Don brings up a key point, which perhaps younger people who did not grow up owning and playing LPs
may not fully understand. LPs (and also 78s) can simple wear out. If they are played with too-heavy
or dull needles, if the needle wasn't appropriate for the groove, and in the case of vinyl, if the
needle is chipped or damaged or there's abrasive dirt in the grooves, records just wear out. There
is little to nothing you can do. They could come out of the factory badly pressed or over-cut at the
mastering lathe, too. The symptoms of this are fuzzy distortion, more often in the right channel and
more often toward the inner label. For 78's, usually the wear is more brutal and the records either
skip the groove or have so much surface noise and crackle that the content is buried and attempts to
retrieve it are not likely to be successful.
This is why I always argue that STEP 1 in acquiring and tranferring grooved disks should be to find
the best-condition copy of the item that you can. And STEP 2 is to properly clean that item so it
plays as well as possible. STEP 3 would be to make sure you have the proper needle, that it, too, is
clean and un-damaged and that you have a reliable turntable and good preamp with the proper EQ curve
available. Then you are on the road to good-sounding playback and likely not needing to lean on a
bunch of digital tools that leave audible artifacts.
However, some disks just aren't playable. They're damaged beyond being worth fooling with. If you
have the one copy of a Son House Paramount record, well that's your lot in life if you want to hear
that content. But if you have a typical LP or 78, just find another copy and save yourself the
agita. In the case of some LPs, that groove distortion was cut into the master and pressed into
every copy, so it's how it is. Search for a CD reissue.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Don Cox" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, April 22, 2012 4:46 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Reducing crackle on 78s analogue and digital
> On 22/04/2012, Richard L. Hess wrote:
>> Hi, Jan,
>> I have both DC6 and DC8 but have not used DC8's click repair as I
>> never really liked DC6's.
>> As I said, my experience was on a very bad LP and there was no
>> comparison to DC6 or the Samplitude product. I only tried a little
>> with DC6 as the Samplitude product always worked better for me.
>> It is a mixed bag, but for the price ($40?), I would try Brian's
>> little program. You can check the price at the website
>> It was less than the upgrade to DC8 when it was on sale, and I haven't
>> used DC8 except to try it and not see a huge improvement in noise
>> reduction over DC6. Maybe, I'm missing something. I think Brian's
>> tools are a great addition to the toolbox, both denoise and
>> clickrepair. Also EQ. Your mileage may vary. I have not tried Izotope
>> recently. It had promise, but it didn't offer an improvement for me
>> for my tape work. I have not evaluated it for disc work as that's not
>> my main business. I've just fallen into a dozen or so LPs recently
>> that people wanted me to do as part of larger packages or 'cause they
>> are friends willing to pay. The real noisy one I just did for a
> However, LPs don't normally have crackle as 78s do. They tend to have
> fairly widely spaced individual clicks (which 78s have too).
> I would describe crackle as a multitude of small clicks at random
> intervals of many times per second. Generally the clicks differ on the two
> walls of the groove. (LP clicks are more often on both walls.)
> As each little click is an impulse, it has a wide-band spectrum covering all
> audible frequencies, so no kind of frequency-based filter can remove it.
> However, the spectrum goes up higher than that of the music, and this
> can be used for detection if the sample rate is high enough.
> Groove wear is another problem again.
> Don Cox
> [log in to unmask]