XLR Cable stuck in DR60D/DR70D permanent fix

XLR Cable stuck in DR60D/DR70D permanent fix

Today I got a message from a fellow film maker who reminded me of a particular nuisance of the Tascam DR60D or DR70D. If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you are currently dealing with a common problem with this recorder — you’ve got an XLR connector stuck in it!

Sadly this is a problem with BOTH the original and the so-called Mark II version of the recorder. Good news is, I have the solution.

The bad news is, getting that XLR connector out may (or may not) be the easiest thing in the world.

If you have an XLR connector stuck in your DR60D or DR70D then the odds are good the XLR connector is a “locking” type. Locking XLR connectors are connectors that have a small “hole” in the casing that a pin falls into when the connector is inserted.

The problem with the DR60D/DR70D is two fold. One is that the port isn’t terribly forgiving, and the other is that cheaper XLR connectors tend to be slightly out of spec and can become stuck much more easily.

The Solution

The SOLUTION (once you get the currently stuck one out, which I’ll talk about in a moment) is to buy an XLR cable with Neutrik XLR connectors that DO NOT have a locking hole in them. They will still be held in securely, but you will not have this issue again.

As an added plus, Neutrik connectors are recognized by most sound techs as one of the best around and if they’ve been around a while, they’ll be less hesitant to let you plug into their equipment with a Neutrik connector than some monoprice/amazon special type that are so common.

I personally use either Mogami or Kopul branded cables, both utilize Neutrik connectors. Neither are cheap, but they work and will last forever. Whichever you go with, make SURE it has a non-locking XLR connector (no hole in the connector).

 

Mogami is the “Rolls Royce” of cables, I prefer the “stage” edition as it’s a bit more robust for location work.

Kopul is fantastic as well and is a very good value for money cable.

Unsticking your current XLR cable

As long as the tabs on the connector releases still work and you haven’t bent them up trying to get the connector out, you should actually still be able to wiggle it out. I will admit that I’ve never been successful with this, but my wife has been able to remove a stuck connector this way a number of times. So the first attempt is try a variety of different directions and pressures on the connector as you push the pin down and try to get it to release normally. It may be wise to let a few other people try it as they will all approach it slightly differently. Brute force is not required and is probably making matters worse.

If you have still failed, now you need to get out a small awl or very thin and small flat head screw driver. Hopefully you have another XLR cable like the one that’s inserted. If not, you can look at these pictures. Anyhow, you’ll need to insert the screw driver/awl in above the connector (on the exterior surface of the connector) and locate the pin that’s holding in your connector.

Gently press down on the pin once you’ve located the groove and gently pull out on the connector. It takes some fiddling, but it will definitely come out at this point.

Things not to Do

  • Don’t use a ton of force, it’s only going to bend the delicate locking pin and make things harder.
  • Don’t try to take out the two screws to either side of the XLR connector, it will get you no where.

Things to Do Now

  • Unstick connector
  • Buy a non-locking xlr cable with neutrik connectors. Mogami or Kopul

 

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