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Author Topic: Tascam DR100mkii Review  (Read 100786 times)

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stevetoney

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Re: Tascam DR100mkii Review
« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2011, 08:06:54 PM »
I know that the Li-ion battery will charge from a USB connection. Can you power the unit itself from a USB connection?

Nope.  Explanation and photo added.  Basically it's just like other recorders...once you connect the USB to the PC, it acts like a separate drive for downloading files from the recorder but recorder functionality is disabled.

Offline mcnys

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Re: Tascam DR100mkii Review
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2011, 03:22:15 AM »
i wounder how good are preamps :)

Offline dominic

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Re: Tascam DR100mkii Review
« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2011, 10:55:54 AM »
What's your impression of the recorder's sound in general?
I am looking to buy a recorder and am having trouble choosing between this, the Roland R-26 and the PMD661.
Is it worth spending a bit more, are the pre-amps a lot better on the PMD?
Thanks

stevetoney

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Re: Tascam DR100mkii Review
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2011, 12:57:29 PM »
To those asking about the sound quality of the pre-amps, I ask for your patience.  I understand that this is one of the most important questions for any All-In-One recorder.

I've never felt that just cranking the stereo and doing a comp in the basement provides a very good test, if for no other reason because my stereo sucks.  I'd really like to have the chance to take this out the run it in the club setting and compare the sound the 661's stock pre's and my PSP-3.

Anyway, I only got the unit on Friday, so I haven't had a chance to take it out in the field yet.

Offline flintstone

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Re: Tascam DR100mkii Review
« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2011, 01:16:42 PM »
Fantastic report, thanks for your exploration of power options.

Any battery life test results?  The older DR-100 running on the Li-Ion batt and internal mics gets about 7 hours, according to published sources.

stevetoney

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Re: Tascam DR100mkii Review
« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2011, 01:50:58 PM »
Fantastic report, thanks for your exploration of power options.

Any battery life test results?  The older DR-100 running on the Li-Ion batt and internal mics gets about 7 hours, according to published sources.

Coincidentally, I've got the unit running down the Li-ion right now.  I don't have a pair of P48 mics, so I'm letting it power the internal directional mics.  Not sure how much of a 1 for 1 that is with providing 48V phantom to a pair of mics, but after doing it this way I'll do the same test over again with my tube mics (which don't use any phantom powering) for comparison.

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Re: Tascam DR100mkii Review
« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2011, 03:52:29 PM »
+T on the thorough review and testing, Steve.  BTW, excellent taste in test CDs.  ;)
 
Quote
-  AA selected as main, both AA and Li-ion inserted, no external battery connected; remove AA and UNIT POWERS OFF (no automatic switchover)! 

I’m sure you’ve planned this already, but I’d suggest the following power switchover test: Set AA’s as ‘MAIN’ power source.  Allow unit to run until it indicates that it has fully depleted the AAs and has switched to the Li-ion.  Try swapping the AAs batteries at that point to see if it shuts down.  Hopefully it does not, and (barring a possible firmware update that corrects the issue) the practical work around for that festival powering hot-swap scenario becomes either of two choices:
1) Wait for the unit to switchover to the Li-ion before changing AAs while recording,
-or-
 2) Enter the menu and change ‘MAIN’ power source to Li-ion before swapping the AAs.
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<<

stevetoney

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Re: Tascam DR100mkii Review
« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2011, 04:07:10 PM »
+T on the thorough review and testing, Steve.  BTW, excellent taste in test CDs.  ;)
 
Quote
-  AA selected as main, both AA and Li-ion inserted, no external battery connected; remove AA and UNIT POWERS OFF (no automatic switchover)! 

I’m sure you’ve planned this already, but I’d suggest the following power switchover test: Set AA’s as ‘MAIN’ power source.  Allow unit to run until it indicates that it has fully depleted the AAs and has switched to the Li-ion.  Try swapping the AAs batteries at that point to see if it shuts down.  Hopefully it does not, and (barring a possible firmware update that corrects the issue) the practical work around for that festival powering hot-swap scenario becomes either of two choices:
1) Wait for the unit to switchover to the Li-ion before changing AAs while recording,
-or-
 2) Enter the menu and change ‘MAIN’ power source to Li-ion before swapping the AAs.

Yes, that's exactly right, Gut.  You are correct that these are your two options. 

What happens in this scenario is that the AA batteries die and the unit does the automatic switchover.  When the switchover happens, MAIN changes over to the Li-ion (or if the main batteries started out being the Li-ion, main would switch over to the AAs).  Nothing happens when you remove the dead batteries because MAIN has already been switched over automatically. 

OK, if you're in the festival mode and you wanna keep your Li-ion as the backup for the rest of the weekend, at this point after you swap the dead batteries out, if you want the unit to start running on AA, you need to go back into the menu and manually change the battery selection back over the AAs being MAIN.  If you didn't do that, the Li-ion would continue running empty and then an automatic switchover back to the AAs would happen.  However, unless you have another Li-ion, at this point you have no back-up.

In my own personal festival powering situation, I'll probably go one step further and use that power runner you see in the pictures to power the unit and use both the AA and the Li-ion as emergency power.  I'll probably buy a pack of AAs before the festival and throw those in my bag, leave a fresh pair in the unit and set the AAs as MAIN so that if the Power Runner goes dead, first the AAs will kick in and I can swap those out until I run out, then as a last resort I'll have the Li-ion.  If I find $30 laying around sometime, I might pick up a spare Li-ion battery for fun.

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Re: Tascam DR100mkii Review
« Reply #23 on: December 19, 2011, 04:09:36 PM »
^^
That makes sense.

Regarding media cards and formatting, I assume this unit will behave similarly to both the DR-680 and DR2d which I use.  A couple comments on that that may be helpful-

With the DR-680 and the DR-2d, I’ve found it best to do full formats of the SDHC cards with a computer (formatting as FAT32) since doing that is far, far faster than trying to run a full format using the recorder.  I then transfer the card to the recorder, power it up and it will either ask to format, requiring a press of the enter button (and doing a quick format), or it will just ask to write system files to the card, which also requires a press of the enter button.  Writing system files does not erase the data on the card, it only adds system files and folders that the Tascam uses.

Important general notes on fast vs full-format (not specific to this recorder)-
Formatting erases the existing data on the card.  Actually it’s more complex than that as computer savvy users will already know- A quick format basically erases the file system table of contents and allows the existing data on the card to be overwritten, but it may be possible to retrieve existing data before it has been overwritten by using file retrieval software.  A full format completely erases the media, overwriting the existing data and also checking the full media for errors.  Data is usually not recoverable after a full format.  That applies to most all ‘flash’ recorders that use solid state media cards.

I share multiple SDHC cards between recorders and cameras.  The Tascam machines are pickier about formatting and system files than my other recorders and cameras [edit- and will often ask to format a card it does not recognize, where as my Edirol R-44, R-09s, Panasonic and Cannon cameras generally work with any FAT32 formatted card].  To make sure I can use any freashly formatted card in any of my SDHC recorders and cameras, my working procedure for SDHC cards is as follows:

1)   Do a full format of the card with a computer (choose FAT32 file system).
2)   Put card in DR-680 and power up. DR-680 will ask to format (doing a quick format) and will write folders and system files to the card. 
3)   Put card in DR2d and power up. DR2d will ask to write its own system file.
4)   Put card in the pool of  ‘empty and ready to use cards’.  Any of my devices will now read and write to the card.  A couple cameras will add their own folders and system files the first time a formatted card is used in them, but they don’t specifically ask to do and present a risk of accidental formatting.

Note: The DR-680 is picker than the DR-2d.  With a freshly computer formatted card, the DR-680 will require it’s own quick format (erasing anything that may be on the card) while the DR2d usually only requires writing system files, which does not risk erasing other data that is already present.  By following the procedure above, I can interchange cards at any time between all of my devices, without having to re-format and loose data.  Good pre-festival procedure, but maybe unnecessary if you don’t need the flexibility of swapping cards around.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2011, 04:14:30 PM by Gutbucket »
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<<

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Re: Tascam DR100mkii Review
« Reply #24 on: December 19, 2011, 04:16:39 PM »
I have the DR100, exact same case except for some minor changes. In regards to the wireless remote I covered up the sensor on the unit with black electrical tape. At some shows I recorded in the taper section there were 1 or 2 other DR100's. If someone messed with the wireless remote they could screw up other decks.

DR2d has a menu setting which enables/disables use of the IR remote.  Not sure if that is the case with this machine.
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<<

stevetoney

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Re: Tascam DR100mkii Review
« Reply #25 on: December 19, 2011, 06:42:25 PM »
I have the DR100, exact same case except for some minor changes. In regards to the wireless remote I covered up the sensor on the unit with black electrical tape. At some shows I recorded in the taper section there were 1 or 2 other DR100's. If someone messed with the wireless remote they could screw up other decks.

DR2d has a menu setting which enables/disables use of the IR remote.  Not sure if that is the case with this machine.

Doesn't ring a bell, but I'll double check.

I got 5 1/2 hours run time from the internal Li-ion...backlight off, internal directional mics on, 24/48.  Not bad at all, AFAIC.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2011, 11:00:54 AM by tonedeaf »

stevetoney

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Re: Tascam DR100mkii Review
« Reply #26 on: December 19, 2011, 08:15:26 PM »
To confirm that the AES/EBU synch issue I'm experiencing with the DR-100mkII isn't on the mini-me side, I just connected my 661 to the mini-me and ran it through all of the combo's of 16/24 and 44.1/48 while connected to both the AES/EBU and SPDIF outputs of the mini-me and the 661 synchs without problem, so that seems to confirm that this recorder does indeed have issues with AES/EBU signal...at least the signal issued from a mini-me.

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Re: Tascam DR100mkii Review
« Reply #27 on: December 19, 2011, 08:26:57 PM »
To be fair, the manual says it's SPDIF only.

Offline it-goes-to-eleven

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Re: Tascam DR100mkii Review
« Reply #28 on: December 19, 2011, 08:47:18 PM »
Nice review.  This looks very promising.

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Re: Tascam DR100mkii Review
« Reply #29 on: December 19, 2011, 09:01:08 PM »
"This is a common practice we have on the bus; debating facts that we could easily find through printed material. It's like, how far is it today? I think it's four hours, and someone else comes in at 11 hours, and well, then we'll... just... talk about it..." - Jeb Puryear

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