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Best all-round Apple CRT monitor?

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The Color Plus replaced the Basic Color Display as the mid-entry level Apple monitor in late 1993. The BCD had come out earlier that year to essentially fill the 12" RGB's void, just as the Macintosh Color Display took over for the Hi-Res RGB at the high end.

 

The Performa Plus was a different display altogether. I remember it being bundled with the 4xx Performas in particular (and also saw it on at least one P600). This was the lowest of the low end. Think of the basic, entry-level PC clone monitors of the time (i.e. Packard Bell, Compaq) and you've got this washed-out display.

 

Essentially, Apple had the following display lines for <15" color displays before the multiscan displays of 1995:

 

VALUE LEADER: Performa Plus

ENTRY LEVEL: 12" RGB, BCM, Color Plus

HIGH END SMALL DISPLAY: Hi-Res RGB, MCD

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I also used several 17" Apple monitors. As long as they served well, the picture was excellent, but two 1710 models died from electronics failure and the older and even taller Apple 17" Trinitron died from ongoing disintegration of the plastics.

A few years ago I opted for a pair of EIZO L365 LCDs. Their platinum grey bezel matches perfectly old Apple gear and seems not to yellow at all (multy sync up to native resolution of 1024x768, stereo speakers, VGA and DVI input). The video connector cable from the Apple design 15" display can be used to connect the L365 to a standard Macintosh video output without the use of a separate adaptor.

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What about the quality of 1) apple multiscan 14 display, 2) apple multiscan 15 display and 3) apple multiple scan 15AV display? I have a mac performa 6116 with philips monitor 14" and i want to buy some time a new monitor. From the suggestions of this topic i am thinking of checking the macintosh colour display and the audiovision display. I don't care if i cannot have bigger resolution than 640x480.

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After 10 years with retro Macintosh gaming, the time has come to put also my dos computer on my office. On the dos pc i have a 15" sony trinitron monitor and on my Macintosh Performa 6116 i have the Macintosh Color Display Monitor M1212. I can say that the quality of the graphics of most mac games is better and everything looks amazing on the Macintosh Color Display. Small, sharp colors and pictures. Some games look lot better than dos version (for instance Flashback, Day of the Tentacle, Gobliiins etc.) I have used also the Sony Trinitron 15" on my  Powermac G3 Beige but i think the Macintosh Color Display has better picture. It is just like it made for Macs.

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Apple didn't make their own CRTs (tubes) so they used the same ones as everybody else. The difference could just be in how the electronics aged and the hours and heat level it was used.

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Sure, although except for at the very very low end and the 20-inch Multiple Scan, not many Apple monitors were literally an Apple logo slapped onto an existing design - Apple contracted to have a monitor built to certain specs with a certain type of design and styling and various contractors, Sony among them, filled those contracts.

 

The meta on this entire thing has kind of changed a fair bit in the past ~10 years. I have two Multiple Scan 20s and I love them. I also have a 16-inch Macintosh Color Display, the middle sibling in the ~1991 Macintosh Color Display family, and it's great.

 

My thought here is that a lot of these displays will have aged into death by now and if you just want a monitor - 2000-2010s 3:4 and 5:4 business LCDs are probably the easy first choice. If you want a CRT, pretty much any regular VGA monitor is suitable, and if you want an Apple one, you'll probably have to wait, be patient, look fairly actively, BE WILLING TO TRAVEL, and be willing to settle for pretty much anything that comes your way.

 

Case in point, my MCD16 came from a forum member in Oregon and my two MCD20s came from the Phoenix Metro Area, round-abouts 1700 and 170 or so miles away from where I live, respectively.

 

That said, if there was a single Apple display I could get like ten of and just use on all of my systems, it would probably be the MS1710/MS750/CS750 and/or the AV version. (they're all relabels of the same display). They'll do up to 1152x870 (I think they'll actually do up to 1280x1024, but I'd probably only run 1152, mostly because I use a lot of quadra and powermac onboard video) with a fallback to the MCD16 or the MS17 for older, pre-multisync macs or anything that can't run the applevision drivers. 

 

They do have a bit of a premature death problem, relative to other Apple monitors, but they are very nice when they work properly.

 

Second after that would be any of the 20-inch ones, which would be easier to see/use at the same resolutions and in some case capable of higher, but perhaps from a more practical perspective, a couple solid multiple scan 15/15avs would be great, really flexible displays that look good at both 640x480 and 1024x768, and are physically easy to move around, put on shelves, put on top of desktop-case Macs, and so on.

 

The other meta-change is with regards to basically any CRT monitor someone thinks will work on a regular PC which is "vintage gaming". It's become really difficult to buy CRTs of late because people have recognized that there's retro value to them and have started pricing them above what they're "worth" in the sense of their original usage. (especially now that Intel and most of the GPU manufacturers have taken VGA off their chipsets, so if you want to use a CRT on a modern computer you have to put an old video card in it.) CRT televisions arguably have it worse, because of people feeling pre-HD video game nostalgia. 

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I kept my brothers broken (easily fixed bad solder joint) Panasonic 27" CRT TV when he got a flatscreen just for retro gaming and because light gun games don't work on a LCD.

 

CRTs take up a lot of room especially if you need multiple types. I have color and mono Atari ST monitors, Amiga monitors, C64 monitors, CGA, VGA, Apple ,Tandy,  IIgs, etc in the house. I also have a Sony broadcast monitor for video editing plus my monster 20" Supermac fixed frequency Apple monitor.

 

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I got that Viewsonic OptiQuest Q71 I got last year, and it's a decent (and very flexible) CRT for general purpose stuff, and it advertises full compatibility with recent Macs (relative to when the monitor was built (~2000-2001), so this would encompass most beige Power Macs from at least 1996 onward, and probably anything from 1994-1995 as well), with an adapter, of course.

 

It's only 17" though, so it doesn't look so good past 1280x1024. It will go up to something obscene like 1920x1044, but at an absolutely blinding refresh rate of 48 Hz, so it's not really usable (the highest I could tolerate was 1400x1050, which the monitor could do at I think either 67 or 72 Hz, which is the minimum rate I can tolerate without getting a headache, and while it's not super crisp at that res, it's generally usable).

 

I'd *love* to get a nice 20" CRT at some point, but, of course, they're too expensive now (like almost every other vintage thing nowadays). I should've gotten one 10 years ago when people were giving them away, but I was on the "get rid of your CRTs and get LCDs instead!" bandwagon, so that thought didn't occur to me at the time. I instead made the mistaken assumption that the prices probably wouldn't go up (boy was I wrong!)

 

Live and learn...

 

c

Edited by CC_333

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I passed on some nice CRTs ages ago because I didn't think I needed them, nor wanted to find space for them. This was probably before my Sony 420GS bit the dust. Oddly enough my older 17SF2 still works and it connected to a Dr.Bott KVM and 4 x 68k macs in the lab.

 

An easy lesson to remember in computers is whatever there is a major cheap or giveaway abundance of now there will be a shortage of in 10 years followed by inflated prices 5 years after that. The mass production of those items is offset by their cheap design and construction along with mass early recycling.

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I especially like the design of the 17" ColorSync, c.1996, which had a very nice CRT capable of 20" monitor resolutions (though I found text too small at that point on mine). The software controls could be a fiddle, but once installed, worked well.

 

The main trouble with them is that the circuitry fails, so that that fine CRT becomes scrap. I am wondering if anyone has any experience of repairing them thar capacitors and such -- what is it that is prone to failure and how can it be put right? I am not an electronics wizard, but am prepared to have a go with a soldering iron when told what to do by the cognoscente.

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