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


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Old November 14th, 2002, 02:01 PM   #1
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? for BillF741 - audio problem

bill,

i called sony customer service and unfortunately they were unable to dig up any info on the vx2000 audio problem or a possible fix. do you remember what tel # you called? did they give you a date when the press release came out (on the possible repair)? a report #? possible release date? any info would be appreciated.

i would love to buy a vx2000 but i have no interest in reinvesting money in new mics. i have an ev635a/b handheld and a sony wired lav. i use them for steet interviews and promos. both mics are low output which would make the hiss problem more apparent. xlr boxes don't amplify the signal so i still have to deal with whether or not i can live with the audio problems. bottom line - no.

i don't wan't to jump up in price tag (pd150). if i could only get a vx2000 with decent audio!!!!! is that too much too ask?

mb4
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Old November 14th, 2002, 06:02 PM   #2
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A microphone preamp would boost your signal levels if necessary. Markertek carries some relatively low-cost units.

I really have the feeling that the problem is being blown way out of proportion. Street noise would mask any possible hiss I would think in your situation. I use dynamic microphones (Beta 58's) with no problem.

My PD-150 is supposed to have audio problems. Not so far. And I've used it for voice-over work with studio microphones, lots of interviews, taping of actors in auditions, etc.

If you have not yet done so, go find one and try it out with your microphones. Or rent one for a day and try it that way.
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Old November 14th, 2002, 07:23 PM   #3
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thanx for the tip mike. i looked it up and i found the shure fp-23 and the sound device mp-1. if i understand what you are saying and i were to go manual audio i would set my levels to no more than 45db and make my gain increments thru the mic preamp? if that's the case it seem like it's much easier than the whole bbc conversion discussed earlier.

these boxes run around $450. do you know of any other brand that might be cheaper? have you ever used them with any success? do they come with a holster or can they be mounted under the camera?

using the preamp box do you think the audio becomes cleaner than that of a gl2 or even that of a pd150? any advice would be appreciated.

mb4
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Old November 14th, 2002, 07:38 PM   #4
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i also forgot to ask a question about the stereo mini jack. i went down to my local store and tried to connect my mic with an xlr to stero mini and i found the jack itself was very tight and it made it very difficult to remove. the salesman stated that sony designed it this way so that if you had a need to go with an external mic using the mini jack it would make your life miserable and you would eventually jump up to the pd150.

sounds a little exagerrated to me but i did notice that i didn't have this problem with the canons. with use do you guys think this jack becomes easier to use or does it break down?

i'm not kidding when i said that i had to tug on that sucker to get it out. it didn't feel like it was doing it any good. is there a sony connector that would make it fit better?

mb4
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Old November 15th, 2002, 12:14 PM   #5
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I called the consumer line

Hi,
I called their consumer line and finally got through to a talking head in the camcorder group. I told him specifically that their unit had lousy sound (hiss) and wanted to know if they were aware of it. I do not remember his name, however, he told me that according to the database they were aware of the sound problem, and they were working on a fix.

I have major concerns about the sound from the VX 2000. Nice camera for silent movies. I have poured through a ton of posts, and I know there are tons of suggestions such as pre-amps, beachtek boxes, BBC modifications, sennheiser shotguns, mini-disc recorders, monkey paws in your pocket, etc. It is a bit overwhelming trying to determine which is the best way to go when you don't have any real experience in any of the add-ons and you don't want to waste a ton of money. There are no places in South Carolina where I live that you can go to and do the touch/feel/listen routine. I did try the stock vx2000 and the sound sucked with the built in microphone. Yes, I am told that I should expect that. Well, I have a consumer level camera that is 2 years old with much better sound with a built in microphone. So, yes, the task of determining what to buy is difficult.

I wish I had more information as to what else the consumer division has in their database. I do believe that if everybody who ever bought a vx 2000 complained hard enough that Sony might fix it faster, but that's just my belief. On another note, I thank everybody who has ever posted a suggested fix or other method of getting better sound. There is a ton of experience floating around. It's hard to know what really works for an individual as what sounds great to one person may not sound great to another.

Sincerely,
Bill
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Old November 15th, 2002, 05:35 PM   #6
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RE the minisocket. You don't want a loose socket, believe me. They all get looser as they are used. The salesman was talking out of his.... well you know. Most people complain of the opposite.

RE: Audio noise

Here's my take on the issue.

If the issue were overwhelming, then every 2000 ever sold would be returned. That doesn't happen and I can tell you I read a lot of posts where people use the 2000 exclusively for wedding videos and other tasks. So for many people, the sound is acceptable. Video shot outside the studio such as a documentary with just the natural sounds outdoors will probably have no problems with the sound out of the 2000.

If one's sonic requirements are such that one needs pristine sound, then recording it on any camcorder is a Very Bad Idea regardless of the camera make, model or manufacturer. You need a DAT or hard-disk recorder and good pre-amps/mixer/microphones.

Unfortunately, Bill, there are some places where a free hands-on experience is hard to come by. Certainly where I live is one of those places. Although I can drive 70-100 miles and generally find what I want to play with.

You can try posting on various newsgroups to see if someone in your vicinity has a 2000 that you can test. Certainly there are people within a reasonable driving range that use 2000's in their work. It may take some real snooping to find one.

Otherwise, if you are ready to buy, order one from a company with a no-questions-asked return policy. B&H comes to mind. You can call and ask for consultation with their specialists. They seem to know what they are doing and can answer questions about the 2000's audio in the applications in which you intend to work.

Have you read Jay Rose's column on camcorder sound quality in the November issue of DV Magazine? If not, that's a good place to start.
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