Dismiss Notice
We are making some updates and reconfigurations to our server. Apologies for any downtime or slow forum loading now or within the next week or so. Thanks!

MFSL Beta/VHS Tape

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by spotlightkid, Aug 7, 2004.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. spotlightkid

    spotlightkid Senior Member Thread Starter

    mfsl_vhs_fr.jpg
    Does any SH forum member have any of these MFSL Large DAC Tapes- or ever get the chance to hear one.I have never seen one for sale anywhere!!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 7, 2014
  2. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialistâ„¢

    Location:
    B.C.
    Check eBay, I've seen them periodically on there.
     
  3. John Carsell

    John Carsell Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northwest Illinois
    They were easy to order from Mo-Fi in the early 80's.
     
  4. SimplyOrange

    SimplyOrange Well-Known Member

    It says on Wikipedia that MFSL did some digital audio tapes. Does anyone know of any or have any pictures of some?
     
  5. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Not digital audio tape in the "DAT" sense that we all knew and "loved," but PCM tapes, made to order, on either VHS or Beta. Very, very rare. Note that "The Nightfly" was available in this oddball format, which I think *may* make that the first-ever digital release of a digital recording, depending on just when these became available. I've read both 1982 and 1983, so they may or may not pre-date the public launch of the CD format.

    Old discussion about that release (click on arrows to see in-thread):
    and of the format in general:
    http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/mfsl-cassettes.168329/
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
  6. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    PH416156 and noname74 like this.
  7. noname74

    noname74 Allegedly Canadian

    Location:
    Room 237
    Wow...if I saw that as somones avatar I would think it was a Photoshop-job.
     
  8. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    No, I remember seeing these for sale in the MFSL booth at CES back in the 1980s. A pretty interesting collectors' item. I had a PCM-F1 unit at the time, and probably should have bought one or two!
     
  9. Claude

    Claude Senior Member

    Location:
    Luxembourg
    I remember that time in autumn 1981 when the german hifi press tested the first consumer digital recording and playback systems. The Sony F1 combo and the Technics recorder.

    CD was launched in late 1982 in the US and Japan, March 1983 in Europe, so there was a year during which these tapes were the only way to make a digital release to consumers, and that's the reason why MFSL decided to offer them.

    After CDs became available, the format no longer made sense for releases.
     
  10. McLover

    McLover Senior Member

    Location:
    Athens, Tennessee
    These Mofi tapes are not DAT. They are PCM encoded VHS tapes. And require a PCM processor for playback.
     
    Shak Cohen likes this.
  11. SimplyOrange

    SimplyOrange Well-Known Member

    Holy ****... Thanks for the information. That's amazing. I bet they sounded great.
     
  12. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Courtesy member JonUrban:
    [​IMG]
     
  13. EasterEverywhere

    EasterEverywhere Forum Resident

    Location:
    Albuquerque
    Wasn't that included as one of the inserts briefly in MFSL LPs?I may have an LP that has that ad in it.I am pretty sure I remember seeing these at my local Sound Warehouse for a little while in '82,'83 or so.I can see where these would not sell well,if you needed a special processor.In all the years since of going to thrift shops,yard sales,and flea markets,I don't believe I have ever seen one of these tapes.I can see where you could possibly use VHS or Beta as an analog audiophile medium.So DID CDs kill this idea,and did anyone suggest using videotapes for audio after this?I know Beta has better sound and picture than VHS does.
     
  14. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Hmmm....highly doubtful, as these were literally MADE TO ORDER, not produced in quantity.
    Yes, but just to be clear, these tapes were not analog, but digital.
    The videotape format essentially had no impact on the sound quality for these PCM tapes, as the signal was recorded as ones and zeros on the VIDEO signal, not the tape's audio track(s).
     
    lukpac, Shak Cohen and paulisdead like this.
  15. rockledge

    rockledge Forum Resident

    Location:
    right here
    The only digital audio tapes in video tape format I knew of are the ones Quantigy made specifically for Adat.
    Although music sounds pretty good on VCRs, I don't really see the benefit of getting prerecorded tapes of audiophile quality for them.
    Were there special players for them, or were they just for VCR audio outputs?

    I am wondering if Adats would have been able to decode them.
     
  16. paulisdead

    paulisdead fast and bulbous

    Attached is an article I just scanned from an Electronics Australia special issue (1984) on the new compact disc format called The Sound Revolution.

    It gives you an indrouction to the Sony 701ES PCM adapter.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014
    PH416156 likes this.
  17. paulisdead

    paulisdead fast and bulbous

    I don't think so.

    ADAT's were a completely different, digital multitrack (8 track) format. Also, this technology predates ADAT recorders.
     
  18. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    No.

    No pre-recorded tapes in this format though, correct?
    Again....this is not "Music on a VCR." The video tape is simply being used as a carrier for PCM data, with the data being embedded as a compatible VIDEO signal -- no "audio" at all, in the typical VCR sense. Many of the CDs you have in your collection were likely mastered to U-matic videotape via the same video-signal scheme (it was THE standard for CD for many years), and the same process could be followed on VHS or Beta (or presumably 8mm video, although I've never seen that used -- but all it needs is a way to record a VIDEO signal).

    There were basically three "flavors" of players for them.
    1.) Outboard units, such as (most commonly) the Sony F-1
    PCM-F1.gif
    or the earlier (and very pricey) PCM-1:
    PCM1-digital14.jpg
    Input would be via standard analog audio, but outputs were a VIDEO stream, fed to the VIDEO signal of a VCR (U-matic, later VHS, Beta). For playback the VIDEO out of the VCR would run into the Sony unit, and AUDIO would get fed out of the Sony, NOT from the VCR's audio units, as there was no audio signal on the VCR to be played back.

    2.) "Stand alone" players. The most common came from Technics:
    sv-p100.JPG
    These had traditional audio ins and outs, but the signal on the tape, again, was a VIDEO-format signal. The traditional audio tracks on the videotape did not carry audio. It was all on the video track. IIRC, Technics had a couple different models before the format fizzled out.

    3.) Standard VCR's that doubled as PCM units:

    The only one I know of (although I'm guessing there were others) was the Toshiba DX-900:
    [​IMG]
    DX-9005.jpg
    Note the odd connectors on the rear panel. There are audio inputs that run to the analog (hi-fi/normal) soundtracks, and separate inputs for the PCM (digital) functionality -- which goes to the VIDEO track after A/D conversion. Outputs are similarly divided.

    Just to clarify again: When PCM was recorded on videotape, there was NO picture to accompany the sound, as the digital sound was transcribed ON the video track.

    Any corrections/additions are welcome from the many experts out there!

    Matt
     
  19. paulisdead

    paulisdead fast and bulbous

    Looks like somebody recorded the video output

     
  20. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    A *HUGE* number of CDs were digitally mastered via U-Matic tape and the Sony 1610 and 1630 interfaces. Here's a video showing the 1610:

    ...and a photo of the 1630:
    [​IMG]
     
  21. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Screen shot 2014-01-07 at 9.14.39 PM.jpg (video link)
    Check out how similar that looks to the digital audio tracks on 35mm film. That's SDDS on the left in blue, and Dolby Digital between the sprocket holes:
    [​IMG]
     
    lukpac, Billy Budapest and paulisdead like this.
  22. paulisdead

    paulisdead fast and bulbous

  23. rockledge

    rockledge Forum Resident

    Location:
    right here
    I think I see what you are saying. Instead of using the typical audio heads on a VCR the helical scan head that normally does video is printing a digital signal, that has been encoded by an outside device, right?
    On Adats the helical head is recording digital data that is encoded/decoded internally.
    So the device you are talking about takes a digital signal that is picked up by the video/helical scan head and is sent to an ouboard device that decodes the digital signal into an analog audio signal, is this right?
    Interesting, never heard of it.

    I am wondering why they didn't use the Hi-8 format for that the way Tascam did for their 8 tracks. It was helical scan as well and far more compact.
    Perhaps because the idea was to take advantage of the popularity of VCR?

    Adat tapes were specially formulated to be less abrasive than regular VCR tapes, from what I understand regular VCR tapes worked in Adats but would wear the heads down far quicker than the Quantigy Adat specific tapes would.
     
  24. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Ah....Sansui!
    ...and machines could be linked for digital-->digital dubbing:
    m_s_p_28797_7.jpg
     
    paulisdead likes this.
  25. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Yes and no. See how I've broken up the machines into three categories (here)? The machines from category 1 used an outboard device, as you say. The ones from categories 2 and 3 did the encoding/decoding internally, just like DAT machines or stand-alone CD-R recorders.

    Simple: Hi-8 didn't exist yet! :)
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

molar-endocrine