Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Audio calibration on DVW-A500P

Since the format was introduced in 1993 (the year after I left the Beeb) I have been very close with these VTRs. It's fair to say that Sony pioneered pretty much all of the features we take for granted in a modern digital VTR - no tracking knob (thanks to the Viterbei decoder for ridding us of that particular foible!), pre-read editing, and repeatable tape-interchange!
Anyway - today I had to calibrate a machine for -18dBfs => 0dBu (or 4 on a BBC PPM) - which every superhero knows is how we do it in Europe. Now I must have done (literally!) a hundred DVW-A500P audio re-calibrations so I rocked-up with my soldering iron, tweaker, test-tape and schematic but clearly I haven't done a machine from the last revision of the APR-1 card (rev EP-GW of the 1-648-534-16 Googlers!) because they'd replaced the solder 'splats' with switches (labelled as well!) and put a load more headroom in the pre and post-amps - do it was easier than I remember it from the nineties!
I've often said it, but that machine was so well designed - to have a production run of over a decade and still be more sophisticated than anything the competition had to offer. The only reason Sony stopped it in favout of the DVW-2000 series was the European RoHS legislation!

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