Comparing the 2488 neo and the dp24 (non-sd)

Discussion in '2488 and DP-24/32 Digital Portastudios' started by Scott Tribbey, Jul 21, 2018.

  1. Scott Tribbey

    Scott Tribbey New Member

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    Gear:
    2488, dp24, dp008
    Having both of these machines I started going through them to figure out what was different. It turns out quite a lot. Yes, the dp24/32 is a streamlined update to the 2488, but it would appear that the 2488 neo was, at least in regard to features, basically the pinnacle of the portastudio line. I still can't believe I got mine for $10! The original dp series added a few new features and much nicer displays, but lost many useful features found in the 2488 neo. We all know that the dp24/32 "sd" series didn't really add anything but was sadly, just another cost reduction effort from the original dp series.

    For those of you on the fence about which unit to hunt down here is a list I started to familiarize myself with these units. Basically I wanted to figure out if I had two largely redundant recorders. Turns out I don't and with the MIDI facilities it's easy to turn the both of them into a 16-input, 48 track setup!

    It's not an exhaustive feature list. It's really meant to highlight the differences though I do detail the effects a bit more. I know people complain about the dp effects being a bit noisy. I don't know if the 2488 effects are any better but the 2488 certainly had more DSP horsepower than the dp series so who knows. Has anybody compared them regarding SNR? Personal opinion... neither unit has any control of high frequency damping on the reverbs. Why oh why does anybody design a reverb without control over this critical realism parameter?!

    I understand cost reduction measures like hardware changes, but the loss of no-cost features like being able to store more than 10 effect setups is just puzzling.

    Feel free to add any corrections. I'm still learning these machines. I don't wish to post any inaccuracies in this list.

    Important note. One flaw in the 2488 series is that it relies on the main encoder for EVERYTHING! Unfortunately Tascam didn't choose a high durability optical encoder. They went with the cheap solution which means that many if not most 2488's are probably getting to the point where the encoders are starting to skip pulses which means they are a pain to use. They can be replaced if you know what you're doing. If not, be sure to look for the barely used condition when buying. No doubt the dp series will eventually have this same issue but with 13 encoders it should take a lot longer.


    2488 neo
    • Large monochrome white backlit display
    • Up to 128GB hard drive divided into 4 32GB partitions. Extra drive space will be left unallocated aside from 8GB FAT import/export partition.
    • 8 balanced inputs, 4 XLR/TRS, 4 1/4" TRS
    • Separate HI-Z input on front for guitar
    • Dual 1/4" pedal inputs on front
    • Varispeed recording and playback +-6%
    • SSA - Slow Speed Audition with constant pitch from normal down to half speed
    • Waveform editing mode
    • Audio scrubbing to (3.3mS) 1/10 frame accuracy at 30fps
    • Editable Mark list with naming facility
    • 999 level undo and full revert to previously saved version of song
    • Far more flexible effects with additions like Pitch Shifter, Gated Reverb. No idea if these effects are cleaner or noisier than the dp series.
    • Three effect sends. Separate Loop for internal "single" effect simultaneously available with Send 1 and Send 2
    • Large library of effects presets and user slots
    • Tempo & Time Signature maps for changes during song
    • Store/recall routing setups
    • Stereo sub mixer
    • Channel and Input linking (basically multiple two-element fader groups) This allows linked control of Fader, EQ, Digital gain and Sends
    • Visual track routing map
    • Visual mixer setup four channels at a time with Fader positions
    • Mixer scenes, up to 100 total!
    • Monitor muting
    • Mono monitoring
    • Repeat delay feature - up to 9.9s before starting the loop again.
    • SMF MIDI file player with variable speed
    • Visual Fader Null screen to show recalled fader levels vs physical positions
    • s/pdif IN and OUT, IN can be setup to replace an analog input pair
    • Extensive MIDI control of mix, scenes, recorder and effects
    • User labeling system for songs, marks, effect settings, etc.
    • Bigger but not really much heavier than dp-24, 17.6 lbs
    • Internal power supply
    • Main encoder gets used for everything and wears out.

    Input (mic) Effects (4 Chan avail w/ Multi-effect, 8 Chan w/o)
    • Vocal compressor (CMP)
    • De-esser (DSR)
    • Vocal exciter (EXC)
    • Noise suppressor (NSP)

    Multi-effect (5 stages for 1 input/mixdown channel only or stereo for linked inputs, can be on stereo track but effect input is mono)
    • Noise suppressor (noise gate)
    • Distortion, Overdrive or Compressor
    • Acoustic Guitar Sim or Amp modeler (pre-gain, tone, box size, post-gain)
    • Flanger, Phaser, Chorus, Exciter, Pitch Shifter, Tremolo, Vibrato, Wah
    • Delay (1s Max)

    Single Effect (1 "loop" bus effect for any number of channels)
    • Reverb Hall, Room, Live, or Studio (250mS pre-delay, 10s max, no HF damp!)
    • Delay (1s max for main and pre-delay)
    • Chorus (includes pre-delay up to 100mS)
    • Pitch Shifter (feedback delay up to 500mS - shimmer effect?)
    • Flanger (feedback delay up to 1s)
    • Phaser (4,8,12,16 step)
    • Gated Reverb (normal or reverse)

    Stereo Bus Dynamics Processor
    • Compressor or Expander

    Stereo Mastering Dynamics Processor
    • Compressor - Single or Multiband w/adjustable crossover points
    • EQ
    • Dithering



    dp-24
    • Much better color display than 2488
    • Much easier data handling and backup with SD cards
    • Very fast boot relative to 2488, though actual song edits/saving/loading can be slower
    • 8 balanced inputs, all XLR and 1/4" TRS
    • Triple function foot switch input - 1/8" front panel jack
    • Better physical UI, 13 encoders vs 1 main encoder
    • Timeline editing mode
    • Waveform editing mode - more flexible horizontal zoom than 2488
    • Audio scrubbing to (3.3mS) 1/10 frame accuracy at 30fps
    • 10 level undo, no song revert
    • Nice visual indicators for all mix setting but only one channel at a time
    • Monitor bounce bus
    • Fader Group (a single group of multiple linked faders)
    • Fixed tempo, no internal tempo changes during song
    • Import CD audio tracks
    • Smaller and easier to move around. 13.6 lbs
    • External power brick
    • Easy, no-mistakes shutdown
    • Full MIDI CC control of Fader, pan, digital trim, EQ, sends and effects
    • Very limited effect preset library and 10 user storage slots

    Input Dynamic Effects (2 Chan avail w/ Multi-effect, 8 Chan w/o)
    • Compressor (dual inputs can be linked)
    • Noise suppressor
    • De-esser (DSR)
    • Vocal exciter (EXC)

    Guitar Multi-effect (4 stages for 1 input only, can be on stereo track but input is mono)
    Can be placed in recording or playback chain for mixdown
    • Noise suppressor (noise gate)
    • Distortion, Overdrive or Compressor
    • Amp modeler (pre-gain, tone, box size, post-gain, reverb)
    • Flanger, Phaser, Chorus, Tremolo, Auto Wah, Delay

    Send Effect (bus effect on Send 1 for any number of channels)
    • Reverb Hall, Room, Live, Studio, Plate (250mS pre-delay, 10s max, no HF damp!)
    • Delay Stereo, Panning or Multitap (1s max for main and pre-delay)
    • Chorus (includes feedback delay up to 100mS)

    Stereo Mastering Dynamics Processor
    • Compressor - Single or Multiband w/adjustable crossover points
    • EQ
    • Dithering
    • Normalization
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018
  2. Scott Tribbey

    Scott Tribbey New Member

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    Gear:
    2488, dp24, dp008
    I just found another difference between these two machines.

    I hadn't realized that on the 2488, each channel of a stereo track (13-24) may be panned independently providing full panning control of all 24 tracks. Stereo tracks have to be recorded together of course but you could simultaneously record two mono instrument feeds on a stereo track of the 2488 and maintain full control of their individual position in the stereo image. Unfortunately it's another feature they removed from the dp24/32 including the latest sd versions.
    DASCAMAN likes this.
  3. Scott Tribbey

    Scott Tribbey New Member

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    It would seem worthwhile to make this a sticky post. The point is to compare these machines for prospective buyers.
  4. -mjk-

    -mjk- Moderator Staff Member

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    From:
    Hukou Township, Hsinchu County, Taiwan
    Gear:
    DP-32, | 2A Mixer, A3440
    That's what you do when you bounce to stereo tracks on a DP. You pan the sources where you want them in the stereo field. So I don't know what you mean by "another feature they removed".

    Edit: I do understand what you mean. The DP machines are true "linked" channels with hard panning. The 2488 tracks are more like grouped channels with independent pans. I don't see this either as an obstacle or cost-saving measure. It's just different implementation on either machine.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
  5. Scott Tribbey

    Scott Tribbey New Member

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    It's a different implementation but also more flexible. Yes, a bounce can achieve the same on the DP but why did they go with hard panning on the stereo tracks at all? It was probably another cost reduction measure for the DP series. Leaving 12 channels hard panned almost certainly reduced the signal routing DSP load from the 2488 implementation. The 2488 also had more extensive effects support. I suspect they cost-reduced the DSP in the dp series and had to cut a number of corners including effects and panning flexibility, s/pdif I/O etc.

    With the Neo you maintain full panning control over all 24 tracks without having to bounce making it more of a true 24 track system. The DP provides 12 variable pan tracks along with 6 hard left and 6 more hard right. Not nearly as flexible without jumping through extra bounce stages.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
    DASCAMAN likes this.
  6. Scott Tribbey

    Scott Tribbey New Member

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    Gear:
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    I just figured out that the 2488 Neo can be modernized with a SSD fairly easily.

    In late production runs off the Neo, Tascam ran out of sources for IDE hard drives (or they just got too expensive) so they added a TEAC IDE-to-SATA converter and shipped the Neo's with SATA drives. For these machines, simply swapping in a SATA SSD works perfectly or at least it did for me.

    For earlier Neo's and possibly earlier 2488's an aftermarket IDE-to-SATA converter MIGHT work just as well.

    For more details read this thread.

    http://www.tascamforums.com/threads/2488-neo-ssd-upgrade.7112/
    -mjk- likes this.