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Tascam DP-02 inputs

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Tascam DP-02 inputs

Postby themellowmello » Mon Dec 23, 2019 7:24 am

Hey everyone, I have a question regarding the inputs on my Tascam DP-02 (https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... scam-dp-02), and I was hoping one of you fine people could help me out.

There are two inputs: A and B; each has both an XLR and TS/TRS inputs. Input A has a switch that allows one to switch between a "guitar" input level (presumably instrument level) and a "mic/line" input level. My question is: does anyone know how the device would detect/boost for the proper signal level when this seemingly automatic configuration is used, and does anyone have experience recording with such a device?

When attempting to record with microphones (SM58 and AKG CS1000) using the "mic/line" input level, the signal level coming in is extremely low. To get any decent volume, the input level control must be boosted all the way, which introduces some noise and seems generally odd. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you!
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Re: Tascam DP-02 inputs

Postby Wonks » Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:21 pm

Hi and welcome.

That guitar/line level switch should only work on the TS (unbalanced) 1/4" input on channel A and switch between 10k ohm input impedance for line and 1 Megohm for guitar.

The XLRs should (in theory) remain at mic level with a 2.4K ohm input impedance.

However, the manual is worse than useless in helping out with the actual details. There's nothing detailing how much gain is availble on the input level controls. The block diagram, usually one of the best ways of determining the input switching arrangement, shows absolutely no detail on the inputs at all!

There are very slightly different nominal input levels for the line input and the XLR input. At a stated -4dBv, the line input is 8dB down on the normal 'pro' +4dBV standard (unless the '-'should be a '+'). The XLR input is quoted as a nominal -8dBv, which basically is the 'consumer' line level -10dBu value.

You'd expect a mic XLR input to have a much lower nominal sensitivity value, expecting a signal maybe 30dB lower than a line input.

So the sensitivity levels between the line and XLR inputs are probably only due to the different input impedance circuits, and there doesn't appear to be what I'd consider to be a proper mic preamp circuit.

Without any data on the amount of gain available on the two input circuits, it's very hard to tell exactly what's going on.

The 'mic' inputs do provide 48v phantom power, and the text does seem to indicate a preference for using capacitor/condenser mics (with their higher output) than for dynamic mics (with a lower output).

So it would seem to me, that whilst you may stand a chance with a large diameter capacitor mic, you are unlikely to get a good result with a dynamic mic and will have to turn the input gain/level up all the way to hear anything.

Unfortunately, whilst SOS did feature a product release article on the DP-02 and DP-02CF, I can find no evidence of the promised full review. Maybe SOS felt it was too bad to review due to the input level issue, or maybe Tascam never provided a review sample.

But that doesn't help you.

I'd suggest that the only real way to use a mic with the DP-02 is to use either an external mic pre-amp or get a small mixer and feed the outputs of the pre-amp/mixer into the line level inputs of the DP-02. you don't have to spend a lot. Something like the Behringer MIC100, or a similar ART Tube MP for a stand-alone mic pre, or any of the numerous 1 or 2 XLR/mic input mixers out there.
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Re: Tascam DP-02 inputs

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Dec 23, 2019 6:14 pm

I had DP-02 and liked it a lot, except for the mic preamps, which as has been said were very noisy when enough gain was cranked on to record an acoustic guitar with a mic (even a SDC). Had I known they existed I would have bought a Cloudlifter type device but either I didn't or they were not widely available at the time (or, more likely far too expensive to buy to use with a budget multitrack like the DP-02).

I would suggest that as a solution now that less expensive pre-preamps are available as it should solve the problem with less of the inconvenience of a conventional mic preamp.
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