[ProAudio] DAT Transfers

James Perrett james at jrpmusic.net
Tue Apr 6 02:32:45 PDT 2021

I don't know the MOTU 8D but MOTU usually make good gear.

I'm using a Zoom U-44 USB audio interface for DAT transfers here and it has
worked well for the last couple of years. It has both optical and phono
connectors for S/PDIF and can handle sample rates between 44.1kHz and 96kHz
(so it won't do long play DAT's but, as quality is unlikely to be critical
for these I'll transfer them via analogue). I mainly use a Pioneer 96kHz
capable DAT machine but I also have a Tascam DA20 which currently has an
intermittent fault but has worked well in the past. Mechanically they are
just about identical as they're both Pioneer machines under the cover but
the electronics are much simpler on the DA20. The great thing about the
DA20 is that you can check error rates with it - the DA20 Mk2 has a button
for this, while you need to press a particular combination of buttons on
the original model.

The Zoom U-44 is a current model and appears to be in stock at the usual
online sellers. I picked up a DA20 for a friend for under £100 a while ago
though prices seem to have crept up a bit.

Hope that helps.


On Tue, 6 Apr 2021 at 07:04, Jim Brown via ProAudio <proaudio at bach.pgm.com>

> I need to transfer a few dozen DATs to a hard drive for archiving before
> it's too late to find hardware on which to do it. 20-25 years ago when I
> was recording this material, I had a tower machine set up as a DAW with
> all the interfaces needed to do the transfers. It's been 15 years since
> that machine was booted, and it was more than ten years old then. And I
> don't remember the logon. :)
>   So I need advice about hardware. I still have the Tascam DA-P1 on
> which they were recorded, but I'm not sure it will live long enough.
> I'll try it first. It outputs S/PDIF, so I need an interface to get into
> my Windoze machines. All use USB, but I think I might have one with
> Firewire.
> I found a MOTU 8D with USB 2.0 and S/PDIF I/O. David Josephson has
> cautioned me that some interfaces may not sync well enough to the stream
> for a clean transfer. Can anyone advise about this particular product?
> The material is all acoustic jazz with important artists, so quality is
> paramount. Most if not all of the masters are 44.1.
> Can anyone suggest another interface? Also suggestions of a source for a
> good used DAT if mine doesn't make it through the process? I'll be 80 in
> the fall, my last recording was 12 years ago, this project is going to
> be a one-off, so I don't want to spend big bucks if I don't need to.
> Thanks, Jim Brown
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> ProAudio at bach.pgm.com
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*       James Perrett
*       JRP Music Services, Hampshire, U.K.
*       Audio Mastering, Restoration, Recording and Consultancy
*       Phone +44 (0) 777 600 6107
* e-mail james at jrpmusic.net
* http://www.jrpmusic.net
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