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Old March 16th, 2003, 11:53 PM   #1
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Professional Quality vs Master Quality

hey everyone,

ok, i'll bite....what is the difference between panasoni AY-DVM63PQ and AY-DVM63MQ? basically what is the diffrence between professional quality tapes and master quality? is there a huge difference other then the price?

~Mike
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Old March 17th, 2003, 12:01 AM   #2
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White Box (master) is out of the middle of the roll, Gray Box (professional) is from the edges of the same roll. To some folks it's worth it. The White Box (master) is the best DV tape you can buy. As inexpensive as tape is, there's no real reason to skimp on it -- even the most expensive DV tape is still the least costly element in the production chain.
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Old March 17th, 2003, 12:01 AM   #3
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Hey Mike, from what I understand the primary difference has to do with the kind of lubricant the tapes employ. The PQ has a wet based lubricant versus the MQ, which uses a dry-type. Supposedly the dry-type reduces head wear and potential for head clogs. That's interesting about how the stock is made though...

From what I've learned its more important to stick with one kind of tape and brand over the life of your camcorder and equipment, so the higher cost of the MQ may affect you over the long term. I agree with Chris above however and purchase only MQ tapes for my needs.

Many really like Fuji brand tapes.
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Old March 17th, 2003, 01:39 AM   #4
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Christopher,

Actually, not so. Both the MQ and PQ Panasonic tapes use the same lubricant.

Per specifications, the MQ series tape has a slightly higher density of magnetic particle substrate which, Panasonic claims, produces a slightly better signal to noise ratio and slightly less head wear than the PQ series.

For most amatuer and hobbyist projects PQ grade tape will be a reasonable balance between cost and reliability. It's excellent tape and good quality casings. Keep a box of MQ around for very important work. Switching between these two grades poses absolutely no problems.
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Old March 17th, 2003, 03:14 AM   #5
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Ken, is this Panasonic info on their tapes somewhere available? I never saw articles from tape manufacturers (not from video magazines..) explaining the differences. Given that fact, there probably isn't much difference (apart from priice!). For profit optimization, industry allways trys to sell their high-end products by telling a story about the superior qualities of the more expensive versions...never found this for DV/DVCAM tapes...
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Old March 17th, 2003, 10:57 AM   #6
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Andre,
Relatively little info is available, even on Panasonic's own site.

Perhaps the best source of tape info is Tape Resources' site and FAQ page. They really do a good job of providing quite a bit of information on the really dull subject of tape.
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Old March 17th, 2003, 12:04 PM   #7
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I'll see if I can get our sponsor, Craig Berlin of Professional Tape & Communication Supply to chime in on this... he is a walking encyclopedia for alol things related to recordable media.
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Old March 17th, 2003, 06:22 PM   #8
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Please check questions #17 and #20 from Panasonic's 24 FAQ on 24P:

http://www.panasonic.com/pbds/subcat...orld_24qs.html

I assume because the PQ series are not mentioned that they do not use the same dry-type lubricant. If they do indeed use the same lubricant, do they both use the wet or the dry?
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Old March 17th, 2003, 06:36 PM   #9
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Panasonic mentions the MQ series because they give Panasonic a much higher profit margin than the PQ tapes. The reference to wet is, I believe, more directed towards Sony tapes.
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Old March 17th, 2003, 06:40 PM   #10
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See also here:

http://www.hosannaproductions.com/ti...ubricants.html

Can someone direct us to some links that show they utilize the same kind of lubricants?

This is good stuff to know, I'm glad we're trying to find out.
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Old March 17th, 2003, 08:50 PM   #11
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If Panasonic does indeed use two different lubricants (wet and dry) I've interchanged the two Panasonic tapes many times with no ill effects.
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Old March 19th, 2003, 05:13 PM   #12
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What about switching between the different brands, like Sony, Panasonic, to Fuji?
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Old March 19th, 2003, 06:02 PM   #13
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Christopher:

The general rule I've always been taught is do NOT switch between two brands of tape, because the different lubricants used by different manufacturers can mix, gum up and make a mess of your heads. If you are going to use different brands, be sure to use a Head Cleaner tape (following the instructions to the letter) before the new tape brand goes in.

There's a few threads out there already that cover the 'switching' topic, if you're interested in the research:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3474&highlight=lubricant

Or just do a search on "lubricants" or "tape", there are numerous threads.

Cheers,
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Old March 19th, 2003, 06:42 PM   #14
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I know the sony comes from a single sheet of tape stock as well. The high priced stuff is cut from the centre where the coatings should be more uniform. The premium comes next and the outside edges are the unbranded cheapo.

Don't court disaster, don't switch brands. The manufacturer has a reason to make all of their product lines compatible, they don't give a rats butt about the competitions product.
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Old March 20th, 2003, 07:49 AM   #15
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I asked Mr. Tapeguy (Craig Berlin) about this in October. His response was that all Panasonic tapes used a dry lubricant.

I'm using the Panasonic AY-DVM60EJ. Tapes will be recorded once and read one or two times, then archived. I figured for such light use I could get away with the less expensive tape.

However, all the Panasonic tapes are cheaper than they were six months ago. The PQ is now only $1 more than the EJ at Pro-Tape and the MQ is only twice as expensive. Next order I may bump up a notch.

But what we could also ask Craig is the exact difference between the 4 tapes -- EJ, XJ (consumer "pro" grade, 4x particle density), PQ, and MQ. Here are Pro-Tape's prices as of this morning for each grade:

60EJ: $2.97
60XJ: $5.50
63PQ: $3.95
63MQ: $5.75
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