Thanks for the wonderful comments, Matt. I am glad you are enjoying your newly crystal clear light path. When his set is ready, Dave and I want you to come over and see his finished product. That should be Thursday evening. Be ready. Or come over sooner, and see the work in action!
Well I have spent the first day playing with Dave's 710, and right off I found very little wear and tear on his CRT faces. No screenburn and even at the heavy usage his set gets from being the family TV, only minor aging footprint. Here is an owner who really knows how to take care of his toys! It's built into a sumptuous curved-glass cabinet and blends like it was built just for this set.
The Cantilever Technique revealed that all 3 lenses were out of focus mechanically and probably had been since the factory issued the set. The red and green were noticeably out, but the blue was even farther out - the screen had to be taken a full 8" out from the bottom of the screen to be in focus at its center, while the red and green only had to come 2 inches out at the bottom to be in focus in the center. This alone crispened up the picture really nice, even tho this will be all changed when the shim op begins in the morning.
The grayscale was not far off at all, having been calibrated previously and only needing cursory correction, totally acceptable for several years of use between tunings. However the overall light level had been taken down considerably in that calibration, causing Dave to have to run his user menu Contrast up substantially into the positive numbers, to compensate. One of the first things I did was restore that service menu contrast level to its former glory, so that now he can keep it centered with all the other user settings, as per factory spec, and still have glorious light levels in his picture.
The practice of dimming down the overall light level by calibrators was started in a consciencious attempt to combat the factory practice of defaulting the light level up to full tilt boogie. Calibrators do this by lowering the maximum light levels inside the service menu settings to where it could not possibly be turned up too high, resulting in keeping it within its linear operating range even when turned all the way up. But it also deprives the owner of ever again turning it up to its full original factory-instilled potential if needed. Since CRT faces darken gradually as they age, the ability to turn it up later to compensate is defeated by this common calibrator practice.
Pioneer Elite CRT sets, however, were the one series that defaulted the overall light level to the set's midpoint
, which is the ideal setting in the first place. All other brands required dimming the picture down to be correct and set at the midpoint of the overall light level - even the Pioneer non-Elites - but the Elite series was perfect out of the box and set up for the light level to be defaulted to its midpoint already. So in restoring the original light levels, I was simply restoring Pioneer's original design of their top of the line Elite series.
Back in the day we had online discussions about this issue, and I seemed to be the only calibrator believing in not
doing this automatic compromise of light level potential. I have not changed my position on the issue. Dave now does not need to turn his user contrast up past zero to halfway up the positive numbers scale anymore, to have and enjoy the substantial light level his set is capable of. I am not, nor have I ever been, a fan of a dim picture. Linear grayscale can still be enjoyed on a universal basis even at substantial light levels. Dimness is not required of CRT sets to look - and stay looking - fantastic.
We then did the realignment of the energies getting to the CRTs, to restore the ability of the Black Level settings to default to their midpoint as well, and at that setting reveal breathtaking shadow detail, once the optics had been thoroughly cleaned all along the light path, which was our very first operation.
We then worked with the Color saturation level, bringing it down by 5 clicks in service menu. The Tint was fine where it was, so we left that register alone. That saturation adjustment delivered fine, lifelike color, esp. in an HD showing of one of the classic original Star Trek episodes. They were all shot on 35mm film and today translate incredibly well to HD. Too bad Roddenberry did not have the foresight J. Michael Straczinski (sp?) had when he produced Babylon 5 in 16x9 aspect ratio. If so, Gene's estate would now have 78 episodes of pure and 100% HD grade vintage Star Trek! The original episodes are in 4x3 instead, but are still stunning in HD even with their black sidebars. These episodes from the original Star Trek series are even shown at Fathom events in present day 4K-equipped movie theaters, and are stunning there as well.
Tomorrow we will explore whether his Carey scaler has the registers needed to defeat red push, should it be found there in his picture once tested.
And of course tear into the shimming op! Can't wait!
bEdited by Mr Bob - 8/29/13 at 4:01am