Quantcast JVC plays LP speed blurrier than SP or EP? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
05-06-2019, 09:35 PM
leeoverstreet leeoverstreet is offline
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Something I've noticed on my JVC S-VHS VCRs (S9500U & S9911U), and I'm wondering if it's all in my head. When I play tapes recorded at LP speed, most of which are from the 1990's and my RCA VHS hi-fi VCR, the NORM or AUTO setting seems way softer than with tapes at the SP and EP speeds. So much so that for such tapes I've often used EDIT for capture because the detail loss was worse to me than the substantial color noise. In all cases the TBC/NR is ON, and cable TV is the source. NORM/AUTO looks fine for cable TV sourced tapes at SP or EP.

Am I nuts? If I'm not nuts, why would this be the case?
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  #2  
05-07-2019, 06:09 AM
jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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Your not nuts.

Any EP speed, but especially LP that is normal for a JVC.

Bascally its the wrong Brand to use for any EP or LP speed tape. Better to try a Panasonic or a low end VHS four head VCR. You might even do okay with some Mitsubishi models.

There are experts here which can explain it to you better, but the drum diameter and head sizes are not optimized for low speed, and slow quality recordings. JVC never optimized for Extended Play recordings. If you need a TBC however the Panasonics or a Mitsubishi DVHS 2000 (super rare). If you need DNR only there are some (very rare) Toshiba W808 but all of the rare models may take you months to find one.. and the chances they still work even more rare.

People will seriously question whether you really want to bother trying to convert EP tapes because the quality is so poor.
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  #3  
05-07-2019, 07:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leeoverstreet View Post
Something I've noticed on my JVC S-VHS VCRs (S9500U & S9911U), and I'm wondering if it's all in my head. When I play tapes recorded at LP speed, most of which are from the 1990's and my RCA VHS hi-fi VCR, the NORM or AUTO setting seems way softer than with tapes at the SP and EP speeds. So much so that for such tapes I've often used EDIT for capture because the detail loss was worse to me than the substantial color noise. In all cases the TBC/NR is ON, and cable TV is the source. NORM/AUTO looks fine for cable TV sourced tapes at SP or EP.
Am I nuts? If I'm not nuts, why would this be the case?
NORM/AUTO is generally the best setting, and does not really soften. However, the source tapes can control softness, as well as head condition of the deck. It's a common myth that "JVC is soft", as sometimes Panasonic can be soft when a JVC is not. It has nothing to do with brand.

The main issue is that LP was often recorded blurry. It's the recording device at fault, not the player.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwillis84 View Post
Your not nuts.
Any EP speed, but especially LP that is normal for a JVC.
No it's not. While true that softness can happen, for the reasons explained above, there's also nothing special about LP or EP. It can happen on SP as well. Again, due to head condition of the VCR, and/or the properties of the tape that cause it to react badly to filtering.

Quote:
Bascally its the wrong Brand to use for any EP or LP speed tape. Better to try a Panasonic
That's only for tracking range, not softness.

Quote:
You might even do okay with some Mitsubishi models.
Mitsubishi acts 99% the same as a JVC.

Quote:
or a low end VHS four head VCR.
That's rarely good advice. Sometimes, but it's the last line of defense after a tape has balked at both JVC and Panasonic. And even then, due to tracking only. A slightly soft image is far preferred over one with timing errors. Choosing noise over softness is really quite insane.

Quote:
There are experts here which can explain it to you better, but the drum diameter and head sizes are not optimized for low speed, and slow quality recordings. JVC never optimized for Extended Play recordings.
That's not true. As a generality, yes, Panasonic plays EP better than JVC. But JVC almost always plays SP/LP with quality, without errors. But there are specific JVC models that can rival the Panasonic AG-1980P. And that's also important: not just any Panasonic, but specifically the AG-1980P. Unlike JVC, there are not many models to choose from with Panasonic. (The AG-1970 is good, though sometimes a bit lesser. And the 5710 is the AG-1980 with a missing/unneeded tuner.)

Quote:
If you need a TBC however
For VHS, you always need a TBC. There are situations where a TBC'ish ES10/15 setup is more ideal, and thus the internal VCR line TBC is off. But you still should not use a low-end VCR. The reason for high-end decks is not just about TBC, but tracking, alignments, head quality, transports, overall mechanics, etc.

Quote:
a Mitsubishi DVHS 2000 (super rare).
Nah, not really. Mitsubishi never had a big production run, and where never overly abundant. But they'll still around, often for a price I think is unworthy. I'm not a fan of D-VHS decks, because those are attuned to SP only even more than JVC is/was. Most users have a difficult time playing LP/EP mode tapes on D-VHS decks. Some don't, but most do.

Quote:
People will seriously question whether you really want to bother trying to convert EP tapes because the quality is so poor.
Bah, that's silly talk. Most of the tapes I convert are EP. No issues here. However, do note I have stacks of decks to throw at a bad tape. It's rare for a tape to reject every VCR. I test for not just softness, but audio, image movements, and of course, tracking.

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  #4  
05-07-2019, 10:04 PM
jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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Having stacks of VCR decks to throw at a problem, does help.
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  #5  
05-09-2019, 02:48 PM
leeoverstreet leeoverstreet is offline
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So I'm NOT seeing things, but what I'm seeing is the recording and not bad LP signal processing on the JVCs? Sounds plausible the more I think about it because I'm not certain I've viewed any LP speed tapes from a VCR other than my old RCA in the 90's.

Not the end of the world in any case. There are a couple of cable TV recordings I value where local news did stories about my college radio show winning a national award, so the content is precious. Why, oh why didn't I use SP and a better tape type??? ...Oh yeah, I was broke and stupid and hanging out with radio people! To my eyeballs, detail on those particular recordings really drops off when NORM is engaged vs. EDIT. But then, I've noticed I'm one of those weirdos who doesn't mind a bit more noise if it brings a bit more detail, imagined or not. Kind of like scanning an Instamatic color print at 600 dpi. Sometimes you kind of want the intrinsic noise / texture. Ancillary verisimilitude, if you will...
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  #6  
05-09-2019, 03:49 PM
jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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If the tape is that important perhaps you should upload a clip to get real advice, or consider sending one off to LordSmurf to convert and see whats possible.

Last edited by jwillis84; 05-09-2019 at 04:02 PM.
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  #7  
05-09-2019, 04:52 PM
leeoverstreet leeoverstreet is offline
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Don't get me wrong, it's not awful or unwatchable. Tapes are in fine physical shape. I was just surprised that tapes at LP speed seemed to be softened by NORM mode more than SP or EP.

I've been very fortunate in that I haven't run across any tapes where I felt like I could justify sending it off. A few tapes where LordSmurf could probably help had content that was just meh. ;-)
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