Sony DTC-2000ES

October   1 9 9 3 october 1993
1 9 9 8 1998

Unveiled late in late 1993 for the '94 lineup, when the efforts to impose DAT as a consumer format were by then useless and vain to say the least - DAT had become a professional format..

This last worthwhile deck was hailed by all as the best D.A.T. recorder ever. There were of course other obvious contenders for that Palme d'Or, but the DTC-2000ES was indeed the best (fairly) affordable consumer recorder, and that is a fact !

It also was the first consumer recording machine to have the SBM circuit : Super Bit Mapping.
A nice touch was the presence of microphone inputs : plug in your ORTF microphone duet, hit record, (play well), and you have a MASTER tape.

Compared to the energetic sound of Sony's first DAT deck (DTC-1000ES, which I own as well - the version with dual Philips TDA1541A), the DTC-2000ES is close to being the perfect recording device - linear as can be. Thanks to its 4-head design, it remains a truly excellent stand-alone analogue-to-digital converter as well (to my ears).
Like the near-contemporary CDP-XA7ES, outputs rely on a Mos-Fet push-pull and Fets are elsewhere in the inputs.

The DTC-2000ES is a 4-head, 4 motors, direct-drive with a "Metal in Gap" structure (don't ask - I don't know) which has a clear tendency to sound like it is snapping your tape to pieces - but doesn't ! I never had a tape eaten by or damaged in my 2000ES.

On the not-so-cool side, the 18 touch switches of the front controls suffer from inferior parts and can make the deck act funny once in a while : the left display imitates a Christmas tree and the commands are all frozen (see an example here).
Changing all 18 switches solves the problem (see here) or "power-off" then "-on" or even wait two minutes or less and everything goes back to normal.

True to itself, Sony however made two versions of the DTC-2000ES, the second of which represents an unbelievable contradiction given the nature of the destination market :

Normal version :
The normal version is a 4-head deck : it uses the DATM-53 mechansim, DOU-15A drum assembly and has a tape/source monitoring switch under the level display.
This drum assembly is shared by the DTC-77ES (DTC-87ES in the USA) as well as the professional PCM-2700 and PCM-R700 - all 4-head decks.

Strange version :
The other version is a strict 2-head version : it uses the DATM-54 mechanism and the DOU-03D drum assembly and does not have the monitoring switch. Being a 2-head, it would indeed be useless.
This drum assembly is shared with the PCM-2600, PCM-R500 and DTC-A9 - all 2-head decks.
Monitoring can be done the normal way (for a 2-head deck : tape inside and press "rec" or "pause+rec") or, simpler, probably with a very nice circuitry trick : without any tape inside, press "rec" and the left display says "-DA"... and monitoring happens !
Most 2-head versions were black but some champagne were made as well before the (re)introduction of the normal 4-head.

Now for the punch-line : the 2-head version (the "G" model in the service manual) was destined to Sony's strongest market outside Japan - Germany ! Of all countries !
More so than elsewhere in Europe, Sony always sold sizeable oodles of high-end separates and recorders and turntables and everything in Germany but chose to make one specific downsized version of a (the) high-end recorder specially and exclusively for that country.
Unbelievable stupidity, isn't it ?

However, given the success of the DTC-2000ES, Sony DE (SDL) was soon forced to import from other european countries stacks of normal (4-head) DTC-2000ES to cope with the demand. Thus making German customers milk cows of sorts since they had already bought the pared-down version... and were asked to pay another time, the same amount, for the normal version !

Anyway -
Sony complemented the DTC-2000ES in late 1995 with a batch of lower end models and the lightweight DTC-ZA5ES.
The 2000ES was thereafter quickly withdrawn ; it can thus be seen as the last "classic" ES unit.
It however managed on its way out to get an EISA award as "European Recorder of the Year" in 1995/96 - better late than never.

Despite a hefty 2500$ price tag back then, the DTC-2000ES did sell extremely well worldwide - and most of us owners hang on to ours like mad.

Sony DTC-2000ES, image 1 Sony DTC-2000ES, image 2 Sony DTC-2000ES, image 3
Sony DTC-2000ES specifications
Title Value
Type : Full-size heads R-DAT recorder
Tape speed : 8,15mm/s. (SP)
4,075mm/s. (LP)
Drum rotation : 2000rpm (SP)
1000rpm (LP)
Motors : 4x BSL DD MIG (Metal in Gap)
Error correction : Double-Reed Solomon Code
Sampling frequency : 48 / 44.1 / 32Khz (analog & digital)
Modulation system : 8-10 Modulation
Transfer rate : 2,46Mb/s
Quantization : 16bit linear (SP)
12bit non-linear (LP)
A/D : 1x 1-bit Delta-Sigma (CXD-8493P ; 20-bit resolution)
D/A : 2x 1-bit Pulse (CXD-2562 ; = 16 L/R converters)
Frequency response : 2Hz...22Khz (± 0,5dB)
2Hz...14.5Khz (LP)
S/N ratio : >94dB (SP, LP)
Dynamic range : >94dB (SP, LP)
Distortion : 0,0035% @1Khz (SP)
0,075% @1Khz (LP)
Wow & flutter : nada
Line inputs : 47kOhm / -4dB
MIC inputs : 47kOhm / -44dB
Coaxial : 1x 75Ohm / 0,5V p-p (± 20%)
Optical : 2x TOS-Link
Line outputs : 470Ohm / 10kOhm / -4dB
Headphones : 220 Ohm / 32 Ohm / 1,3mW
Coaxial : 1x 75 Ohm / 0,5 V p-p (± 20%)
Optical : 1x
PC : 50W
Dimensions : 47 x 13,5 x 38cm
Weight : 13kg.
List price : 2500$
200,000¥ (1993...1998)
Sony DTC-2000ES : 2 topics
(last updated topic shows up first)
  • Sony DTC-2000ES                             (1)last updated by Axel - 26/11/2011, 21H18
  • 1984...2015                             (18)last updated by MarkB - 18/04/2016, 20H15
page online since : august 2005
page updated : march 2010
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