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Get The Noise Out Of Your Cables!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

EAN Quick-REVIEW!
Two New PCM/DSD RecordersTested:
TASCAM DA-3000 Master Recorder,
Sony PCM-D100 Handheld Recorder


Standalone Hi-Res Perfection - $1,249
(New Updated Review With Benchtest)
Click Here!
The Portable That Does It All - $999


by John Gatski
  With all the clamor for hands-on info on the new TASCAM DA-3000 24-192/double speed DSD master stereo recorder and Sony’s new PCM-D100 PCM/DSD handheld recorder, several days of review notes have netted me enough info to pass on to you recording fanatics in condensed form. Long-form review and measurements are coming in a couple of weeks.
**Both these recorders are versatile high-res units that can be used by seasoned pros, musicians, home-studio operators, and quality conscious audiophiles who want the best quality audio for original and dubbed recordings, such as LP digital archiving. TASCAM DA-3000: 24/192 and 2X DSD, too.

TASCAM DA-3000: A Masterful Master Recorder
  As the replacement for the highly regarded, $2,600 DVRA1000-HD stereo master PCM/DSD recorder-player, that was originally launched as the 2RU DVRA-1000 with DVD drive in 2005, I was unsure how much quality TASCAM could squeeze into a $1,000 one-RU DA-3000 ($1,249 retail). After using it for a bit, I am happy to report that this versatile, pro/pro-sumer/audiophile-friendly unit gives you everything you got in the DVRA-1000, plus double speed DSD, better analog output and more intuitive control; you also get all the same connections, but improved Burr Brown converters.
  In the short amount of time I possessed the DA-3000 demo unit, I made numerous dubs, mix-downs and original recordings. In short order, I was impressed by its A/D and D/A performance — in PCM (192 kHz) and the double-speed DSD 5.6 MHz sample rate.


The double-speed DSD’s subjective sonic impression is one of a slightly, but audible, tighter bass and image focus than at 2.8 MHz, and the 24/192 PCM recordings are ultra smooth — with generous layers of detail

  It is a first rate player/recorder with its tracks recorded and played from Compact Flash, the king of the small format flash media. Recorded detail, depth and width at 192K and at the 5.6 MHz DSD rate is spectacular! The double-speed DSD’s subjective sonic impression is one of a slightly, but audible, tighter bass and image focus than at 2.8 MHz, and the 24/192 PCM recordings are ultra smooth — with generous layers of detail and ultra-quick transient response on guitar string attack, brass instruments and drum cymbals.


Metering is excellent on this 1RU DA-3000

  It has plenty of connections for external clocking, and A/D-D/A connection (including DSD converters), and a full array of balanced and unbalanced analog connections. The meter legend and lighting are superior to the DVRA-1000HD, the hard drive version of the original DVD-drive based deck, and the headphone amp is much smoother sounding — with a wider soundstage.
  I was initially apprehensive about how good TASCAM could make the DA-3000 considering its much smaller footprint and $1,600 price reduction, compared to the DVRA-1000HD. Now, after using it, I believe it is superior in every way. Anyone want to buy two well-used DVRA-1000s? Stay tuned for our full review and bench test. More info at TASCAM DA-3000.

Sony Adds New Flagship Portable PCM-D100:
Now With 24/192, DSD and FLAC Player
  With all the renewed interest in DSD via Internet download and more activity on the recording front, Sony has released a replacement for the long-running PCM-D50 and the PCM-D1 handheld player/recorders. The D1 flagship was released about 10 years ago. Having owned a D1, the second-tier D50 and the 2010 introduced, entry level PCM-D10, I can honestly say that after a few days of use, the D100 performs so much better than the older generation models.
  The new handheld recorder includes two Sony cardioid microphones, 32-GB internal hard drive, SD Card slot and the ability to record up to 24/192 PCM and DSD at 2.8MHz sample rate. It also can playback high-res FLAC files. The unit runs on four-AA batteries, rechargeable or throw-aways, and has the typical switches and menu-based functions found on today’s musician grade/pro handhelds.


Where the PCM-D100 excels over its older brethren is the sound quality; the PCM 24/192 and DSD quality are superb. In dubbing a bunch of very hi-res recordings and with original guitar tracks recorded through the mics, the sound was significantly more detailed and smoother

  Where the PCM-D100 excels over its older brethren is the sound quality; the PCM 24/192 and DSD quality are superb. In dubbing a bunch of very hi-res recordings and with original guitar tracks recorded through the mics, the sound was significantly more detailed and smoother than the $2,000 D1, with its mid 2001 converter technology. The DSD mode is excellent as well, though the 24-bit format recording path yields many more ways to process and edit. In DSD format, the analog-warmness always shines through.
  The onboard analog parts are first rate as well, especially for a portable. Headphone output offers plenty of oomph for hard-to-drive headphones, and the circuit lacks the edgy sonic signature of the old D1. The headphone amp drove my AKG K702 Anniversary headphones to ear splitting levels at level 4 out of the 10 available on the rotary volume knob.
  The PCM-D1 had high-grade Sony microphones, but I always thought they were a bit bright sounding. The mics on the D100 are smoother. The D50’s recorded sound was less harsh than the D1, but the D100 blows it away, as well, with its ultimate fidelity and higher-res capabilities. As an example, the D1 or D50 would not handle 88.2K sample rate music, only 96K. The D100 handles all PCM sample rates from 44.1 kHz to 192 kHz.

Handy, Dandy and DSD

  Power efficiency also is up on the PCM-D100. The old PCM-D1 burned through batteries. It used to run out of gas with alkaline throwaways in 40 minutes of recording and playback. With the new recorder, I get more than eight hours of continual playback.
  Feature-wise, the D100 has optical digital in and out ports, like the D50, and is about the same size. Overall, I would compare the D100‘s general sonic quality with the much cheaper, but high-performing TASCAM DR-100 Mk-II PCM handheld, but the Sony two ups the TASCAM with its ability to go to 192K on PCM, and discrete DSD.
  The D100 also makes for a dandy carry-along high-res music player for all but the highest PCM sample rates (352.8 and 384), and FLAC and DSD music downloads. In a word, the Sony D100 is fast becoming my new favorite handheld player/recorder. I just wish it was a couple of hundred bucks less.
  Stay tuned for more in-depth testing on the new PCM-D100. More info at:
Sony PCM-D100.

  John Gatski is publisher/owner of the Everything Audio Network©Articles on this site are the copyright of the Everything Audio NetworkAny unauthorized use, via print or Internet, without written permission is prohibited.




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