The JVC 900 Digital Audio Mastering System of the early 1980s

JVC_1Download the complete sales materials for the circa 1982 JVC 900 series of digital-audio-mastering products:

DOWNLOAD: JVC_900_Digital_Audio_System

Products covered, with text, specs, and photos, include: the JVC AE-900V Digital Audio Editor, the DS-DM900 Digital Audio Mixer, the VP-900 Digital Audio Processor (AFAICT, a duplex stereo A/D, D/A), the TC-900V timecode unit, RM-900 remote, CR-850U 3/4″ ‘umatic’ tape machine, DS-FC901 Digital Interface Unit, DS-SU900 Sync unit, and BR-8600 1/2″ tape machine AKA a real expensive VCR.

JVC_digital_mastering_systemContributor Tom Fine told us, “this was a competitor to the Sony 1600 system.”  We’ve covered the early Sony units bit in the past (see here and here) – they were available early as 1978 – but I have never come across this JVC system before.  As Richard Hess writes in his very thorough blog,

JVC had a competing (with SONY  -ed) and incompatible mastering system called the DAS-90 and later the DAS-900. …The processor in the DAS-90 system was called (at least at one point) the BP-90 while the processor in the DAS-900 series was the VP-900. The first version (DAS-90) used 3/4″ U-Matic video cassettes while the second version (DAS-900) used either U-Matic of VHS video cassettes (the latter to obtain longer playing time). I have not been able to confirm if tapes made on the DAS-90 can play on the DAS-900 or not. Early input says they are compatible and should interchange.”

JVC_900_mixerBut damn look at this lil 4×2 digital mixer!  It’s like a lil baby SSL!  And this is an actual digital mixer, btw – it’s just styled to look/feel like an analogue desk.  Crazy.

Anyone out there still using this system for anything?  Thoughts?  Let us know!

2 thoughts on “The JVC 900 Digital Audio Mastering System of the early 1980s”

  1. I just got a PRO ARTE CD that was edited in 1985 using the 900 system. A Mr. Tony Rice did the editing and I think the recording sounds pretty good. Gershwin recordings, Pro Arte CDG 3244. Attributes the recording to a Thomas Lazarus but no other tech details besides dates and venue.

    1. Just retrieved the PCM-F1 digital interface from storage. I bought that unit in 1984, with the Sony SLHF-600 super-Beta Hi-Fi machine. All the tapes played back perfectly. My more expensive Sony 7030 DAT (better, modern?) machine is currently non- functional, and the DAT recordings made on it won’t even play back on anything. I am following Steve Albini’s advice about preserving some precious audio content on analog tape. I gotta hang on to the Revox G-36, A-77, and B-77. Cheers.

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