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DCC 170

Discussion in 'Other formats: DCC, MD, Reel 2 reel, CD...' started by mankamaz, Dec 3, 2016.

  1. mankamaz

    mankamaz Administrator Staff Member

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    Originally posted by:

    BLASTERFAN JENS


    should this be the future of the cassette??
    Philips DCC unfortunately it was a flop
    which I have found 30 pieces today
    a playback device is unfortunately
    Not ready shame

    sollte das die Zukunft der kassette sein ????
    DCC von Philips leider war es ein Flop
    davon habe ich 30 StÜck heute gefunden
    ein Abspiel GerÄt ist leider
    nicht betriebsbereit schade

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. MA-R60

    MA-R60 New Member

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    commercial flop perhaps, but the format still lives on.
    I use DCC all the time. Just as I do Minidisc, DAT, and the Compact Cassette.
     
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  3. JAMESCYBERJOE

    JAMESCYBERJOE Member

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    I had all these formats at one time but since sold them off except for the compact cassettes which I like to this day. They are simple and reliable.

    DCC was a solution to a problem that didn't exist. I once scored a Realistic branded DCC deck and dozens of tapes, both blanks and prerecorded, for 100 bucks from a coworker who wanted to get rid of it. Used it for a year or so and sold the whole setup as I felt it was overly complex and way too expensive.
    MD had promise. I liked it's on the fly editing capabilities and somewhat good sound. I had a Sony deck and a Walkman MD player. Sony had a good deal once where the home deck and portable player were sold as a bundle. It included 2 blank discs, 2 prerecorded discs, remote and all the cables, even the batteries were included.
    But I found MD frustrating to use. It was crippled by Sony's half baked SCMS system that limited what could be recorded and played back. And the sound was not that good.

    Out of these formats I liked DAT but it was always expensive and I had no real use for it.

    All these digital formats come and go but it's the Compact Cassette that has withstood the test of time. It's still being sold and used.
     
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  4. Kalach Portable

    Kalach Portable New Member

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    Perhaps the point of these kind of articles isn't if the DCC format is transient or not. That is beyond the usefulness of said content. It is precisely that fact which makes this format even more precious and ultimately a collectible item (at least that is how I see them). This in turn is also why keeping this format is difficult. There are no available parts or accessories such as batteries to extend the life of these amazing devices.

    When it was released I couldn't believe that they created a digital format with full digital sound still from such an old technology like the magnetic tape - the carcase was visible more advanced but inside it contained the same old components - obviously wisely repurposed. What is more, it was also compatible with older formats! I am sure this was a format that could have stayed but the minidisc was an industry changer.

    When my players were in working condition I had the chance to test the sound and it was great.
    It was defined, clear, with presence and lacking something always present from the regular tapes: the background hiss. For some reason it sounded more analogic to me than the minidisc yet digitally handled - although they say that there is virtually no difference between those two technologies - but only when they were introduced.

    This format could have thrived but the minidisc was too good to pass! It would still be out there if it wasn't by the success of the MP3. I have two DCC players. It is a shame they don't function any longer. I have no idea why (they were used at most 10 times each one of them). There are not many articles about their technological pitfalls either. I do not know if these devices are also plagued by faulty belt problems or perhaps capacitors' leaking like AIWA? I sold my Panasonic but still have the Phillips model which I will be selling (in case someone is interested) Take a look at the photos. Regardless I would like to have an answer to my technical questions because if repairing them is easy I will certainly do that and keep it.

    Phillips produced the DCC (Digital Compact Cassette) which is effectively a digital update of the most popular music format in the world - the CC (compact cassette) and was specifically designed to be backwardly compatible with it’'s predecessor. It uses a clever head which has 9 tracks for digital recording and playback on one side and 2 tracks for normal analogue recording and playback on the other side. So, the digital tracks are on the other side of the tape from the analogue data. The system uses the same tape speed, width and case size as the traditional CC, but because more data must be crammed onto the tape, traditional analogue ferric tapes don’t provide enough resolution. However, because 9 tracks are recorded in parallel with individual bit rates of 96KBps (rather than the one track with a bit rate of up to 2.46MBps as in DAT) the tape used is quite simple and is the same material as used for video cassettes.

    DCC uses PASC (precision adaptation subband coding) to modulate the data to put it onto the tape. This reduces the data bit rate by roughly a quarter to 384KBps. Because the system is dynamic it can obtain resolution equivalent to 19 bits of linearly quantified audio. The DCC format can operate at 48KHz (as DAT), 44.1KHz (as CD) or 32KHz (as long playing DAT). PASM uses the same psycho-acoustic tricks as MiniDisc of hearing threshold and masking of quiet sounds. What it does with the data after that is somewhat different though. It divides the data into 32 subbands of equal width (to make filters simpler). PASC analyses each subband to see which band of frequencies contains the loudest noises and then allocates the most number of bits to that band. Levels are given relatively to the threshold value, which is worked out separately for each frame (set of 12 samples) After error correction codes and 8/10 modulation (a coding technique to allow for the fact that tracks on magnetic media interfere with each other) the final bit rate to tape is 768KBps which is recorded in the 8 96KBps data tracks. This is a fixed bit rate, so if lower sampling frequencies are used the dynamic PASC system has more bits to allocate and so gives better resolution. A ninth track is used to record subcode information, such as block address, track name and artist information (in 7 different languages!)
     

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  5. Longman

    Longman Active Member S2G Supporter

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    When DCC was launched I thought that they had the backwards compatibility the wrong way round.

    So having bought your expensive DCC deck you could play your old cassettes in it, something you could do with the
    equipment you had before. The chances are you would still need normal cassettes for your car.
    Did any car manufacturer ever fit a DCC radio cassette ?

    In contrast had they developed a tape which would play as usual in a normal deck but which when put in a DCC deck
    magically played with better quality sound, that would have been impressive. In case you are thinking that is impossible,
    with Hi Fi video recorders they did achieve that (admittedly using an analogue recording technique).

    It makes you wonder if they would have done better to develop a completely new format using smaller tapes but DAT is another story :nodding:
     
  6. Kalach Portable

    Kalach Portable New Member

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    I think DCC development was halted at a very early stage. Please remember that it was only Philips (with some support from Panasonic and minimally others) that carried the weight of its release, marketing, market presence and everything else. I have read about the plans they had at a latter stage such as improving the digital compression algorithm (this alone would result in greater sonic response). With the new technologies they would have achieved even a better and more competitive product. That wasn't perceived at that time, of course, when digital technologies such as the MP3 were all the rave and marked the future of sound history.

    For the lovers of the regular analog cassette, many of the improvements made in tape transport, the head itself, mechanics precision and digital sound processing was gradually being applied to the analog world as well. Some argued that eventually they would have applied full digital signal processing to the analog signal of regular tapes further closing the gap between technologies. BTW, Pioneer does applies digital signal processing in their latest tape decks (before they stop producing them) and I can attest that the result is quite consistent and sonically positive - virtually eliminating hiss and background high frequency disturbances (I own one).

    This makes me wonder of the possibilities if DCC would have been able to evolve without constraints. I know the technology already has an extensive latitude for upgrades and improving.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
  7. mankamaz

    mankamaz Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi Kalach, I`m an enthusiast of the DCC but I also suffer its problems, I have a Dcc 130, a Dcc134 and a Dcc170, they all have the same mechanics, and also the Panasonic Rq-dp7 too.
    All the portable machines and the full size machines: Dcc900, Techncs Rs-dc8 etc were made in Japan at tge Masushita facilities (panasonic) because they were partners during the DCC devlopment.

    Regarding the portable sets reliability, the most common problems was the belt, the capacitors were not a common problem, I think.

    In the other hand, is not recommendend the use of Metal tapes with Dcc sets, as the fine layer heads suffer too much from the excesive magnetic flux from the metal tapes and they may be damaged

    Do you still own that Panasonic DCC? I`m interested in that set


    Regards
     
  8. JAMESCYBERJOE

    JAMESCYBERJOE Member

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    The ONLY DCC car deck I know of was made by Sanyo in 1995/1996. The stereo store I worked in at the time sold exactly 2. It was about 700 bucks and 100 bucks to install it. I do not remember the model number. The owner bought only 3. The last one "walked away" if you know what I mean. Sanyo used to make limited production products like this which is why it was so expensive.
    Sony and Alpine made aftermarket MD decks for a short while. I had bought a new 2002 Mazda Protege once that in addition to the radio, tape and CD there was an available MD deck option. There was a blank plate below the head unit for this and the wire harness was in place too. But again it was pricey, about $600 and the local Mazda dealers didn't even know it existed. I tried for a year but I think while it looked good on paper it just was never available. Ironically, CD players are getting hard to find in cars now 15 years later.

    ANYWAY I will say this. I am glad you enjoy your hobby. I do the same. But Phillips abandoned DCC and Sony abandoned MD (at least in the USA) and that means spare parts especially those propeitary batteries become harder and harder to find. And finding a technician or shop to fix these is even harder to find. In NYC here there are 2 or 3 specialty repair shops that do this. That's it in a huge city like New York city. I wish I could answer your question but these devices are too advanced for me.
     
  9. Navpers

    Navpers New Member

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    Hi there , I own cassettes and cassette decks and Dat tapes and Dat decks as well as Sony MD disc and decks to this day and enjoy all of them ....I also own a car MD deck which sounds awesome . The only thing I don't have is a DCC deck which ill be buying soon . yes they require maintence but enjoy fixing things and would much rather have these then some MP3 player or my phone with 4000 songs which you really don't listen to anyways .....next, next, next ! that's the thing with cassette and Dcc ...etc : it made you listen to an album cause you didn't want to fast forward or reverse ....lol Enjoy :)
     
  10. JAMESCYBERJOE

    JAMESCYBERJOE Member

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    I just fixed my old Sharp RT-10 tape deck. Simple reliable machine from 1984 and all it needed was a belt. But these new machines are technological marvels.
     
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