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  1. Hi, if i liked to just rip the Audio of a VHS tape, what VCR would be the best for that task? Are there any differences in audio only captures? What should i take care of? Thank you!
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  2. Member
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    Obviously, it needs to have working HiFi heads if your tape has HiFi audio. For linear audio, it needs to have an audio/control head in proper alignment (height and azimuth are critical).
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  3. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    If hifi, make sure you have the tracking set optimally otherwise you will get occasional or regular buzzing or futzing noise.

    IMO, the quality of hifi tracks can be better than cassette & lp, but less than digital options, but only if all elements of the chain are optimal. Wouldn't do it unless that was the only way to get that particular clip.
    Linear is worse, it is basically the WORST sound quality you can get from any medium, except maybe dictation microcassettes, old super8 sound films, AM radio or telephone audio.

    Make sure you save to LPCM or lossless so you don't make matters worse.

    Scott
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    VHS linear audio doesn't have to be abysmal. Frequency response was improved in later models. The problem is that the track is TINY and interchange can be poor. If the head is not at precisely the right height and azimuth (rotation), the sound goes mushy. (Compact Cassette suffers the same problem to a lesser extent.) If you have a tape with only linear sound, and it's important, improvement can be gained by tweaking the head position just as one does for audio tapes.
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  5. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Yes, but CC runs at 4.38cm/sec (higher freq. resp.) whereas VHS (SP) runs at 3.38-worse for slower speeds, CC has wider dedicated audio tracks (better base SNR), has Dolby B, or C, or dbx, as well as HXpro NR enhancements, whereas VHS has Dolby B only with later models, CC can have stronger magnetic tape formulations (incl. "Metal") while VHS just has standard ferrous, CC can have dual capstan while VHS cannot plus it has both E-M and mechanical/vibrational interference from the video track & heads so wow&flutter is much worse along with IM distortion. To say nothing of mono, or timecode leakage.
    Almost abysmal. But at the time it was better than nothing.

    Scott
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  6. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    I've come across some quite decent linear audio, better than other HiFi tapes.
    It's the tape, and how it was made, that determines quality.
    Want my help? Ask here! (not via PM!)
    FAQs: Best Blank DiscsBest TBCsBest VCRs for captureRestore VHS
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  7. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    We all should know that quality of mastering & duplication greatly helps reproduction further down the line, and one can often find examples of titles mastered differently at different times where the better format got a worse master copy, but in comparing apples to apples, I wouldn’t venture far to guess that those instances where the linear audio was better than the same title on hifi, it said more about the sorry state of the quality of that instance of hifi than it said about the great state of linear.

    Scott
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
    I've come across some quite decent linear audio, better than other HiFi tapes.
    It's the tape, and how it was made, that determines quality.
    In fact, it is the congruence between the recording device and the playback device. As I wrote above, the track is so tiny that the slightest mistracking will muddy the sound. This factor alone is orders of magnitude more important than EM, W&F, and the like. And I must point out that "timecode leakage," if in reference to the control track, would be a neat trick since audio and control run along opposite edges of the tape.
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  9. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Not talking about control track leakage, I'm talking about LTC put on one of the 2 tracks in a stereo audio recording. Occurred OFTEN in VHS, 3/4", etc. It SHOULD be confined to only the temporary edit work product, but often, even after that 2nd track was re-recorded over, it would still come through in the background like a ghost (because the LTC is such a high energy signal), and I can verify that it appeared on a few distributed Hollywood titles (at which point it was way too embedded to remove simply).
    This would of course be more a vulnerability of having used audio-along-with-video compared to a strictly audio medium and could be extrapolated to any A-for-V vs. A alone, but even though it may be tangential, it is still pertinent to the point of the comparison. Then again, I barely mentioned it in my argument. There are plenty of stronger reasons why linear VHS audio was poor. Heck, that was one of the main incentives for coming up with Hifi in the first place, because it was so poor. I do agree about the mistracking thing, though.

    Scott
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  10. With a properly aligned deck, there is no comparison between linear and Hi-Fi, and the Hi-Fi is infinitely superior by every measure: frequency response; signal-to-noise; dynamic range; and artifacts.

    VHS Audio

    The difference becomes even greater if your tape was recorded in one of the two slower modes (EP & LP, vs. SP). The linear audio track for tapes recorded in EP (the "6-hour" mode) has a frequency response no better than AM radio, but even at that slow speed, the Hi-Fi audio track is virtually as good as in the 2-hour mode. In fact, VHS 6-hour mode Hi-Fi is so good that I used to use it to record satellite audio from the audio service on my first satellite TV. I'd just let the thing crank for eight hours, using one of those extended tapes playing in EP mode, and then copy the audio that I wanted to my computer. The quality was great.

    I restore media and when I do VHS tapes, I always use the Hi-Fi track and when it is not there (Hi-Fi camcorders weren't very common until the late 1980s) I usually have to do a lot of noise reduction to get rid of the tape hiss that is on ANY linear magnetic tape recording, whether reel-to-reel, 8-track, cassette, Beta, or VHS.

    Hi-Fi is better in every respect, but only if both the recording machine and the playback deck are/were both properly aligned. Pay attention to Cornucopia's statements above about having the alignment correct because you can get some really nasty artifacts. I like his term "futzing" because it describes the slightly unusual sound you get when things are not aligned correctly.

    And, to the OP's question, I don't think it matters one bit which VCR you use. My $49 Sharp works just as well as my $1,000 Panasonic when it comes to recording Hi-Fi audio.
    Last edited by johnmeyer; 5th Feb 2019 at 00:24. Reason: added "not" to a"aligned correctly"
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  11. Dinosaur Supervisor KarMa's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post
    My $49 Sharp works just as well as my $1,000 Panasonic when it comes to recording Hi-Fi audio.
    They sold $49 HiFi machines? Don't think I ever came across a stereo HiFi unit under $100, back in the day. Around or under $100 was pretty much only mono linear when they were retailed.
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  12. Originally Posted by KarMa View Post
    Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post
    My $49 Sharp works just as well as my $1,000 Panasonic when it comes to recording Hi-Fi audio.
    They sold $49 HiFi machines? Don't think I ever came across a stereo HiFi unit under $100, back in the day. Around or under $100 was pretty much only mono linear when they were retailed.
    I bought it back in the halcyon days of the Internet, when everyone was giving stuff away in order to get ahead of the competition. There was an early online retailer called "Value America" who had some of the most outrageous deals, with some merchandise going for 50% of what you'd pay elsewhere. The unit I mentioned not only has Hi-Fi, but also a "quasi S-VHS" playback where it will play S-VHS tapes, even though it can't record in this format.
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