Tascam have just announced their new DR-100mkIII hand-held recorder, and are making a fuss about the technical specifications and boasting new levels of quality. It’s one thing to quote the technical information, or to quote a real user’s experience, but using phrases like ‘AKM “Velvet Sound” converters’ is distracting. What does ‘velvet’ sound like? On a serious note however, Tascam do know a thing or two about hand-held recorders and I’m sure this latest edition will prove its worth.
Tascam DR-100mkIII Recorder
This is an update to the DR-100mk2 of course, the hand-held recorder with built-in mics in an AB configuration. I often prefer AB over the XY configuration that other manufactures tend to lean towards. Thankfully this mk3 has retained this concept, but don’t expect a huge list of new features. This release is clearly about trying to provide an improvement on what was already a high-quality product. Tascam say that the DR-100mkIII delivers ‘the best audio performance in the history of TASCAM portable stereo recorders’.
On the boring side, but the particularly important side for field recording, are the numbers. This mk3 can record up to sample rates of 192kHz rather than the 96kHz that the mk2 achieved. Whilst this might not be useful to everyone, it does suggest there’s an improvement in clocking and converter technology to achieve this. Tascam are also boasting a signal-to-noise ratio of 109dB, which is great but they’ve omitted any EIN readings. However, they already have a reputation for producing clean preamps and converters that aren’t particularly coloured.
On the physical side there are less notable updates but they’ve been listening to user feedback. The screen is clearer with new software for easier usability. To compliment this they’ve added some additional hardware controls for easy use of common features. I think it’s a shame however that they didn’t include USB audio interface capabilities, which is now common amongst other similar devices.
There’s a new page on Tascam’s website for the DR-100mkIII already. Here you can find the full feature set and specifications. In a press release, Tascam have stated the new mk3 will retail for 399.99 USD, which seems like a good price from this reputable manufacturer.