Best of the Panasonic AG- series S-VHS editors? - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 5 Old 10-07-2012, 09:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Not sure if this is the right board, but does anyone have an opinion on this? These 2 look great (XLR ins, hifi, etc.)
  • Panasonic AG-7750
  • PANASONIC DS555

But seriously - where can a guy find a comparison on these? What are the differences? I'm looking for the ones with the best audio quality and there are SO many of these Panasonic decks. I just want to know what is what. I'm NOT looking to do VHS to digital conversions, really just curious what the differences are - if some are better than others
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post #2 of 5 Old 10-07-2012, 10:37 PM
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Unless you seriously plan on using these to continue recording with VHS instead of a digital format (and heaven help you if you are), there isn't much practical difference between any of these production studio SVHS models aside from age. None is likely to be spectacularly better than the others in audio performance, all will have video heads that are a total mismatch for anything you didn't record on a similar spec "ultra-pro" vcr, most you find second-hand will be missing crucial internal circuit cards, most will need some kind of servicing (good luck finding a tech who's ever laid eyes on one of these units, never mind a tape tension gauge).

Contrary to what many people think, these retired ultra-pro machines are not appreciably better at playback of most consumer recordings than a top semi-pro model like the AG1980/AG5710. They are optimized primarily for recording and editing of original material, preferably camera-generated, preferably using tapes they recorded themselves or from calibrated sister decks of the same series. If you come from a production or post-production background, and know of a couple good repair techs who can restore such VCRs and maintain them for you, and you have a specific need to play tapes that were recorded on other such production-class VCRs, then you might explore acquiring one. Before doing so, ask your tech friends which they can still service: thats more important than a 2% difference in audio performance.

If you are not coming from a professional background, and the tapes you want to play were not originally recorded by this type of extreme professional VCR, there is no advantage in getting one over a more common AG1980/AG5710. They're huge, heavy, non-standard in some aspects of record/playback, and designed for a pro environment with expectation of regular, scheduled maintenance-calibration by a vanishing breed of service technician. Properly serviced, they can provide excellent playback with some consumer tapes but not all: these pro decks are skewed toward pro tapes, consumer tape compatibility varies.

The ultimate in S/VHS audio performance was offered by the short-lived "WVHS" analog HDTV vcrs sold some years ago by JVC. These high-spec units had premium bespoke audio circuits and audio tracking targeted at completely eliminating headswitching noise, "machine gunning," flanging, mistracking and other issues inherent in VHS HiFi since it was first introduced. If your highest priority is HiFi audio performance, be patient and look for one of the JVC WVHS decks that were imported as accessories for DirecTV. They come up for sale in the second-hand Craig's List or eBay market a few times a year. Model numbers were SRW-320U, SRW-5U, SRW-7U, HR-W1, HR-W5. The most common was the SRW-5U (circa 2001, original retail $6900), the most coveted was the SRW-320U broadcast spec version (original retail $13,000). The SRW-5U currently fetches about $500 in good working condition.
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post #3 of 5 Old 01-05-2014, 08:15 AM
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Bought an AG-7750 a few years ago, off eBay. I'd used the AG-6550 in a professional environment about 20 years ago. They're relatively easy on the tapes, EXCELLENT audio and video quality.  The 7750 has useful video "enhancement" controls, brightness, color, hue, "video level", good for improving the deteriorated quality of these old VHS tapes I'm transferring to DVD. The 7750 has an S-VHS output that, even if you're playing a regular VHS tape, will output the signal via S-VHS format to improve the color separation... results in a more "distinct" picture.  I'm not a "video tech" or anything, but I've worked consumer sales (Best Buy and the like) for a long time, and have always felt this VCR (player, really, I'm not recording) is the best quality product I've ever used.  eBay price is under $100 these days, and well worth it, but make sure it's a reputable seller.

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post #4 of 5 Old Yesterday, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djempo7 View Post
<p>Bought an AG-7750 a few years ago, off eBay. I'd used the AG-6550 in a professional environment about 20 years ago. They're relatively easy on the tapes, EXCELLENT audio and video quality.  The 7750 has useful video "enhancement" controls, brightness, color, hue, "video level", good for improving the deteriorated quality of these old VHS tapes I'm transferring to DVD. The 7750 has an S-VHS output that, even if you're playing a regular VHS tape, will output the signal via S-VHS format to improve the color separation... results in a more "distinct" picture.  I'm not a "video tech" or anything, but I've worked consumer sales (Best Buy and the like) for a long time, and have always felt this VCR (player, really, I'm not recording) is the best quality product I've ever used.  eBay price is under $100 these days, and well worth it, but make sure it's a reputable seller.</p>
Please pardon me if I'm not doing this right, but, I am BRAND NEW to forums…
I was searching online for the Panasonic AG-7750 unit - to find out if it could possibly help me in what I'm trying to do..
I've got about 25 Super VHS tapes that were recorded ? years ago. I hired a guy, spent every penny I had for him to tape(video) a workshop that I taught. Afterwards, found out that the video was tolerable, but the audio had soooo much noise. I don't know what he DID or didn't do?!
Anyway, determined to try to do something with the tapes after all these years. My reason for thinking about the Panasonic AG-7750 is that I hear it helps to clean up the audio?
My idea was to possibly use the Panasonic AG-7750 to clean up the sound,(and maybe even help the video some), and then maybe from there load it into a video editing software on my Mac computer.
Any idea out there on how I can get the very best from those videos, since hopefully we have so much better technology now than then….any help would REALLY be appreciated….Thanks !
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post #5 of 5 Old Today, 09:52 AM
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Depends what type of audio "noise" you are dealing with. VCRs (even pro models) were never equipped with built-in audio enhancement controls: only video controls, and only in select models.

If your tape noise was caused by poor microphone placement, AC hum, hiss, feedback, or internal electronic noise in the original camcorder, then it is part of the actual sound track and cannot filtered by the VCR itself. You would need to filter it with an external audio equalizer, software filters running on a PC audio card, etc. during playback or while dubbing to a digital format.

If the noise is caused by poor audio tracking (because the original camcorder had drifted off-spec), this is much more difficult to handle. VHS HiFi audio is extraordinarily sensitive to mechanical tracking accuracy, if the playback VCR can't be dialed in to match the camcorder almost exactly, you will get frequent bursts of static, machine-gunning, or terrible sibilant distortions. These can be reduced somewhat by trying different VCRs until you find the most compatible player, but you can't eliminate the issue completely.

You can verify if this noise is due to mistracking by switching your VCR from HiFi Audio mode to Linear or Normal Mode. This will reroute audio output from the spinning HiFi track that is layered under the video tracks to the standard audio recorded on the edge of the tape, similar to an audio cassette. This backup track is usually not stereo, and sounds muddier compared to the HiFi track, but it is completely free from the mistracking issue. If your noise problem disappears when you switch to the linear/mono/normal audio track, the noise is definitely due to VHS HiFi mistracking. Using the linear track might then be preferable, despite the poorer frequency response and added hiss (this can be dealt with via equalizing/filtering).

If you notice near-identical noise issues on both the HiFi and linear tracks, you'll have to choose the least annoying track and process that thru external gear to reduce the noise as much as possible.
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