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Tascam is known for building a number of different portable recorders featuring stereo mics and more. The DR-680 is a step above many of Tascam’s previously released recorders in that it features eight different inputs, six XLR mic preamps, S/PDIF digital I/O, dedicated outs for each of its recording channels, and more. It can even be synced up with an external clock. You can record at a 24-bit, 96kHz rate, and you can also set up the DR-680 to record two channels of stereo PCM at rates up to 192 kHz. All of your data is stored digitally on SDHC cards, making it very quick and easy to swap out storage on the go.
How well does the Tascam DR-680 perform out in the field? Well, when used to record in a home environment without any top studio equipment, the DR-680 performed quite well. It features great transparency, and the preamps bring in a lot of gain without any excessive noise. The ability to make a two-channel stereo mix off the input and immediately make a stereo track is very helpful in giving feedback immediately.
The DR-680’s operating system allows users to store three naming presets so it’s very easy to manage your files. This lets you scroll through all the letters and create file names before you head out to record, so there’s no time wasted in naming. Since the recorder uses SDHC cards, transferring your files to a PC is incredibly easy—just pop the card into the computer’s reader or, if the computer doesn’t have a SD reader, connect the device via USB cable.
All in all, the Tascam DR-680 features great sound quality and has plenty of different I/O options. It records very well, is lightweight, and has a great number of features. You won’t find a better portable recorder for the price (which is around $1,399).
Tascam DR-680 Winter NAMM 2010 Demo