Now we’re talking. Tascam’s upcoming HD-P2 is finally a portable Compact Flash recorder that doesn’t skimp on pro features. Incredibly, its street price will be under US$1000, but the preliminary specs read like a device costing a lot more, and by providing timecode input on a cheap device, it’s an indie filmmaker’s dream recorder:

  • Up to 192 kHz / 24-bit
  • Absolutely silent (no transport noise, cough, DAT!), latched CF slot (so it doesn’t pop out accidentally)
  • Broadcast WAVE recording
  • FireWire for connecting to PC/MAC for instant file access
  • Data loss protection (continually re-saves data)
  • XLR mic inputs with phantom power and analog peak limiting
  • Unbalanced RCA I/O plus S/PDIF digital I/O
  • Built-in mic and speaker
  • Runs on AA batteries for 5.5 hours (battery pack could be an accessory in the future, a la the DA-P1)
  • Timecode input, video clock input, input chasing

  • Let’s focus on that last one for a moment: a $900 street recorder will have timecode input for sync in video shoots. That’s something even most DAT recorders don’t have. Edirol’s R-4 recorder is great, and has a 40GB hard drive instead of a CF slot, but it costs $600-700 more and lacks sync.

    Timecode in has never been this cheap before. People might actually start syncing their audio recordings. Wow.

    I got a chance to handle this box at AES, and quite simply, it’s beautiful. It’s got the same solid, crisp feel as Tascam’s DA-P1 portable DAT I’ve used a zillion times. It’s simple and inexpensive enough that amateurs and education will pick it up, but with serious enough features that it could become a hallmark of video shoots. Bravo, Tascam.

    Tascam HD-P2 Recorder [Product Info]

    • Guest

      mono? stereo? 5.1? 7.1? n.m?

    • Guest

      at 192Khz that Compact flash is going to get eaten up pretty quick. I suppose for film it would be okay because you could have many compact flash cards, to use like "reels" but if you want to record something more than ten minutes in lenght you will run into problems

    • Guest

      You don't say if there are mic preamps
      or phantom power on the unit.

      That matters 🙂

    • Guest

      Looks and feels great but how does it sound? Anyone know?

    • Guest

      192k isn't a concern to me, but like others I'm cuurious about what's left out in the coverage: channels (2? dual mono?), sound quality, dynamic range.

    • admin

      It's a stereo recorder.

      Yes, mic preamps, phantom power, the lot. The side of it looks exactly like the DA-P1 DAT recorder. And those familiar with Tascam recorders, audio quality is always exceptional. Heard a brief test at AES; sounds great.

    • reflex

      I've been patiently waiting for something like this to use on film shoots. Since timecode is a rare luxury for me, I might still go for the new M-Audio box, though. Thanks for an informative and timely writeup, Peter.

    • Guest

      "And those familiar with Tascam recorders, audio quality is always exceptional."

      couldnt agree sorry
      the DAP-1 was ok if yo uare recording loud sounds, but anything even vaguely quiet eg ambiences/field recording you could hear the preamps hiss whenever the gainwas cranked above about 4 – 5 out of 10…. and thats with the same mic (a Sanken CS-5) that soudns clean as when cranked ona fostex FR2… I hope Tascam have repalced those crappy DAP-1 mic preamps!!!!
      timecode tho eh? mmmmmmmm

    • Guest

      Dam acronyms… What does the P2 stand for? And what is that slot you care barely see in the side photo?

    • Guest
    • Guest
    • Guest

      Does anyone actually record Dialogue at 192Khz?

    • Guest

      Tascam should have taken a clue from the Sound Devices products and placed LED meters on the unit. LCD displays are hard to view at a quick glance. Maybe the new angled display will help.

      Still, I'm anxious to hear the unit.
      Ultimately, two things matter to me. Sound and Durability. The Fostex FR-2 sounds decent but I found it not at all durable.

      My deflated 2¢.

    • Guest

      So at $1000 each you could buy 12 of these new TASCAM P2 recorders for the price of a DEVA 5. That would make 24 channels and 12 different recorders with firewire IO that you could place in 12 different locations compared to the DEVA. Dude, bye bye DEVA!!!!

    • Guest

      I'm very interested to find out about the quality and headroom of the pre's and the quality and power of the headphone amp. Both are pretty noisy on my DA-P1 I've used hundreds of times. Is there a solid release date on this unit?

    • Guest

      Anyone know the dimensions of the Tascam HD-P2?

    • Guest

      26 cm x 20 cm x 6,5 cm
      Weight: 1 kg. with batteries

    • Guest

      I've been trying to find a TASCAM distributor who actual has one to sell, or knows who does. And where are the reviews by (semi)pro-audio users?

    • Guest

      … you can buy one at the moment 1.nov. 2005… 🙁
      There are som webshops that claims to sell them… but I suspect they can't deliver until mid-november or december…

    • admin

      Tascam tells me it's shipping this month.

      Anyway, it's too new for a full review. Hopefully we'll get to try one in person soon. I know we're all eagerly anticipating this one, to see if it's finally the serious CF recorder we've been waiting for.


    • Guest

      Try this link…



    • Guest

      As a Portadat user until recently, things I want to know about:

      1. Preamp quality.
      2. A/D quality.
      3. Phantom power?
      4. Monitoring options: I use Mid-Sid micing a lot, so M/S monitoring is important to me.
      5. Powering: Is this unit mains only? If battery, what sort?

    • Guest

      1. Preamp quality.
      2. A/D quality.
      3. Phantom power?

      Thinking about the same and how it compares to Fostex similar unit.

      Well,think we could stand in front of another step up in the A/D quality anyway as new chips come up.Probably not a concern anymore…

      It's mainly the
      preamps I'm concerned about. Very important.

    • dgrizzle

      I'll probably buy a Tascam HD-P2 to replace my Tascam DA-P1 Portable DAT.

      Considering alternatives cost 4X – 6X multiples of the HD-P2, this is either a bargain or else built cheap and disposable. My past expereice with Tascam has been very good.

      A couple of notes:

      The HD-P2 does not have time code out during playback, which may be a negative for some projects such as music videos.

      On the Tascam website, there is a recording time chart for various sample rates and bit depths. This was a concern for me, but now a non-issue.

      Some others have posted negative comments about Tascam DA-P1 mic pre-amps. I think their comments were overly harsh. You can always spend $1200 on a Sound Devices 302 Field Mixer, or $2500 on a 442 4-channel.

      For me, $999 on the Tascam HD-P2 is worth it for Firewire alone, to get away from S/PDIF transfers off DAT tape. If the sound quality is comparable to a DA-P1, this new recorder is a real bargain.

      BTW – I do field recording with Sennheiser MKH series condenser microphones, which I consider to be superb (each mic costing more than the DA-P1 or the HD-P2 recorders). Specifically, I own and use: MKH-40 cardiod, MKH-30 bi-directional for mid-side stereo, and MKH-60 short shotgun. I'm doing location audio for video (voice, SFX, sound design, some music), not super critical work in a specially designed recording studio. I've gotten superb results from my Tascam DA-P1 DAT. The Tascam HD-P2, if anything, specs out much better.

    • Michael

      I feel like I must share my experience with Tascam HD P2. I use it for recording high deffinition sound effects and atmospheres. So here what I can say about this:


      Good dynamic range and frequency responce.

      Nice preamps and converters.

      Atractive price.


      Noisy premps.

      Build quality is defenitelly NOT pro. It's made from delicate cheap plastic.

      Inner wire (thin basic wire) is worse than used in a "consumer radios".

      It's very difficult to operate it in the field. Many important controls are out of your fingers. If it's in the Porta Brace you'll hate your life! For instance if you want to power it off, you'll need first to press "power" button and than find (located far away) "select" button to complete the operation. So it's almost impossible to work with it when its on the shoulder. Cause you'll find yourself more time trying to find switchers and controls rather working.

      My device is….down. After 2 months and only one project done!

      In the beginning I started to hear very loud pink noise in the left channel. Now it's in both left and right channels.

      Even without any microphones connected and in any switchers positions…….And I treated it like a baby!!!!!

      I tried conntacting Tascam customer support in US and they just don't respond! After 3 e-mails to them I gave up and I don't know what to do.

      This device is defenitly NOT for professionals in a field!

      If you searching for something similar look at Fostex FR2 or Sound Devices 722.

      Conclusion: Tascam HD-P2 huge disappointment!

    • Hi guys! It`s nice to see that people are into CF recording. It is the absolute best way to go. I have been using the FOSTEX FR2 with a DCS AD converter which is amazing. Now, I am looking into something to record a race car in Italia and it has to sound good because I cannot use the DCS. So, is it the Tascam or the new Sound Devices 702 CF only recorder? Thanks Michael for your comments on the Tascam. It looks great for the money, but the Sound Devices at twice the bread will probably outlast the Tascam and sound better from the outset. What to do??? todd/ma

    • Michael

      Hi todd,

      I think if you are going to record a race car you'll need to be very portable and fast in operating. You should consider folowing facts from Tascam HD-P2:

      1. Very sensetive to dust and physical frictions due its delicate construction.

      2. Stupidly orginized buttons, effecting your functionality's speed in the field. If you run it on internal batterries you'll probably will turn it on and off to save power. Turning on takes aprox: 20 sec, turning off requires from you pressing two buttons in combination.

      3. If you are going to run with it your record level controls will be easilly effected by any movement of your body.

      4. If you want to change projects or rercord in different resolution, you'll need time. Other wise to stop and concentrate on what you are doing. It's not like in fostex you can switch from 48 KHz to 96 in one switch move…

      Hope it helps

    • Mark Woll

      Well should I get it or hang on to my Nagra 4?

    • I have bought a Tascam HD-P2 I see it comes with a bay to install 8 AA batteries I was wondering when power supply is plugged in does it charge the batteries or must I get a AA battery charger

      Thank you

    • Guest2

      I use this unit for recording live concerts. For my purpose, it the P2 does a great job. Way exceeded my expectations. On a set of AA rechargeables, I get 5 hours and 10 minutes of recording time, with phantom power and backlight on.

      Granted, the buttons are not layed out great, but they are not that much of a nuisance for me since I'm not mobile with it.

      A much better unit than the Marantz 671, since the 671 needs to run the -20 pad if your running any kind of high sensitive condensor mic (ex. AKG 480s, Neumann 184s, shotguns, etc.) and the 671 will not accept 8GB compact flash cards.

      The P2 mignt not sound as nice the Fostex FR2, but not bad either. The reason I chose P2 over the FR2 was because the FR2 has weak internal powering. 2 hours on a set of AA's doesn't cut it for me. And I don't want to carry around a SLA.

      The P2 is a great bargain for the price. The Oade Brothers will be doing a preamp mod in the Fall '06 (

      I don't judge an item on how it feels in my hands, I judge it on how it sounds and how it performs. (wink)

      P.S. yes, you can plug in the AC adapter, while running on the AA's, seemlessly. Not pops in the recording.

    • arthur

      I have experienced the same problems as those listed above by Micheal on 4/20/06.

      Static completely took over the HD P2 and even when no mics were connected to the XLR inputs.

      I spoke with Tascam tech support, they simply told me to send it in……….now waiting.

      Micheal, wondering how your problems were resolved with this unit?

    • Audley Byer


      I am looking to invest in a good field recorder, that will be reliable and trouble-free. I have read the reviews on many brands and models, and I had figured that the Tascam HD-P2 was the ideal machine, until read the discouraging comments about it on this site, especially that of poor after-sales service from Tascam manufacturers!! Now I'm at a total lost as what to buy! I have had experience with a Tascam DAP-1 which has done thousands of trouble-free recording hours for a local radio station. But it appears that the DAP-1 is no longer available on the market. How can I be advised? What to purchase? Hoping to get a response.

    • Mike

      Save your money and buy a sound device recorder.

      THey at least will support compact flash larger than 8gbs.

      Can you honestly believe this thing can record 192/24 yet can't record more than 8gbs without locking up?

      That is only 2 hours of recording..

      For the last 2 years many of us have been waiting on new firmware to address the issue of not being able to record past 7.99 gbs on cards larger than 8gbs.

      Well it's going to be another 2 years and longer because Tascam doesn't care. Nowhere on their site do they say this.

      They only list cards that have been tested and leave you to assume it would support larger capacity cards as they become available.

      This is not true. I could not record past 7.99 gbs of data on a 16 gb San Disk III extreme card.

    • Paul

      Mike, fortunately you were at least 1 year and 3 months out on your prediction. Tascam has released a firmware update as of 1 december 2009 which supports 8gb + CF. You'll have to look on as appears to ignoring the existence of this update.

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    • This unit only chases timecode. It does not generate it. I bought this unit years ago and it was a good unit for 2 channel mixing but I was pretty pissed when i couldn’t jam a slate to it. Whoever wrote this article didn’t know what they were talking about.