I was a CD-Prep guy back when it was Sony PCM-1610 and DAE-1100. We usually
transferred to 1610 from F1, 501-ES, PCM-100, 601-ESD, 701, Etc...
Good luck finding out about those lights... I actually asked a Sony product
specialist - during the day - and though he always gave me answers - I knew
they were wrong. (Just from my own tests and anecdotal evidence.) I think
the general idea is that one mode is showing correction, another
interpolation. But, in the end, I always transferred while viewing the
video output on a television set, because I could more clearly see data
corruptions then those lights could convey. I recommend doing this as you
can see how many video lines of data are botched quite easily...
Most of our clients eventually learned that using the 16-bit mode was NOT a
good idea with this format. In 16-bit there a single parity bit - and in
14-bit two parity bits. The result is that a 14-bit recording could handle
TWICE the burst errors of a 16 bit format. In reality, using the 14-bit
mode was the only viable mode in a commercial setting.
I did a lot of the assembly and CD prep work for the SM-5000 series
classical recordings for the CBC... and it might be interesting to know that
most of them were recorded 14-bit in FI, then transferred via a PCM-100 in
the analog domain, through a Studer transfer console, and into a 1610...
then - after a lot of assembly work - released as a 16bit DDD CD!
Later we digitally transferred via the Harmonia Mundi "kit" - which handled
the 12uS delay between channels. We also modified 701's to clock to
external sync for television work.
Just a note: EP tapes were not a good match for ANY of those formats
because they tended to shed more - causing more data correction and/or
Also if you get PAL tapes, I believe they were actually 44.1 kHz...
Rob Poretti - Sales Engineer - Archiving
Cube-Tec North America LLC
Vox.905.827.0741 Fax.905.901.9996 Cel.905.510.6785
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of John Gledhill
Sent: December 11, 2014 4:45 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [ARSCLIST] Sony 601-esd pcm audiio processor decoder
I am recovering sony F1 type audio (PCM and ECC in the video image) from
some VHS tapes (ep speed 6 hr per tape) - it was actually recorded with a
I have the manual for the Sony 601-esd and I think is says the boobie lights
(Red, FlashRed, FlashGreen, FlashGreen, SteadyGreen) is a logical procession
from poor signal to good signal.
Additionally there is a tracking indicator (bar graph moving to the right)
I can see from the schematic the LED's are driven from the decoding logic
(didn't really need a schematic for that one).
However, I an not find out at which point errors are still being corrected
(apparently a few red flashes are fine) and at what point I can not count on
I am recovering through the spdif -> PC.
I am hoping there there is a audio archivists list with somebody who used
these 30 years ago and thought to ask Sony exactly what was being measured
with the lights.
P.S. I found the Sony 601-esd encoder/decoder is not a good match with most
later model VCR's and ep tapes. (the data on the back of a VCR switch
disappeared years ago).
BIT WORKS Inc.
905 881 2733
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