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Vintage Television and Video Vintage television and video equipment, programmes, VCRs etc.

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Old 23rd Apr 2021, 11:03 pm   #21
Ellectronics
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Default Re: Akai VHS VCRs - want to hear your opinions on them

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Originally Posted by Welsh Anorak View Post
The old VS-1 was a real battleship among battleships! Looked like nothing else.
Then the one with OSD that looked a bit like a Space Invaders screen, especially on the odd occasion it failed. Advanced for its time. Did they rebadge a 3V23, or am I mistaken on that? They certainly badged the older JVC mechanicals.
The ones I met most were the VS-22 with the capacitor failure that Maarten mentions. It used a very complicated and curious power supply that combined a switching regulator with a mains transformer. Akai supplied a small circuit board and a bunch of capacitors which would work, but was tedious to fit. Then the next machines over-ran their displays, so you fitted another mod kit with unusual (for the time) 120uF, high temperature, low-ESR capacitors. This brought the voltage down, but of course the customer had used it until the display went out so now it was virtually invisible. One modification kit, one new VFD display and one disgruntled customer!
Pity about these problems as I can't recall many mechanical faults.
Yet more power supply issues! To be fair I can remember I Can remember plenty of other VCRs with display issues when I was a teen. Would you agree this was a common problem across-the-board? (Early LCD display technology) other than that sounds like they were well-made and built to last. Whatís your model of choice now?
Thanks for your feedback
Daniel
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Old 23rd Apr 2021, 11:07 pm   #22
Ellectronics
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Default Re: Akai VHS VCRs - want to hear your opinions on them

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Originally Posted by stuie319 View Post
Hi,

We sold and rented the VS-Fxx range in vast numbers.
From memory, VS-F10 basic spec, 15 was long play, 33 was the text programmable version and 967 was the nicam machine.

Again from memory, there were three modifications that did a decent job of ending the reliability issue. The pressure roller was changed from a thrust type to a bearing based one, there was the little plastic insert that went under the carriage slider to stop the mech jumping timing, and a rejig of the DC-DC convertor that drove the FL display. The latter was an easy mod in the simple machines, but more of a faff in, for example the hifi one, since all the stacked pcbs would need to come out. Sloppy engineers would cut the plastics out from below the cabinet as a short cut (I hated it when I saw that)

Back to the main point, picture quality. Absolutely excellent. I often remarked upon it at the time, but it really was unbeatable. I'd argue that it was better than the Panasonic range of the same period, of which we also shifted loads. NV-J30,35, F-65 etc

They were really very good indeed

Stu
Thanks Stu interesting to hear about these exact issues were.. you guys have got incredible memories! Going right back to the rental days to! To be honest I wasnít really expecting any replies to this and I do appreciate it thank you.
I wonder how accurate were connected to other big Japanese manufacturers.. Why are they making their own heads et cetera or using other brands?
Overall good to know you highly approve of the quality. Sounds like theyíve been majorly overlooked in the consumer space.
Thanks again for sharing
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Old 23rd Apr 2021, 11:12 pm   #23
Ellectronics
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Default Re: Akai VHS VCRs - want to hear your opinions on them

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Originally Posted by nickdoofah View Post
I remember the Baird HiFi machine, mine would play HiFi tapes that were borderline & that my JVC HE-D910EK refused to track properly! The VFD on mine was failing even in the early 90's - I ended up keeping it just to copy to the other machine worn out HiFi recordings with the inevitable loss of picture quality but restored stereo sound! Me & my girlfriend at the time bought a new single speed mono machine with a peculiar 'Sideways' remote which was a pain to get used to holding, that was in 1989 Despite the odd remote, picture quality was very good as was the auto tracking feature!........Funny the things we remember in the audio/video world we lived in![
Thatís interesting to hear Nick and agreed itís cool that you guys remember these details. I was shocked by this Akai vs g240 as itís a well used machine and much lower and spec compare to the others Iíve used & Get it handled that old tape so well. Sometimes itís not just whatís written on paper itís the actual real world results that count. One of the big drawbacks of buying online is that we just canít appreciate the small differences between products anymore. Iím just glad that Iíve been able to still get good machines now before they disappear completely

Whatís your machine of choice these days? Or have you gone completely digital?

Thanks for sharing
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Old 23rd Apr 2021, 11:16 pm   #24
Ellectronics
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Default Re: Akai VHS VCRs - want to hear your opinions on them

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Originally Posted by John123 View Post
Yes one of my favourite Akai machines was the VS-A77EK, which had an on-board Dolby Surround decoder (with amplifier)! This must've been a good couple of years before Dolby Pro Logic decoders became pretty much commonplace in larger screen tellies. Had a learning remote too!

Interestingly, there was a Salora OEM (SV9800) that naturally had a few cosmetic differences, and an addition of a 'VCR control' socket to allow basic tape functions to be controlled via the TV's remote. Though it kinda defeats the purpose of having a leaning remote! I'm not sure if Salora's earlier Mitsubishi OEM machines also carried the feature, but I digress..

Back to Akai; Later on down the line there was the unusual VS-G815 with its display doubling-up as the tape slot. Can't say I've ever seen that done before!

(pics courtesy of the interwebs)
Wow that A77 looks like a serious piece of kit - remind me of those really nice front loading Sony Betamax machines that had the hi-fi stereo (was it the C-9?)

The G815 looks like a very good later model and Iím a bit excited to say Iíve just bought one and waiting for it to arrive! Hoping to find a good guide to servicing/basic maintenance on this site. Thanks for sharing your experience
Dan
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Old 24th Apr 2021, 5:29 pm   #25
Niechcial,Steve
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Default Re: Akai VHS VCRs - want to hear your opinions on them

I have a VS-G715. It still gives excellent results on SP and LP. Like all modernish VCRs though, you can't play 405 line tapes on it because of the drop out compensation system
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Old 24th Apr 2021, 7:25 pm   #26
TIMTAPE
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Default Re: Akai VHS VCRs - want to hear your opinions on them

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Originally Posted by Ellectronics View Post
... I've discovered the best thing to do with old tapes is to match them to the same kind of machine they were made in, so it's no big surprise this 2 head akai from the 90s has done me so well, despite being mono...
I'm not sure this is generally true. VHS was a world standard and the aim was that a VHS tape could generally be played on any brand or model. In the early days of VTR's and VCR's this was much harder to achieve as production tolerances werent as tight as they would become. In the early days picture tracking was manually adjusted but auto tracking came along later.

Obviously you couldnt play a Long Play tape on a SP only deck, or a stereo tape on a mono deck and expect to hear stereo.

The usual reason a tape wont play well on a well maintained deck is because either it was recorded on a deck that had gone out of spec, or the playback deck is out of spec. Akai would have aligned their decks in the factory to the same specs as the other manufacturers, which were the VHS standards set down by JVC.

When a tape wont play well even on a perfectly aligned deck, we temporarily "misalign" the deck to the alignment of that tape. Sometimes the result is excellent, other times it's only partially successful. It depends on how far the recording deviated from the standard. But just blindly playing a misaligned tape on multiple decks hoping for the best result is expensive and time wasting. It's a little like listening to 10 different radios hoping that one of the radios will be tuned to our favourite station. So much quicker to just tune the one radio to the wanted station.

Last edited by TIMTAPE; 24th Apr 2021 at 7:34 pm.
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Old 24th Apr 2021, 8:20 pm   #27
John123
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Default Re: Akai VHS VCRs - want to hear your opinions on them

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Originally Posted by Ellectronics View Post
Wow that A77 looks like a serious piece of kit - remind me of those really nice front loading Sony Betamax machines that had the hi-fi stereo (was it the C-9?)

The G815 looks like a very good later model and Iím a bit excited to say Iíve just bought one and waiting for it to arrive! Hoping to find a good guide to servicing/basic maintenance on this site. Thanks for sharing your experience
Dan
Yes the VS-A77 had quite an impressive feature-count for its day. I got one second-hand in around 1999/ 2000 though unfortunately I didn't keep it long as the Hi-Fi heads were quite worn causing drop-outs. Whoever had it before must've got their money's worth!

Enjoy your G815. I hope it brings you years of trouble-free operation..but if not, we'll try our best to help!
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John
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Old 24th Apr 2021, 10:39 pm   #28
Maarten
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Default Re: Akai VHS VCRs - want to hear your opinions on them

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Originally Posted by dj_fivos_sak View Post
I have an old top loader VS-5. It has an odd fault where the capstan won't lock into the right speed with a ton of wow & flutter, and another fault where there's no picture in record. The RIFA capacitor in the mains supply recently gave me trouble. It went bang with lots of white smoke. That's common with these capacitors however. A unique "feature" with this model is that it displays "BREAKDOWN" on the VFD along with several beeps coming from a buzzer whenever there's a tape loading fault.
Great to hear your positives and negativeĎs thank you. Really starting to sound like they had a succession of issues with power supplies.. I suppose this wasnít a part of the machine that was made by Akai.. especially UK models which relied on UK friendly power supplies?
The power supplies were definitely designed by Akai themselves. Bought in types would have been standard circuits, but they used creative and cutting edge designs, sometimes unlike any other brand, sometimes more on the conventional side but still slightly different.
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