TASCAM DA-60MKII DAT

October 13th, 2008

This is a DAT machine – Digital Audio Tape made by TASCAM (TEAC).  There is both AD and DA conversion in this machine and also digital input and output (AES only).  The analogy has both balance XLR and non balance RCA sockets. Thus this machine can be used as a DA or AD converter.  That say it can be used as a A to D, A to A, D to A, and D to D converter.  Some people just use it as a DAC when the tape part is not working.

The good thing about this machine is that the CD can be recorded back to a DAT tape and then play back again.  But why record into a DAT?  I think the sound of the CD is improved to be more relax and musical.  I do not understand why but this is what I found out!

The digital filter is NPC SM5813APT, AD converter is AK5339-VP and most of the op-amp are Philips NE5532AN & IV 5238.  For power supply, all the E-cap are Panasonic Purism and signal path is also Panasoinc BP cap.

For sound, the best sound is from DAT Tape –> Digital Out –> Good external DAC like D1V3.  The analogy output from this machine is also very good and the sound is quite relax and clean.  If the machine is used as a DAC, the sound is not as good as the sound when DAT tape is played back.  The lower frequency seems to be attenuated when used as a stand alone DAC.  Guess it is due to the receiver jitter signal is not attenuated down enough.

I use some DDS-1 or DDS-2 tapes and the machine can take it without any problem.  Anyway, it is one of the best 16bit CD digital source that can be found from ebay for only $300 to $500 USD.  Take note on the drum hour when you want to buy one of this as the life is about 2000 hrs.  Of course I am not using it as like in a studio and I think it should last at least 4000 hrs with some minor signal drop out.

Yamaha DA202 DA Converter

September 11th, 2008

Update on Nov 12, 2009:

FFT measurement:

DA202 FFT 16 vs 20bit 44.1kHz

DA202 FFT 16bit -10dbFS

DA202 FFT 16 vs 18bit -80dbFS

 So you can see the noise floor is not great at about -110dbV.

Last update on Sep 11, 2008:

This is a professional DAC made by Yamaha back in 1988.  It was made for the DMP7D digital mixer in the same period using PCM56P-K x 2 and IC op-amps JRC 2068 and NE5532.  Yamaha use a custom IC YM3023 to switch the 16bit DAC into 18bit. The digital receiver chip is Yamaha YM3623B.  The power supply is a linear regulator.

DA202 Spec

Yamaha DA2X DA Converter

August 15th, 2008

Update on Nov 12, 2009:

FFT measurement:

DA2X FFT 16_20bit 0dbFS

DA2X FFT 20bit 0dbFS Log

DA2X FFT 20bit -80dbFS Log

From the meausrement, you can see this is a very good DAC and the distortion as well as noise floor is very low!

Last update on Aug 15, 2008:

This DAC has all the good design inside.  I believe Yamaha try to build one of the best sound DAC at the time back in 1990.  This DAC give you the life in music but I feel the “Sss” sound is a bit over drive in high frequency.  It use Sanya OS-con as the op-amp power supply decouple and I am not too sure if the high frequency glare is due to that!  For the op-amp, I think Ti NE5532 may sound better as Yamaha switch to this brand after this model.

  1. SPDIF/AES input using YM3436
  2. Second PLL using Fujisu VCXO
  3. Yamaha YSF210B digital filter and sample converter
  4. Philips SAA7350 x 2 pcs 1 bit converter
  5. Philips TDA1547 x 2 pcs 1 bit DAC chips
  6. Op-amp filters and buffer – JRC2114, JRC5532
  7. Nichicon, Elna, Sanyo OS-con, Soshin, Panasonic Electrolytic or film capacitors
  8. RMA or Film resistors for signal path
  9. Linear power supply and regulators

DA2X Specifications

Wedia D/A Converter

July 22nd, 2008

This is a low end Wedia DAC using CS8412, DF1700P, 2x AD1864 and OPA606.  There is a custom chips in between the DF1700 and DAC chips.  This DAC sound better than most TDA1541 but not as good as PCM63 DAC.

CD-PRO2 Transport

May 12th, 2008

This is a transport using CD-PRO2 module with a China controller kit.  The digital out from the module is further re-data using a flip-flop with a XO about 100MHz. Then the digital signal will pass through 74HCU04 buffer and output to Optical, SPDIF and AES format.

CD-PRO2 Module User Manual

CD-PRO2 Controller Kit Manual