TRV900 Internal Microphone: Imbalance and Noise?

Over time, the internal electret  microphones on the TRV900 may deteriorate and show imbalance (L -R), excess noise, or they may stop working entirely. Over the past eight years on the Yahoo TRV900 mailing list, and the BealeCorner User Forum, a number of people have reported low or no audio from internal mics. One fix for this problem is to get Sony service to replace the mics. One person said Sony had issued a service bulletin for the problem referring to machine oil from manufacture contaminating the internal mics (??). However, Sony service centers have always claimed no record of this as a recurring problem to customers.

here are step-by-step instructions on how to replace internal mic elements by yourself.

Dan Brockett wrote a note about microphones on the camera discussion board, and Michael Edwards posted his mic experience to the TRV900 mailing list.

Subject: TRV900 Hiss fixed right the first time!!!
Posted By: Dan Brockett (BLFilms at earthlink net)
Date: Sunday, July 2, 2000 at 4:55 p.m.
I am posting an update for any other frustrated TRV900 owners. We took in one of our TRV900s to the Sony Burbank Service Center on Riverside drive on June 20. The right side mic had gone out the week before. I thought that since there was obviously an audio problem with the camera, I would complain about the awful hiss problem as well.

Sony consumer cams (DV) are sent in for service out of warranty for a flat rate of $249.00 meaning that no matter what's wrong, they will fix it for a flat $249.00.

They quoted 7-10 working days to do the repair. Lo and behold, 10 days later, a FedEx arrived with the repaired camera. They had replaced both of the mics (part number 141801411) and also replaced 2 "table assembly reels" (part number X39484441) and done a "mechanical adjustment, cleaned and lubricated".

To my amazement, not only did they fix the defective mic(s), but the camera now displays NO HISS!!! I don't know what they did exactly to repair this since the invoice only lists the defective parts that were ordered and replaced. This is VERY INTERESTING and may also pertain to all who own TRV900s and have had to live with the really loud levels of hiss. It may also pertain to the possible fix and or repair problem that many VX2000/PD150 owners have been complaining of. I wish that I had more specific information for all of you about what exactly was done to alleviate the hiss problem, but the Sony consumer repair side is pretty much, pay your money, we ship it back to you fixed with no possible contact with the Irvine repair station where the actual tech was who did the work.

Anyhow, it's encouraging that we now have a TRV900 that can actually be used for interviews and other sound dependant work. It has restored at least a little bit of my faith in Sony products, although it never should have been sold with the hiss problem in the first place. I would hold off on buying a VX2000/PD150 until the hiss problem has been acknowledged by Sony and fixed at the source. I heartily agree with everyone on this board who has agreed to NOT buy one of Sony's new cams unless they function correctly. The level of hiss that is apparent on at least a fair number of the PD150/VX2000/TRV900 sold so far is unacceptable even for home movies, much less the professional work that most of us are doing. A boycott that the Sony distributors will become aware of will actually get through to Sony Tokyo if it's big enough.

Dan Brockett
Big Little Films(tm), Inc.

Subject: Audio dropout repair
From: Michael Edwards (medwards at chartermi net)
Date: Feb 3 2001

My TRV900 began to show signs of the (often mentioned on this list) audio dropout problem, where the right channel audio was much lower (sometimes almost nonexistant) than the left. I sent my camera in to the St. Louis,Minnesota Sony repair facility after talking with a representative on the phone. (I got the phone number from Sony's website). This was after owning the camera for approximately 11 months. I paid $18.00 to ship it UPS and insure it for $2000; the camera was gone for 2 weeks, and I was able to track repair progress on Sony's web site using a work order number I was given. After 90 days of warranty, of course, parts are free but labor is not. The cost of the repair was $215.00, which included replacement of both mic preamps, cleaning and lubricating, bench testing, and return shipping. The camera arrived at my house the other day, via UPS, and works like a charm.

I thought I'd pass this info on to anyone whose TRV900 is experiencing a similar problem. I don't know what the parts cost, but have the repair made as soon as possible; hopefully during your first 90 days.

Mike Edwards

Microphones affected by humidity
Aug. 28 2001
Surender Maddi

I own a TRV900 camcorder. It stopped recording sound with build in sensors (It does record sounds which are very loud but when played back, hardly you can listen with max vol. settings). I tried using external microphone with auto and manual modes and the recording is just fine. I remember taking the camcorder to Maid of the Mist tour at bottom of the Niagara Falls. Though I tried to protect camcorder from water under plastic wrapper, still there is a chance that water could be gone inside the front portion because of high wind.

TRV900 Microphone Failure
Wednesday, January 02, 2002
Tom Hardwick (TomH rdwick freeserve co uk)

It's happened again, though this time to both in-built mics. Long standing (and long suffering) readers might remember that my first TRV900 was replaced under warranty as one of the inbuilt mic units had failed. I was without the camera for 9 weeks.

Today I took the replacement 900 back to the store with intermittent and total mic failure. This time I'm sure it's a dry joint problem as with headphones plugged in and the camera turned on you can apply finger pressure to the mic's wire grill and turn the mics completely on and off by simply pushing. Of course the first you know about the problem is when you replay a tape and find huge sound gaps throughout. This happened to me - luckily my Panasonic MX300 was taping the same school play and my backup has proved its worth.

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