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Old October 18th, 2011, 11:03 PM   #1
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Tascam DR-680 Initial Review

I just took delivery of a new Tascam DR-680 last week (thanks Guy Cochran at the DVeStore) and was able to use it on a shoot this weekend. Here's a short sample of the shoot. It was recorded using a Sanken CS-3e at 24bit/48KHz.

My initial impression is that it is a really sweet recorder. It is definitely is one of the best values out there. The mic pre's were quieter than I had expected and the sound quality exceeded my expectations.

More to come as I gain more experience with it.

-Garett
Attached Files
File Type: wav BISMK Sound Test.wav (4.01 MB, 234 views)
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Last edited by Garrett Low; October 19th, 2011 at 08:48 PM.
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Old December 10th, 2011, 05:43 AM   #2
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Re: Tascam DR-680 Initial Review

any additional comments on this deck now that you've had it a month?
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Old December 10th, 2011, 10:39 AM   #3
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Re: Tascam DR-680 Initial Review

I will be writing more about it. I'm just wrapping up filming a short Indie, our last shoot day is this Thursday, and we've been using it throughout the production. After that I'll have some time to do a more thorough review.

-Garrett
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Old December 21st, 2011, 02:15 AM   #4
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Re: Tascam DR-680 Initial Review

I've had mine for a year now and so far have been very happy. The biggest downfall is the headphone preamp. When you monitor on the headphones it sounds like the crappiest, noisiest recorder of all time. Seriously, its like 30% noise. However, the file it records is completely pristine and often impressive in its signal to noise.

The inputs confuse people as the "high/low gain" switch is actually at cut, not a gain. So, a lot of people instinctively put the gain on low, crank up the sensitivity and end up with much noisier signals than needed.

Once you have the headphone jack, gain setup and funky button layout down, its really quite a great unit. I'm thrilled with the sound. The durability is zilch, so treat it gently and never ever drop it. This is NOT a sound devices unit. But, treat her right and she'll do the same.

cheers,
-a
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Old December 21st, 2011, 05:52 AM   #5
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Re: Tascam DR-680 Initial Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Dean View Post
I've had mine for a year now and so far have been very happy. The biggest downfall is the headphone preamp. When you monitor on the headphones it sounds like the crappiest, noisiest recorder of all time. Seriously, its like 30% noise. However, the file it records is completely pristine and often impressive in its signal to noise.
What headphones are you using?

I have found that the headphone amp. in some portable recorders has been optimised so that it draws very little current so as not to flatten the batteries too quickly,

The answer is to use highly efficient low impedance headphones - the Sennheiser HD 25-1 are good for this as they are 120dB efficient (about the most efficient out there) so you keep the level lower for the same volume in your ears and the headphone amp. nasties are often not really noticed.
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Old December 25th, 2011, 05:44 PM   #6
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Re: Tascam DR-680 Initial Review

I use sony 7506 for monitoring. Its not a matter of being optimized for sensitive headphones, The headphone amp in the dr680 is comically bad. It actually has a "step" in the middle where it jumps in volume many DB.

But its in the cans, not the recording, so... its not a show stopper as much as a nuisance.
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Old January 2nd, 2012, 11:40 PM   #7
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Re: Tascam DR-680 Initial Review

ya the headphone amp is weird. not just noisy, but has a sudden jump in volume after the 2pm position. also see Tascam DR-680 Review : UPDATED for a review
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