Tascam US-100 Review | Ross P.
Tascam’s US-100 USB 2.0 audio interface offers an affordable option for a quality recording experience. This compact unit is a bus-powered, 48kHz/16-bit DVD-quality stereo recording system that features a 1/8-inch stereo headphone jack, XLR or ¼-inch microphone input, line-level guitar input and stereo line outs to balance the US-100’s great sound. With Tascam’s US-100, you have the option to switch RCA stereo line inputs to RIAA phono level for folks like me who have decades of albums stored in crates in the basement. And Tascam’s compact, sturdy construction and aluminum encasing offer the US-100 USB interface a high portability rating without the worry of breaking anything on the outside of the unit or disconnecting anything on the inside.
The US-100 comes with Audacity software (my preferred software choice for any newly-launched podcasts). The US-100 has a class-compliant driver that enables it to work on both MAC and Windows operating systems without the hassle of installing drivers. No time-consuming trouble-shooting or having long conversations with tech support. The US-100 is also equipped with zero-latency hardware monitoring.
Now, I checked out the US-100 at the behest of a friend of mine and fellow crate digger. He was gearing up to start selling off a few thousand records and he was using the US-100 to create digital files of the vinyl he wasn’t keeping. While I don’t have thousands of records, my issue was that I was moving from Michigan to Georgia and I was unconvinced I wanted to take a few hundred records with me. I needed 212 full-length albums on my PC as MP3 files. Very futuristic stuff.
Tascam’s US-100 shined. I had no issues – not from sourcing sound and not with the quality of sound produced. There was a little buzzing that was minimized simply by turning down the gain, but other than that, it was a few weeks of smooth sailing. Every now and then, I listened to the output through the studio headphones I’d plugged into the front fascia of the US-100 and occasionally, I would monitor what was coming into the computer via a smaller set of cheapo headphones plugged into my PC. There were no problems.
After the vinyl project was done, I tested the US-100 for regular recording purposes – my bass guitar and some vocals. The zero-latency monitoring worked out. There was nothing that I could really audibly pick up. The sound quality was pretty good, though not the best I’ve heard. The lows could be a little muddy, but it was nothing a little tweaking between the US-100 and the bass volume couldn’t handle.
On a very basic level, this unit performed very well. So if you have a basic recording need or you’re wanting or needing to transfer vinyl to a digital medium, Tascam’s US-100 USB 2.0 Audio Interface can do the job, and do it well for around &70.