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Thread: Difference between the Tascam 488 and 488 MKII?

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    shaduna3 is offline Newbie
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    Difference between the Tascam 488 and 488 MKII?

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    I own a Tascam 488 MKII. Bought it brand new in 1998. Paid top dollar. It's scarey how little it's worth today. It has never been used. My former husband has the owner's manual, but claims not to know where it is...

    I am completely ignorant about recording, but I am determined to learn how to use this machine. It will serve my purposes quite well. I recently bought an owner's manual off Ebay (PDF) not realizing it was for a 488. I've not been able to locate a MKII manual. So until I do, I'd like to know what the differences between the two are. Will I be able to sufficiently glean from the 488 manual? I also bought "Using Your Portable Studio" by Peter McIan. It has a 488 MKII on the cover. It's a start!

    Anyone willing to share knowledge?

    Sharon Dunaway

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    monty's Avatar
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    I think they're almost the same. I'm not sure about the number of auxiliary outputs or effects inputs, etc, but for me the major difference is the sweepable mid-frequency EQ. I think the actual operation and control section is the same. I'm sure Ghost or Reel will pop in and give you a more detailed explanation, but the 488 manual should suffice for your needs.

    Oh, and what you should really do, is sell it to me...

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    Mark7's Avatar
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    488 has two mic/line channels and six line only
    488 MKII has four mic/line channels and four line only
    488 has no phantom power
    488 MKII has phantom power (via two xlr jacks) on channels 1 and 2
    488 has hi and lo shelving eq only
    488 MKII has hi and lo shelving plus sweepable mid

    Get the MKII back.
    Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital recording is a pretty neat idea.

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    The Green Hornet is offline Been Here, Posted That
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    Yo Shanduna:

    One thing you need to know about the 488 MKII is that if you're going to over-dub, record one or two tracks, and then record a 3rd and a 4th, etc., is that the RECORDED TRACKS must be put into the CUE mode of the recorder.

    If you you don't do this, everything will get screwed up and you might lose tracks, etc.

    Your 488 manual should cover most of the bases of the 488 MKII--I had two of those machines and I have the manual.

    It's a very good 8 tracker and, yes, like most gear that becomes outdated, it loses value except for a person who "just wants to use that machine."

    Once you use a digital SIAB and don't have to wait for the tape to rewind, you will never go back.

    But, enjoy your 488; you will have lots of fun with it and it does do a good recording job.

    Green Hornet

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    monty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Green Hornet
    Once you use a digital SIAB and don't have to wait for the tape to rewind, you will never go back.
    He's a liar, Shaduna3. I have a computer based system and a stand alone digital multitracker...AND the 488mkll. Cassette recorders are easy to use when you want to catch a practice session while playing in bed. Then the track can be used later in a digital if it might just happen to be something cool. Quit lying, Green guy...

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    The Green Hornet is offline Been Here, Posted That
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    Yo Monty:

    The Green Hornet never lies, well almost never.

    If you can "play in bed" and record then rewind you may have discovered something very pukka about the 488.

    I enjoyed the box but it has its pluses and re-wind minuses.

    I did remaster tracks from the 488 via my digital SIAB--well, they came out pretty good but once you have hiss, a digital box reproduces the hiss even better; but, it didn't hiss me off.

    Merry Christmas
    Green Hornet

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    monty's Avatar
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    I'm usually playing my guitar with some kind of distortion when I'm in my bed, so hiss doesn't seem to be much of a problem for me. Come to think of it, even without distortion the hiss on my 488mkll isn't noticable.

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    The Green Hornet is offline Been Here, Posted That
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    Yo Monty:

    If you fall asleep while recording, does the tape flapping noise at the end wake you up?

    Heh, heh.

    Like I said, the 488 is a good SIAB--AND, have a cool Yule.

    Green Hornet

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    shaduna3 is offline Newbie
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    Thanks for the info!

    Green Hornet, Monty, Mark 7,

    I really appreciate the information. Thank you so much. I've got every little thing to learn. Just started reading John McIan's book, so in a few days I'll have a clearer understanding of what you're talking about!! I know I'll have questions as I go. Just had a funny thought. I said it's '98 brand new, never been used. You think I'd better plug it in and see if it'll turn on? Might be a good place to start before I waste anymore of your time!! Hmmm. Now where's the "on" button? --Just kidding. I'll be back for more mentoring, if my machine is alive and well.

    Many thanks. SD

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    Mark7's Avatar
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    John McIan?

    You don't mean Peter McIan, do you?
    Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital recording is a pretty neat idea.

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