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  #1  
06-28-2014, 09:05 PM
Davidj Davidj is offline
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I want to digitize some recordings I made from an FM tuner in the late '80s and early '90s. They were recorded on TDK HiFi cassettes on a long-gone NEC HiFi VCR in EP (6-hour) mode. There is no video signal on the tapes. I have a good (latest Apogee Duet) audio interface and have tried the following VCRs:

- An old Mitsubishi U54 with cassette loading issues (powers off repeatedly until it finally loads tape). Sounds pretty good, but I sort of don't trust it with the tapes.

- A Panasonic DMR-EZ47V. Works well, but doesn't sound as good as the U54.

- A Mitsubishi HS-HD2000V in good condition that I just bought from eBay for this project. Works fine, plays videos beautifully (including good sound), but sounds awful on the EP audio-only tapes - there's a noisy hash in the signal. The Digital Tracking light is steady like it should be. I've tried manual tracking and the DNR & TBC button to no avail. Perhaps this machine needs a video signal to lock on to?

Can anyone recommend a good VHS player for these tapes?
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  #2  
06-29-2014, 12:26 PM
volksjager volksjager is offline
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Panasonic AG-1980 is best with EP tapes
dont buy one from ebay most of them are junk or have been fixed sketchy
get one from tgrantphoto that has been fully serviced

the pannasonic DMR series have crappy VCR sides
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  #3  
06-29-2014, 02:01 PM
Davidj Davidj is offline
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Does AG-1980 track EP well with no video signal and have great-sounding HiFi audio output?

Any others?

Thanks.
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  #4  
07-19-2014, 11:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davidj View Post
Does AG-1980 track EP well with no video signal and have great-sounding HiFi audio output?.
How is a VCR supposed to track a video signal that isn't there?

No, the AG-1980P is the best model for tracking EP/SLP modes. And yes, it also sports one of the best HiFi playbacks of any S-VHS (or VHS) VCR. Now, don't think the unit is perfect -- it can have mechanical issues, or issues with some tapes that make a JVC S-VHS better.

See also VCR Buying Guide (S-VHS, D-VHS, Professional) for restoring video

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  #5  
07-20-2014, 11:31 AM
Davidj Davidj is offline
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That's the whole problem, these are audio-only tapes with no video signal. If I'd known better at the time I would've recorded an unrelated video signal on the tape, but I didn't know that was important then. My newly acquired Mitsubishi HS-HD2000U has great sound from regular VHS tapes (with video) but it seems to be confounded by the tapes with no video as there is lots of noise in the audio when reading the audio-only tapes.

The old Mitsubishi U54, on the other hand, does a pretty good job of reading the tapes. There are problem areas where maybe manual tracking would help but I find that hard to do without a video signal to look at.

This being such an unusual situation I'd hate to sink another several hundred dollars into the Panasonic if it might have the same problem as the HS-HD2000U when reading the audio-only tapes. I suppose it's something that few have any direct experience with, it's such an odd situation, but I was hoping someone had come across this before.
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07-20-2014, 12:00 PM
volksjager volksjager is offline
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sell the mitsu and use the money to try the Panny
Panny ag-1980 are best with ep and have great audio
if it doesnt work you can always resell it too
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  #7  
07-20-2014, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volksjager View Post
sell the mitsu
The new Mitsubishi HS-HD2000U, that is.

Honestly, I'd never sell equipment until you know 100% that all the projects are done. If all that's left is the audio-only tapes, and the video portion tapes are 100% done and perfect, then I'd understand.

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  #8  
12-05-2014, 01:22 PM
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Get one from fleebay, but not less than 500 bucks, in my opinion. You have 14 -30 days to return it if there is a problem, nothing to loose (except shipping). And the expensive ones I do expect to be fully serviced. Now I guess we have to define what fully serviced means, but that is another topic.
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