Could someone point me to (esp Amazon) the correct USB cable for Tascam DP-32SD?

Discussion in 'USB PC Audio Interfaces and Control Surfaces' started by Stephen Jones, Nov 17, 2017.

  1. Stephen Jones

    Stephen Jones New Member

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    Hi!

    I searched for posts related to USB cables and can't find any. My problem is that I just received my new Tascam DP-32SD about a week ago, and it did not come with a USB cable to import/export files in and out of my PC. I looked in the manual, and it says to use a "mini-b type USB 2.0" cable.

    So I went to Amazon and searched for all their "mini-b" type USBs. All of them I saw were related to cameras (e.g. Nikon, Fuji, Olympus et al) but since they are indeed "mini-b type USB 2.0" cables, I figured they would work for the Tascam. Here is what I ordered:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0716GVBQX

    Unfortunately, it does not fit in the slot at all. I have tried many times and it won't go in.

    Could someone point me to the correct one to order?

    I have incredibly mixed feelings about this recorder. On the one hand, I have put together a couple of really nice songs... the latest using (so far) 10 tracks on top of the already existing song I recorded using PC software... just to learn ins-and-outs of the machine.

    On the other hand, I spent the last few days going through hell to straighten out issues with the original SD card it was shipped with. If I did not have such a high opinion of Tascam from their 1990s PortaStudio days (when I could only afford a 4 Track Fosdex Multitracker) I would be tempted to return this and wash my hands of it. But if I ignore the Achilles heel of its import/export I absolutely adore the machine.

    So if someone could send me a link to where the actual cable they are using with their own DP-32SD is sold (preferably Amazon or Musician's Friend) I would be forever grateful!

    Thanks,
    Stephen D. Jones
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2017
  2. Phil Tipping

    Phil Tipping Well-Known Member

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    The spec says 4-pin mini-b - you've got an 8-pin. Here's a photo of mine.
    45.jpg 46.jpg
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
  3. Stephen Jones

    Stephen Jones New Member

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    Thanks again Phil! My eyes are too old and bad to be able to count the pins.

    I went through the manual before ordering it and the only thing I found was on page 64 (Connecting to a Computer) where it only says:

    "... use a mini-B type USB 2.0 cable to connect the USB port..."

    I see now the section in the very back that is title "Specifications" and it does say to use "4 pin."

    Best Regards,
    Stephen
  4. Stephen Jones

    Stephen Jones New Member

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    Hi Phil.

    Sorry to bother you so much with my stupidity. I went to amazon and searched for "4-pin mini b USB cables." It came back with a lot of different cables, including some with 5 pins and others that do not say how many pins in the description. I found a couple that said "4 pins" but they don't look like your plug -- they look fatter and more square.

    I found one that does not say the pin #, but it looks like what you have and one of the comments says they used it for a Tascam, but it was a totally different model (DR-05) and was posted in 2015. Also, a lot of times Amazon attaches comments for similar, but different, products from same manufacturers. So I can't really trust the comments completely.

    This is the unknown one:


    This is the "4 pin" one:


    Maybe its just my old eyes, but the unknown one looks closer to yours than the "4 pin" squarish one.

    Alternatively, if you could tell me the brand and model# you are using, maybe I could just search for that on Amazon or Musician's Friend.

    Thanks again.

    Stephen
  5. Phil Tipping

    Phil Tipping Well-Known Member

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    dp-32sd, vl-s5, 202 mkIII
    The first one looks correct - the outer shape has a kink in it (compare that with your 8-pin one). Not sure what the 2nd one is; you're right it does look too square and it doesn't have the stepped D shape so don't go for that one. There's some good bedtime reading on wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB :) but even that doesn't show the mini square model. One comment on the Amazon site says the picture is misleading but either way, I'd avoid it. Go for the first one. Can't tell you my source as it was from a box full of assorted USB cables which you tend to accumulate over the years, especially if you're a hoarder like me!
  6. Stephen Jones

    Stephen Jones New Member

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    > Can't tell you my source as it was from a box full of assorted USB cables which you tend to accumulate over the years

    I was afraid you were going to say that. I am the same... I have huge bags and boxes of cables of all different types. I recently found I had 3 or 4 identical extensions for cables with 1/4 " plugs. I likely bought them years apart because I could not find the other ones or forgot I had them! LOL

    In any case, I think you are right about the first one. But I was thinking about this over the weekend, and it would probably be best if I drove to a Guitar Center or Ken Stanton a couple of towns over to physically look at the cable and check with their sales. I know Guitar Center sells them online, as that was the first place I saw the Tascam. I ended up buying it through Musician's Friend, though as they deliver. Guitar Center makes you drive to their store for pickup and they are in a town half an hour away. I am usually too tired to deal with long drives other than to my doctors.

    Anyway, thanks again for all your help!

    Best,
    Stephen
  7. Stephen Jones

    Stephen Jones New Member

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    Oh, by the way, I didn't see any tutorial video out there related to location markers and auto punch-in and out. I would dearly like to put my "vote" in for that to be included in some future video. The Tascam system is far more complicated and confusing than the auto punch-in/out on my old Multitracker. I am guessing that's because it has a lot more location markers available etc.

    Also, I am feeling a lot better about this Tascam, even though I still need to set up a new "factory reset" template in hopes of clearing the Red Marker issues. I completed two songs using a large number of tracks that would have been very difficult (involving tons of bounces) on anything else I have worked with and with much better quality.

    Best Regards!
    Stephen
  8. Stephen Jones

    Stephen Jones New Member

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    I drove over to the Guitar Center in Alpharetta and they did not carry this in stock. The guy in the store said they weren't in much demand and recommended I go to Best Buy. I had more music/electronics shopping to do so drove to Ken Stanton first. He basically repeated the same thing. But then a light bulb must have gone off, and he said he would look in a drawer with spare cables.

    He found an old used one, but gave it to me free. He showed me the cable that comes with a cheaper Tascam model, and it is the same. He was also wondering why Tascam doesn't include the cable with the more expensive recorder, while doing so with the cheaper models.

    Anyway, the cable fits although too short to reach my computer stack sitting on the floor under it. But I should be able to find a workaround for that. I could move my computer up to the already overcrowded workbench if necessary. I just hope the computer does not interfere with the sound on the monitors. I have heard computers can cause buzz or hum.

    Alternatively, I guess I could transfer the files using the USB into my laptop, and then from the laptop into the desktop on the floor. That sounds tedious, but as I would not have to move anything and take up Lebensraum on my workbench, it may be the best solution.

    Thanks again!
    Phil Tipping likes this.
  9. Jim Selleck

    Jim Selleck New Member

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    Same topic - slight variant on the question - over this past weekend I had to reconfigure my studio setup to accommodate a new assignment, for the first time needing to use that USB interface, for which I need to buy a new cable, which needs to be about 15 feet to suit my setup.

    Looking on Amazon, I see a whole bunch of 15-25 foot cables featuring A to Mini-B, but all of the Mini-B connectors are listed as FIVE pin, not the required 4.

    This begs the obvious question, if its Mini-B either way, can I use a 5-pin connector, or will that short things out and cause Total Protonic Reversal? The question isn't quite as dumb as it sounds. Sometimes connectors simply include an additional pin off to the side and if its not needed, no harm. Other times the spacing can be different, making using the wrong cable potentially what we call "A BAD THING".
  10. Jim Selleck

    Jim Selleck New Member

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    Addendum - Checking Wikipedia for the USB pinout specs for various connectors, ONLY 5-pin is listed for mini-B. That implies to me that ALL mini-B cables HAVE 5-pins, but only 4 of them may actually be wired in the cable.

    IF that assumption is correct, I'll be fine with the fully-wired 5-pin cable I ordered yesterday, as the TASCAM will (hopefully) use the 4 it needs and disregard the "extra".

    Hopefully.
  11. Jim Selleck

    Jim Selleck New Member

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    Addendum 2 (no... I'm not THAT guy, with the endless addenda, at least not normally) According to Cables 2 Go, in an incredibly unfortunate example of the worst of bad planning, there are (in fact) two entirely different USB Mini-b plug configurations, one having 4 pins and the other having 5 pins. Our Tascams have the 5 pin version, with the little extrusion. Why they are labeled as 4-pin is a mystery beyond my pay grade to solve.

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  12. Phil Tipping

    Phil Tipping Well-Known Member

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    Jim Selleck likes this.
  13. Jim Selleck

    Jim Selleck New Member

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    From:
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    Thank you Phil! By the way, I must digress to say your tutorial videos are wonderful and truly invaluable.

    Having reassured myself that there is only ONE proper USB mini-b 5-pin with only ONE wiring variant enroute to an A plug, I pulled a short one out of the bag from one of my older Nikon cameras and plugged it into the back of the DP-32SD. Then I pawed the shelves for an old Targus USB-2 hub with another 2 meters of cable on it. Between those, I just barely reached the computer via an ugly multi-colored spaghetti-link across the front of the desk just behind my keyboard, and the link WORKS!!! (the crowd goes wild)

    That enabled me to upgrade the firmware and experiment with transferring a few files to confirm that the arrangement will work to support the new workflow. This cabling kludge will suffice until tomorrow when the "official" direct 15 footer arrives.

    I do find it curious that Tascam couldn't figure a way to enable USB communication on a continuous in-the-background basis rather than a take-over-everything-while-you're-using-it mode. However, that's a minor inconvenience of no importance in the cosmic scheme.
    Phil Tipping likes this.