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future gear trends? (long!)
Old 29th September 2002
Lives for gear
hollywood_steve's Avatar
🎧 15 years
future gear trends? (long!)

Trying to decide on my next major gear purchase, but its one year away. (its being funded by a $100wk direct withdrawal from my paycheck/checking account). With interest rates at around 2% (or less) and the stock market not returning squat right now, I can't count on any earnings, so I can only plan on $5200. If I had the money in hand right now, I'd buy the Project version of the RADAR, the least expensive version that includes 24ch of analog I/O. But a year is a helluva long time in the modern gear world and a lot can happen in that time. A Radar with that configuration might only cost $3500 by then, or I might be able to get a 24/96 Radar for my $5k by then. OR, DSD might finally have taken over the world and everyone might be stringing together multiple 2 track DSD machines.

And I could probably purchase a really nice one inch 8 track for $5k a year from now, but I'm not looking for a "project." This will be my workhorse recorder and it needs to be 100% ready for its purchase price. Warranteed rebuilds, like the ATR Services new/old machines, cost far beyond my budget for anything with more than 2 tracks. So analog is probably not an option.

I have no interest in recording on my computer, but (like everybody else) I've been really impressed with the Radar. But will 24/48 (the model in my price range) be hopelessly outdated by next year? I like DSD for a variety of reasons - including the fact that it does not allow for PCM style processing. (My big fear is that people are going to demand that they port it to PCM for processing, and then I lose all interest). But multitrack DSD will not be affordable anytime soon. But if it actually lives up to even half the hype, I would be willing to settle for a 2 track machine as a "live to stereo" recorder.

Damn, that brings up another point. At this point, do all multi-tracks start at 24ch? I'd be really happy to pay $5K for an 8 trk machine that is of higher quality than a $5k 24 trk. But it seems like all manufacturers standardized on 24trk when they moved over to HD recorders. Am I the only guy left who would rather give up 16 extra channels for some quality improvements?

OK that's all. To wrap this up, for a little over $5k, what does the future hold for the best quality multi-track (8 to 24 trk) recorder or 2 track DSD recorder?


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Old 29th September 2002
Lives for gear
Midlandmorgan's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I've seen the Tascam DA78s out there...8 tracks at 44.1/48K, 4 tracks at 96K. I think Akai and Fostex have similar units. Seems the street prices are around $3000, but again, I'm not sure.

As far as built in obsolescence: its inevitable. Everything that can be made can be upgraded, so I try to make gear decisions on what is good for my needs now and in the forseeable future. I'm sure my Mackie d8b/Focusrites/TCs/Samplitude/et al will sound as good in 5 years as they do now...

Seems the DA78 would be a good investment..I've read of lots of studios using them...and you can expand your system as yur needs dictate...

So I've been told...
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