Tascam 122 Mk III Tape Decks

4/5 (5 Reviews)

Product Description

3 head studio cassette deck

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Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by nathanm a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: August 29, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I had a bad experience with this deck. I bought it new (supposedly) and immediately I noticed the recording quality was piss poor. I could not get the 10KHz bias tone anywhere NEAR 0db! it sounded absolutely awful. Playback was fine, but recording was terrible. I sent it back to the dealer and they sent it to Tascam for warranty repair. Well, after a few months of screwing around, not knowing what happened to the thing, it turns out that Tascam fixed it, sent it back to the dealer and there it sat. Anyway, I finally have it back now and the recording has improved. Only now the playback suddenly crapped out. There's no treble and it sounds extremely muffled. This thing is FUBAR. I bought it expecting a professionally built product, but the old Pioneer piece of junk I was replacing sounds better, well, aside from the wow that is.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Price Paid:    $600.00

Purchased At:   Jim Laabs Music

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Vincent Chen a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: January 23, 2002

Bottom Line:   
What can I say. I am a taping feign. My Tandberg started to act up on the right channel bias adjustment and I cannot properly adjust for bias for recording anymore. I "don't" want to know what 3rd world country debt I am going to be causing if I fix it. Let alone know who/whom is going to fix it. As a source deck my Tandberg will be. So now I need another deck for project studio.

Here is this Tascam 122 Mk.3 on the web for the cheap seats price. I got it from a studio going all full digital so all these decks gotta go (eventually). Getting it home I did all the basic maintenance tossed in a Scotch Blackwatch Metal tape ( type 4 for anyone who/whom cares). Set the bias/level and sourced off my Tascam CDRW5000 in balanced as well as unbalanced. Recording Lee Ritenour for fun from his "Color Rit" album..catalog GRP 9594. I am gratified by the nice airy highs, and smooth midrange. Alittle cool sounding on the mids. Certainly not as warm as my Tandberg, but more detailed than even my ZX-7 Nakamichi. Bass is on par with my ZX-7, but shy of my Tandberg on the slam bam lows epartment.

Stereo image is just fine, with good signal to noise in especially Dolby C mode. Lee's guitar is not smeared or soured by excess wow and flutter. I didn't use the best cables in the world either. Just Pro Co balanced, and Monster for the -10dbv stuff and there it went.

On the functionality side, the Tascam pleases with quiet mode transport changes, and shuttles the tape smoothly, though not as fast as my Tandberg. The search to zero and 2 locate points are a nice bonus for getting to just that spot on the tape that you want. The digital counter is in bright orange and is in real time, not revolutions which to me is useless. I prefer the time locates. The input controls are ganged but may be adjusted separately for just the right level balance. Output is the last chrome knob on the right, and is a single control. Additional inputs on the front panel via 1/4" TRS are included as is a headphone socket and independant level control. The auto monitor is very nice feature and all decks should have. Dolby B and C are included of course as well as the important mpx filter. The mpx filter prevents dolby mistracking as it filters the 19khz pilot signal. I just don't like those small slider controls to get it all done. Getting used to the big "VU" meters is a treat. All my cassette decks excluding the Tandberg were LED arrays. This deck includes a peak led like my Otari open reel. A handy feature for those hot peaks. I can see why studios etc. love this deck, it just doesn't skimp on the important stuff. So with that in mind why would anyone want a new cheapy when they can have a piece of musical history in the making. So in sum, anyone needing a great 3 head deck that will last, better get in on this one, because like everything else Tascam makes..especially "analog", its' days I am sure are limited. Happy taping to all. Get one new if you can, but a much better buy used.
specs: 25hz-20khz with type 4 tape,-80db with dolby C,wow and flutter is 0.04% wrms. winding time is 70 seconds with a C-60 tape. weight is 18 pounds 8 ounces. 19 inches wide,5 3/16" high, and 14" deep. Want more specs see www.tascam.com. for all the rest of the numbers.

Associated gear :
Mackie 1604Vlz mixer 8 channel 4 buss.
Rotel RMB-1095 power amplifier 200 x 5 watts in 8 ohms
B & W 603 S2 speakers.
Tascam CDRW5000 cd player/burner unit
monster cable, and audiotechnica interconnects -10dbv and Pro Co for the +4dbv stuff

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1996

Purchased At:   500.00

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Alex Charles a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: September 27, 2001

Bottom Line:   
This product is designed for the professional market so it's never gonna win awards for cosmetics. I personally love the big VU meters (i could go on for hours about how they show the proper record level rather than most decks, but i wont bore you) As someone who works in radio however, i can tell you that this deck is the industry standard for it's quality. Cassette was never a very good medium due to the noise and bad dynamic range, but the Tascam will basically make the best out of bad thing. I was lucky to find a used one, as I wouldn't be able to justify the full retail for a new deck. (there's always the 2-head version to consider for a lot less tho) But if you're a real audiophile and have the money to spare there's not much else to touch it apart from the Nakamichi and Revox decks.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1997

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   private sale

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Tom a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: August 13, 2000

Bottom Line:   
The only good 3 head tape desk still available today (Fall, 2000). Construction of the machine is outstanding. Everything metal. The big UV meters are very well calibrated. Record level knobs are linked together by gear and clutch, make adjustment easier then most.

Its hard press to hear the difference between a dup from a CD and the source. To be able to do that, a very good headphone is needed.

On the downside, the price are high. The look of this thing is really bad that my wife think that I got a second hand unit dated back to the sixties. The lack of a automatic bias adjustment make life a little more difficult when a new brand or model of tape is used.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $1100.00

Purchased At:   Steve Music

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by pam a an Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: May 10, 1999

Bottom Line:   
Was looking for a good 3 head deck and stumbled on a factory reconditioned model for about the same price as their TEAC consumer division's V 8030s. This thing is awesome! Has true VU meters (very large and easy to see), decent controls and XLR as well as RCA jacks on the rear so it can be used with pro or home equipment. Lacks the dolby S of the 8030, but doesn't need it. I can make dolby C chrome tapes that sound better than my MD recorder and barely distinguishable from CD (and then only on a good set of phones like Sennheiser HD580's if you listen real close). Makes very good recordings without dolby as well (tape hiss is very low). Also has a remote control port for hooking to a sound board or their outboard outboard control unit.
TDK SM-X tape works fabulous in this machine (pro version of SA-X with a little bit flatter frequency response), if you can find it (someone told me TDK quit distributing this). PDF for the manual is here: http://www.tascam.com/pdf/pdfsc/122mk3.pdf
If you find a deal on one of these, nab it! Otherwise, if you want an optical remote, LED displays and dolby S, go for the 8030.

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Duration Product Used:   an Audio Enthusiast

Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)

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