Question: Panasonic AG-1980? - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews

Forum Jump: 
 1Likes
 
Thread Tools
Old 03-09-2012, 09:30 PM
Member
 
ChrisSwanson72's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 70
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Hello, I`ll take yoyur Panasonic 1980.
How about some pictures of it ON and Working?
How much do you want for it?
I live about 2-3 hours away, so let me know.
ChrisSwanson72 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 03-14-2012, 05:30 PM
Newbie
 
neubadger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Dave, thanks for the informative response. I'm going to take steps towards doing that this weekend (I don't have any blank VHS tapes, and the only TV I own was made in 2011, so the connections are incompatible).

Chris, consider yourself first on the list. I'd like to confirm that it's working correctly before progressing with a sale of any kind, though. I haven't done much pricing research yet, but if it does work smoothly, I was thinking an even $100. I thought about sending that in a PM, but this gives people a chance to mock me for being crazy (too high? too low?).

And by the way, I'm now in Milwaukee rather than in Madison (profile updated).
neubadger is offline  
Old 03-14-2012, 06:32 PM
Member
 
ChrisSwanson72's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 70
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Okay, $100 seams fair, IF it`s in working order, ie:
plays tapes in Color, NOT B&W, BOTH hi-fi channels
produce sound WITHOUT distortion, does not have wavey lines
in the picture, or ghosting/halo effects.
ChrisSwanson72 is offline  
Old 02-26-2013, 09:03 PM
Newbie
 
neubadger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I haven't touched either of these in a year. If anybody's interested, I'll offer both the AG-1980 (with remote) and the AG-1950 for $50. The displays are bright, there's no visible damage, and I have pictures of them both plugged in and turned on, but that's all I can offer. If they don't work, I imagine they're worth more than $50 in parts, but I'd rather just get rid of them as-is. I have no idea what they would cost to ship, but note that the 1950 is significantly heavier than the 1980.
neubadger is offline  
Old 02-27-2013, 05:45 PM
Newbie
 
susaneditsvideo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Well, if you have both on and plugged in why can`t you tell us if they work or not?
Do they play the tapes in color?
Is there any smearing of the colors?
Is there any wavy lines?
Is there any ghosting or halo effects in the picture?
Do the Hi-Fi channels play or are they distorded in sound quality?
I don`t mean to steal the same questions that
Mr. Chris Swanson asked before, but if you would have answered him,
Chris would have bought those from you.
However, since Chris has had bad experiances with these,
he, I and everybody else here,
would want these IF they worked PROPERLY!
So, I think it would benifit YOU and I IF you found out the answers for us.
I WOULD buy them, IF they worked 100 % PERFECTLY!
susaneditsvideo is offline  
Old 02-27-2013, 07:42 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Super Eye's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,029
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
Liked: 29
I Gotta agree with Susan.

If you’re serious about selling the decks, and if you’re an honest person not out to scam someone - you really need to get a hold of a few VHS (and possibly SVHS) tapes for testing purposes and test the heck out of the decks and then honestly report back how well the decks work.

Otherwise it may look to people as you’re hiding something about the condition of the decks.wink.gif
Super Eye is offline  
Old 02-27-2013, 07:58 PM
Newbie
 
neubadger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Susan, I appreciate your potential interest, but:
1) I don't own any VHS tapes - blank or otherwise.
2) I don't own any of the cables required to hook these VCRs up to a TV.
3) I don't own a TV that the above cables would even hook up to.

I would love to confirm that they worked perfectly (my original reason for posting here), but after more than a year of them sitting on a shelf, and my taking no actions to remedy that, I would rather just sell them as-is. I simply don't want to put forth the effort to handle all 3 of the above. I realize this is less than ideal, but that's also why I was offering the pair of them for $50 total. I figured in the event that they don't work, the buyer could just part them out for a profit. I see the face plates, power supplies, and remotes on ebay all the time. If my logic here is off, I apologize. If these are truly worthless to the community here, I'll understand, and I'll just post them on ebay and be done with it. At this point they're just taking up space.
neubadger is offline  
Old 02-27-2013, 08:04 PM
Newbie
 
neubadger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Super Eye, I agree with you, but you also have to understand the amount of effort that would take (my equipment situation is not typical), and compare it to the possible sale price. This isn't exactly life-altering profit we're looking at here. I'm not claiming they work, and if people are only interested in proven decks, I understand completely.
neubadger is offline  
Old 02-28-2013, 04:11 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
jjeff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Minneapolis MN
Posts: 11,142
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 644 Post(s)
Liked: 232
I understand, your basically selling them for parts(or as is) and your prices reflect that. If you wanted to go through the work of testing them you wouldn't be selling them for what you are smile.gif
I agree, if you don't get any bites here, ebay would likely be your best bet but again make sure to state AS IS and state you have NO WAY of testing them, otherwise expect to be bombarded by people wanting you to verify things. Actually no matter what you say you'll get that but hopefully it will cut it down a bit wink.gif
jjeff is online now  
Old 03-14-2015, 04:43 AM
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 0
Jvc hr-s9600

Hi CityBear! I´m new on this forum, so I can´t write you PM. I want to ask you, because I think you are a specialist. I´ve got old VHS tapes (around 1990 and newer) and I want to rewrite them onto DVD via PC. I want to buy JVC HR-S9600EU. But you wrote, that this types of decks destroy tape. (JVC). Which one deck can you recommend me as universal, reliable PAL videorecorder with top class audio and video quality, gentle to tapes. Is this JVC good choice? You know I´m from the Czech republic, Europe, so I need PAL type of videorecorder. Thank You. John Nevrly.
FREDDIE1 is offline  
Old 03-15-2015, 07:58 PM
Senior Member
 
gerrytwo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 225
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked: 11
http://www.ebay.com/itm/JVC-SR-W320U...-/111608710443
A used version of this JVC WVHS recorder is currently $800 at eBay, without remote control. CitiBear mentioned this unit in a much earlier posting.
gerrytwo is offline  
Old 03-16-2015, 01:03 PM
AVS Special Member
 
CitiBear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,249
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 92 Post(s)
Liked: 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by FREDDIE1 View Post
I want to buy JVC HR-S9600EU. But you wrote, that this types of decks destroy tape. (JVC). Which one deck can you recommend me as universal, reliable PAL videorecorder with top class audio and video quality, gentle to tapes. Is this JVC good choice? You know I´m from the Czech republic, Europe, so I need PAL type of videorecorder. Thank You. John Nevrly.
Hi John,

The JVC 9600 is considered one of the best PAL-format vcrs. But like all old JVCs, you need to be careful when buying one second-hand. They are excellent vcrs if in perfect condition, but many have been heavily used and worn out today. It may be difficult to find one in excellent condition, and repairs can be very expensive or unavailable depending on your location. If you want a JVC 9600, I would strongly recommend you buy it locally. Buying one via international eBay and having it shipped across borders can be very problematic if the VCR arrives in poor condition.

You might also look for a Panasonic NV-FS200 or Panasonic NV-HS860. These were close competitors of the JVC, and some users prefer them. The NV-FS200 was the most popular, most common "premium" VCR sold in PAL countries, so it may be easier to find in good condition. This popularity also makes repairs easier to get. The NV-HS860 is newer, but harder to find. Many feel it has the "best" playback of any PAL vcr ever made.

The special JVC "WVHS" models gerrytwo mentioned are superb performers- probably the finest playback of any VCR on the planet. But extremely rare, very expensive second-hand, too fragile to ship, and impossible to get repaired. I believe they were only made in NTSC format, as WVHS was only officially marketed in Japan (an NTSC country).
CitiBear is offline  
Old 02-13-2016, 01:49 PM
Newbie
 
JohnAx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post
Hi John,

The JVC 9600 is considered one of the best PAL-format vcrs. But like all old JVCs, you need to be careful when buying one second-hand. They are excellent vcrs if in perfect condition, but many have been heavily used and worn out today. It may be difficult to find one in excellent condition, and repairs can be very expensive or unavailable depending on your location. If you want a JVC 9600, I would strongly recommend you buy it locally. Buying one via international eBay and having it shipped across borders can be very problematic if the VCR arrives in poor condition.

You might also look for a Panasonic NV-FS200 or Panasonic NV-HS860. These were close competitors of the JVC, and some users prefer them. The NV-FS200 was the most popular, most common "premium" VCR sold in PAL countries, so it may be easier to find in good condition. This popularity also makes repairs easier to get. The NV-HS860 is newer, but harder to find. Many feel it has the "best" playback of any PAL vcr ever made.

The special JVC "WVHS" models gerrytwo mentioned are superb performers- probably the finest playback of any VCR on the planet. But extremely rare, very expensive second-hand, too fragile to ship, and impossible to get repaired. I believe they were only made in NTSC format, as WVHS was only officially marketed in Japan (an NTSC country).
CitiBear et al,

Thanks for the reams of wisdom, and the resultant excellent thread that should be preserved in electronic bronze for all who may still be getting around to saving their VHS source material.

I'm one of those, and am shopping for a decent AG1980. fleaBay seems the only practical source, and my guess at machine condition based on seller feedback and what they're saying suggests there are a couple of probably-good machines (one of them a 5710) for $250, with limited warranties. For $375 another seller offers machines that he's 'refurbished', claiming to have replaced some of the electrolytics at least.

How likely is it that these machines might need that repair?

I can certainly replace a capacitor as skillfully as most; is getting to them trivial?

John
JohnAx is offline  
Old 02-16-2016, 05:51 PM
AVS Special Member
 
CitiBear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,249
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 92 Post(s)
Liked: 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnAx View Post
I'm [...]shopping for a decent AG1980. fleaBay seems the only practical source, and my guess at machine condition based on seller feedback and what they're saying suggests there are a couple of probably-good machines (one of them a 5710) for $250, with limited warranties. For $375 another seller offers machines that he's 'refurbished', claiming to have replaced some of the electrolytics at least.
While eBay is now almost totally buyer-centric, and will back you up for nearly any return for any reason, the AG1980 is a large, clumsy item that is difficult to pack and expensive to ship. So its still a good idea to be extra-sure about the operating condition of the unit in question, and integrity of the seller. This is something you want to buy once and keep, not mess around returning and repairing. IOW, don't even bother looking for a bargain AG1980, because there aren't any. You'd have an easier time finding a unicorn.

Standard-issue listings by well-meaning (but naive) sellers who say their AG1980 is "working fine" are all a gamble. These quirky VCRs can be "working fine" one minute, and a trainwreck the next (esp after shipping any distance). Only sellers who mention re-capping and other recent repairs offer you any chance the VCR will function properly for more than a few weeks after you receive it.

Quote:
How likely is it that these machines might need that repair?
Extremely likely. As discussed endlessly in earlier posts, this model was not designed for long-term survival. Very quickly after its debut, Panasonic had a servicing nightmare on their hands that lasted the entire run of production. Normal minor repairs were impossible: the most sensible option was to replace the entire modular video board as soon as the VCR began acting up. This was easy when it was a current model, and you could still buy new replacement boards, but 20 years later new boards are unobtainium. Repairs require tedious deconstruction and restoration of the video board, which was never intended to be re-capped.

Other considerations, like component matching and alignment, complicate matters beyond the typical whiz-bang repairs seen with 99.9% of other VCRs. For this reason, I strongly recommend going with an AG1980 listed by a seller who very specifically mentions how the unit was restored (and offers a specific guarantee). A few such sellers pop up now and then on eBay, offering a couple AG1980s they have professionally refurbished.

Unfortunately, a "sure thing" like this does not come cheap: expect to pay $300+ for a fully-restored AG1980 that can be counted upon to work well for at least a year after purchase. Plan your dubbing tasks carefully, because a year is about all you can reliably expect before an AG1980 burns itself to death and needs another restoration.

Quote:
I can certainly replace a capacitor as skillfully as most; is getting to them trivial?
Accessing the caps is easy, most of the problems are on their easily-removed modular boards. Replacing them is another story: theres a LOT of small caps, and its delicate, time-consuming work. The AG1980 had wide swings of sample to sample variation: some can be restored by targeting a limited number of caps, most will need the whole board recapped (dozens). The only practical DIY capping job involves the power supply: any video problems will render the unit a doorstop unless you can find (and afford) a skilled tech familiar with AG1980s.
CitiBear is offline  
Old 02-16-2016, 09:39 PM
Newbie
 
JohnAx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Thanks, Citibear

I very much appreciate your wisdom and time, sir. I really do. I was quite excited when I saw the email. Still am.

But like a lot of mythological beings just returned from a session with their own mythological oracle, I'm confused. Are you not the same Citibear who's regularly advised his supplicants that "There is None but AG-1980. Caste Aside All Others!"?

My take-away - admittedly mostly from just this thread - was that the 1980/5710 is without doubt the best choice for recovery of home-made tapes, that it was much better built than anything comparable, and that in the rare case where a repair might be needed it could easily be accomplished. (I note a mention of some other machine that might do better with certain tapes, but I'm hoping to buy just one.)

Like my tapes, I'm an antique. Actually, VCRs are hugely less antique than I am. I was an adult when a video-tape-recorder was made by Ampex, used 2" wide tape, and used head penetration to correct timing. Before that, I even had a wire recorder. So I'm easily confused. Please help me out here.
JohnAx is offline  
Old 02-17-2016, 01:17 AM
AVS Special Member
 
CitiBear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,249
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 92 Post(s)
Liked: 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnAx View Post
like a lot of mythological beings just returned from a session with their own mythological oracle, I'm confused. Are you not the same Citibear who's regularly advised his supplicants that "There is None but AG-1980. Caste Aside All Others!"?
As the saying goes, my friend, "tragedy + time = comedy, and vice versa". All video hardware has a life, a half-life, and eventually an end-of-life. Nothing good lasts forever. Threads regarding VCRs and DVD Recorders should come with expiration dates, because recommendations made ten, five and two years ago may not hold up today. Things change, typically not in a direction favorable to latecomers.

Years ago, conventional wisdom was you needed an AG1980 *and* a similar JVC to cover all bases when digitizing a large collection of VHS tapes. They both have higher-grade heads and the uncommon TBC/DNR circuit. They differ in how well they track particular tapes, and how their TBC/DNR interacts with problem tapes.

In 2004, you could buy both in good working condition at reasonable cost. In 2006, prices skyrocketed as more people became aware of them via forum chatter. By 2011, all the good ones were worn out, having been hammered on and passed around eBay by multiple owners. Today, if you're just now getting around to digitizing your tape collection, pickings are slim indeed. These VCRs are that much older, and high-end VCRs do not age nearly as well as garden-variety VCRs. Inherent problems that were manageable ten years ago are intractable now: new spare parts have dried up, and finding a good VCR repair shop is damn near impossible.

A decade ago, the Panasonic AG1980 was the most desirable high-end VCR because it was more reliable mechanically than the high-strung neurotic JVC divas. Panasonics infamous electronics decay hadn't kicked in at full force yet, so if you obtained a functional AG1980 it would continue working for a few years. Its TBC/DNR was preferable for many tapes, and it tracked old LP and EP tapes better than JVCs.

Today, both brands of used VCR are a circus of horrors. The AG1980 is only worthwhile if its electronics are working 100%, but restoring one to that level is ridiculously difficult and/or expensive. Mechanically they're still aces, but their electronics rot like a banana on sunny concrete. JVC is the opposite: mechanical disasters just waiting to bite you, difficult to adjust for best performance, tho the electronics tend to be much less problematic than an AG1980.

As disappointing as it is to hear, at this point most people should forget they ever knew there was such a thing as a "high end vcr" - the headaches and expense for an average user far outweigh the potential benefits, which were never as significant as forum chatter indicated anyway. The "legend" of AG1980, JVC 9911, etc, began at a time when primitive PC video capture cards and early dvd recorders could not cope with VHS input from ordinary vcrs. They all but required a TBC/DNR circuit in the VCR to digitize usable video.

Today, dvd recorders have all but vanished and the few remaining PC capture devices are much improved. A standard VCR patched thru an old Panasonic dvd recorder (used as a stabilizer) into a PC device like Hauppauge USB Live 2 will produce results not far off from an AG1980 feeding directly into a good dvd recorder.

Those just now embarking on a VHS digitizing project must accept that they waited too long: the options available and practical ten or five years ago are off the table today unless your uncle or your wife's father is a retired VCR repair tech with a workbench full of alignment gear and a surface-mount soldering workstation. Those who feel they MUST have a top-line VCR with TBC/DNR should look at a much newer DVHS models like Mitsubishi HS-HD2000U or JVC HM-DH40000, etc. These are nearly as good as a Panasonic AG1980, without the nasty electronic issues. They're expensive, but a better investment than a decrepit old Panasonic or JVC SVHS model.

Quote:
My take-away - admittedly mostly from just this thread - was that the 1980/5710 is without doubt the best choice for recovery of home-made tapes, that it was much better built than anything comparable, and that in the rare case where a repair might be needed it could easily be accomplished. (I note a mention of some other machine that might do better with certain tapes, but I'm hoping to buy just one.)
See above. Times change. High-end VCRs and dvd recorders age badly: recommendations that were valid fifteen, ten, even three years ago no longer apply. A Ferrari is an amazing car until it gets a few years under its belt and starts needing repairs, some fine boutique wines can turn to vinegar if not consumed within a certain window. Second-hand Hasselblad Zeiss lenses are incredible until the shutter dies, then good luck finding a skilled repair tech who'll fix it for less than you paid for the entire camera.

The future ain't what it used to be.
jjeff likes this.
CitiBear is offline  
Old 02-17-2016, 12:15 PM
Newbie
 
JohnAx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 10
CitiBear
Took what I think was your advice and ordered one from the guy who says he replaces caps (as needed) and tests them. He's gotten good comments from at least 3 recent buyers (and no non-positive feedback), so that seems as good as it's gonna get.

Thanks again for your help.
JohnAx is offline  
Old 02-18-2016, 10:33 AM
AVS Special Member
 
CitiBear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,249
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 92 Post(s)
Liked: 89
Good luck with your AG1980, JohnAX!

Going with a specialist seller was probably your most likely path toward getting a "good" functional unit. Please report back here with your opinion of the VCR you received, and whether you think the seller you chose offered good value for money.

When fully restored, the AG1980 is a superb VHS playback device. Its one unique quality, separating it from otherwise-similar JVCs, is its ability to clean up color noise while not killing overall image detail and/or triggering TBC distortion interactions (since the TBC can be switched off). Unfortunately, the AG1980 has zero tolerance for its own electronic gremlins, so unless its perfectly aligned with all caps firing at 100% performance will be mediocre: worse than a plain-vanilla VCR. So the best way to verify the condition of your "new" AG1980 is to load a tape that you know has terrible color noise streaks (scenes with large areas of red, and outdoor night scenes, are notorious for this). If the AG1980 cleans away the streaks while retaining normal color and detail elsewhere in the picture, it is working well.

OTOH, if the picture seems pastel and washed out, or night scenes show a hailstorm of speckles that don't appear when the tape is played in an "ordinary" VCR, that particular AG1980 has not been completely restored or the circuits not fully aligned. Also check that the front panel clock/counter display is bright and readable: a dim display indicates major decay in the power supply caps that can make the video board underpowered and unstable.

I own five AG1980s and four AG5710s (the 5710 is the 1980 minus tuner/timer). Of these, eight broke down completely within a year of second-hand purchase, and the ninth is on its last legs (pastel, lifeless video). Granted, I paid an average $125 apiece for them over several years bargain hunting, but the point stands they're very polarizing machines. When they work perfectly, they're stellar, when they falter, they make you feel a fool for trusting them. Caveat emptor.
CitiBear is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
 
Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off