Hum/Buzz on PD170 at DVinfo.net

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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
Topics also include Sony's TRV950, VX2000, PD150 & DSR250 family.


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Old April 26th, 2008, 03:27 PM   #1
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Hum/Buzz on PD170

Picture the screen that opens when you adjust the audio levels on the PD170:

When I turn up the level above the center mark, I get an ugly buzz that gets worse the more I turn the levels up. It's on both channels and it happens with phantom power on and off, LCD open and closed, in line and mic mode and with or without anything plugged in. Even with no audio source going in, where there should just be the hiss of silence, there's a buzz. I checked it against a friend's newer PD170 (got mine 2 years ago - it's not within that range of serial numbers that had the original audio problem). No issue there. I recorded it to tape, played it in another cam and it's definitely there, recorded. As luck would have it, my service plan just expired and I want to explore all solutions before I pay to have it checked/fixed by Sony.

Anyone experience this or have any possible solutions? I tried resetting - no luck. Anything else?

~~Dave
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Old April 29th, 2008, 09:12 PM   #2
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So I'm on my own?

How is the Sony Service Center with being nice? I mean, I BABY my PD170, and I absolutely didn't do anything that could have caused this problem. I'm thinking that maybe Sony should be nice and fix the problem for nothing. Am I being unreasonable or naive?

Also, in case they balk at the free repair thing, can anyone recommend a non-Sony video repair place in the NY area that might be a suitable alternative? I really don't want to spend too much on this cam. I mean, I love it, but it's SD, non 16x9, non 24p and I feel like I shouldn't be putting more money into it.

Thanks a lot.

~~Dave
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Old April 29th, 2008, 09:35 PM   #3
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maybe a preamp? guessing here - my 170 is as clean as my 150 and 250 none are super clean the preamp isn't the best but hey what can you do.

service at the Teaneck NJ center has been great for me. Both the 150 and 170 were in (different reasons-the 150 for heads and transport with 1400 hours or op and about 800 of tape and the 170 for the chip problem) both times the cameras came back done and fast. Real fast.
The other place is Armatos-authorized sony dealer and repair and frankly better prices than sony.
HTHs
Don
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Old April 30th, 2008, 01:38 AM   #4
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You can also try Mack's Repair (http://www.mackcam.com/) in New Jersey. My PD 170 and VX2100 are under extended warranty with them (originally purchased at B & H when I bought the cameras new several years ago) and I've been real impressed with the quality and fast turnaround time of their work. They'll also repair cameras that aren't under warranty, however, so you might want to give them a try ($45 for an estimate, which is applied to the repair cost if you decide to use their service).
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Old May 13th, 2008, 10:26 PM   #5
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"There was a short in the handle."

I have to say, Don, I was really disappointed in Armato's. They were supposed to get back to me with an estimate in 3 days. 5 days went by with no word, so I called them - they hadn't looked yet. Then 7 and they said they'd look that day. So, a week after I left the camera with them, they finally looked and their service guys insisted that the ugly, VERY audible buzz that recorded to tape and wasn't present on any other PD170s was normal and on top of that, they were complete jerks about it. Even moreso, I accidentally left a memory stick in the camera, they took it and insisted that it was never there because it wasn't listed on the sheet. I realize there's nothing I can do about it now and it's partly my fault for leaving it, but COME ON! Talk about a lack of integrity!

Meanwhile, I foung out that Tamberelli Digital, a rental house (mostly) I've spent a WHOLE lot of time at (when I was an AC and also these days) did repairs. They took one look at it, noticed the problem and took it in. 4 days later, I get a call that they found the problem and fixed it. I'll be picking it up Friday and it cost $200 to repair, which I thought was pretty reasonable considering that Sony wanted a $600 flat fee and that Armato's insisted there was nothing wrong with it (tell that to my sound guy!). Thank you Tamberelli (www.TamberelliDigital.com). Boo Armato's - mostly for their nasty attitude towards a potential new customer, at at least partly for the simple fact that they are inept.

Sorry for the rant, but I'm ticked off!

~~Dave
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Old May 14th, 2008, 06:19 AM   #6
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Dave,
Sorry about the deal at Armatos. I had never dealt with them and only went by what others had raved about, the service was great, that's what they said.
By the same token, alot of people dislike Sony service but for me other than the rather flat rate they have they have done right by me.
Regardless, glad you got a place to get it fixed and at a reasonable price.

Don
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Old May 14th, 2008, 10:06 AM   #7
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Oh, I totally agree that the Sony service guys are great. When my camera was under warranty, I sent the cam to them a few times because of this weird audio issue that actually turned out to be that issue with the Mic NR (a feature that is more trouble than it's worth). But even when I kept sending it back, they were TOTALLY cool and helpful. So my only reason for not going to them this time was that I didn't want to spend $600 on my PD170.

Thanks for the all of the support, guys.

~~Dave
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