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ARSCLIST  March 2009

ARSCLIST March 2009

Subject:

Re: SV: [ARSCLIST] SV: [ARSCLIST] PACKBURN 323A

From:

Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 22 Mar 2009 13:08:44 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (288 lines)

Ah yes, the old "epoxy encasement patent." In that case, one would need to dissect and reverse 
engineer. Given the niche market, I doubt such an effort is feasible.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Steven Smolian" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, March 22, 2009 11:57 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] SV: [ARSCLIST] SV: [ARSCLIST] PACKBURN 323A


> Alas!  There is one assumption that is incorrect.  The Packburn schematic had little boxes where 
> the specialized circuits shouh have been.  And the parts numbers were sanded off some components.
>
> Steve Smolian
>
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Tom Fine" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Sunday, March 22, 2009 11:46 AM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] SV: [ARSCLIST] SV: [ARSCLIST] PACKBURN 323A
>
>
>> You'd want to take the digital idea to someone who's expert at modelling plug-ins. Someone like 
>> Dave Amels (sp?) who designed the Bomb Factory stuff, now he models tube stuff if I recall 
>> correctly. These guys can take a schematic of a Packburn or any other devise, plug it into their 
>> modelling software and then tweak the parameters to make the DSP do what the electrical 
>> components do to their expert satisfaction. Much easier described than done! Whether or not they 
>> are successful is up to your own ears. I have been very impressed with some DSP stuff and very 
>> unimpressed with other. So far, no DSP NR except in very small doses has been preferable to my 
>> aural aesthetic, but that's just one man's opinion. My beef is that digital artifacts, 
>> particularly high-end swishes or crackles or sizzles, are worse and more annoying than the tape 
>> hiss or other background noise being removed. As far as impulse-removal, the problem is digital 
>> "holes" in the sound, although some of the more modern DSP implimentations seem better at this if 
>> used with taste and extreme moderation. It all depends on how you listen. Play a piano record for 
>> a piano player and he likely couldn't care less where the piano is sitting in the "air and space" 
>> or how close-in it is compared to other instruments behind it, he's concentrating on the piano 
>> playing. Many but not all superb musicians I know -- some members of pretigious symphonies or 
>> performing groups -- have what an audio engineer would probably consider to be an awful playback 
>> system. My point is, all of this stuff is very subjective and there's more than one way to do any 
>> of it.
>>
>> The Packburn design is interesting in that part of it is sorta the same concept as the old Scott 
>> noise-reduction system but Tom Packard told me that they specifically worked around the Scott 
>> patents in order to gain their own patents. He also told me that he's working on a lower-cost 
>> version.
>>
>> Regarding Steve's confirmation that flat-with-gain is the best "diet" to feed a Packburn, this is 
>> not a hard preamp to create. You can even use a mic preamp if you can bypass the 600-ohm input 
>> transformer, or more appropriately replace it with something where the cartridge sees 47K-ohms if 
>> that's what it wants to see. I am not familiar enough with the Packburn to know if it has a 
>> low-level output to directly feed a phono preamp with EQ.
>>
>> -- Tom Fine
>>
>> ----- Original Message ----- 
>> From: "Steven Smolian" <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Sunday, March 22, 2009 10:16 AM
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] SV: [ARSCLIST] SV: [ARSCLIST] PACKBURN 323A
>>
>>
>>> The idea of continual switching to the quieter channel of a mono source is much different from 
>>> the way Cedar, SF, etc, operate.
>>>
>>> The Packburn works best by a considerable amount if it receives a flat signal.  The more high 
>>> end it sees, the better it can tell a click from program.  All eq should be added later. That 
>>> means bypassing the eq in the feed preamp.
>>>
>>> Like much analog equipment, it functions best using more than one pass for extreme cases, 
>>> resetting parameters a bit each time.    This is true for analog equalizers as well, except it 
>>> is usually more practical to gang them. The down side is living with the consequences of more 
>>> than one tape generation
>>>
>>> The Packburn patents have now expired.  It would be interesting to hear this process function in 
>>> a digital setting.  I discussed this idea with Tom Packard after Dick Burn's memorial service. 
>>> At the time he seemed uninterested.  Where does this go from here?
>>>
>>> Steve Smolian
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> ----- Original Message ----- 
>>> From: "Tom Fine" <[log in to unmask]>
>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>> Sent: Sunday, March 22, 2009 7:48 AM
>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] SV: [ARSCLIST] SV: [ARSCLIST] PACKBURN 323A
>>>
>>>
>>>> One man's opinions here ...
>>>>
>>>> I've had pretty good luck with old grooved media (78's and early LP's) as far as ticks and pops 
>>>> by focusing on deep-cleaning the disks first and foremost. I've been surprised to find that 
>>>> except for badly damaged disks, 78's are not as prone to constant and annoying ticks and pops 
>>>> as vinyl. I don't mess with badly damaged disks of either type unless they are highly unique --  
>>>> usually, given that my time messing with them has a monetary value, it is more cost-effective 
>>>> to find a better-condition specimen. However, in those few cases where I've had very 
>>>> problematic disks, as long as I can keep the needle in the groove I still find that, by a very 
>>>> great amount, the best fix for ticks and pops as far as audibility is the tried and true 
>>>> manually-fix method. In Sony Soundforge, practice and experience have taught me to zoom in on 
>>>> the ticks and pops and repaint the waveform using the pencil tool. Practice teaches you how to 
>>>> do this for barely audible or inaudible results. This is as time-consuming a method as exists 
>>>> except perhaps editing out microseconds with a blade and splicing tape (done that, hope to 
>>>> never do that again). But, the results can be superb if you use experience, learning and your 
>>>> ears to shoot for removal with no new artifacts.
>>>>
>>>> As for non-badly-damaged disks, my own taste is to put up with some crackle and a few low-level 
>>>> ticks and pops. Why try and mitigate what's inherent to the medium? If I make a transfer, of 
>>>> course I'll go in and manually fix the few big ticks and pops, but not go in and grab every 
>>>> little disk-noise thing.
>>>>
>>>> As far as feeding the Packburn, has anyone tried a flat-with-gain preamplifier, then feed the 
>>>> output of the Packburn thru an appropriate EQ filter, either as a piece of analog gear or in 
>>>> the computer? I would think, with no EQ, the Packburn would have the best shot at NR, but I 
>>>> might be wrong on that. Plan B would be to make sure and use the appropriate phono-preamp curve 
>>>> before the Packburn, so it is getting the intended frequency spectrum to work on. Then adjust 
>>>> for minimum artifacts and be satisfied that what you're hearing is as good as you're going to 
>>>> get out of that chain of equipment and stop worrying about it.
>>>>
>>>> But, circling back to my first point, starting with thorough cleaning of the grooved media has 
>>>> always been my strongest ally in either a good transfer or a pleasant listening experience, or 
>>>> both.
>>>>
>>>> -- Tom Fine
>>>>
>>>> ----- Original Message ----- 
>>>> From: "Jan Myren" <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> Sent: Sunday, March 22, 2009 4:06 AM
>>>> Subject: [ARSCLIST] SV: [ARSCLIST] SV: [ARSCLIST] PACKBURN 323A
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> HI Again!
>>>>
>>>> May it be an idea to take the signal from the Packburn into a paramertic
>>>> equaliser and try to reduce some of the surface noise that way??
>>>>
>>>> Hope to hear from you...
>>>>
>>>> Best regards
>>>> Jan
>>>> NORWAY
>>>>
>>>> -----Opprinnelig melding-----
>>>> Fra: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
>>>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] På vegne av George Brock-Nannestad
>>>> Sendt: 22. mars 2009 02:44
>>>> Til: [log in to unmask]
>>>> Emne: Re: [ARSCLIST] SV: [ARSCLIST] PACKBURN 323A
>>>>
>>>> From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad
>>>>
>>>> Hi everybody,
>>>>
>>>> Jan Myren described his Packburn setup and seems quite satisfied. I did not
>>>> know that it had an "undo RIAA" feature in its later versions, but I assure
>>>> you that the Packburn switcher works even better if the treble is not rolled
>>>>
>>>> of like RIAA does.
>>>>
>>>> In cooperation with John R.T. Davies Ted Kendall has developed what they
>>>> used
>>>> to call "the Mousetrap" that used components that were 25 years younger than
>>>>
>>>> those of Packard and Burns, although the basic switcher idea was the same. I
>>>>
>>>> do not know whether that is incorporated in Ted's "the Front End"
>>>> preamplifier that has many useful features. It is only built to order.
>>>>
>>>> Jan asked:
>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> BUT; Since I think the Packburn works well on clicks and pops; do you know
>>>>> if the engineers from the "analogue remaster area" like Robert Parker,
>>>>> also used a second noise reduction system to get rid of more of that
>>>> surface
>>>>> noise, or did they just use it "as is" and accepted a fair amount of
>>>>> surface noise on their LP-compilations?
>>>>
>>>> ----- if I remember correctly, Robert Parker artificially boosted the high
>>>> frequencies by generating distortion by having an elliptical stylus with the
>>>>
>>>> long axis along the groove. This permitted/indeed REQUIRED very heavy treble
>>>>
>>>> filtering to remove the distortion (and any noise from 78s), so that he had
>>>> a
>>>> lot of fundamentals. Any lack of brilliance was counteracted by heavy
>>>> reverb.
>>>> All in all disgusting results, but John R.T. was forgiving: "it will
>>>> advertise that there is plenty of interesting material in these old records,
>>>>
>>>> and those who want to engross themselves will go to the sources".
>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> -----Opprinnelig melding-----
>>>>> Fra: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
>>>>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] På vegne av ADRIAN COSENTINI
>>>>> Sendt: 21. mars 2009 20:13
>>>>> Til: [log in to unmask]
>>>>> Emne: Re: [ARSCLIST] PACKBURN 323A
>>>>>
>>>>> Hi Jan,
>>>>>
>>>>> When I was the Chief Audio Engineer at The Rodgers & Hammerstein
>>>>> archives we had a number of Packburns, and we never used them,
>>>>> because they sounded like shit, to put it mildly. Now a days with all
>>>>> the digital noise reduction programs out there why aren't you using
>>>>> that? Also why on earth are you using a RIAA curve on 78's?! You're
>>>>> missing most of the sound. A KAB pre-amp would be much better, even
>>>>> though I'm not crazy about the pre-set curves. The OWL 1 is way
>>>>> better to dial in the curves. Good luck finding one of those. Anyway
>>>>> toss the Packburn and the RIAA curve.
>>>>>
>>>>> Adrian
>>>>>
>>>>> On Mar 21, 2009, at 11:32 AM, Jan Myren wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>> > About Packburn 323 Audio Noise Suppressor
>>>>> >
>>>>> >
>>>>> >
>>>>> > HI; I have learned that you for many years (and probably still) use
>>>>> > the
>>>>> > Packburn for playback and recording from old 78 rpm discs.
>>>>> >
>>>>> > Since I am a collector of old 78's and have a big collection of
>>>>> > records from
>>>>> > all ages. I have also spent some recourses on good equipment and I
>>>>> > think
>>>>> > this Packburn would be the correct analogue device to my set-up.
>>>>> >
>>>>> > I have a Thorens TD 521 turnable. The arm is a SME 3012R and the
>>>>> > cartridge
>>>>> > is a Stanton 500MKII and some different stylis, all special made for
>>>>> > playback of old 78's! I use a normal NAD RIIA preamp.
>>>>> >
>>>>> > My experience so far is that it works very well on clicks and pops
>>>>> > using the
>>>>> > switcher and the blanker. But the continous noise filter bugs me a
>>>>> > bit,
>>>>> > since I think it doesn't reduce that much surface noise. I don't
>>>>> > use the
>>>>> > variable adjust very often, since the so called "masked-noise" and the
>>>>> > pumping effect bring offer "strange noises" to the sound. Therefore
>>>>> > I mostly
>>>>> > use the FIXED adjust, and usually set it fixed at 9 o'clock posititon.
>>>>> >
>>>>> >
>>>>> >
>>>>> > I have read that some re-issue engineers, like Robert Parker used the
>>>>> > Packburn 323A frequently when restoring old 78's for LP and CD-
>>>>> > releases.
>>>>> >
>>>>> > MY main question is if the Packburn was used as a "stand alone"
>>>>> > unit or it
>>>>> > was also supplied with other noise reduction units in order to
>>>>> > filter out
>>>>> > more of the surface noise. If so, what did they (or you) actually
>>>>> > do and
>>>>> > what could eventually be a good supplement for that purpose?
>>>>> >
>>>>> > I would really appreciate if any of you would please give me some
>>>>> > hints and
>>>>> > suggestions, since I think the Packburn will work very well if used
>>>>> > the
>>>>> > right way!
>>>>> >
>>>>> > Really hope to hear from you again!!
>>>>> >
>>>>> >
>>>>> >
>>>>> > Best regards
>>>>> >
>>>>> > Jan Myren¨
>>>>> >
>>>>> > NORWAY
>>>>> >
>>>>> >
>>>
>>
> 

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