The tascam is'nt giving anyone heart attacks...theres SADIE and RADAR and a half dozen emerging formats that sound amazing.They are more expensive but thats because they are full blown record/mix/authoring systems.
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A good friend of mine who follows this kind of thing posted the following info on the DV-RA 1000, thought you might like to read what he had to say.
The way I see it, CD audio is on its last legs, as a patently inferior medium which only existed with that butt-ugly sound because it was invented in 1978, and there were severe technical limitations back then. We are more than 25 years later!...
If you analyze the field for digital cameras, they seem to double resoluton every 2 years.
Digital audio is not quite evolving that fast, but since you are going to spend all of that time and energy making real-time copies, why not transfer to a good-sounding format (even if you want to burn CD's from it, which is relatively easy to do) which will stand the test of time for the next 10 years and sound much more 'glorious'?
Go 24-bit 96 kHz and play those files from a hard drive or from a DVD. I know, I know.... actually, I would recommend DSD, but only the rock engineers have access to those kinds of budgets. Mid you, there's a stunning TASCAM DVD recorder that records DSD in native format. At $1299 street price, with varispeed, it is giving heart attacks to those who just spent $15,000 on a high-definition 2-channel master audio recording system.
But CD quality is just such a total farce on large sound systems, actually 16-bit / 44.1 kHz in general. DJ's that play CD's in big clubs just sound BAD, TINNY, (not tiny) EDGY, FLAT, compared to someone with vinyl; no woof, no bottom warmth, high end that shrills your ears.
Is anyone listening out there?
So this is my suggestion: invest in your future. Unless you look forward to having to re-do it all in a couple of years. Of course, if this is just a hobby, I take it all back. Just burn it directly into your iPod and you'll be fine...
There are many fine tools out there to do this, and some of them are quite inexpensive. Firewire audio interfaces in the $500 range. Hard disks that hold 300 Gigabytes of data for $200.00 !!! You spend a year encoding everything, and your CD book gets stolen, or some of them get scratched and damaged; did you have a plan B?.... Backup, backup!
There is no question that the encoding is very important, and that it is crucial to not just use a good cartridge but also a top-notch A/D converter, and if possible a system which catches peaks before you get to digital, such as Apogee's 'Soft Limit' which allows to put plenty of level where it counts: IN THE ANALOG DOMAIN. Why use a mixer. Get a stand-alone high-quality phono pre and bypass another couple of stages for yet clearer sound!!