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Thursday, May 19, 2005

Recording Trouble

If you’ve got a job that involves recording analog data that is not related to music or movies, you may have heard about a device called the SIR-1000 developed by a subsidiary of Sony. Their name is Sony Precision Technologies, or Sony PT for short. I’m beginning to think it actually stands for Piece of Trash.

Update: I met with the two guys who designed this unit. They found the problem easily, leading me to conclude that the head of their repair department is either incompetent or simply lied to me to avoid doing any real diagnostics.

The SIR-1000 records 16 channels of analog data with a range from 0 Hz to 20 kHz. There are ways to expand this with add-on devices as well as ways to slow down the digital tape it records to achieve longer record times by sacrificing bandwidth, but I won’t go into that. The point is, this recorder sounds good on paper. The price tag for this base unit is $35,000, with 1/3 of that going to the contracted sales representative.

I feel that the real problem with Sony PT is that they are not very forthcoming with information about their products, even when they know there are some serious issues.

Case and point: Back in August of 2004, we had a recorder that had the tape drive fail. We paid Sony PT $1,600 to get it fixed. When the device returned, we couldn’t get it to record. Since then, we’ve sent it back to Sony twice. It works for them, not for us. We’ve tried sending them the tapes we use, different people here have tried it in different locations (to make sure power wasn’t weird), and I’ve discussed it thoroughly with the guy at Sony PT. To date, we still have a $35,000 door stop. I’m convinced that Sony PT is refusing to admit they are putting it in some sort of diagnostic mode and that is the difference, even though they probably don’t think so.

So be forewarned. If your work hears about these really nice recording devices from Sony PT, trouble may be around the corner.

» Posted by Queue at 11:26 AM (ET)
Category: Rant


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