Saturday, July 1, 2017


A friend who knows of my hobby asked for a "loan of them ears" to rate the reproduction from his JVC Karaoke VCD player Model XL-MV33.

Have seen many such units in Karaoke establishments and in the home(s) of die-hard Karaoke fans. It's basically a VCD player with a built-in Karaoke master mixer bundled with the very handy and intuitive VCR-type controls.

To be honest, I had always consider such units to be children of a "lesser hifi "... BOY WAS I EVER WRONG - you really can't judge a book by it's cover!!!

This stock Karaoke VCD machine does not have the posh nor classy outlook of a proper hifi component but once you hear the quality of it's reproduction, you would realise it's a real diamond in the rough!  All the details were in the output but the resulting presentation was just a tad warmer than it should be, strong output with a bit of background cluttering  and the HF(s) was half heartly with-held. Something in the resulting presentation remind me of a past encounter. Best description would be "almost there but you need to get over the hill 1st". This ugly duckling has the potential to be a swan! 

Cost wise I reckon this would be a good unit to recap ... much better than getting a below $100 DVD player.

The ugly duckling
Closeup view of frontal right side

Closeup view of frontal left side

Only outputs available on the MV33

No digital output facility. Only analogue audio and composite video outputs via RCA sockets.

Top view. Transformer towards bottom of pix.

A quick glance of the caps reveal extensive usage of Panasonic EC(s) with a pair of United Chemicon (OOOPS - ELNA's) on the vertical PCB. There are a number of the Japanese poly capacitors encased in a yellowish transparent plastic jacket on the vertical PCB - without examining in detail, my guess to be the audio pathway(s).

My friend could not decide regarding the possibility of recapping to release the full potential of the ugly ducking and would revert in the near future.

Hopefully I will have the opportunity to work on this ugly duckling in the near future.