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Vintage Digital Equipment

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Vintage Digital Equipment

Postby Howdy Doody Time » Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:12 pm

I was in the UK in January, clearing out my house prior to selling it. I shipped a box of ancient digital equipment here including spares for my original RADAR and some Sony Analogue to AES/EBU converters in a big heavy rack, which were outboards for the PCM-3348. Among the items i unpacked here this weekend were two AES cards for the original Yamaha 02R. Since I still have an 02R I stripped out the SPDIF cards that were in there and installed the 16 channels of AES.

Then I connected my nearest sound source - a Triton rack to to the 1st card in the Sony rack and the AES output from that to the 02R card 1 input 1 and selected clock source from the Sony card, ran the Triton demo and Whooooosh!! wall of crystal clear sound!

Considering this equipment was last switched on by me eight years ago, and it was ancient then, I think it is remarkable. My much maligned Apogee Quartet, which now seems to work OK as long as it is never plugged into any of my other Apple machines (all have incompatible versions of OSX with each other) does not compare with this vintage digital equipment in terms of stability and longevity unfettered by changing fads in computer design, and frankly sounds amazing.

Mind you just to be fair, the amplifier I'm listening to is fed by a TC 96k finaliser which takes its signal from another Sony device the PCM 2700A which gets it's AES directly from the 02R.
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Re: Vintage Digital Equipment

Postby ConcertinaChap » Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:29 pm

Plus you've got all that vintage digital warmth, er ...

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Re: Vintage Digital Equipment

Postby Howdy Doody Time » Sun Jul 15, 2018 2:18 pm

Er.. no actually. The point is not that old chestnut, if it has a point - my posts don't usually - it might be that old pro gear that doesn't shut you out because you don't have version 117.0.2.34 of your operating system is most welcome to me at least. However I am always aware that the stage on which this forum is hosted survives on revenues provided by those who would push the leading edge ever outward which is of course perfectly acceptable, and that consequently the use of older discontinued equipment may meet with a modicum of disdain, thinly disguised as sarcasm. No offence intended. :) PS if I want to convince myself of the mythical 'analogue warmth' I turn to my Otari Radar II.
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Re: Vintage Digital Equipment

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Jul 15, 2018 2:36 pm

Howdy Doody Time wrote:The point is... that old pro gear that doesn't shut you out because you don't have version 117.0.2.34 of your operating system.

Has that ever been an issue with hardware A-D converters, or interface cards designed specifically for a piece of hardware? Nevertheless, it is pleasing that it has all worked given it's age and so long in storage, and good that old quality equipment still serves a useful purpose.

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Re: Vintage Digital Equipment

Postby Guest » Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:08 pm

808, 909, 303, etc, still seem to be holding their own…

It’s easy to forget the music in all this continual up(?)-grading, I still use mainly 32/bit plug’s, ‘oo gives a monkey’s, other than those that wanna sell me summink, er, better?

Erm, while I’m ‘ere.

Tim Exile announces Endlesss, a ‘joy-first’ music creation platform

I cain’t believe SOS proffers this ‘Endless’ twaddle as being of any value to anyone other than those wanting to make a fast buck… ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ no less.

There’s no flippin’ mystery to bleedin’ creating something, ‘tis simply a matter of sayin’ yes or no to something you happen to try, A colour? An Interval? An electrical circuit even…,
Yes? No? well try something else then, & so on, & on & on & on…

I like my old plug’s, they, wiv my assistance of course, do a fine professional up to da mark job, I even think some will eventually become considered classics, or can they, unlike analogue, be simply/easily replicated/cloned?

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Re: Vintage Digital Equipment

Postby Howdy Doody Time » Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:12 pm

Hugh - The 'issue' that has plagued me was with the Apogee Quartet, which is strictly Mac. I run a few Mac's depending on which DAW I'm using, and had been swapping the Apogee around a bit, largely because nearly all of my other converters / interfaces are Firewire. The problem occurs because the Apogee needs to revise/update its firmware if it sees an OSX version that wasn't there last time it was used, and I will not standardise my OSX's because I might lose yet another Firewire device if the update stops supporting it.

In an ideal world I'd start again with interfaces, and standardise all my OSX's, but my MOTU 896HD is absolutely ideal when I use my Beyer MCD100's (which is often) and if an OSX update renders it useless I will not be happy.

My observation was simply that this ancient digital stuff just works, which for me is great.
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Re: Vintage Digital Equipment

Postby VTypeV4 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:29 pm

All three of my 'vintage' Yamaha 02Rs are still running front line service. The TC card in the two at The Rigger are fantastic - still some of the best reverb I've ever used..

I have no issue with vintage digital - whether outdated or not - if it sounds right then it sounds right. :thumbup:
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Re: Vintage Digital Equipment

Postby James Perrett » Sun Jul 15, 2018 7:08 pm

VTypeV4 wrote:I have no issue with vintage digital - whether outdated or not - if it sounds right then it sounds right. :thumbup:

There's vintage and then there's vintage. When I saw the title I thought we were going to the realms of 8 bit samplers or DAT machines. In my experience, most decent digital gear is still new enough to not have to worry too much about capacitors drying out and other signs of ageing. It tends to be the mechanics that lets it down.
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Re: Vintage Digital Equipment

Postby OneWorld » Sun Jul 15, 2018 7:50 pm

VTypeV4 wrote:I have no issue with vintage digital - whether outdated or not - if it sounds right then it sounds right.

One day they might make analogue gear that attempts to emulate that warm punchy digital sound!
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Re: Vintage Digital Equipment

Postby Guest » Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:38 pm

Poss down to when born &/or experience of…

Still got me foist synth, a Yammy 40M & a Sequential Six-Trak, they’re imprinted in my memory, so to the 303…

I now use Massive, Sylenth & Spire…

Big BIG difference… MASSIVE even…

If my brain hadn’t been pre-programmed wiv (pre-digital) analogue, I’d ‘ave no deep-rooted comparison, as it is…

If it’s all about digital replicating analogue, well, wot’s the forkin’ point…

& anyway, could not a less capable bit of old discarded digital gear nevertheless produce something desirable? Regardless of its limitations/imperfections, prob better for da planet too eh.


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Re: Vintage Digital Equipment

Postby John Willett » Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:40 am

I still have my Sony PCM-F1 system - and it still goes strong as I hired it to someone recently who wanted to transfer loads of live Bob Dylan concert recordings from the '80's and 90's to WAV files. :thumbup:
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Re: Vintage Digital Equipment

Postby VTypeV4 » Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:38 pm

OneWorld wrote:
VTypeV4 wrote:I have no issue with vintage digital - whether outdated or not - if it sounds right then it sounds right.

One day they might make analogue gear that attempts to emulate that warm punchy digital sound!

Sign me up! :headbang:
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Re: Vintage Digital Equipment

Postby Howdy Doody Time » Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:26 am

James Perrett wrote:
VTypeV4 wrote:I have no issue with vintage digital - whether outdated or not - if it sounds right then it sounds right. :thumbup:

There's vintage and then there's vintage. When I saw the title I thought we were going to the realms of 8 bit samplers or DAT machines. In my experience, most decent digital gear is still new enough to not have to worry too much about capacitors drying out and other signs of ageing. It tends to be the mechanics that lets it down.

The accepted definition of Vintage is 20 years old or more. Antique is 100 years old or more. Not sure when the PCM3348's were in their heyday, but it will be more than 20 years ago. The Sony Dat Player I mentioned is for sure 20 years old. I had an 8 bit sampler, years ago, about the same time I bought my DX7, can't remember if that was more than 20 years ago, My Otari 02R MUST be over 20 years old, not sure but I think so.

It's all Vintage to me. :)
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Re: Vintage Digital Equipment

Postby blinddrew » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:28 pm

Howdy Doody Time wrote:The accepted definition of Vintage is 20 years old or more. Antique is 100 years old or more.
Does that apply to people as well as things? ;)
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Re: Vintage Digital Equipment

Postby John Willett » Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:33 pm

blinddrew wrote:
Howdy Doody Time wrote:The accepted definition of Vintage is 20 years old or more. Antique is 100 years old or more.
Does that apply to people as well as things? ;)

:bouncy:
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Re: Vintage Digital Equipment

Postby jaminem » Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:29 pm

one of my speakers is a Vintage 30...?

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Re: Vintage Digital Equipment

Postby Martin Walker » Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:50 pm

James Perrett wrote:There's vintage and then there's vintage. When I saw the title I thought we were going to the realms of 8 bit samplers or DAT machines. In my experience, most decent digital gear is still new enough to not have to worry too much about capacitors drying out and other signs of ageing. It tends to be the mechanics that lets it down.

Too true - in my experience DAT machines were notoriously finicky about playing back tapes recorded on other machines. Some makes seemed to manage it better than others, but I can still remember a very early visit to see Paul White (must have been 1996, and around an hour's journey) when he kindly offered to 'master' my first album from a set of DAT tracks onto a single CD for duplication.

My DAT tape recorded on a couple of Sony DAT machines simply wouldn't be recognised on either of his Fostex ones, so we ended up driving round to a couple of his local friends to borrow another Sony DAT machine, which thankfully read my tape and did the job :headbang:

I get the impression that 8-bit samplers stand the test of time rather better than DAT recorders (thank goodness! ;) )


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Re: Vintage Digital Equipment

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:14 pm

I still have a Tascam DA20, a Mackie SDR24 and a Sony Minidisk deck in the rack, all work but are rarely fired up these days. I also have a HHB BurnIt CD recorder which does see occasional use and a TC Finalizer Plus which is in daily use.
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Re: Vintage Digital Equipment

Postby James Perrett » Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:37 pm

I must admit that I'm gradually acquiring a few more bits of vintage digital gear. Just got hold of a PCM701 (but not the Betamax machine to go with it) and a TDIF to ADAT interface for the DA-88 so that I can now transfer DTRS tapes to computer digitally.
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Re: Vintage Digital Equipment

Postby ken long » Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:43 pm

James Perrett wrote:IJust got hold of a PCM701 (but not the Betamax machine to go with it)

Nice. I picked up a betamax player a few years back for change... the PCM is good with VHS too, btw!
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