Well, it seems my 10+ year old Toshiba VCR is going squirrely on me after all these years of dutiful service. And of course I still have about 150 VHS to transfer to DVD!
Now, I am well aware there are many threads here on VCR recommendations (I've read 'em), but the VCRs that are commonly recommended (The JVC HR-S9900U, the Panasonic AG1980) are just WAY above my budget and, frankly, overkill.
Overkill because I think I am in a somewhat unique transferring situation in that I really don't have any "problem" tapes. I don't have EP mode stuff, no "homemade camcorder/precious memories" tapes that have all kinds of jitter/flicker/stabilizing issues, and I only have a handful of ex-rentals. The bulk of my VHS are professionally made VHS transfers on Maxell Professional VHS made from a rare video dealer who uses Panasonic AG equipment. Most of these tapes haven't been viewed more than 3 times (many just once) and have been stored in a smoke-free, temperature controlled climate.
SO, with all that in mind, are there some VCR models anyone can recommend that are just RELIABLE and send out a good signal that can be had for around $100 used? I don't think I need a lot of TBC/DNR filtering since the tapes are fine to begin with. Hell, I'd put up with a non SVHS VCR if it's reliable (my old Toshiba, a consumer level 4 head VCR, was doing just fine with the transferring before the tracking problem, for example).
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It's unusual that you've not run across any stability errors, regardless of the recording device. Tape itself is the problem. I can only assume you're using a device that does not care, and that you're also converting the signal as-is, VHS noise and all.