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Rating and Reviews: Tascam FW-1804

18-in/12-out rackmount audio interface. 24-bit / 96kHz digital audio.

User Ratings
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"Tascam still delivers . . ." submitted January 9, 2006

By a customer from giganet.net
Overall
Sound
Features
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Some, well, OK, a lot
Music Style: Chamber music
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Sound: Not too bad for 500 bucks. Feature: 18 ins and a bunch of outs! 'nuff, I'd say Quality: Good quality. 500 buck quality. Value: I cannot complain about the price/value ratio on the FW 1804. Have to say, it is certainly worth the price. Manufacturer Support: Prepare to wait a while with Tascam. Seems they are quite busy. Could be because they are a HUGE outfit, and have to deal with a bunch of questions? The Wow Factor: I have seen some units that "look a little snazzier" but this one is no slouch, either. It's cleanly designed, and well thought out. I wish the phantom power switch had a light indicator though. Overall: It will take a mighty nice unit (with a price to match) to coerce me into buying something else. I looked for two years before finding this"just right" unit.
7 of 8 people (87.5%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Tascam's secret gem." submitted October 21, 2007

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Electronic, Alternative, Classical
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Sound: I've had this unit for a while now and it sounds great. This unit gives you that "what you hear is what you get" feeling. The preamps and A/D conversion is actually pretty good. I'd say you would have to jump to something over $1000+ before you get any noticeable improvement. The D/A is fine at this price point. Feature: For less than $400, you cannot get an 18x12 FireWire interface that has 4 preamps and ADAT. Sure, it lacks some outputs, but you can always add an 8 channel A/D D/A box via ADAT if you need it. The software package is alright--it will get you started if you don't have any. However, I would invest in something a bit newer. Ease of Use: Very easy to install. Just make sure your computer or laptop has the right FireWire chip. My motherboard uses a TI chip and have had zero problems -- no gliches or pops at 256 sample latency (medium usage) or even 128 (light usage). The drivers are a little old, but ASIO work fine. Just make sure you don't use multiple audio programs at a time (ASIO cannot handle more than one program at a time). Quality: Pretty decent unit. It's a little heavy and bulky, so it really belongs on the rack at your studio. Build quality is better than most interfaces at this price range. Some people have complained that the trim knobs are little loose. They are, but if you push in a little while turning them, the action becomes much better ... and it becomes a lot easier to make fine adjustments. Value: Excellent value for the number of inputs. The sound quality is pretty much like everything I've heard in the $300-$1000 range. I would highly recommend this unit to anyone on a budget looking for something a step up from those 2x2 $100-200 soundcards. Manufacturer Support: I've yet to contact support since the unit works as expected. However, I've heard that their support can be "hit or miss". I did a ton of research before buying this unit thought and most of the problems seem to stem from poorly built computers (no TI firewire chip). The Wow Factor: Very nice looking unit. Looks "pro" on the rack. I also love how the ins/outs are on the back. It is a lot easier to manage cable clutter back there than with wires hanging from the front. Overall: Again, this is an excellent product. I believe that SoS reviewed this unit a couple of years ago and what they mentioned is pretty accurate. I don't see too many units that can give you a rackmounted, 18x12 unit at this price.
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"Tascam's FW 1804, finally an audio interface with some "guts" and worthy of the price." submitted March 23, 2005

By a customer from vital.com
Overall
Sound
Features
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: I have some experience with studio recording.
Music Style: Electro-fuzed synthetical jive, and stuff.
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
Sound: Most excellent. Typical of Tascam's mid-to-high-end gear. Clean, accurate audio conversions. Works well with my Tascam CDRW 750. Feature: In a small studio, which I have, this unit comes with PLENTY of useful features. More than enough for my purposes. Comes with a tough firewire cable. This unit has the prized ADAT I/O which most other units within its price range are sadly lacking. With its various digital I/Os, I can connect all of my equipment and remain in the digital realm. Quality: I decided to stick with Tascam, (I already own several other devices made by them) and have been completely satisfied with the quality of their products. This is no exception. High quality unit. Value: This unit is worth every penny. Not REAL cheap, but not REAL expensive either. Manufacturer Support: Support is there if you needs it. I, myself, have never had any problems with any Tascam equipment, but I called them for some questions, and got answers. Email is another story. The Wow Factor: Beautfully designed rack-mountable unit. Plenty of room around the knobs for your fingers. No tight-squeezed crowded looks at all. All inputs, save the guitar-in, and the headphone-out, are in the back where they belong, making this a very nice looking piece. Oh, don't forget the nice colored lights! The inputs switches light when pressed. Overall: I have had this unit but a short while, and am already looking at other gear which has recently been shown at NAMM (2005), but am realizing I made the right choice. This unit should do for quite a while, as I see it. It has enough features to keep my studio busy on-into the (at least) near future.
5 of 6 people (83.33%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"great audio interface" submitted February 9, 2009

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Sound: It has a great sound but doesn't have balanced outputs. Feature: Many ins and outs, good interface and ease of use, it could be beter, but not for this price. Quality: I dont like the rotary botons, but they work fine.
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"Serious rack mount unit, for those who have the room." submitted June 16, 2006

By a customer from fireball.com
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Years and years of it.
Music Style: Can you say Jimme Hendrix? No? How about Jimmy Page? Oh well.
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Sound: Good sound reproduction. Good meaning clean and fairly natural, not like a 5000 dullar unit though. Feature: Many features. The reason I bought it: it has four XLRs and ADAT. Ease of Use: Comes with drivers that WORK with Mac OS Ten. No problems. I recently bought an iMac with Intel (Apple Core) Duo Processor and needed a Universal driver. Tascam already had it available for download, and, it WORKS perfectly! Quality: Very good quality. Have owned it for over a year and no problems. Value: Very worth the price. Made it possible for me (a one person studio) to do the impossible. Manufacturer Support: No reason for support, yet. The Wow Factor: Sharp design and looks. Tascam can build some attractive stuff if they want. Overall: I really like this unit. It has done very well to date. It is not too complicated for the average person to operate. I am able to make music using it, without a bunch of huge hassles! That is all that matters.
5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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Tascam FW-1804 Customer Review submitted January 9, 2006

Overall
Sound
Features
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
VERIFIED CUSTOMER
zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
Sound: The sound quality is better then some and a little worse then others. The preamps could be a little better quality, and that is really my only complaint. I am actually purchasing a Presonus max lt 8ch. preamp to hook up with the adat optical input so that i have been quality preamps, and more of them at one time. Feature: having a midi interface, monitor output eliminating the soundcard in my computer, 4 channels with phantom power, and adat optical inputs and outputs, and a spidf input and output comes in handy. There are limits to how many items can be hooked up to this unit, but for small home project studios where you are the only artist the unit is great. Quality: the knobs are a little loose feeling, not tight like an allen and heath console, but allen and heath console is the only piece of gear that i have touched with knobs that you would have to use a hammer and chizzle to turn them. lol the inputs and outputs jacks seem very solid, I have not had one even wiggle on me yet. Value: for the money this is the best, and cheapest unit you can buy right now. The digidesign 002 is what, 1,200 bucks, the motu (whatever) is more then the tascam unit, I believe. it is great for the price and I have no solid complaints about it. Manufacturer Support: tried to call the customer support and if you are using a cell phone just give it up. you pay for the call, they are on lunch from 12-1 (yes everyone goes on lunch). You would think that a place like tascam would have more then a few people to work with tech support. Even if they have two people they could split the time they go to lunch to continue with the calls, it just makes perfect business sense to me. tech support sucks butt The Wow Factor: sex appeal? anyways, the product looks good in a rack, and looks even better with a focusrite piece of gear with it. Overall: I am sure this product with last a while, and Just as long as I keep a good power conditioner on it, and keep it dusted, and cool then it will last a while. By the way, if you want to keep the inputs from breaking I would suggest anyone that purchases this gear to get at least a single patchbay for patching whatever you want into whatever channels...
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