Subject: Re: ADATs
From: Andrew Czink (
Date: Mon Oct 11 1999 - 18:50:19 EDT

    I work regularly with both ADATs and DA88/38s. They both work fine, they
both sound good and they both seem reliable enough. I don't personally
really like either of their AD converters, although they're OK. I tend to
use outboard converters (I like the Apogee and Lucid products) and get my
signal into them digitally. The transport seems a bit quicker and more
robust feeling on the DAs than the ADATs, but since I haven't had any
problems with either that may just be a feeling rather than fact. One
interesting point is the head wear statistics: recommended head replacement
on the DAs is 3,000-5,000 hours wheareas for the ADATs it's 10,000-15,000.
That makes a bit of a cost issue that you'd want to be ready for. Also, the
new ADATs (type 2) can record a 20 bit signal to each track, while currently
the DAs can only record a 16 bit signal (unless bit-splitting is used which
lowers the number of actual audio tracks you have). Another point is that
currently only the DA-98 has confidence monitoring: ie actually monitoring
the tape signal when you're recording not just the signal coming through the
input head electronics. Could also be an issue.
    Hope some of that's helpful.



    Andrew Czink
    earsay productions


> A recent question on ADATs ...
> At Concordia there are 4 in the studios. For a few years the TASCAM was
> seriously considered, but was passed over for EA use because there are 4
> or 5 other studios in the university with ADATs. This has been a boon
> because student work is transportable.
> With regular maintenance the ADATs have held up well, although we are now
> getting Code 7 (cleaning) messages on two machines, and while the 'dry'
> cassette cleaner has been used, it seems (according to the manual), that
> they need to go out for cleaning. (Can anyone tell tales of cleaning the
> heads themselves? Is th warning not to do it just to keep the amateurs
> away? or is special equipment and care in order??).
> This year we have received about half a dozen multi-channel works on ADAT
> (because that's the format that we have requested), but a number of other
> Canadian groups (and studios) have settled on TASCAM. Are there inherent
> mechanical advantages to either one?
> Our experience over a decade ago of starting students straight to
> 8-channel (Assignment One), was one of the greatest leaps that we took.
> (The second great leap was to retire the vari-speed Revox!)
> Best
> Kevin
> Your mileage may vary.

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