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Does anyone remember VHS HIFI ?

600_OHM

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This memory came back to me about the early 90's - doing VHS HIFI with a Sony deck.

Details elude me as they fade since I only did it for a very short time. I put quite a few treasured LP's on it, until they started stacking up, interest waned and so forth.

I do remember though that my deck had an "audio only" mode, and even a crude single-knob level control with metering. I *think* that there were different heads being used in the helical scan for this, but not sure.

Not wanting to crinkle the tapes (and bought the best I could find, and run at the highest speed) I tended to limit my sessions to listening to an entire LP at a time, and not do a bunch of shuttling around.

It didn't last too long for me, but at the time, I thought it sounded pretty good. I think my heart was yearning for the reel-to-reel days, which from a consumer standpoint either being unobtainium at big-box stores, or just stratospherically expensive.

Cruising ASR made me think of this small blip in time for me - wonder if anyone else stacked up a collection of VHS HIFI tapes?
 

amirm

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I do. I remember being stunned how good movie sound was. Setup my stereo for it around our rear projection TV and experience was so much better. Alas, picture quality was terrible.
 

Blumlein 88

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Yes I remember. Most decks had ALC and were a problem for audio. I had one that had the option of audio only with you setting level. It sounded pretty good. Best thing was an extended frequency response, and a 70 or 75 db SNR. I used to make party or mood tapes. An all jazz or all blues 2hr tape things like that. Something about it was not quite as pristine as basic specs implied, and I seem to recall articles saying it was periodic impulse noise from the spinning heads as it switched frames. For moderate background level mood music or party music it was great.

Here is a short pdf describing how it worked. Oh and for video Super VHS was a big improvement over VHS.
 
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600_OHM

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Heh, yeah I need to cruise some vintage vhs deck images to see if I can find mine again.

I may be wrong, but I think there was a separate audio only input, and remember thinking to myself that nearly nobody would use this feature. I think that dedicated audio heads, different from the main video/audio heads, were used when placed in the hifi-only mode.

Almost as an add-on feature, and not a main selling point I presumed, but I put it to use for a few months..
 
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600_OHM

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Yes I remember. Most decks had ALC and were a problem for audio. I had one that had the option of audio only with you setting level.
Same here, with manual level control on mine, it was the only reason I tried it as ALC was always junk.

Problem was I was always fearful of hurting the tapes and got into nerd-like maintenance - like after listening to it 5 times or so, where it never reached the end naturally on it's own, I would play it through all the way to the end and rewind from that, thinking I was somehow keeping the overall tension equal.

I think we need to find one for amirm to test! - if there was frame-switching noise, I don't remember hearing it.

Ah, these one-hit wonders belong in the same box as the L-Cassette . :)
 

Blumlein 88

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Same here, with manual level control on mine, it was the only reason I tried it as ALC was always junk.

Problem was I was always fearful of hurting the tapes and got into nerd-like maintenance - like after listening to it 5 times or so, where it never reached the end naturally on it's own, I would play it through all the way to the end and rewind from that, thinking I was somehow keeping the overall tension equal.

I think we need to find one for amirm to test! - if there was frame-switching noise, I don't remember hearing it.

Ah, these one-hit wonders belong in the same box as the L-Cassette . :)
You actually have the same audio quality even in the 6 hr mode. I always though it likely the tape wear would cause issues sooner using the 6 hr mode so I used the 2hr speed for audio only recordings.
 

diddley

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I bought the tapes, whent quickly home on the bicycle, put the tapee in and listen.
I thought it was marvelous.
And then came cd, and i had to buy it all again, and now it's blu-ray.
A never ending story, plus the fact that i got a whole lote of cd's double because they got damaged in the line of duty.

Now i am trying to kick the habbit by using qobuz but stil mis buying and listening cd.In November i got to decide if i want to continue with qobuz.
 

NiagaraPete

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Even better I remember Beta HiFi. It was awesome.
 

NiagaraPete

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This memory came back to me about the early 90's - doing VHS HIFI with a Sony deck.

Details elude me as they fade since I only did it for a very short time. I put quite a few treasured LP's on it, until they started stacking up, interest waned and so forth.

I do remember though that my deck had an "audio only" mode, and even a crude single-knob level control with metering. I *think* that there were different heads being used in the helical scan for this, but not sure.

Not wanting to crinkle the tapes (and bought the best I could find, and run at the highest speed) I tended to limit my sessions to listening to an entire LP at a time, and not do a bunch of shuttling around.

It didn't last too long for me, but at the time, I thought it sounded pretty good. I think my heart was yearning for the reel-to-reel days, which from a consumer standpoint either being unobtainium at big-box stores, or just stratospherically expensive.

Cruising ASR made me think of this small blip in time for me - wonder if anyone else stacked up a collection of VHS HIFI tapes?
I don’t recall Sony doing VHS they were beta.
 
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600_OHM

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You actually have the same audio quality even in the 6 hr mode. I always though it likely the tape wear would cause issues sooner using the 6 hr mode so I used the 2hr speed for audio only recordings.
Hah! Same here. 2-hour mode only, which was still convenient for double-albums.

Although by that time, I did have trouble trying to find the "good audio quality" vhs tapes and paid $$ for them.

Ultimately, it was just kind of a pita despite the good sound. Reminded me of my days when my cheap 70's "Golden-Tone" stereo system had an 8-track record function with full level controls so I'd pretend to be the studio engineer when recording Uriah Heep albums. Which I timed out all the tracks and put them in different order so as not to have them "clunk" to the next audio track right in the middle. VHS hifi solved that problem. :)
 

SKBubba

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What I remember was going in to Circuit City looking for some 1/4" reel to reel tape for my Fostex R8 tape deck.

The sales guy told me I didn't need that. All I needed was this VHS deck that he wanted to sell me. You can record music on it, he said.

I started to walk out, but decided to play along.

Oh, wow. Can it record 8 tracks? Can you re-record one track with punch in/out? Can it record an SMPTE sync track? Can you use an input mixer and an output mixer?

He didn't know, but insisted that his VHS deck was all I needed, would sound great, and record many more hours of music.

Ok, then.
 
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600_OHM

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I don’t recall Sony doing VHS they were beta.
You know, maybe it was JVC? I have a hard time remembering because it didn't last long for me.

These days, I just record everything in OGG format and hope it will outlive me....
 

NiagaraPete

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You know, maybe it was JVC? I have a hard time remembering because it didn't last long for me.

These days, I just record everything in OGG format and hope it will outlive me....
Sony invented both systems. If memory serves me m an u loading were the tech names. Sony only licensed Toshiba for beta which was the downfall of the system.
 

MakeMineVinyl

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I used to use it in the days before DAT as a mix medium for a few film scores I composed. I modified the machine so that the linear track contained SMPTE time code and the HiFi tracks were a stereo mix of the music. It worked well enough but I was sure happy when DAT came around.
 
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Does anyone remember between VHS HIFI and DAT: Recording digital stereo to VHS? I think it was using Sony PCM-F1 - type format? On a Sony PCM-601 ESD I think, in the 1980s. So all the audio went to the space normally used by the video tracks, IIRC. We did some live recordings of events with that setup at my old museum gig. I remember being blown away by the sound of that setup.
 

NiagaraPete

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No they definitely did vhs. My last vhs was Sony and last super vhs was Sony. I still have it and it worked a couple or three years ago.
Definitely possible but Sony pro was u-matic which ended up being beta. The u-matic system lasted for years in pro video.

They sold the m loading licence to jvc who in turn relicensed all sorts of vendors.
 
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