May 4, 2020 at 12:34 am #46113
That is interesting about the -R vs +R. I mainly used -R’s for years as I could play them on about any machine. Some would not play + discs. In recent years I have recorded using both Verbatim + & – discs. I do find one thing interesting about the + discs, at the 2 hour mode I can get more time on a + disc by several minutes. I have no idea why.
Again great advice for everyone. Wish I would have known more earlier…. But so far so good.May 4, 2020 at 12:43 am #46114
I have several friends that still have their old Pioneer DVD Recorders (Make in Japan), and they still do well. Unfortunately the one I got was their last one made in China. A piece of junk. I was really surprised Pioneer would drop that low, being the cream of the crop for decades. Their Stereo systems in the 70s were amazing.May 4, 2020 at 2:08 pm #46123
The mention of “Gold” discs reminds me of an experience I had over 15 years ago.
I purchased a cheapie BTC internal CD-RW drive. It worked reliably when I used major brand-name discs in it. Then, I saw these huge spindles of bargain “MultiPoint” CD-Rs and made an impulse buy. It turned out that the BTC drive was prone to turning the MultiPoint discs into coasters. Some years later, I tried burning MultiPoint discs using the CD-RW drive in a Dell laptop from work. I achieved reliable burns every time. The drive/media compatibility issue boggles my feeble brain.May 4, 2020 at 2:13 pm #46124
I have had a couple stand alone CD recorders too. One was so picky that is would not record anything newer. If did ok on Sony’s for the most part, but the TDK’s of other brands it did not like. Yet, all of those other brands will record on the burner in the computer.May 4, 2020 at 5:23 pm #46127
For those who had trouble with the original MTV video link, try the following:
I am downloading this big file now.May 9, 2020 at 1:02 pm #46236
Their stereo systems in the 70s were amazing.
Actually they still are, at least until their aging transistors start flaking out and getting noisy.May 9, 2020 at 1:55 pm #46237Andy BrownParticipant
The caps fail way before the transistors do, unless you ran your speaker wire under the rug ten years ago and then forgot about that when you stapled down the new carpet.
Oh, and not all stereo systems from the 70’s sounded great. That was when the lower middle and low end stuff stopped using discrete components in their power amplifier circuits in favor of integrated circuit final power outputs. I fixed a lot of gear back then and every single manufacturer (sans the super high end stuff) was guilty of competing in the bargain category and had one or two low end models with I.C. outputs. Sounded like crap and were not very rugged. Times have changed but back then the circuits being used by the major players in the high fidelity game all used discrete components running Class B (push pull) designs. Also, this was just as we were breaking the 90 dB S/N barrier. Our test equipment at Fred’s Sound Of Music didn’t even go much past that. Analog FM required only 60 dB S/N. Everything everywhere sounded warm and fuzzy like a vintage Fender tube guitar amp and people liked that. Once we moved to chips and 100 dB+ S/N everything sounds brittle, curt, sharp and less inviting.May 9, 2020 at 6:27 pm #46241
Isn’t the problem of transistors becoming noisy or non-functional in their old age primarily associated with germanium devices? All the transistors that I have run across where this has happened have been germanium.
The explanation that I have seen is that germanium devices can’t be passivated to keep moisture from contaminating the junctions. Germanium oxide, as one engineer once told me, “turns to $#!+.” Therefore, germanium transistors have to be put into hermetically sealed metal packages. Germanium transistors were commonly used in audio equipment in the 1960s, but they were quickly phased out in audio equipment for a variety of reasons, including reliability.June 5, 2020 at 9:33 am #46704
Verbatim (Mitsubishi) and That’s (Taiyo Yuden). The latter are difficult if not impossible to find in North American stores since TY don’t have any direct distribution channels here but they’re all over Amazon and in retail stores just about everywhere else in the world.
It has recently been brought to my attention that TY have gotten out of the storage business altogether as of a few years ago, so the two cakeboxes of That’s CD-R blanks I found on Amazon in 2018 and early 2019 were new old stock. The Taiwanese company CMC Magnetics acquired the product line and specification from TY in 2015 and have been producing them since. I have not yet used any of the CMC products so I can not comment on how they compare to genuine Japanese TY blanks. So if you had been searching on Amazon for TY disks and wondering why you couldn’t find them, That’s (sic) why.
It also must have escaped my memory since I failed to mention it in my earlier post, but I also used JVC disks for quite a long time in the late 2000s/early 2010s until Fred Meyer’s stopped carrying them for whatever reason. JVC blanks were absolutely, definitely manufactured by TY, up to and including TY’s logotype on the wrapper.
When tapes are sitting on the shelf for decades, it is best to run them back & forth fast forward and rewind a few times. The old tape can stick together. Every so often I will check one out and I amazed how well many have held together through the years.
Something else I failed to noter earlier. Somebody once taught me that video tapes should be stored like reels, in that they should be wound tails-out and not fast-rewound before storing. The reason being (aside from managing print-through) is the tape is stored under even tension after having been played, which prevents the tape from deforming (“stepping”) over time due to uneven wind and packing caused by fast-winding. So basically, run the tape, eject then put on the shelf. Then in future you’d rewind the tape *before* playing, play, eject and store, etc.
In other words “DON’T be kind and rewind”!June 5, 2020 at 10:24 am #46706Jeffrey KoppParticipant
I had a mid-1980s MCS 3207 receiver that I loved because the FM was not tinny. (I forget what they called the FM tuner design that came after that.) I actually had two of them, one I gave to my son. Unfortunately, it gave up the ghost a few years ago. I do have a mid-80s Realistic SCT-41 cassette deck that still works fine.June 5, 2020 at 3:01 pm #46714Andy BrownParticipant
“I forget what they called the FM tuner design that came after that.”
Stringless. But that doesn’t tell the whole story.
However, tinny sounding tuners had issues apart from the old clunky gang condenser tuning blocks.
This subject is highly complex. The best way to understand legacy FM tuners is to understand conventional FM stereo broadcasts. Anyone feeling they understand frequency modulated double sideband suppressed carrier transmission (DSBSC) pretty thoroughly may then go here.
As far as the O.P. relevancy, MTV started out as a C-Band one channel feed with FM’d audio on the subcarriers. The audio quality was excellent but proportional to the diameter of your backyard dish (in relation of course to your latitude) and the quality of the receiver. If you watched on cable, remember, back then cable operators had to (and in many cases still) receive the signal on a dish, demodulate the video and audio and then remodulate it onto their system where they often have to limit bandwidth (and subsequently frequency response) so they can fit all those channels. Of course, that entire analysis is dated before digital, but we are talking about old tapes made from one of those cable feeds or backyard dish setups.
Edit add: I’m thinking that in order to limit IMD in the IF, they tighten the IF section bandwidth which sacrifices low end and high end response, making the signal to be detected not as robust as it could be. Thus, it sounds tinny. I’m sure there’s more to it. Alfredo might jump in with some explanations. I know IMD is the bane of tuner performance, and is generally referred to as the selectivity of the tuner (ability to reject off frequency signals not to be confused with sensitivity – ability to receive weak on channel signals). Back when FM radio broadcast stations in the U.S. had to do annual proof of performances, IMD tests involved two frequencies broadcast simultaneously. Generally, if memory serves, when THD and sub to main and main to sub tests were all good, IMD would pass with flying colors. I forget what the spec was. That could all be done from the studio feeding the signal generator into the mic channel with the off air mod monitor as the demod audio source. Then you had to pack up all the gear and head out to the transmitter site to measure the FM transmitter’s AM noise. Then back to the studio to drop off the gear and wake up the all night DJ and tell him/her to get back to work.June 5, 2020 at 4:40 pm #46717
I’ve been scratching my head on the issue of “tinny” FM tuners. I can think of two possible explanations, though they are a stretch:
1) The AFC circuitry (in the case of non-PLL tuned radios) might have reacted too quickly. This would make the local oscillator partially follow the station’s modulation. This would primarily affect lower frequencies, leading to a loss of low end.
2) The radio was performing 50 us de-emphasis (used in Europe and Asia) instead of 75 us de-emphasis (used in the Americas). In some radios, the de-emphasis was selectable. In many, it wasn’t. Listening to 75 us emphasized radio stations on a radio set or designed for 50 us would result in a high frequency boost starting around 1 kHz (see the red trace in the top plot here: https://www.radiomuseum.org/forumdata/users/133/archive2019/Preemphasis_Deemphasis_590.png ). The extra high frequency content might sound excessively “bright” or “tinny” to some listeners.June 5, 2020 at 5:17 pm #46718Jeffrey KoppParticipant
Yes, PLL was the term I couldn’t recall, and IC tuners became common in the 80s.
I replaced the MCS with an Onkyo TX-8220, on which CDs sound great and the FM is horrendous.June 5, 2020 at 6:21 pm #46720
The audio quality was excellent but proportional to the diameter of your backyard dish (in relation of course to your latitude) and the quality of the receiver. If you watched on cable, remember, back then cable operators had to (and in many cases still) receive the signal on a dish, demodulate the video and audio and then remodulate it onto their system where they often have to limit bandwidth (and subsequently frequency response) so they can fit all those channels. Of course, that entire analysis is dated before digital, but we are talking about old tapes made from one of those cable feeds or backyard dish setups.
The audio system used by the VCR used to do the recording (or transfer!) also is a factor. The bulk of VCRs in place until the late 1990s had linear audio which, honestly, sucks monkey balls. HIFI didn’t emerge in VHS-land until 1986 and didn’t become ubiquitous until well over a decade later when prices came down far enough that most new machines (except for the cheapest of the cheap) had it as a standard feature. Even more people (including those who had HIFI machines) recorded through the RF input, and the modulators in cable/sat receivers were usually mono. And of course, in linear mode (just like with cassettes and reels) S/N and frequency response both take a steep dump at lower speeds, especially in the EP/SLP mode that so many people fetishised over and jacked off to for far too long. Quantity trumps quality.
And of course, there are the genuises today who who wouldn’t know linear audio from circular. But they see a cheap early 2010s all-plastic Chinese Worst Buy/Wally World mono piece of shit VCR for $10 at the Salvation Army and suddenly develop the urge to transfer their “old VCRs to ‘digital'”. (Yes, I really have heard people call their VHS tapes “VCRs”.)
The ultimate result? More crappy audio from tapes that may very well have been recorded on HIFI decks way back when and probably sound reasonably OK otherwise! Granted a low-speed linear recording is going to continue to sound like garbage no matter how high of quality the deck it’s played back on is. But an halfway decent recording needs to be played on an halfway decent deck to really get anything worthwile out of it.
Consider, also, that MTV (along with HBO and possibly a few others) sent stereo audio as an FM “station”, in the broadcasting band. The idea was you’d connect your stereo system to the cable and set its tuner to whichever frequency your headend was sending it out on, and listen through it. This is what there was before BTSC was approved for cable usage in the early 90s. Cable FM was usually attenuated severely to avoid interfering with terrestrial FM stations in case of a signal leak, and any repeater mains hum and thermal noise would be picked up and regenerated by repeaters further along the lossy copper trunks that cable systems were comprised of then (still are in some places). It gives one pause to marvel at the idea that it even worked at all, let alone as well as it did for as long as it did.June 5, 2020 at 6:53 pm #46722
“We gotta upgrade all them old VCRs to digital, man! It will make the quality so much better.” 🙂
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