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TASCAM DR-100mkII 2-Channel Portable Digital Recorder
|Price:||$349.00 & FREE Shipping|
- Locking XLR inputs accept balanced mic or line inputs
- Two sets of microphones for cardioid or omnidirectional pickup
- Dual battery systems for hours of recording
- Stereo S/PDIF digital input
- Rugged aluminum constructionincluded accessories: 2GB SD card, Exclusive Li-ion battery (BP-L2), USB connection cable, Exclusive soft case, Exclusive windsock, Wireless remote control (RC-10), Coin cell battery for confirming remote control operat
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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
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|Sold By||Audio Watt Store||Best*Deal*On*The*Planet||Sds audio||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Alto Music|
|Item Dimensions||3.15 x 5.5 x 6.5 in||3.15 x 1.38 x 6.13 in||2.36 x 7.48 x 1.18 in||3.4 x 9.1 x 6.6 in||2.4 x 5.55 x 1.02 in||6.15 x 2.87 x 1.38 in|
|Size||6.50 x 3.15 x 5.50 inches||—||7.5 x 2.4 x 1.2 inches||—||1.02 x 2.40 x 5.55 inches||Recorder|
The rugged TASCAM DR-100mkII offers high-end recording features to musicians and engineers who demand more from their portable recorder. It features four built-in microphones, two cardioid and two omnidirectional, for great sounding recordings. A pair of XLR microphone inputs with phantom power welcomes pro-grade condenser microphones, and line in and out connectors are also provided. The markII version adds balanced line ins, S/PDIF digital inputs, locking connectors and more.
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The design/quality of the mic cable attachment/release mechanism is faulty, and there is no remedy that I have been able to discover. Once a cable is stuck in there, you will never get it out (or if you ever do, please let me know how you did). Mine has been stuck for about a year and a half. I've showed it to A/V professionals who have had a go at removing it; no success. In the end I decided to just cut the cable itself right beyond the plug so at least it is only the plug that is hanging out. Of course, this means I can never use that input port again.
This means that for all eternity from here on out, you've got to go around with one mic cable attached to this unit. Ever want to use the built-in mic? Still have to have the cable dangling out. Concerned about the protrusion causing damage in transport? Tough. Want to travel light without taking cables along at all? Tough.
This is a horrible product feature. I spent a lot of money on this unit, and after about the third use it feels like I'm the kid pulling along the wagon that's lost two wheels.
Last week I pulled the device out of a padded camera bag and one of the plastic (painted to look like metal) XLR ejector tabs had broke off.
I needed to capture a recording off a mixing board with the balanced jack and had to use an XLR cable. I thought there was enough of the ejector to remove it but it's stuck. I disassembled the cable and have done everything I can to remove it short of opening the recorder.
Tascam wants me to send it into them, and from the stories I hear they are probably going to charge me $90 to fix a device that is less than a year old.
I will probably use a hacksaw to get the plug off and just use it as is until it dies. I'll buy a ZOOM next time. It's a shame because this device records great, even though the omni mics. For this much $ Tascam needs to prove quality, especially if they are going to say a product is rugged.
My goal was audio quality -- low noise floor, low distortion, high dynamic range -- recording uncompressed WAV from a pair of Audio Technica AT2035 XLR phantom-powered mics Audio-Technica AT2035 Large Diaphragm Studio Condenser Microphone. I don't need fancy features such as a built-in metronome, ability to function as a USB DAC, etc. Just clean, pure audio. At this, the DR100MkII excels.
Much to my delight, I was able to achieve a noise floor better than minus 80dB with very careful control of even the slightest ambient noises (a clock ticking several feet away, or an appliance transformer two rooms away, will mess up the noise floor). The -80dB is close to the AT2035 mic spec, so the DR100MkII is doing a superb job of extracting every ounce of audio performance from my setup.
The DR100MkII has good gain on the mic preamps; I only had to use the "Mid" gain setting. This allows the loudest possible piano playing to be captured without clipping. Thanks to the low noise floor, one can use the same gain setting for softer piano passages and still get great quality results. Overall the sound is crystal-clear when played back through headphones. Much to my surprise, the results sound better than many commercial piano recordings!
The DR100MkII has a nice UI, with lots of dedicated buttons for frequently-used settings and analog dials for input level adjustments. The UI is responsive, the buttons are pleasant to use, and the backlit screen is easy to read. This device feels intuitive and smooth in actual use.
There are some online comments pointing to limited phantom power from the (previous model) DR100. I found no such issue with the newer DR100MkII. I connected 4.7K resistors across both mic phantom power lines, and found that the DR100MkII supplies power per the phantom spec, as it should (the spec is +48V through a 6.8K resistor; when feeding a 4.7K resistor, this works out to about 19.6V @ 4.2mA). In actual use, the DR100MkII has no problems powering two AT2035s (rated about 4mA each) in my setup. Doing so takes a toll on battery power, but there are two types of internal batteries and an excellent A/C adapter available.
The ability to power the unit from its internal rechargeable lithium battery or from AAs is very valuable. I didn't know about this feature until the unit seamlessly switched to its lithium battery when the AA's ran out; this saved my recording.
Tascam's PS-P520 A/C adapter (purchased separately) works great too: I found that using the DR100MkII connected to this adapter is as quiet as running on batteries, and achieves the same low noise floor in my setup. Impressive.
DR100MkII has separate, dedicated line-out and headphone-out ports. This is very useful when feeding audio from the DR100MkII to a video camera or DSLR recording video; I used a -35dB attenuation cable Sescom LN2MIC-TASDR100 3.5 Line to Mic 35dB Attenuation 9 Inch DSLR Cable for Tascam DR-100 to match line out levels to the camera's mic-in. I then use the sound recorded in-camera as a time sync guide, to match up the better quality audio from the DR100MkII in the final video.
Overall, I am very pleased with this device. I considered the DR40 and H4n too, but found that for my needs -- two channels, best audio, no need for fancy features -- the DR100MkII is the optimal choice!