Recording Tricks: Panasonic 3700 and 3800 DAT Recorders

Panasonic SV-3700 and SV-3800 DAT Recorders

The SV-3800 was the more recent version of the venerable SV-3700 digital audio tape recorder. On the 3700, there are DIP switches on the back to change digital input protocol, copy protection, etc. The 3700 also has a hidden menu with the error rate and other info. The 3800 eliminated the DIPs and added options to the hidden menu.

  • How to access the menu:

    Simultaneously press the "Counter Mode," "Counter Reset" and "Pause" buttons. The display will change to show a menu of items. To scroll throught the various menu items, press the "Counter Mode" button. To change the values of the items, press the "skip forward" and "skip backward" buttons. To exit these menus, press "Counter Reset."

  • You can also reinitialize the deck: after holding down the "Counter Mode," "Counter Reset" and "Pause" buttons, release only "Pause", and then press "stop." The display will read "00000".
  • Here are the menu items:
    • 0 : Digital Output Format ("AES", "IEC C" is coaxial S/PDIF, and "IEC 0" is optical.)
    • 1 : Digital I/O connector ("II AA" is default, "II AI" sends SPDIF out the AES jack, "IA AA" sends AES out the SPDIF jacks, "IA AI" swaps defaults outputs.)
    • 2 : Error rates (You see the letters "AB". The four-digit number is the error rate, maximum is 9984.)
    • 3 : Single-Play Mode ("SP --" is off, "SP 00" is on.)
    • 4 : Blank-Skip Mode ("PS --" is off, "PS 00" is on.)
    • 5 : SCMS ID6 Copy Protection Setting ("00 P XY" is copy-free, "11 P XY" is copy-restricted, "10 P XY" is copy-prohibited.)
    • 6 : Analog Output Level Adjustment (ranges from -6 thru +4 dBU, "rew" and "rev" buttons step up/down to -10dBU.)
    • 7 : Head Cylinder Use (# of hours of head revolution)
    • 8 : Various Error Codes and Operating Modes, Software Release Version
    • 9 : Peak Level Display (for accurately setting replay/record levels. "skip" toggles between left and right channels.)

The 3700 changes its input by the first dip switch on the back.

The 3800 and 3700 use -18 dBFS as their default "zero" reference level.

I couldn't find a 3800 or 3700 manual online, but check out this good step-by-step guide to using this recorder.