Tascam DP-008

I bought this unit to replace my trusty old Boss Micro BR. The deal on Musician’s Friend was too good to pass, so I pulled the trigger and bought it new for $169.99. I was attracted by multiple inputs, XLR inputs and analog feel of all the controls on the front instead of wandering through Boss menus to tweak track settings.

Tascam DP-008 Top
  • 8 tracks with dedicated level, pan and reverb knobs
  • Built in stereo mics
  • Metronome
  • Chromatic Tuner
  • Can be powered with 4 AA batteries or an optional power adapter
Inputs and Outputs
  • Two 1/4″ and two XLR inputs. 1/4″ inputs support guitar/mic and line level signal
  • Footswitch input (never needed that)
  • Line out
  • Headphone out
Tascam DP-008 Inputs
What I like about it?
  • User interface has that traditional analog feel that doesn’t require spending too much time digging through the menus.
  • Can record from two inputs at the same time. This comes handy to me because I can hook up a mic and DI signal from Palmer PDI-09 at the same time and blend between the two.
  • I like the way parametric EQs work. You still have to do it from the menu, as there are no knobs, but it’s nice to have EQs for each track and separate input EQ settings.
  • Sound quality is good, also not very noisy.
What I DON’T like about it?
  • Metronome is pretty much useless. Even with level set to 100 you can barely hear it while playing. You cannot change metronome sound to something more noticeable or boost the volume so you can actually hear it. Maybe you would be able to hear it with acoustic guitar or some quiet instrument, but distorted guitar completely covers it. I was hoping that it will solve my metronome needs, but I guess I’ll have to buy a separate metronome 🙁
  • Input and track level potentiometers have weird taper. There’s a sudden jump in volume in the last 20% of the rotation. I would expect level to raise gradually throughout the whole travel of the knob.
  • For some reason it’s not easy to plug in the headphones. Maybe it’s just with my Sony MDRs, but I plugged them in many devices and never had issues.
  • Tuner works good for higher 5 strings, but it doesn’t track low E string very well. It takes a few seconds to detect the pitch and it’s a bit flaky. It’s even worse if you use dropped tunings or 7-string.
  • Startup procedure is a bit weird. As soon as you press the ON button, the screen lights up, but unless you hold the ON button for 3 seconds it will turn back off. There’s no need for this, the button is recessed, so there’s no way to unintentionally turn it on.
  • It’s not as guitar oriented as Micro BR is. Other than guitar/line switch on the back, there aren’t that many features that would help a (bedroom) guitarist. From one standpoint, it’s good to have a general tool that any musician can use because you’re targeting a wider audience. But I am missing some features Micro BR had, like rhythm machine or simulations of at least cabinets, if not the whole amps and effects. Without that, you cannot just plug your guitar straight in and record.
Video Clips

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This is a good unit despite several annoyances I listed above. Is it worth the money? Yes, if you can get as good deal as I did. For the full price (used to be $300, now it’s around $230) I would expect fewer bugs.

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    The idea behind this site is to share my experience with Do It Yourself approach to guitars, amplifiers and pedals. Whether you want to save a couple of bucks by performing a mod or upgrade yourself instead of paying a tech, or want to build your own piece of gear from scratch, I'm sure you will find something interesting here. Also, this is the home of DIY Layout Creator, a free piece of software for drawing circuit layouts and schematics, written with DIY enthusiasts in mind.