Questions about PROFESSIONAL (non-consumer) VHS machines

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Jesse Skeen, Aug 8, 2005.

  1. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    I've been thinking about grabbing an old professional-model VHS deck to use for transferring tapes to DVD and just to have a quality machine that will likely last a long time, but notes on one I was looking at mentioned "operates in SP mode only". I assume that means it won't play tapes recorded in EP or LP at the proper speed, or will it do that but only record in SP? Recording isn't a concern to me, only playback. Is there an easy way to tell if something won't play all 3 speeds before getting it home?
     
  2. Lee Distad

    Lee Distad Stunt Coordinator

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    try asking the person who is selling it to you, and/or read the manual.
     
  3. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    I'd cut my list to 2 machines, Sony 1000 and Panasonic AG-1980. The Panny is a tad better deck but the Sony has more consumer features like a better remote, timer, and VCR+. THose consumer features may be fleetingly useful at this point...? If you like Jog/Shuttle and need to edit some things, You should lean to the Panny. The Panny is plus or minus one frame on edit points. I haven't used the 1000 enough or recently enough to remember how acurate it's edit points are, but it's proably a little less accurate...? I do not like using the frame advance buttons on the Sony myself.

    I can't tell you how good the tuner is in my AG-1980. I've never used it. All I've ever done with it is edit. Good luck on your quest! [​IMG] What's your favourite colour? [​IMG]
     
  4. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    The ones I've been looking at were for professional use only and don't include a tuner, nor do they seem to have an infrared remote. I don't need to do any more recording on VHS though, I just want something heavy-duty that will play back any tape, save of course for D- or S-VHS. There's a lot of them on Ebay for not too much, many are actually listed in the "photography" category rather than electronics. Still can't tell if any of them can play the slower-speed tapes though, I emailed one seller and they said that all pro decks are SP only. The same place had an 800 number and someone there said they DID play all speeds, so not sure who to believe.

    Besides being well-built, I'd like a pro model because they can play the linear (non-Hi-Fi, often referred to as "normal audio") in stereo with Dolby NR. Most consumer Hi-Fi decks can only play it in mono, which has bugged me for over 20 years now. A number of tapes were released in linear stereo from 1982-84 that will only play in mono on a current Hi-Fi machine, and prerecorded tapes made today still have a stereo linear track, which is useful if you can't get the Hi-Fi to track without noise or dropouts. I've got an NEC VCR that can play both, but it's not in the greatest shape and they haven't made parts for it for years, so thought I should get something that'll hold up a little better.
     
  5. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Jesse, the AG-1980 plays all 3 speeds and records EP & SP only. I think that's the case with the 1000 too, can't remember for absolute sure...? I'd give my strongest recommendation for the Panasonic. If you go much above this level of equipment, you're gonna run into pro/consumer comatibility issues as you've already seen.
     
  6. Phil Nichols

    Phil Nichols Second Unit

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    Jesse,

    "Besides being well-built, I'd like a pro model because they can play the linear (non-Hi-Fi, often referred to as "normal audio") in stereo with Dolby NR. Most consumer Hi-Fi decks can only play it in mono, which has bugged me for over 20 years now. A number of tapes were released in linear stereo from 1982-84 that will only play in mono on a current Hi-Fi machine, and prerecorded tapes made today still have a stereo linear track, which is useful if you can't get the Hi-Fi to track without noise or dropouts. I've got an NEC VCR that can play both, but it's not in the greatest shape and they haven't made parts for it for years, so thought I should get something that'll hold up a little better."

    Here's a quote from my Sony SLV-R1000 prosumer VCR (~$1200 new, Faroudja digital filtering, over 15lbs.) user manual on page 33 that may be what you are referring to:

    "You can hear sound recorded on the hi-fi video track and the normal audio track track simultaneously. This allows you to listen to an audio-inserted cassette."

    You can find these great R1000's on eBay for $200-$300 now. They're built like a tank and record/playback spectacular VHS and Super-VHS. In addition to he Faroudja digital filter, they have Adaptive Picture Control.
     

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