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Old November 15th, 2014, 07:19 AM   #1
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Tascam DR-44WL Review / Complaint

I recently bought a Tascam DR-44WL, I used it on one job now the XLR locks won't release so I have two XLR cables suck in my recorder rendering it useless. The software & features is good however I can't recommend the DR-44WL to anyone mainly because of it's cheap build quality. The range on the WiFi is limited, you have to be close to actually get a reliable signal it's quicker to walk over to the recorder at those ranges. Why a small recorder like the DR-44WL includes XLR locks in the first place is beyond me, I effectively have a paper weight now.
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Old November 15th, 2014, 08:08 AM   #2
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Re: Tascam DR-44WL Review / Complaint

I have a dr40 and dr60 and never had a problem with the xlr locking mechanism, when you have issues with the xlr plug being stuck is often because the xlr plug is damaged.
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Old November 15th, 2014, 11:20 AM   #3
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Re: Tascam DR-44WL Review / Complaint

A brand new recorder, expensive quality XLR cables which give no locking issues with everything else they've ever been plugged into. If it's damaged it came out damaged from the factory. A friend told me after this post that two of his Tascams did this & a quick Google search reveals it's a common issue. It's going to cost me so much money to ship the recorder back to B&H. I'm not impressed.
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Old November 15th, 2014, 11:44 AM   #4
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Re: Tascam DR-44WL Review / Complaint

Weird, I have different sets of xlr cables, from cheap to more expensive and they have been plugged in my tascams a lot, I only had an issue once with a xlr cable I got from a soundtechnician at a danceconcert I had to record, that one got stuck but I was able to get it out with a bit of force, the plug had a small dent that I didn't see at first. I also read that cheap chinese xlr cables have a tendency of getting stuck, probably because they deviate in dimension.
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Old November 17th, 2014, 07:32 AM   #5
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Re: Tascam DR-44WL Review / Complaint

I don't have a DR44WL, but looking at the photos of the XLR jacks all I can recommend is to push the XLR connector IN as far as possible BEFORE pressing the release latch. Also press on the release latch as close to the XLR shell as possible to get the most inward travel and prevent the tab from merely flexing.
Then gently rock the XLR shell up and down at the cable, tilting the locking hole in the XLR shell up and down to ride past the locking tab as you pull back gently.
The greatest force should be applied to pushing the unlocking latch inward, with gentle force being used to pull the XLR connector out.
Hopefully you can get the plug to slip out.
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Old November 17th, 2014, 06:40 PM   #6
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Re: Tascam DR-44WL Review / Complaint

Jay thanks for suggestions, I have failed in every way to release the locks, the locks don't clear the latch. I had a sound engineer look at it he showed me I can unscrew the back end of the XLR which allows me to pull the cable out but the metal casing remains firmly stuck. I will be able to use different plugs now even though it's not an ideal solution. Tascam tells me I should send it to their service centre but I'm in South Africa so that's not really an option. I'm disappointed that my trusty H4n is still going strong after so many years while my brand new Tascam breaks after a single use, I definitely feel let down by the construction quality on the DR-44WL.
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Old November 18th, 2014, 09:59 AM   #7
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Re: Tascam DR-44WL Review / Complaint

I would think a slightly irregular (bent) XLR connector is the problem.. rather then the machine.build quality. I have removed stuck XLRs by inserting a jewelers screw driver at the top to release the tab.
Regarding the build quality.. Did you actually expect pro quality for $300?. 'You gets what you pays for'
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Old November 18th, 2014, 10:29 AM   #8
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Re: Tascam DR-44WL Review / Complaint

I, too, do not have a DR-44WL. But please allow me to add a comment in the hopes that it will be helpful.

It's unfortunate, and undoubtedly very frustrating for you, that you're having problems removing your connectors. Of course the Tascam's connectors are not made by Tascam, they are made by Neutrik. Neutrik connectors have a very good reputation, so it seems statistically unlikely that your recorder would have two connectors that are both bad. If the connectors themselves are actually good, then perhaps they are somehow mounted a bit too deep in the body of the recorder, so that it's difficult (or impossible) to depress the "PUSH" tabs all the way. It is also possible that those "PUSH" tabs have gotten bent slightly, so that when the tab is touching the body of the recorder, the mechanism actuated by the tab is not being depressed far enough.

I second Jay Massengill's suggestion. Perhaps you will have better luck, now that the inner portion of your connectors (with the male pins) have been removed from the shell. By all means, depress the "PUSH" tab as close to the shell as possible. Don't push on the end of tab that is above the logo. Push on the very bottom of the tab, immediately adjacent to the connector shell. If that doesn't work, then you might even try pushing on the thin piece of bright metal immediately beside the tab, using a small blade screwdriver. Of course you should push the moving part directly into the body of the recorder, and not toward the shell of your connector. I have found that this "last ditch effort" will work on connectors with bent "PUSH" tabs, when all else fails. (These were NOT Neutrik connectors, by the way, they were very old US-made connectors.)

Good luck!
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Old May 15th, 2015, 06:55 AM   #9
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Re: Tascam DR-44WL Review / Complaint

Update: After using the DR-44 recorder for a few months it's definitely a good replacement for the H4n. I rarely use the WiFi due to it's limited range but it has a lot of other features that work well, I wouldn't go back to the H4n. Unfortunately I was never able to free the XLR clips, I had to resort extreme measures by breaking them free. Once I snapped off the "Push" tabs it was easy to remove the cover & dismantle the recorder, everything comes apart in sections. Getting the clip mechanism out required that I tore away the plastic, this was a last ditch effort after I tried everything else. The XLR ports are still sturdy the broken plastic only housed the clip mechanism the rest of the port is unaffected.
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