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DAT Tapes

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by MikeG, Mar 1, 2002.

  1. MikeG

    MikeG Guest

    I presently use Maxell professional tapes R-124DA and I was hoping to try various Apogee tapes but they don't appear to be available in the UK now :) .
    Can you actually hear or tell any difference between brands?
  2. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    I can't hear a difference between brands, you should not be able to (what with them being digital an' all)

  3. MikeG

    MikeG Guest

    On my Tascam DAT deck the option is available to read 'Block Error Rates'. Without understanding the error correcting system used, error rates do have an adverse effect on a CD players sound - What about DAT and differences between tape formulations and manufacturers? Are there no 'drop outs' on DAT tapes?
    As I understand it the DAT error correction will compensate for worn heads..does that mean it will also compensate for less than perfect tapes and we, the user, will never hear the difference?
  4. At least for their DTRS tape machines, Tascam is only recommending Fuji tape as it is the only reputable source at the moment. If you check on the Tascam forum or talk to Tascam you will probably find that they only recommend Fuji DAT tapes as well.
    People are reporting that they need to clean their heads a lot less often with Fuji, as there is much less oxide shed on the heads. Cleaning the heads less means longer head life. I can't imagine that shedding oxide is good for the sound either.
  5. Sir Bob

    Sir Bob Member

    I have stuck with TDK with nice results. I couldn't tell you why, however.

    One thing Terry at Advanced Musical Electronics, West LA, recommends is to stick to the same brand of tape because the differences in thickness of tape can screw with the heads.
  6. MadMoose

    MadMoose Active Member

    I've been using Sony PDP's about 93% of the time. I've also used a few boxes of Quantegy's and HHB's.
  7. Bob Olhsson

    Bob Olhsson Distinguished Member

    My Sony 7030 DAT machine has a "PB Condition" light that comes on any time there are uncorrectable errors. It flashes a lot on new tapes but almost never on five year old tapes.

    Sony is the actual manufacturer of many different brands of DAT and DTRS tapes. The problem Tascam is having was caused by a major change in Sony's formulation for metal particle tape which is used in both DTRS and DAT. I've advised all of my clients to switch to Fuji and to look real hard at no longer using DAT for their mixing because obtaining reliable tape is only likely to become more difficult.

    The final nail in the coffin for DAT will be the price of hard drives. It's now cheaper and more reliable to back up to a hard drive and it even takes up less shelf space. We finally have the definitive removable media, an amazing development!
  8. I don't know, hard drives are delicate things. I hope for some kind of optical format inexpensive enough to make several copies- good insurance! Something really archival.
  9. sign

    sign Guest

    Does anybody use Basf/Emtec DAT tapes?

    I use them some ten years now and never had a single problem with Tascam DA30, DA20 and Sony machines.
  10. Bob Olhsson

    Bob Olhsson Distinguished Member

    Hard drives are pretty rugged with the heads parked. Over the past 12 years I've had a lot less trouble with my 18 constantly used hard drives than I've had with my intermittently used DATs, Syquists, Bournullis, Jazz, M/Os and CD-Rs.

    At this point a different media needs to be arguably MORE reliable to be worth paying extra for. The only thing I don't like is having so much data in one place but spending an additional $200 for another 100 gigs of backup is STILL cheaper by far than anything else.

    And I realize using hard drives for long term storage is a bit counter-intuitive. It took a client making me get a firewire card a few weeks back for me to really "get it." Then it all came crashing home that this is as big of a revolution in media cost as the ADAT was and it's a lot more reliable.
  11. MikeG

    MikeG Guest


    Using the word 'crashing' and hard drive in the same post could well be tempting providence... Just last week my son transported his computer by car over just a few miles to subsequently discover one hard disk was badly corrupted. Luckily he did have most of his music data backed up on 50+ CDR data disks so it wasn't too much of a problem - Maybe the HD head wasn't properly parked.

    I agree though, hard disk drives are generally reliable - but I still have that nagging doubt that I used to have with Minidisks..what if a brief loss of power looses the whole recording! i.e. before TOC is written to disk - though this is not really a problem nowadays.

    So I guess it's a matter of confidence having gone from open reel 15ips tape to DAT and had no problems at all (Now that IS tempting providence)
  12. MadMoose

    MadMoose Active Member

    I think DAT's will finally die once something like the Masterlink becomes more common. It's great idea. Too bad Alesis is/had all kinds of problems in the last year. If Tascam and Sony came out with their version of the Masterlink I could see DAT's going away. Until then I'll mix to to DAT with my Mytek in front and my new to me A80 1/4" deck.

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