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Tascam DA-3000


Norton
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Anyone using one of these and able to comment on SQ and functionality as:

 

DSD recorder, esp. for vinyl

File player to external DAC

File player via on board DAC?

 

On replay, if possible, it would be good to hear your SQ comparisons with any well known audiophile players, streamers and DACS you own.

 

I'd like to experiment with vinyl rips. I also like the idea of local DSD file ( from any source) replay from SD card. So is this unit an audiophile bargain, or just what you'd expect for £800 ish?

 

Thanks

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I own this unit and have used it to transfer vinyl to digital. Works well. Takes a bit of practice to get the recording level right.

 

I've not used it for playback at all.

 

The value is what you perceive it to be.

 

Anyone using one of these and able to comment on SQ and functionality as:

 

DSD recorder, esp. for vinyl

File player to external DAC

File player via on board DAC?

 

On replay, if possible, it would be good to hear your SQ comparisons with any well known audiophile players, streamers and DACS you own.

 

I'd like to experiment with vinyl rips. I also like the idea of local DSD file ( from any source) replay from SD card. So is this unit an audiophile bargain, or just what you'd expect for £800 ish?

 

Thanks

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I have one in my studio for master recording, I've only used the digital coax and AES-EBU ins at 24/48 broadcast std but it sounds very good to me.

 

Another option would be a very high quality audio (pro) interface for your computer, such as:

 

http://www.prismsound.com/music_recording/products_subs/lyra/lyra_home.php (not sure about DSD capability though - but top notch recording / playback interface)

 

I'd be surprised if it would be significantly superior though.

 

Maybe you could get a trial/loan unit, or even hire one for the day?

Source:

*Aurender N100 (no internal disk : LAN optically isolated via FMC with *LPS) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch - split for *LPS) > Intona Industrial (injected *LPS / internally shielded with copper tape) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > W4S Recovery (*LPS) > DIY 2cm USB adaptor (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > *Auralic VEGA (EXACT : balanced)

 

Control:

*Jeff Rowland CAPRI S2 (balanced)

 

Playback:

2 x Revel B15a subs (balanced) > ATC SCM 50 ASL (balanced - 80Hz HPF from subs)

 

Misc:

*Via Power Inspired AG1500 AC Regenerator

LPS: 3 x Swagman Lab Audiophile Signature Edition (W4S, Intona & FMC)

Storage: QNAP TS-253Pro 2x 3Tb, 8Gb RAM

Cables: DIY heavy gauge solid silver (balanced)

Mains: dedicated distribution board with 5 x 2 socket ring mains, all mains cables: Mark Grant Black Series DSP 2.5 Dual Screen

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I'd like to experiment with vinyl rips. I also like the idea of local DSD file ( from any source) replay from SD card. So is this unit an audiophile bargain?

I've owned and loved many TASCAM pro products over many years, and they all punch well above their weight class. The SQ from my US-1800 (which I reluctantly retired only because it wouldn't work with Linux) was excellent in both directions (AD and DA), and it did 24/192 when most such units were stuck at 16/44. I ripped some vinyl through it using a variety of phono stages (e.g. Rega, Parasound by John Curl, Apt Holman) and it had consistently great SQ. I think my Emotiva Stealth sounds a bit cleaner and more detailed than the TASCAM 1800 did on straight DA playback, but TASCAM ADDAs have always sounded pretty good to me.

 

The 3000 is a very nice unit - my only concern about it is that I think it only records to SD and CF cards, and I'd much prefer to be able to record directly to my hard drives. But I have to wonder if it's not a bit of overkill if all you want to do is rip vinyl - it's designed for live multitrack recording. There are several simpler and less expensive choices that offer excellent SQ to my ears, e.g. Parasound Zphono USB, NAD PP4, etc.

 

But if you really want to do it well, I'd look at the PS Audio NPC (New-wave Phono Convertor) at about $USD 1k street price. I haven't used or heard this unit yet, but my bet is that it's a top quality product that will rip some great sound out of your records.

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The 3000 is a very nice unit - my only concern about it is that I think it only records to SD and CF cards, and I'd much prefer to be able to record directly to my hard drives. But I have to wonder if it's not a bit of overkill if all you want to do is rip vinyl - it's designed for live multitrack recording. There are several simpler and less expensive choices that offer excellent SQ to my ears, e.g. Parasound Zphono USB, NAD PP4, etc.

 

This looks like a really good option too:

 

http://www.korg.com/us/products/audio/ds_dac_10r/

Digital:  Sonore opticalModule > Uptone EtherRegen > Shunyata Sigma Ethernet > Antipodes K30 > Shunyata Omega USB > Gustard X26pro DAC 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha and Delta power cords, Shunyata Alpha interconnect, Shunyata Sigma Ethernet, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, ASC isothermal tube traps, Stillpoints Aperture panels

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Can't imagine the Tascam designers to have given the built-in file player any user friendly goodies, such as a decent media library to organise the stored music files. It would more than likely be used by selecting files by storage folder access only.

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I've never seen one, but it does look great. If it sounds that fine, it'll be a winner for sure unless it's a ridiculous amount of money.

 

The DS-DAC-10R includes the same AD converter found in the MR-2000S recorder, which has been discontinued. A friend once loaned me his MR-2000S to record vinyl and it did a spectacular job. I intend to buy a DS-DAC-10R eventually. I have a few upgrades I want to get out of the way before I start recording.

Digital:  Sonore opticalModule > Uptone EtherRegen > Shunyata Sigma Ethernet > Antipodes K30 > Shunyata Omega USB > Gustard X26pro DAC 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha and Delta power cords, Shunyata Alpha interconnect, Shunyata Sigma Ethernet, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, ASC isothermal tube traps, Stillpoints Aperture panels

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So is this unit an audiophile bargain, or just what you'd expect for £800 ish?

 

I bought one after getting fed up with my PC as a music player - I just wanted a simple file-based device with remote control that could feed a DAC. I used it for a while and then sold it.

 

As a transport outputting coax and aes/ebu the sound quality was very good, but not quite as good as my PC. It beat the pants off my CD players, with the exception of a Micromega T-Drive.

As a player with Redbook files it was very average and all my external DACs beat it, including the budget ones.

If I upsampled Redbook to DSD128 in JRiver and played those back then it was much better, but the overhead of doing that for my entire collection, and the cost implications in CF cards, meant that it wasn't really feasible.

Redbook upsampled to DSD128 vs Redbook out to a NAD M51 was close but the NAD won overall, appearing to have a lower noise floor.

 

As a domestic player the TASCAMs UI and folder handling was poor and the remote control terrible, but then it's not really designed for that. If I'd kept it I would have bought more lower capacity cards and treated them like CDs, ie swapping over the physical media, but that seemed like a retrograde step so in the end it didn't really work for me.

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As a domestic player the TASCAMs UI and folder handling was poor and the remote control terrible, but then it's not really designed for that.

And that's the key fact! As a professional musician, I see electronics in an entirely different light from the one that shines on my home audio systems. The discovery that the TASCAM US1800 was excellent for simple listening was accidental - I had a complete audio system separate from my recording setup, and I decided to try the 1800 to rip vinyl just to see how it would work. Most true commercial equipment of any kind is neither designed nor suited for casual consumer use and is not forgiving of user error. Skilled consumers can get pro results with pro equipment if they know how to use it, but there are almost always major compromises in convenience, resource requirements (e.g. space, power) etc.

 

enhance

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I bought one after getting fed up with my PC as a music player - I just wanted a simple file-based device with remote control that could feed a DAC. I used it for a while and then sold it.

 

As a transport outputting coax and aes/ebu the sound quality was very good, but not quite as good as my PC. It beat the pants off my CD players, with the exception of a Micromega T-Drive.

As a player with Redbook files it was very average and all my external DACs beat it, including the budget ones.

If I upsampled Redbook to DSD128 in JRiver and played those back then it was much better, but the overhead of doing that for my entire collection, and the cost implications in CF cards, meant that it wasn't really feasible.

Redbook upsampled to DSD128 vs Redbook out to a NAD M51 was close but the NAD won overall, appearing to have a lower noise floor.

 

As a domestic player the TASCAMs UI and folder handling was poor and the remote control terrible, but then it's not really designed for that. If I'd kept it I would have bought more lower capacity cards and treated them like CDs, ie swapping over the physical media, but that seemed like a retrograde step so in the end it didn't really work for me.

 

Thanks, that gives me a pretty good idea of its abilities. As I read it - a great recording tool, but probably not going to be my playback device of choice over what I already have (which I guess would be a very unreasonable expectation at the price).

 

I note though that Decware offer a version with a hot rodded output stage...

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I note though that Decware offer a version with a hot rodded output stage...

 

Interesting, although I'm not sure what cables they're using to go from the modified balanced XLR to s/e. All the talk on their site about hassle with setting up a PC is true, which is why I bought the Tascam myself, but they haven't changed the UI.

 

They also talk about upsampling CD player outputs but I always got error messages flashing up when I tried to connect my digital sources. Maybe I was doing something wrong, and I think it still worked, but then I had to constantly clear the error message before navigating the UI. The unit also can't upsample files on its local storage, that only works for external sources and when its set to Rec mode (at least when I had it), otherwise it might have been worth persevering with.

 

I found another user on a forum somewhere who'd upgraded the power supplies and regulation and felt that made a difference too. I guess there's always something to tweak.

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A couple of quick comments.

 

DSD can sound great but if recording vinyl you cannot do any cleanup with DSD. So any hiss, pops, clicks etc. cannot be edited out. In my case, I had few vinyls that were clean enough to record to DSD and not do any cleanup, especially if using headphones.

 

Tascam has an editor which allows you to split the files but it is somewhat limited. I would suggest Vinyl Studio. It handles PCM and DSD and does cleanup (clicks, pops, hiss, hum, etc.) on PCM. One of its main advantages is that it will do lookup of albums from online databases including Discogs. It imports track timing and track names, which is a great time saver when tagging. Only $29. and free trial available. You can also convert PCM to DSD and vice versa if you wish.

 

One poster on another forum compared the Tascam to the Berkeley and greatly preferred the Berkeley. I can search for the discussion if you are interested.

 

I have the Korg MR-2000s mentioned above and based on that would recommend you also look at the new Korg model.

 

I like the idea of recording to local disk and then transferring the files to a PC. It means you do not have to be connected to a PC all the time you are recording and lets you use the PC for other tasks while recording. I digitize several albums to local disk and then transfer them to the PC. Then I can work on those (spitting, tagging, etc.) while recording more albums. I would suggest you think about work flow before you buy.

 

Good luck.

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