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Author Topic: Eumig S938 Stereo Test Report
Paul Adsett
Film God

Posts: 5003
From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted February 03, 2006 12:54 PM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
EUMIG S938 STEREO PROJECTOR
The Eumig S938 Stereo projector is a full stereo capable machine with 150 watt lighting, 800ft spool capacity, and twin 20 watt stereo amplifiers. It is a gorgeous looking machine, finished in black, with white lettering on all the controls. Weight is 24.5 lbs. The quality of construction is excellent, being built on a cast aluminum chassis with thermoplastic front and back covers. It is a very solidly built machine, but not quite up to the tank-like all metal structure and superb finish of the Elmo GS1200. But the GS weighs a hernia-inducing 35 lbs!

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The Eumig S938 Stereo projector is the successor to the Eumig 926 GL Stereo and shares much of the mechanical and electronic features of the 926GL. The 926GL is an otherwise excellent projector (with a superb sound system) marred by a terribly ill- conceived coaxial reel system. For whatever reason (perhaps for TV type projectors), Eumig designed their early 900 series machines with two coaxial reels on the rear of the projector, so the film had to go through a rather tortuous twisted film path before reaching the film gate. Added to that they also eliminated the top feed sprocket and replaced it with a tiny flapping isolation roller. While this sytem transported the film reasonably satisfactorily, it resulted in a jerking motion on the film supply spool and a distracting noisy thrashing of the long film length preceding the first feed roller. It also made loading and unloading the film a bit of a pain.
This problem has fortunately been rectified in the 938/940 where Eumig reverted to the traditional in-line reel system with top and bottom sprockets. Indeed the film handling of the 938 (and later 940) is now superb. The film auto-threading works faultlessly every time, and the running of the film is very quiet indeed, just a steady purr. Eumig also increased the spool capacity to 800ft and upgraded the lighting to 15v 150 watts. In order to utilize the higher wattage lamp, an additional small internal fan has been added specifically for lamp cooling.
The 938 lens is an f1.3 14-30mm incorporating Eumig's exclusive optical leveling system, which enables large vertical displacement of the projected image without having to tilt the projector. This feature has recently been adopted by Panasonic and Sanyo on their home theater video projectors where it has been renamed ‘ lens shift’. It is interesting to note that Eumig had this modern ,now hyped, feature 25 years ago! Anyway it works very well and you kind of miss it on projectors that don’t have it. Unfortunately this 1.3 lens is slow by modern standards and the projected image could be sharper, although the field is very flat. When I use my 938 I put in a much better quality f1.0 lens which moves the optical performance of this projector much closer to the 200 watt Elmo GS1200 in terms of screen brightness and image quality. Here is my own 938 fitted with the superb quality Kodak Ektar f1.0 22mm fixed focal length (non-zoom) lens, and ready for CinemaScope with the ISCO scope lens.

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The big thing about the 938 (and also the 926) is the outboard sound console. This stunning looking panel has no less than 16 separate controls for recording, mixing, and playback of mono or stereo sound tracks. The recording and playback volume and mixing controls are all beautifully smooth linear potentiometer slides which are much easier to control than rotary knobs. It is equipped with two really beautiful illuminated moving coil analog recording meters, and a separate set of LED lights for each sound control. There is a green power-on light and an illuminated console panel light. In addition there are yellow LED's for each of the operating modes, a red signal lamp for recording mode, and yellow signal lamp for the mixing control. When you are recording, the 938 lights up like a Christmas tree! Because of this , sound recording on the 938 is a snap- much more convenient than on the Elmo’s where the sound controls are awkwardly located on the back wall of the projector chassis.
The stereo amplifier board contains no less than 44 transistors, 74 diodes, 7 operation amplifiers, 7 IC’s, and 2 integrated output stages. This huge board is mounted in its own separate housing which also forms the base of the projector and the control console. This is a much better arrangement than on say the Elmo GS1200 where the electronics are strung around the projector on multiple PWB’s which all have to be connected through wire harnesses. So the internal layout of the 938 is very neat and clean, making access and servicing very easy. The base of the projector has horizontal and vertical levelling adjustments. There is also an 'inching' knob on the back of the projector, and mounting holes in the front for a daylight viewer or 'scope' lens mount.
The mechanical functions are contolled by a single rotary knob for threading, forward with sound, forward without sound, reverse, and rewind. Power rewind is leisurely and therefore gentle on your films. The forward without sound function totally removes pressure from the sound heads, thus eliminating sound head wear when running silent films- a very nice feature!
Speed is continuously variable from 17 to 25 fps , contolled mechanically by a rotary knob. This is a very precision control, utilizing a ball on disc drive (vastly improved from the earlier Eumig 800 series) which is very light and smooth indeed. I have found this speed control is so precise that it makes re-dubbing of sound tracks from DVD video relatively easy. Of course it’s not pulse-sync, but for a mechanical speed control it’s probably about as good as you can get.
The gate is a hinged type which is only accessible by first removing the front cover. You can’t pull the gate out, so the best method of cleaning is with long cotton swab's and aero-duster. The sound head pressure pads are totally removable by turning a little red knob. This leaves the sound head totally accessible for easy cleaning . There is a mechanical counter which counts once every second at 18fps.
On the back of the machine are the usual recording/microphone input sockets, amplifier out, left and right external speaker sockets, and an earphone socket.
Sound recording and playback quality is truly spectacular. There is absolutely no trace of WOW , which cannot always be said of the Elmo GS1200. Playing back re-recorded stereo is stunning, with a quality which is indistinguishable from VHS HI-FI tracks. I have two Elmo GS1200’s and there is no doubt in my mind that the 938 sound quality is superior. Frequency response is 40 to 11,000hz at 18 fps, better of course at 24fps, and signal to noise ratio is better than 50db. The control console enables you to switch from track 1, track 2, 1+2 mono, or 1+2 stereo. You can also directly record track 1 on track 2, or vice-versa, and you can play back with track 1 controlling the volume on track 2 or vice-versa. There is also a PA function, and an auto-start socket on the back of the machine, which permits a frame synchronised flying start of an external sound source such as tape player or DVD. So the recording options are amazing- again superior to the GS1200.
So what do we have here in the Eumig S938 stereo? Well we have a gorgeous looking machine with the best stereo sound quality that I have yet heard on super 8. This projector will never scratch a frame of your film and it threads unfailingly and runs very smoothly. The 150 watt lamp is brighter than the ubiquitous 12v 100 watt lamp, but noticeably dimmer than the 200 watt GS1200. The supplied lens is mediocre, if you are serious about using this projector find a top quality f1.0 fixed or zoom lens and you will be in the big league with sharpness as good or better than the GS, but still a little dimmer. The recording capabilities, and ease of use, are better than the GS1200. The spool capacity is 800ft not 1200ft as on the GS 1200.
To summarize, Eumig got it all right on this one , producing a superb projector which beats the GS1200 in some very important areas, but does not quite come up to the superb brightness of the GS1200, and of course it only has 800ft spool capacity. But it is the perfect machine for home (as opposed to hall) use. A joy to use and operate, and stunning to look at.

[ June 15, 2019, 12:31 PM: Message edited by: Paul Adsett ]

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The best of all worlds- 8mm, super 8mm, 9.5mm, and HD Digital Projection,
Elmo GS1200 f1.0 2-blade
Eumig S938 Stereo f1.0 Ektar
Panasonic PT-AE4000U digital pj

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Douglas Meltzer
Moderator

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From: New York, NY, USA
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 - posted February 03, 2006 04:41 PM      Profile for Douglas Meltzer   Email Douglas Meltzer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Paul,

Excellent review! While I disagree with certain comparisons to the GS-1200, you make a strong case for your 938. I hope this Doug guy gets his act together and writes that damn review of his 940 soon.

Doug

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I think there's room for just one more film.....

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Tony Stucchio
Jedi Master Film Handler

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 - posted February 03, 2006 05:46 PM      Profile for Tony Stucchio   Email Tony Stucchio   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have never seen one. Can anyone post a pic? Sounds like a great machine.

Does it take the same lens as the old 810D? I once had a 907 and it took a different lens. Got rid of it because as you said the lack of sprockets made it very bad in handling film.

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Mal Brake
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 - posted February 03, 2006 06:06 PM      Profile for Mal Brake   Email Mal Brake   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My friend has one of these machines, and for home use it is very good, especially through his sound system. It cost him just £80 a few years ago and has given great service.
Mal

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I'm gonna live forever or die trying

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Paul Adsett
Film God

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From: USA
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 - posted February 03, 2006 06:23 PM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Doug, I have a very nice brochure picture of the 938 but have no idea how to upload it onto the forum. Can I email it to you and have you post it here?
Paul

--------------------
The best of all worlds- 8mm, super 8mm, 9.5mm, and HD Digital Projection,
Elmo GS1200 f1.0 2-blade
Eumig S938 Stereo f1.0 Ektar
Panasonic PT-AE4000U digital pj

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Craig Hamilton
Jedi Master Film Handler

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From: Luton
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 - posted February 03, 2006 06:39 PM      Profile for Craig Hamilton   Email Craig Hamilton   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
And what a damn fine machine she is!!!!!! [Big Grin] [Big Grin]

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Craig

--------------------
I dream of becoming a dealer!!!!!!
Is Perry's Movies for Sale.

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Douglas Meltzer
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 - posted February 03, 2006 06:49 PM      Profile for Douglas Meltzer   Email Douglas Meltzer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Paul,

Absolutely! Just e-mail that brochure to me and I'll tack it onto our electronic bulletin board. [Smile]
Doug

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I think there's room for just one more film.....

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Douglas Meltzer
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From: New York, NY, USA
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 - posted February 03, 2006 07:10 PM      Profile for Douglas Meltzer   Email Douglas Meltzer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Paul, photo added!

Craig, that's a 940 you got there, isn't it?

Doug

--------------------
I think there's room for just one more film.....

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Craig Hamilton
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From: Luton
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 - posted February 03, 2006 07:14 PM      Profile for Craig Hamilton   Email Craig Hamilton   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Doug, this one is identical to a 940 I had. Really is an excellent projector.

Craig

--------------------
I dream of becoming a dealer!!!!!!
Is Perry's Movies for Sale.

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Paul Adsett
Film God

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From: USA
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 - posted February 03, 2006 07:23 PM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks Doug- looks great!

--------------------
The best of all worlds- 8mm, super 8mm, 9.5mm, and HD Digital Projection,
Elmo GS1200 f1.0 2-blade
Eumig S938 Stereo f1.0 Ektar
Panasonic PT-AE4000U digital pj

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Jan Bister
Darth 8mm

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From: Ohio, USA
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 - posted February 04, 2006 09:20 AM      Profile for Jan Bister   Email Jan Bister   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I want one. [Eek!]

--------------------
Call me Phoenix. *dusts off the ashes*

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Tom Photiou
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From: Plymouth U.K
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 - posted February 05, 2006 02:24 PM      Profile for Tom Photiou   Email Tom Photiou   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I had the 840 and it was a good machine but after a few years i was burdened with the usual Eumig problems, slowing down,(i only found out how to cure this after i got rid of it [Mad] ), and one of the soundtracks not working due to wear. I think Eumig should have made the body of more robust material, it was too plasticky for the type of machine it was. A good metal body like the Elmo's would have been much more robust,(and even heavier [Big Grin] ). That said, it was an excellent machine for its time. I no ive still got the instructions book for it somewhere. [Wink]

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Jean-Marc Toussaint
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 - posted February 06, 2006 12:58 PM      Profile for Jean-Marc Toussaint   Author's Homepage   Email Jean-Marc Toussaint   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Tom? One of my 800s (the 807) is indeed slowing down... So, what's the cure?

(Paul, fantastic review, these machines are great)

--------------------
The Grindcave Cinema Website

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Paul Adsett
Film God

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From: USA
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 - posted February 06, 2006 07:40 PM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Doug and Jean-Marc, thanks for the kind comments. [Smile]
It might be worth noting here the differences between the 938 and the later 940. I don't have a 940, but for reference these are the only differnces as far as I know ( Doug please correct if necessary):

1) The S940 has LED lights replacing the two analog recording level meters on the 938

2) The recording functions on the 940 are microprocessor controlled, providing more sophisticated sound mixing options.

3) The 940 incorporates an illuminated digital frame counter, in the location previously occupied by the front panel light on the 938. The mechanical frame counter on the 938 is of course thus eliminated.

Everthing else is identical to the 938.
The 940 was the last projector manufactured by Eumig and represented the culmination of their decades of experience in the design and production of home movie equipment. They went out at the top of their game, a sad victim of the Polavision debacle and the home video revolution. [Frown] [Frown]

--------------------
The best of all worlds- 8mm, super 8mm, 9.5mm, and HD Digital Projection,
Elmo GS1200 f1.0 2-blade
Eumig S938 Stereo f1.0 Ektar
Panasonic PT-AE4000U digital pj

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Douglas Meltzer
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From: New York, NY, USA
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 - posted February 06, 2006 08:54 PM      Profile for Douglas Meltzer   Email Douglas Meltzer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Paul,

Unfortunately, the 940 doesn't have the optical leveling system of the 938.

Doug

--------------------
I think there's room for just one more film.....

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Paul Adsett
Film God

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From: USA
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 - posted February 06, 2006 10:03 PM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I suspect Eumig decided to put a much better lens on the 940, and this could only be done by eliminating the lens tilt feature.

--------------------
The best of all worlds- 8mm, super 8mm, 9.5mm, and HD Digital Projection,
Elmo GS1200 f1.0 2-blade
Eumig S938 Stereo f1.0 Ektar
Panasonic PT-AE4000U digital pj

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Michael De Angelis
Phenomenal Film Handler

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From: USA
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 - posted February 06, 2006 10:19 PM      Profile for Michael De Angelis   Email Michael De Angelis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Impressive shots,
and impressive insight into a great machine.

Thanks Paul [Smile]

P.S. I want one too.

If Tom would not mind giving us a heads-up on how to correct the sound issue on the 800 series, that would be great.

Michael

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Isn't it great that we can all communicate about this great
hobby that we love!

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Tom Photiou
Film God

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From: Plymouth U.K
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 - posted February 07, 2006 12:06 PM      Profile for Tom Photiou   Email Tom Photiou   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Jean, Im too familiar with the 800 series but if the drive is the same as most Eumigs, (double roller with rubber facings) it is a case of cleaning these up really well. The best way is to use very very fine wet and dry paper,(use dry of course) and lightly rub the rubber to produce a new surface to take away the sheen.Afterward clean up the rubber and the spinning part which actually drives the rubber faced flywheels with alcahole cleaner. (its also possible some of the lubricant within the moving parts is turning "gluey" so if it is try and remove this and lubricate with new. When all done run the machine with no film for a few minuites and do this once or twice a day and hopfully it will all come back to life again. [Wink]
Hope it works.

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Jean-Marc Toussaint
Film God

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 - posted February 09, 2006 08:16 AM      Profile for Jean-Marc Toussaint   Author's Homepage   Email Jean-Marc Toussaint   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Tom, I suspected it had to do with the roller system... When you mention "wet and dry paper", is this like sand paper? Very fine grain?

--------------------
The Grindcave Cinema Website

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Tom Photiou
Film God

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 - posted February 09, 2006 12:15 PM      Profile for Tom Photiou   Email Tom Photiou   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
it is, its a dark blue/grey colour and is used in the motor trade for body repairs. You need to obviously use it dry but ensure you use a very very fine grade.Let me know how you get on. [Wink]

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Michael De Angelis
Phenomenal Film Handler

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From: USA
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 - posted February 09, 2006 12:33 PM      Profile for Michael De Angelis   Email Michael De Angelis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Jean-Marc,

The abrasive paper is known as (wet/dry) silicone carbide paper.
The grit is #600.
It is blue/black in color, and has a very fine texture.

I have never considered this as an application for internal projector repairs,
but the concept is interesting.

However,
I use it wet between the dried coats of polyurethane in furniture restoration.
This paper smooths polyurethane brush marks which have dried on furniture surfaces.

Later I use a finer abrasive that is about #800-1000 grit.
It is called rotten-stone. This is mixed with water
into a liquid application, and apply it to the furniture before the
final polishing, with wax. It is one grade lower than pumice stone.

Michael

--------------------
Isn't it great that we can all communicate about this great
hobby that we love!

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David Michael Leugers
Master Film Handler

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From: Fairfield, OH, USA
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 - posted February 12, 2006 12:05 PM      Profile for David Michael Leugers   Email David Michael Leugers   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have always been a huge Eumig fan. I believe they have the best sound going of the projectors I have ever owned and they are very, very kind to film and will not damage your films if taken even moderate care of in cleaning. I find the 800ft reel size to be no problem. Many features fit on two 800ft reels and that is perfect. Gives your audience a chance to hit the head or get a refill without missing any of the film. :>)

David M. Leugers

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Live Free or Die

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Hugh Thompson Scott
Film God

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From: Gt. Clifton,Cumbria,England
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 - posted March 05, 2012 06:03 AM      Profile for Hugh Thompson Scott   Email Hugh Thompson Scott       Edit/Delete Post 
Dear Paul,just read your review on the Eumig S938 and if I didn't
already have far too many projectors I would be buying this one
now.Have you considered a career in sales?

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Martin Dew
Expert Film Handler

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From: Henley-on-Thames, UK
Registered: Jan 2017


 - posted March 17, 2017 08:41 AM      Profile for Martin Dew   Email Martin Dew   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Paul, I know you wrote this review some time ago, but I've just bought a S938 in almost mint condition for £100 with all original paperwork and box/packaging. I'm absolutely thrilled with it. It's so quiet running and the sound is really excellent. I was looking out for a GS-1200 or Beaulieu, but I really feel I've got all I need for home use now with this model.

Do you mind me asking what external amplifiers and speakers you are using with your 938?

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Paul Adsett
Film God

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From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted March 17, 2017 09:17 AM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Martin, I see you are from my favourate place in the UK - Henley on Thames. I just love it there and it is ALWAYS my first destination when visiting England.
Yes the 938 is a wonderful machine, as you have found out. 100 Pounds for a mint 938? -what a steal! It was the culmination of Eumig's 50 years of designing and manufacturing cine projectors, and this machine has everything you need for stunning movies at home. You might wish to seek out an f1.0 lens later on which will greatly boost screen brightness and picture quality.
I take the output from the headphone socket into a 10-band stereo equalizer (not really needed for the 938 because of its already superb sound quality) and then into a Sony 5.1 stereo amplifier connected to a set of Bose speakers.
By using the headphone output from the938, instead of the AUX output, you retain all the volume, bass/treble, mono/stereo, and balance controls right at the projector. Of course you can still sit in your armchair and control sound level with the remote for your stereo amplifier.

--------------------
The best of all worlds- 8mm, super 8mm, 9.5mm, and HD Digital Projection,
Elmo GS1200 f1.0 2-blade
Eumig S938 Stereo f1.0 Ektar
Panasonic PT-AE4000U digital pj

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