How long can a Tascam DM4800 Last?

Discussion in 'TASCAM DM-3200 & DM-4800' started by John Flynn, May 2, 2021 at 4:21 AM.

  1. John Flynn

    John Flynn Member

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    Shankill, Dublin Ireland
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    Tascam DM4800 IF-FW
    I’m using a Tascam DM4800 with PTHD11 into an Early 2008 Mac Pro 3,1 for many many years with no issues thankfully. My computer is speced to the max and the Tascam has the meter bridge, computer card and 3 analogue cards but whatever way I look at it the system is old. The OS is Mavericks and I haven’t updated because everything works as is without issues. How long realistically can this system last though. The desk and computer are at least 13 years old and when the system does die what could one replace the lot with?
  2. -mjk-

    -mjk- Moderator Staff Member

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    On audio consoles, the things that usually go bad are power supplies and electrolytic capacitors. Unless you do something damaging like static discharge you should be able to keep that thing running for several decades or more. There are many vintage consoles out there. I personally have a Soundcraft Ghost from 1995 that is just as reliable today as it was when it was new.
  3. John Flynn

    John Flynn Member

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    I always saw the DM4800 as basically more of a large computer in the shape of a desk than a console like an old analogue one so if you are correct this is great news. I worry that in the event of a breakdown that parts couldn’t be found or that a technician would have little interest in fixing it due to its age.
    If I update the computer the old FireWire connection might be hard to connect and of course modern is systems might not work eity the old driver
  4. -mjk-

    -mjk- Moderator Staff Member

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    In some studios where I worked, the vintage gear was never powered off. Power cycles kill.
  5. Arjan P

    Arjan P Veteran

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    Yes, it's possible that you'd be hard pressed to find someone to repair the board, though the components that are most likely to fail over time should be easy enough to find (like mjk said).

    As for updating the computer you should first ask yourself why you want that. I could think of reasons (using newer plugins, update the DAW to a more current version with new features, etc.) but if the system does what you need, why change? On the other hand - I have a 10 year old PC running the current Windows 10, current Cubase and also current Wavelab software. And another member on the forum also just recently built a brand new PC that works great with the DM.

    If the balance goes to an upgrade of the computer though, I'd seriously consider going to Windows, which is much more future proof than Mac. For example, I have still hardware connected and functioning that is close to 20 years old: with Apple you might be lucky to have 5-year old hardware still functional.
  6. John Flynn

    John Flynn Member

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    I’ve always used Mac for recording and I suppose I’m used to it though I can use windows machines. I own two modern Dell PC’s for other jobs and they are great.
    The Presonus Studio live series are probably the nearest thing to a Tascam being made today and are at a reasonable price point. stull wouldn’t change my Tascam and old computer unless I had no other option. The new Mac Pro’s are certainly out of my price range but I suppose an iMac or high specked Mac mini might be an option for the computer. Would probably need to upgrade PT as well if I had to go that way
    -mjk- likes this.
  7. -mjk-

    -mjk- Moderator Staff Member

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