The Panasonic DF-300 tapes are junk, except for the very early models of the PV-HD1000 which only seem to accept true D-VHS blanks. Otherwise, if you have a newer model (without all the grills on the top of the unit), go with Fuji or TDK S-VHS blanks. They rarely have the dropouts at the beginning and end of tapes that the Panasonics have. Also, I've seen more breakups and dropouts in the middle of recordings made on Panasonic tapes.
The audio dropout problem is NOT solved by using the SH-AC500D decoder; it merely masks the dropout as a minor 'tick'. The audio problem reportedly disappears completely if you play back the tape through either the JVC HM-DH30000 D-VHS deck or the 16x9Time modified DTC-100 (and hence, their digital outputs are compatible with those AC-3 decoders that don't do error concealment, like the Denon 4800).
Other problems to watch out for: if a timer does not complete recording because it runs out of tape, when you insert your next tape the PV-HD1000 will immediately jump into record mode (!). One solution is to pop the tabs on all your recordings. Also, you can turn the record timer off in the TU-DST50/51 before inserting the cassette.
Clean the tape heads regularly. Some recordings I thought were badly done because of dropouts turned out to be perfect; I just needed to clean the heads.
Keep the TU-DST50/51 cool as well. It is just as prone to overheating.
Displays: Sony VPL-HW40ES | 110" SI Motorized Slate screen | Pioneer PRO-150FD
Sources: Sony BDP-S5000ES | Dune HD Smart D1 | Roku HD | LG LST-3410A HD-DVR
Speakers: Nearfield Pipedreams 18 (L,R,Sub1,Sub2), Pipedreams 15 (C)
| Magnepan MC-1 (WL, WR, SL, SR, SBL, SBR)
Audio: Denon AVR-4311CI | Bryston 6B-SST | Bryston 14B-SST
Control: Control4 home automation