853 (4.7k mod)
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Offline rigpimp

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Re: DAT Transfer Rig
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2021, 04:05:45 PM »
Mics: Schoeps MK5 G MP, Schoeps CCM 4 Lg MP, Schoeps MK8 MP, nBob cables > PFA, KCY 250/5 > PFA
Pre/A>D/P48: Sonosax SX/M2-LS, E.A.A. PSP-2, Naiant Tinybox, Neumann BS48i-2 (for sale)
Recorders: Sound Devices Mixpre-6, Sony PCM-M10
Playback: McIntosh MC 2105 > McIntosh MX 130 > Von Schweikert VR-4 JR
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Offline Scooter123

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Re: DAT Transfer Rig
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2021, 06:07:10 PM »
That's not a bad price, as any vintage DAT will have to be refurbished.  I bet $250-300 would pick this beast up.  Shipping might be $100, as this beast is really heavy, like well over 50lbs. 
Regards,
Scooter123

mk41 > N Box  > Sony M-10
mk4 > N Box > Sony M-10

Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: DAT Transfer Rig
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2021, 11:14:12 PM »
Man, that thing looks heavy! I saw that listing yesterday after searching the google following this thread. hmmmmmm
The other aspect is most techs will not work on DAT machines. hmmmmmmm
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

Offline rigpimp

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Re: DAT Transfer Rig
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2021, 12:02:52 AM »
Man, that thing looks heavy! I saw that listing yesterday after searching the google following this thread. hmmmmmm
The other aspect is most techs will not work on DAT machines. hmmmmmmm

It's probably better to have a throwaway r300 or da20
Mics: Schoeps MK5 G MP, Schoeps CCM 4 Lg MP, Schoeps MK8 MP, nBob cables > PFA, KCY 250/5 > PFA
Pre/A>D/P48: Sonosax SX/M2-LS, E.A.A. PSP-2, Naiant Tinybox, Neumann BS48i-2 (for sale)
Recorders: Sound Devices Mixpre-6, Sony PCM-M10
Playback: McIntosh MC 2105 > McIntosh MX 130 > Von Schweikert VR-4 JR
http://archive.org/bookmarks/kskreider
https://archive.org/details/thespps

Offline Scooter123

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Re: DAT Transfer Rig
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2021, 12:08:31 AM »
Well, here in LA, where recording studios abide, this DAT unit was pretty common and there are many places that work on them, or specialize in vintage audio recording decks.  Usually in Hollywood, North Hollywood, and Burbank.  But yeah, if you live in a small town, good luck.  The other thing this beast has going for it is that the components are spread out in the chassis and actually labeled, so working on this beast is easy.  It was actually made to be used, refurbished, and used again, over and over again. 
Regards,
Scooter123

mk41 > N Box  > Sony M-10
mk4 > N Box > Sony M-10

Offline edtyre

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Re: DAT Transfer Rig
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2021, 12:03:47 PM »
I use a Fostex D5 and a Sony R500 into Marantz PMD 570 with great results.
all have SPIDIF connectors
I also tryed AES into Fostex FR2 field recorder with same results
music>mics>pre>recorder

Offline edtyre

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Re: DAT Transfer Rig
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2021, 12:18:42 PM »
What would people use a SPDIF in for, these days?

Here is my open taping rig (one of them)

This will smoke your Nbox and mine, but it weighs quite a bit :-)
music>mics>pre>recorder

Offline Scooter123

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Re: DAT Transfer Rig
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2021, 01:28:56 PM »
So Ed, the mikes go into the preamp and the preamp has an A-D converter, then SPDIF into a recorder? 

Stupid question, but I don't do open taping, so I guess I am actually stupid in this regard. 

Did Nicky give you the Hooters shows I gave him in January?  Thats the Hooters the band, not Hooters the restaurant where Laura Hanley once worked, just to be clear. 
Regards,
Scooter123

mk41 > N Box  > Sony M-10
mk4 > N Box > Sony M-10

Offline edtyre

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Re: DAT Transfer Rig
« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2021, 01:39:15 PM »
So Ed, the mikes go into the preamp and the preamp has an A-D converter, then SPDIF into a recorder? 
In my case it’s mics > mic amp(cmc6) > pre (v3) > adc (ad2k) > recorder ( digital in)

And Nicky probably gave me the Hooters I can’t remember I’m old
music>mics>pre>recorder

Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: DAT Transfer Rig
« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2021, 03:01:25 PM »
So Ed, the mikes go into the preamp and the preamp has an A-D converter, then SPDIF into a recorder? 
In my case it’s mics > mic amp(cmc6) > pre (v3) > adc (ad2k) > recorder ( digital in)

And Nicky probably gave me the Hooters I can’t remember I’m old
Ed, what cable(s) do you use from V3 to AD2k? XLR out, BNC, out or AES out? Asking as I have recently picked up an AD2k to do my cassette transfers feeding the outs via BNC to SPDIF in on a DR680
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

Offline edtyre

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Re: DAT Transfer Rig
« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2021, 07:16:32 PM »
So Ed, the mikes go into the preamp and the preamp has an A-D converter, then SPDIF into a recorder? 
In my case it’s mics > mic amp(cmc6) > pre (v3) > adc (ad2k) > recorder ( digital in)

And Nicky probably gave me the Hooters I can’t remember I’m old
Ed, what cable(s) do you use from V3 to AD2k? XLR out, BNC, out or AES out? Asking as I have recently picked up an AD2k to do my cassette transfers feeding the outs via BNC to SPDIF in on a DR680
I use XLR cables, analog out
I like the Grace sound as a pre, not ADC
music>mics>pre>recorder

Offline bonghitwillie

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Re: DAT Transfer Rig
« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2021, 12:34:41 PM »
fostex d5 to tascam da3000. the d5 is the best dat machine i ever owned. had one and wore down the heads and got another off local craigslist for $150. it's a no frills machine, but all you want is it to not eat your tapes and pb without diginoise.

Offline hollowhills

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Re: DAT Transfer Rig
« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2021, 06:54:02 PM »
Have 3 decks. Only 1 works. The 2 that don't nobody will repair them. Found a guy who did in midwest. Emailed him and suddenly he didn't want to. At least my D7 and D8. Pain in butt.

 

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