BAS Message
September 2016

Imagine you are a recording engineer in the late 50s, recording stereo on magnetic tape. Then imagine you are approached by a mysterious stranger, offering you a new recording system with superb fidelity, no adjustments or maintenance needed and the ability to record long uninterrupted time. Just one catch—if the power is interrupted momentarily the recording stops, but also everything you have recorded up to then is lost.

Well, that seems to be the case in many situations today.

My Tascam DR-680 8 channel recorder has that problem. There is battery backup but they only last about 4 hours. A recent firmware update states that when the battery is low, the recording is stopped (saved). Presumably that means in the older units, low battery can cause loss of recorded material.

My Tascam SS-R05 is a rack unit without batteries. I found after purchase that it does save files if the cord is pulled while recording. So it can be done.

I decided to always keep a set of batteries in the DR-680 even though I use it on AC. After its being in storage a long time I checked it and the Duracell batteries had leaked into the battery compartment. Fortunately the damage wasn't serious and the compartment looks like an easy replacement if needed.

From the Sweetwater catalog: With the Sound Devices 633, concerns about weight, battery life, power loss, and file corruption are history. A unique 4-way power supply and proprietary PowerSafe technology give you maximum runtime and safe shutdown in the event of a total power loss. $3229

In 1967 I bought an EICO tape recorder kit. It was the better of the two offered by EICO and featured electrodynamic braking for the tape reels (it was a 3 motor deck). It was extremely gentle on the tape and never wore out. I wondered why it wasn't universally used in high end tape machines. On reflection I thought what if the power failed while winding. The tape would fly everywhere and get damaged. In the case of a master tape it was unthinkable.

Using point to point wiring on terminal strips, it was the quietest tape machine I ever owned, in terms of hum.

email me here


The Boston Audio Society
PO BOX 260211
Boston MA 02126

problems? email Barry:

updated 10/7/16