One thing I forgot to mention. If you have a very low-latency DAW, you can listen as you run the
sound through digital NR, gating and whatever else you want to experiment with. Come up with a chain
of plugins that does the job to your happiness, save the presets, and enjoy the quieter listening.
But, just like preamp turnover and rolloff, there is probably no one-size-fits-all preset or chain
of plugins. 78's were simply recorded in too many ways over too many years and pressed to too wide a
degree of quality varience. Even mean levels vary all over the place.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Tom Fine" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Saturday, May 23, 2009 7:10 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] DBX for playback of 78s
> One man's opinions, experiences, YMMV, etc. ...
> Steve is right that a graphic EQ is helpful, and I also think a preamp with adjustable turnover
> and rolloff is very necessary. Dial in what sounds best for casual listening, dial in what's
> truest to the source for archival tranfers. On later-era 78's, there can be musical content at 12K
> and even higher. For acoustic era, there is nothing even at 8K in almost all cases. The thing is,
> not graphic EQ just lops off at the stated frequency, they all have a curve that bends up or down
> over a bunch more frequencies below and above the target frequency, so tune by ear.
> A box of shellacs picked up at a 2nd hand store are just not going to sound like a modern reissue
> CD made from metal parts. You will never achieve the low noise level and low distortion level of
> primary source material. Manufactured shellacs vary in quality from quite amazingly clear to fuzzy
> noise-hash messes. It depends on the manufacturer and manufacture date and how the thing has been
> stored these many decades.
> Of course, cleaning a shellac before playing is key. Deep cleaning the groove eliminates many
> ticks and pops and can reduce background hash. You can use a vacuum/scrub machine (use the
> appropriate cleaning fluid and change the brush and vacuum pad before doing LPs), or a simple soft
> sponge and Ivory dish soap works. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry. And of course wet the record
> before sponge-ing it. Those blue shammy clothes sold at record-sleeve online stores are a great
> finish-dry cloth. Store the cleaned records in new sleeves; as kewl as those ancient
> brown-wrinkled sleeves are, they are not appropriate for storage after decades of dust and casual
> Steve is also right about bass content. It's usually a compromise between rumble reduction and
> legitimate bass content, tune to ear's preferences.
> As for dbx (Jan was obviously asking about the companders like 3BX and 2BX, not the closed-loop NR
> system), and the Phase Linear 1000 for that matter, they can help if used very carefully,
> especially on non-music content like transcriptions. Very conservative, very careful, they can
> reduce background hash a little bit. But, any modern digital NR will do a better job if used
> Again, one man's opinions, experiences, YMMV, etc.
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Steven C. Barr" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Friday, May 22, 2009 10:55 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] DBX for playback of 78s
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "John Eberle" <[log in to unmask]>
>>> Here is my take on this : DBX Noise reduction is an encode in recording
>>> and decode in playback system designed to reduce tape noise in
>>> professional recording studios . There was an attempt by DBX to interest the record
>>> industry in a version designed to be used in the mastering of 45s and lps and
>>> the decode unit was to be incorporated
>>> into the preamp or the playback system . The company I was working for at
>>> the time , Nashville Record Productions in Music City USA was given an
>>> onsite demo of this system and it was considered by many
>>> in the industry for adoption as it was quite effective.
>>> The big drawback to the DBX record system and the reason for its'
>>> lack of acceptance was that the DBX encoded record was most unpleasant to
>>> listen to on a playback system that did not have the DBX
>>> decoder ; making compatibility in the market place a big problem
>> I always found that the most useful tool for listening to 78rpm phonorecords
>> was a standard (and cheaply available these days) 10-band equalizer.
>> Obviously, more advanced eq's (if one can afford them?!) would be of
>> better use!
>> At any rate, 78rpm phonorecords of the 1889-195? era basically had a
>> "bandwidth" (frequency response) of around 50-6000 kHz. THAT is
>> what is on the original recording (although it MIGHT be possible to
>> recreate "implied" notes via a computer?!).
>> I always set my eq to chop the upper octave (no recorded content
>> there!) and the lower couple of octaves (three for acoustic originals!)
>> for the same reason!
>> One caveat! Apparently, the bass response of early-electrical-era
>> 78's was MUCH lower than one might expect; I have MANY
>> pipe-organ recordings (Jesse Crawford et al) mage in that era
>> which exhibit AMAZING low-end content...!!
>> Steven C. Barr