Famed and successful studio SV series, the SV-4100 is the ultimate version of the "old" SV-3200 and SV-3700.
Unlike the just-as-famed SV-3800, the SV-4100 really is a broadcast engine thanks to its... broadcast functions.
Quickstart, Trim and Rehearsal :
All three based on an 8Mbit memory bank, these functions allow frame-accurate location, quick-start/rec and markers placement. Useful, necessary, mandatory, when hooked and synchronized to a DigiBeta deck, an MTR and an automated mixing console.
Markers can be nudged by plus or minus 1 to 50 frames (one frame being 30ms) and the same 8Mbit memory allows 1,5s of sound scrubbing without actually moving the tape. The same precision allows five memorized locate positions : L1 to L4, plus the last Quickstart point entered.
Sync modes :
Naturally internal or external : three video modes (25fps, 29,97fps and 30fps), Word Sync or Digital Data (syncs on the incoming fs).
The SV-4100 therefore has all four necessary terminals plus GPI and parallel remote so as to nicely but rapidly get positively lost in all of that synchronization :)
To my knowledge, the SVs are the only DAT recorders that ever offered the following lifesaver feature : ABS Time can be added after the recording !
Audio & digital interfaces :
The audio functions and terminals are identical to those of the original SV-3700, plus a pair of IEC II TOSLink i/os : XLR balanced i/os with selectable +4 / -10dBu output level, AES/EBU balanced + standard IEC coaxial 75 Ohm digital i/os.
Like all the others in the series, whether stock or after mods, analogue recording can be done at 44.1Khz.
The audio ICs are partly equivalent to those of the SV-3700 : same 4-stage 1bit 64fs Delta-Sigma a/d (AK5326-VP), upped to 20bit d/a (PCM58P-J ?) and Yamaha YM3404B 4fs digital filter.
However good the a/d may have been, a popular location recording combo was, back then, to team the SV-4100's mechanism and d/a section with Apogee's pinky half-rack microphone preamps and separate a/d converter.
Being pro and a bit more modern than the old 3700, the "hours meter" is displayed/selected by menu and not by mechanical DIP switches ; same for the digital input selection, SCMS status and sync modes.
Being Panasonic, pressing the counter mode, reset and pause buttons simultaneously will display error rate for heads A and B, A+B and other system control check and status.
Being a Panasonic SV, the SV-4100 has the frightfully reliable and almost everlast RAA1001 mechanism, like all other recorders from the series, be they consumer (SV-DA10, SV-E10, SV-D900), pro (SV-3700, SV-3800), broadcast (SV-3900) or from Denon (DTR-2000), Studer (all) or several big Fostex.
As ever, anyhting related to DAT and the Panasonics in particular should be read at Eddie Ciletti's.