Need a budget vcr player that has crystal clear sound

F

foruuser

Enthusiast
Hi
I want to record audio from my computer
To a budget vcr player that is not too hard to find and around 50-250$ impossible?
Ok the sound doesn’t have to be perfect but if at least i can switch off any automatic limiter,
And have a good sound
There must be something out there!
Thanks
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Why would you want to record to an ancient tech like that rather than digitally record the audio?
 
Eppie

Eppie

Audioholic General
Hi
I want to record audio from my computer
To a budget vcr player that is not too hard to find and around 50-250$ impossible?
Ok the sound doesn’t have to be perfect but if at least i can switch off any automatic limiter,
And have a good sound
There must be something out there!
Thanks
I used to record mixed music tapes on VHS... about 40 years ago. Why do you want to use a VCR in particular? On what are you planning to play back the music? If you can give us an idea of what you are trying to accomplish, there are likely better options out there. If you are outside of the U.S., might help to know what country you are in.
 
F

foruuser

Enthusiast
Its just for fun, I got into recording on tape players and enjoyed repairing a nakamichi and repairing walkmans, I heard the vcr could make better recordings, so i wanted to test that, i also like the analog sound from tapes and the wow and flutter flavor
 
F

foruuser

Enthusiast
yes i will,
which one of these do you think is a better bet
Panasonic NV-F65 VHS or NV-FJ617
 
j_garcia

j_garcia

Audioholic Jedi
yes i will,
which one of these do you think is a better bet
Panasonic NV-F65 VHS or NV-FJ617
If they are the right price, I'd get both. They're just going to get a lot harder to find and nearly impossible to repair.

Why not DAT instead of VHS? DAT was a pretty good audio format at the time that tape was starting to fall out of favor, but the quality was good.
 
F

foruuser

Enthusiast
thanks for the advice,
yes i want to try dat tapes too
can a Panasonic SV-3700 do the job?
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
Hi
I want to record audio from my computer
To a budget vcr player that is not too hard to find and around 50-250$ impossible?
Ok the sound doesn’t have to be perfect but if at least i can switch off any automatic limiter,
And have a good sound
There must be something out there!
Thanks
I don't think you understand the problem. It is not as simple as you think.

Most VHS VCRs sound awful. This is because the tape moves slowly, and the audio head is just allotted a narrow tape width at the edge.

Later the Helical scan Hi-Fi VHS VCR was introduced, that in addition to the helical scan rotating video head, had rotating audio heads 60 degrees out of phase with the with the rotating video heads. This was in addition to the standard stationary audio head, so that these VCRs could play a tape recorded on a standard VHS VCR.

The rotating heads recorded an FM multiplex signal of the audio.

This is all explained in this article.

The audio quality was actually quite good, and an enormous improvement in audio quality over the standard VCR.

So you need to look for Hi-Fi rotating audio head Hi-Fi VCR.

Now there was another way of getting really good audio quality from a VCR. That was with an audio digital converter and a digital audio converter for playback.

This recoded a digital signal on the video tape using the spinning video heads. The digital signal could be viewed on a TV monitor, to allow some rudimentary editing by dubbing between two VCRs. However you had to dub to reel to reel for tight edits. Only two firms ever made these units, one was Sony, the other was Sansui.

The Sansui was the more reliable unit, and the Sony a bit problem prone. I bought my pro VCRs and a Sansui, PCM-1 in 1984 to record the outside broadcasts of symphony, choral concerts and a couple of operas, for the local public radio station in Grand Forks ND. Many of these broadcasts were transmitted state wide.

This saved me having to lug two heavy reel to reel tape recorders around, and also saved the enormous expense of master tapes running at 15 ips. I was one of the first, if not the first, in the US, to record broadcasts digitally.

These digital VHS PCM recorders in working order are now as rare as hens teeth. However as many members here know, I something of an audio hoarder, and keep my gear in working order. I still have my two Panasonic VHS machines, and a spare in storage, and the Sansui PCM-1 unit in my rig here.



So, that is a quick run down on high quality audio recording using a VHS VCR.

Bottom line you need at least a Hi-Fi VCR with rotating audio, as well as video heads. Best would be a VCR with the code/decoder, to use the video bandwidth to make high quality digital audio recordings.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
Panasonic SV-3700 looks pretty good to me.
I also have one of those Panasonic DAT recorders, in the rig. The problem is that those small cassettes make the small rotating heads prone to fouling and drop outs. I found that those machines were not a reliable alternative to reel to reel machines like the VHS PCM system was.



You can see the Panasonic DAT in the second rack, it is the bottom unit. Above that is the computer for the digital audio work station, above that an old Marantz CD player/recorder, and above that the RME DAC for the DAW. If you want to make good audio recordings, there is nothing better than a well designed and built DAW, and an RME DAC/mixer.
 
Last edited:
F

foruuser

Enthusiast
apparently this would do the job Panasonic NV-FS100
if you insert a vcr in these rotating audio's the sound is played by the normal audio head,
and then if you record a new tape through the vcr you get better sound with the rotating technology kicking in?
 
F

foruuser

Enthusiast
on a budget sony vcr with HIFI written on the front does that make it a rotating audio model or is it a semi-HIFI? thanks
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
apparently this would do the job Panasonic NV-FS100
if you insert a vcr in these rotating audio's the sound is played by the normal audio head,
and then if you record a new tape through the vcr you get better sound with the rotating technology kicking in?
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
That Panasonic would be a very good choice. Sony came late in the day to VHS, as they stuck with their own Betamax for so long. I would not get a Sony machine.

As far as cabling, I do not use the RME for VHS, that is the DAC for the DAW, Digital Audio work station. The RME connects to the DAW via Firewire, and to the Marantz 7705 pre/pro via an optical connection.

The Panasonic recorder, connects to the Sansui unit using standard video cabling.

Honestly though, if you want to make audio recordings, you should really go with a DAW, an external DAC, and a digital editing/Archiving program. That is the way to go, for ease of use and versatility. Using a highly dated, and frankly awkward technology, by modern standards, is not really a good plan.

I just have kept mine, as my system has a museum aspect to it, with some very rare pieces, and also state of the art pieces from over half a century ago, in fact now getting on the three quarters of a century ago.
 
Eppie

Eppie

Audioholic General
The op appears to want to experiment with different formats so I don't think the age or suitability or versatility is the issue if it is just for fun. Any VCR labeled HiFi should use rotating heads for audio, but if you can find the manual on the internet that may yield more detailed information. I used an NEC VCR which had Dobly DBX noise reduction. That goes a long way in improving the sound quality of recordings. It was every bit as good or better than my $1000 Nikko cassette tape deck with Dolby-C. The disadvantage is that you need a DBX VCR for playback otherwise the music sounds compressed when played back on a regular VCR without DBX.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
The op appears to want to experiment with different formats so I don't think the age or suitability or versatility is the issue if it is just for fun. Any VCR labeled HiFi should use rotating heads for audio, but if you can find the manual on the internet that may yield more detailed information. I used an NEC VCR which had Dobly DBX noise reduction. That goes a long way in improving the sound quality of recordings. It was every bit as good or better than my $1000 Nikko cassette tape deck with Dolby-C. The disadvantage is that you need a DBX VCR for playback otherwise the music sounds compressed when played back on a regular VCR without DBX.
The trouble with dbx 2 used on some cassette decks and VCR, is that it doubles frequency response errors, between the record and playback signals. It is also not immune from pumping. When it comes to tape, I only got really good results from well set up reel to reel machines running at 15 ips loaded with professional mastering quality tape.
 
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