So a while back I randomly came across a Samsung SV-6213X deck, which it turns out has a pretty much the same mechanism other than the drum some of the plastic bits on the loading tray. While the exact model is not in it, this
list has a bunch of decks using this mechanism as well. (though I saw another one that had the one shared with some models in this one).
SV-7000W on the right:
And sure enough, putting the mech from the SV-6213X into the SV-7000W worked, but produced the same issue. The reverse, putting the mech from the 7000W also worked in the older one, and sure enough in this case the servo locks fine and plays back as expected other than the head switching point being a bit too high. (Something that's super easy to adjust on these VCRs).
Of course the interesting bits of the 7000W is the electronics rather than the (rather shoddy) Samsung mechanism, but at least I know the mech itself is fine, so onto hunting for problems on the PCB I guess, maybe I'll try to reflow the capstan connector next.
Anyhow, what's interesting for others here is that if you have one of these Samsung multisystem SV-5000W, SV-7000W and presumably the panasonic analogue/rebadge, you can find parts for the mechanism in cheaper Samsung decks if they break. Not sure if the other models (4000W, 3000W, 300W etc) use the same mech but they likely share it with some non-multisystem decks as well.
Another interesting bit, the deck seems to act a bit as a stabilizer/frame sync of sorts when in conversion mode (or with art mode turned on when playing video). Not sure if there's a way to force it to pass through the A/D chain without converting otherwise, and composite only of course, but cool neverthless.
See the difference captured with a Diamond VC500 when ffwding on another deck here between PAL (passed straight through) and PAL-N(conversion on, as it's read as PAL-N colours are whack obviously):
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The VCR has a Philips SAA7113H A/D chip, the capture dongle I have with the same chip will balk at this so whatever is connected to it has some impact.