#1  
03-11-2013, 03:31 PM
andymation andymation is offline
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I have recently begun transferring my VHS collection to AVI files.
My deck is a JVC SR-V10U.
I capture via ATI All-In-Wonder 9800 Pro.
I am using good quality shielded S-video and RCA cables.
My sound card is an M-Audio Audiophile 2496.
The RCA cables run directly into the M-Audio card (as opposed to passing through the AIW first.)
Win XP SP3, Gigabyte 848P Motherboard, 2GB Ram

When I started this project I chose a JVC deck from Lordsmurf's list of recommendations, but I had not previously considered which deck would give the best audio output.

Which decks would all of you recommend for the cleanest audio output?
(I realize decent noise reduction can be done in Audacity, but I would prefer a cleaner signal to begin with, rather than trying to "fix" the sound after the fact.)

I am attaching extensive waveform screenshots and WAV file samples of the noise levels I get from my setup. Some of the noise is from the sound card or computer itself, as the deck was powered off for those tests. The bigger noise occurs when the svhs deck is playing, even a blank tape.

I am sure that my results are typical of most decks, but I would still like to know which decks treat audio the best. I would not be opposed to capturing video with one deck and audio with another (then syncing manually in post) if it meant that I could get higher quality audio.

Cheers
Andy


Attached Images
File Type: jpg Deck OFF Zero Amplification.jpg (31.2 KB, 7 downloads)
File Type: jpg Deck OFF Amplified 50db.jpg (32.5 KB, 5 downloads)
File Type: jpg Deck OFF Normalized.jpg (54.9 KB, 3 downloads)
File Type: jpg Deck PAUSED Zero Amplification.jpg (31.1 KB, 3 downloads)
File Type: jpg Deck PAUSED Amplified 50db.jpg (35.9 KB, 3 downloads)
File Type: jpg Deck PAUSED Normalized.jpg (51.7 KB, 4 downloads)
File Type: jpg Deck PLAYING BLANK TAPE Zero Amplification.jpg (29.7 KB, 7 downloads)
File Type: jpg Deck PLAYING BLANK TAPE Amplified 40db.jpg (59.3 KB, 6 downloads)
Attached Files
File Type: wav Deck OFF Zero Amplification.wav (1.30 MB, 2 downloads)
File Type: wav Deck OFF Amplified 50db.wav (1.30 MB, 1 downloads)
File Type: wav Deck OFF Normalized.wav (1.09 MB, 1 downloads)
File Type: wav Deck PAUSED Zero Amplification.wav (1.45 MB, 1 downloads)
File Type: wav Deck PAUSED Amplified 50db.wav (1.45 MB, 1 downloads)
File Type: wav Deck PAUSED Normalized.wav (1.45 MB, 1 downloads)
File Type: wav Deck PLAYING BLANK TAPE Zero Amplification.wav (1.32 MB, 2 downloads)
File Type: wav Deck PLAYING BLANK TAPE Amplified 40db.wav (1.32 MB, 4 downloads)
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  #2  
03-12-2013, 01:25 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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I'd like to hear a ratio of noise to actual content.

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  #3  
03-12-2013, 06:35 AM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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Don't expect super high quality from VHS linear audio. It wasn't much above cassette tape quality to begin with and it only got worse with the slower tape speeds. VHS Hi-Fi audio was released in response to this in 1984.
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  #4  
03-12-2013, 11:52 AM
andymation andymation is offline
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Attached is a WAV file which demonstrates the ratio of noise to content on my JVC SR-V10U.
It is a short clip from the Galaxy Quest trailer at the beginning of the Mystery Men VHS.
Original tape, not a copy.

I understand that VHS will generally not have the greatest sound, but I would prefer something less hissy and noisy than this. Some of the home videos I will be transferring are very quiet, and attempting to reduce this much hiss in post would certainly degrade the vocals.

I am certain that some VHS decks will sound better than others.
Just like audio cassette players, if you spend enough money on a quality deck (ie Nakamichi,) you can get very nice sound.

Thanks for taking a look.
Cheers


Attached Files
File Type: wav JVC SR-V10U Noise to Content.wav (6.75 MB, 7 downloads)
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  #5  
03-12-2013, 02:26 PM
sodality sodality is offline
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As for commercial tapes, I get the best audio output with a Sony SVO-5800P.
I think all professional VCR's will get you a better audio.
The recommended JVC and Panasonic machines are great for video but their audio isn't that good imho.

I'm not sure if it's worth getting a prof. machine just for the audio, that's something you have to decide.


wow first post after years of lurking...
btw thanks for all the input
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  #6  
03-12-2013, 02:50 PM
andymation andymation is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sodality View Post
As for commercial tapes, I get the best audio output with a Sony SVO-5800P.
Ah yes, looks like a very nice deck. Balanced XLR outs would improve things I'm sure.
You mentioned the quality being good for commercial tapes. Does that hold true for non-commercial tapes?
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  #7  
03-12-2013, 03:02 PM
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kpmedia kpmedia is offline
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That VCR seems unusually noisy -- these are not like that. It's there, yes, but much quieter.

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  #8  
03-12-2013, 03:05 PM
sodality sodality is offline
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I never tested it with such tapes ... sorry
I'm from pal land
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  #9  
03-12-2013, 03:10 PM
andymation andymation is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpmedia View Post
That VCR seems unusually noisy -- these are not like that. It's there, yes, but much quieter.
I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks it's noisy.
I guess now I'm wondering if cleaning the audio head would make a difference. Or perhaps demagnetizing it? Although I've heard varying opinions on whether demagnetizing a VCR is a good idea or not...
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  #10  
03-12-2013, 06:53 PM
robjv1 robjv1 is offline
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Generally speaking, I've found the quality of linear audio to vary widely from deck to deck, but as a general principle I've found the JVC SVHS decks tend to have a somewhat compressed, hissier sound that is harder to restore higher frequencies to. For tapes where I have to do in linear audio, I'll normally bring in the audio in a second pass from another VCR, typically a run of the mill Panasonic. Still, the quality among JVCs varies too -- I recall the SR-V101US I owned having notably better linear sound than the HR-7600U, and the SR-W5U sounding a bit better (though still not as good as most of the run of the mill VHS decks I tried).
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  #11  
03-12-2013, 07:14 PM
volksjager volksjager is offline
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i have found certain tapes to be noisy in JVC decks.
try an AG-1980
the Hi-Fi audio heads are in the drum
the linear audio head is fixed - (with the AC head)
have you tried toggling the between norm and hi-fi audio in the menu?
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  #12  
03-12-2013, 07:59 PM
robjv1 robjv1 is offline
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I went and listened to your clips. I'd actually say you have an unusually noisy deck for any of the JVCs I've tried, so you may have a specific model/deck issue. It actually doesn't sound like the noise profile of what I've come to expect from most JVC decks.
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  #13  
03-13-2013, 01:24 AM
andymation andymation is offline
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Thanks very much for the feedback, guys.
I did a little more playing this evening and realized something...
First, regarding the Galaxy Quest trailer clip I attached earlier-- I didn't realize my deck's audio was set to Norm when I recorded that. So I switched it to HiFi and re-recorded the clip (link below.) This time it sounds great. Very little noise whatsoever.

I am also including a link to a home video clip, which sounds exactly the same under both HiFi and Norm settings (which makes sense, since it was not recorded in HiFi.)
There is some slight camera noise, but most of the noise I hear is from my V10U.

So my HiFi is good, but the Linear is quite noisy. I am going to try cleaning the Linear head and see if that makes any difference. Otherwise I'll have to try some other decks for Linear audio, as was suggested.

WAV files:
http://filmfish.com/vhs/JVC_SR-V10U_..._Tape_HiFi.wav
http://filmfish.com/vhs/JVC_SR-V10U_...Video_NORM.wav
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  #14  
03-13-2013, 02:22 AM
andymation andymation is offline
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I opened up the unit and cleaned the linear head (Before and after pics attached.)
Then I tested it again, and the noise may have quieted by about .5dB, but otherwise it sounds the same.
Looks like I'll be hunting for different deck to handle my audio. If not video too.


Attached Images
File Type: jpg dirty linear head.jpg (42.2 KB, 11 downloads)
File Type: jpg clean linear head.jpg (41.8 KB, 12 downloads)

Last edited by andymation; 03-13-2013 at 02:24 AM. Reason: forgot to attach pics
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  #15  
03-13-2013, 06:58 AM
volksjager volksjager is offline
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you really need more than 1 deck for doing transfers and no single deck will play every tape good.
usually a JVC and a Panasonic AG-1980 together will handle just about everything
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  #16  
03-13-2013, 10:12 PM
Jarvis Jarvis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volksjager View Post
you really need more than 1 deck for doing transfers and no single deck will play every tape good.
usually a JVC and a Panasonic AG-1980 together will handle just about everything
I agree it's best to have both kinds of decks to accomodate all variety of tapes, but if performance is equal, it comes down to taste. Like I prefer the audio output of my NV-FS200 to any JVCs I own - it's not good/bad, just different. On the other hand, I generally like the video output of the JVCs better. Depends which one is more important to you, but if it's worth it, you can capture from both and swap the audio out as needed.
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  #17  
03-14-2013, 04:36 AM
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kpmedia kpmedia is offline
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Quote:
you can capture from both and swap the audio out as needed
Yep. Been there, done that!

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