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Tascam iXZ - cheap alternative to preamps/audio recorders
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    Connector XLR
    Input Level -42dBu to +2.0dBu
    Maximum Input Level +2.0dBu
    Input Impedance 2.4k Ohms

    Phones/Line Out 1/8" (3.5 mm) stereo mini jack
    Connection Plug 1/8" (3.5 mm) 4 Pole Plug, 5.9" (150 mm) for iPod touch, iPhone, iPad
    Power Requirements AA batteries x 2 (when using microphone input)
    Power Consumption 0.33 W (Phantom Power 5.0mA)
    Battery Life (approx.) 15 hrs (Phantom Power 5.0mA)
    Dimensions (WxHxD) 4.2 x 1.6 x 1.8" (10.6 x 4.0 x 4.5 cm)
    Weight 3.7 oz (87 g)
  • 25 Replies sorted by
  • Nice. I for one am sick of syncing externally-recorded audio...
  • Keeps me in a job ;p
  • will I be able to connect my NTG-3? I mean will it have enough power?
  • I don't know what to choose. My Tascam 100 doesnt work for me. This one doesn't seem to have a screw hole plus I don't know if it gives you enough phantom power.
  • @shrigg DualEyes / PluralEyes can do it for you…
  • @nomad

    I find it quicker & easier to just do it by hand, I don't like all the new timelines Pluraleyes spawns
  • The problem is that this Tascam iXZ is Line Out level, but a cam like GH2 needs Mic out level (like Fostex DC-R302).
  • Sam. Whats the price on the sescom cable ? It does not look like its powered, so I wonder how the level is changed.
  • It's silly easy to build your own resistive attenuation network inside a cable. It's just 4 tiny 1/8W resistors, barely visible to the naked eye. If you could somehow use SMT surface mount resistors you could make the circuit even smaller.

    Each channel (left/right) needs one resistor in series with the signal and one resistor from signal to ground. This network should be at the camera end of the cable, not the mic/preamp. For 40db loss, series = 7500 ohm and shunt = 150 ohms. For 30db, change the series resistor to 2200 ohms. Use the right sized stereo mini plug and you could fit the resistors inside the shell.

    I've done this and it works great. It's nothing more or less than what Sescom is doing. If you're handy with soldering cables, you can make this up with parts laying around for next to nothing.
  • Yup. I was fully aware when I paid £35 for the sescom cable that I could build my own with a few resistors, but I was concerned about a self made setup breaking in the field and decided to shell out on the cable. It didn't occur to me that the resistors could fit inside the plug.
  • So, in fact, Tascam iXZ needs cable replacement (with smaller plug for GH2 also :-) ) and attenuation made.

    Anyone plans to buy and test this $49 preamp?
  • Nice thing about this is that it can plug directly into the rear barrel of a shotgun mic, i.e. no XLR cable required.
  • If this will be decent it could be one small business.
    Changing cable, adding padding and 1/4" screw.
  • @LPowell very good point - just need a shockmount for your mic and its mounted!
  • Speculation, I do not own this product...
    Something to keep in mind is that this product is specifically labeled "for iPad/iPod/iPhone" and the specifications state it has a 4-pole connector. According to teh intarwebs (link below) the pinout for these connectors is as follows: 1-left, 2-right, 3-ground, 4-mic. That means that if it's designed to provide recording capability to these devices it likely places it's MONO mic signal on the 4th pin. If you plug this into any kind of standard stereo 3.5mm connector it will short the mic signal to ground and you'll get nothing. You would either need to make a special cable that routes pin 4 -> pin 1 or buy some sort of adapter (assuming one exists).
  • @wigginjs

    It had been already discussed.
    Best is to replace cable.
  • Seems like a better deal to get the ART USB Dual Pre.

    For $20 more, you get 2 combo (XLR & 1/4") inputs, phantom power, attenuated output, headphone output, and will act as a USB device when connected to a computer.

    Both are very similar in size, though the USB Dual Pre is a bit deeper.
  • So did anyone buy this and test?
  • I just got the ART USB Dual Pre onto my table.

    First impressions: When connected to shotgun (Sennheiser MKH 416), phantom on (for sure..), all knobs to maximum I have to get close to the mic and speak quite loud to get the green signal LED flashing. I have to cry straight into the mic to get the red clip LED turning on. I can hear myself in the headphones (Sennheiser HD 25 SP) "ok" when turning monitor level to max, but there I can´t go any higher. I doubt I could judge a sound further away.

    This means: The max sensitivity of this preamp is more for recording voice/instruments directly with a mic then recording on set. Since the GH2 has mic level input it and you could get more sensitive in ear headphones this might work out anyways, but for sure the indicators on the device are pretty useless.
  • Second impression:

    The gain knob is in the lower 3/4 of the range quite useless. In the upper 1/4 its ok, but at the very end between 40 and 48 db there you suddenly get much more amplification that you would exect. Noise level is also suddenly raising.

    There is no way to monitor one channel on both ears.


    I´ve build a line level to mic level adapter (10 Kohm + ca 250 Ohm.. should have gone 10 kOhm + 400..)
    The signal the cam records is a bit low, about -10db peaking unless i hit the mic. AGC set to 203.
    What comes out at the end is quite good quality, very small amount of noise.

    BUT: The Headphone output is simply to low, you can not monitor in a crowded place. We will get a FiiO E6 and see if this helps.
  • Can I use this with something like a Rode Videomic. And if so, how would the quality compare to say a tascam dr-07? Anyone have any experience?
  • I ordered the Tascam iXZ and tried to plug an Audio Technica AT875R short shotgun mic directly into its XLR socket. Unfortunately, the outer rim of the Tascam's XLR socket is too narrow to accept the width of the Audio Technica microphone barrel. This makes it necessary to use a separate XLR cable to connect the two, which pretty much eliminates the convenience factor of using the Tascam instead of a Zoom H4n.
  • Interesting little product. But for doing serious audio, this is all moot unless there is a way to turn off the auto gain compensation (ie the really slow annoying compression) of the camera's audio input. For instance, you can't record music with any dynamic range very accurately if the camera is trying to auto adjust the levels all the time :) But this might be an interesting product for other purposes, like adding phantom power to a small recorder with only a 1/8" input.
  • I just got the iXZ and the sescom 3.5mm to 2.5mm cable with attenuation...plugged in a sennheiser 416 shotgun, powered up, plugged into GH2, and got nothing. Tested with both phantoms on (onboard mic phantom and iXZ phantom), listened through headphones, little to no audio can be heard.

    Am I missing something here?

    And shotgun mics cannot be connected directly.

    Thinking about selling it right about now..