Would you buy a DA7?

Discussion in 'Consoles / Control Surfaces' started by overnight, Jan 29, 2006.

  1. overnight

    overnight Guest

    I'm looking at a reasonably priced Panasonic Ramsa DA7 board ($1400 with 2 adat cards and a meter bridge). These boards are generally considered much better than O2R's on just about every level. I've seen some compare the converters to Apogee and the pre's & EQ's to Neotek and they're decent controllers. The knock on them is that they're a little clunky in the layout and the software can be tough and unintuitive to learn. The biggest knock though is that they're discontinued and no longer supported. There are sites and a chat board devoted to people using this board and of course all those guys are total cheerleaders for going in on one of these boards. I want to hear from people that have used them but perhaps don't own one now....

    I want to record bands and drums in particular and have a number of monitoring options. My home setup needs a ton of versatility as I do some commercial work now, some small bands, some simple V.O., and am looking to get into indi film scoring (5.1) this fall. I like boards though I'm not married to the idea. I'll be running into a G5 running PTLE and Logic. I need expandability, versatility and high quality at the cheapest price... don't we all.

    Is the DA7 a wise investment?
  2. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    Mar 18, 2001
    Sunny & warm NC
    Home Page:

    In a word... No (IMHO)

    You mentioned all the reasons already... both for, and against.

    For me, anyway, the biggest...

    Granted I don't own one and only used one once in a test drive, but unless you have a line on parts and are a crack tech, you may be biting off a LOT more than you really want to.

    Parts are going to be an issue, if they aren't already. The parts availability is THE big issue that I would be most concerned about. I would think that especially firmware EEPROM's, and some of the other EPROM's are going to be real scarce already. What's the availability going to be in say, 5 years?

    I dunno... If you're tech skills are pretty sharp, you can get factory tech manuals and you've got a supply of the more esoteric chips used, it might be worth the risk. Let's face it, compared to the O2R, there were relatively few produced. IIRC, there were quite a few that were quite buggy... as well as quite a few that were rock solid. My best guess (the rumor mill) is that the buggy consoles were probably due to the manufacturing process in the backplane boards... weak traces never get any better with age. So it's possibly a crapshoot that I personally wouldn't gamble on.

    Just an idiots .02

    As da' fella sez... YMMV

  3. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    Feb 12, 2001
    Los Angeles, CA
    Home Page:
    It is pretty amazing bang for the buck.. Sounds good, good automation, etc... The question is will you be needing high res and do you mind having to scour the internet for used parts if something goes bad. In my experiences, I've never had anything go wrong with them though. They are *very* reliable. Panasonic still stocks a good number of the parts for their discontinued gear, but you need to figure out the part number which can be an adventure in itself.

    I had one for a time, but I've unloaded all my consoles (well, almost all) as I'm just using the computer for mixing.


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