Remember sanlyn, he's asking because he may not know the "easy" things like we do.
(ie, s-video vs. composite)
ES10 passthrough is simple.
- s-video in to LINE 1 (on the back) works fine
- turn ES10 on, change to LINE 1 input
- rear output to the next item (external TBC or capture card)
It's pretty much automatic, nothing to setup.
If I remember correctly, the final models of Vidicraft gear had s-video, before being renamed to Studio1 (later again renamed to SignVideo). However, you can crossover with some TBCs, namely the AVT-8710. So you'd have:
VCR > via s-video > ES10 > via s-video > AVT-8710 > via composite > Vidicraft > via composite > capture card
Of course, you'll still encounter the quality loss. The disadvantages of the proc amp or detailer may be outweighed by the potential advantages. They usually are, but not always. The tape and your eyes will have to judge that.
Even with ES10, a good VCR is needed. But remember that if using an S-VHS deck with TBC that the TBC must be disabled. The ES10 needs to bad signal for cleaning. Let it and later TBCs in the workflow chain fix the signal and image.