By the late 1980s Sony introduced the DAT (Digital Audio Tape) format to the world (1987), as a consumer digital recorder set to replace our trusty old analogue cassette recorders. Their first offering was the Sony DTC-1000ES. It was built like a tank in what was Sony ES tradition in the 80s, complete with copper chassis and quality power supplies to feed the analogue and digital circuits. While the DAT format failed to find a home in the consumer market in any significant way, it took off big time in the professional audio world where it became the two channel mastering format of choice, replacing the Sony PCM-1630/Sony DMR-4000 combo recording system.
Sony’s first professional DAT recorder was heavily based on the consumer DTC-1000ES, in fact it was the exact same chassis and specifications, with an additional box thrown in to offer more professional features including balanced XLR inputs and outputs. Being based on the consumer Sony DTC-1000ES wasn’t a bad thing as the machine was in my view the best made DAT of all, every machine that came after it felt less solidly built and the transports of machines built to a price started to eat the tapes, thus ending DAT’s dominance not only for consumers but also the professional engineer in studios the world over.