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Reducing vinyl LP surface noise

post #1 of 100
Thread Starter 
A high-end Loricraft record cleaning machine can cost several thousand dollars more than the VPI 16.5 machine which I now use. So, before switching to a Loricarft in order to further reduce surface noise, I wonder whether using an Esoteric Sound Surface Noise Reducer device, which costs less than $400, will be even more satisfactory. Descriptions, and a sale price, for the Esoteric Sound Surface Noise Reducer are at the following sites:

Getting Rid of That Snap, Crackle & Pop
Phono turntables, styli, noise reduction,equalizers
Garage 'A Records: Products

Does anyone own, or have experience with this Esoteric device?
post #2 of 100
The best real time declicker in the analogue era was the Burwen TNE 7000A Transient Noise Eliminator. They are audibly transparent due to a microscopic noise gate and sell at ebay regularly. I'm not familiar with that Esoteric unit, but it's possible that a RT digital plugin exists for computer playback that does the same thing. I would go for that before buying a black box.

See ya
Steve
post #3 of 100
I love my surface noise. I wouldn't think of getting rid of it.
post #4 of 100
Thread Starter 
I just ordered it, and will report on performance when I get it. I hope that the Esoteric device is newer and possibly better technology. BTW, is the TNF 7000A the same as the TNE 7000A?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
The best real time declicker in the analogue era was the Burwen TNE 7000A Transient Noise Eliminator. They are audibly transparent due to a microscopic noise gate and sell at ebay regularly. I'm not familiar with that Esoteric unit, but it's possible that a RT digital plugin exists for computer playback that does the same thing. I would go for that before buying a black box.

See ya
Steve
post #5 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
The best real time declicker in the analogue era was the Burwen TNE 7000A Transient Noise Eliminator.
I'm not majorly impressed with mine although it's a cool device and I suppose is ok for casual listening. I certainly wouldn't say it's audibly transparent as it does noticably roll off the high frequncies and seems to suck the life out a recording. I should maybe try better quality cable...

A decent record cleaning machine is a much better investment.
post #6 of 100
The Burwen unit is by definition transparent. It has a gate- the filtering is only applied when the gate is triggered- and the gate measures a tiny fraction of a second. So the filtering only covers the duration of the click. It isn't good at loud pops, but it can help reduce low level noise and help lower the noise floor a bit. It's not a huge improvement but every little bit helps.

If you're finding it's clipping sustained high notes, you probably have the sensitivity set too high. It can wreak havoc with sopranos if it's set too high.

See ya
Steve
post #7 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
The Burwen unit is by definition transparent.
Funny if it's as simple a noise gate as you describe one would expect it to handle big pops better than low level noise.

I found if you push it too hard you get odd phasing harmonics effects which are quite interesting on some material

But basically it's another piece of electronics in the way of the signal so how transparent it is depends on the quality of the circuit, psu etc and I certainly notice the difference when using it as they prescribe switched accross a tape loop on a standard Hi-Fi amp.

I havn't tried it with an FX return on a mixer yet which may be a fairer test as the channels would all be the same that way whereas at the moment I could just be listening to the phono input vs. the tape loop of the amp.

Either way it's better to keep the signal path as simple as one can in my experience and any processing you do to the signal downstream can't replace what's coming off the record to start with.

Therefore it makes sense to ensure the record itself is as pristine as it can be and the quality of the turntable / arm / cart are as good as possible before spending hundreds of dollars on signal processing equipment.
post #8 of 100
post #9 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
The Burwen unit is by definition transparent. It has a gate- the filtering is only applied when the gate is triggered- and the gate measures a tiny fraction of a second. So the filtering only covers the duration of the click. It isn't good at loud pops, but it can help reduce low level noise and help lower the noise floor a bit. It's not a huge improvement but every little bit helps.

If you're finding it's clipping sustained high notes, you probably have the sensitivity set too high. It can wreak havoc with sopranos if it's set too high.

See ya
Steve
Yeah I used to have one of those things back in the day.

They were not transparent in use, they had an odd "breathing effect" that could be heard on the music. The extra cabling, circuitry & connections reduced fidelity also.

Better to just start with clean records and skip the band-aid gadgets.
post #10 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd R View Post
Yeah I used to have one of those things back in the day. They were not transparent in use, they had an odd "breathing effect" that could be heard on the music.
You're thinking of the Burwen DNF 1201A. That's a broadband noise reduction unit- an entirely different animal than the transient noise reduction unit. Analogue dynamic filtering pretty much obsolete, replaced by digital dynamic filtering that does the job MUCH better and smoother.

See ya
Steve
post #11 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
You're thinking of the Burwen DNF 1201A. That's a broadband noise reduction unit- an entirely different animal than the transient noise reduction unit. Analogue dynamic filtering pretty much obsolete, replaced by digital dynamic filtering that does the job MUCH better and smoother.

See ya
Steve
I know what I used to own.

Never the less...it's a band aid and should be avoided unless you just can't find clean copies of the LP's you want to listen to.
post #12 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
You're thinking of the Burwen DNF 1201A. That's a broadband noise reduction unit- an entirely different animal than the transient noise reduction unit. Analogue dynamic filtering pretty much obsolete, replaced by digital dynamic filtering that does the job MUCH better and smoother.

See ya
Steve
So does this system fully digitize the Analog signal , process the clicks/pops when detected and then do a D/A conversion or does it just cut in when it detects pops/clicks?
post #13 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
cool thanks. i was actually lucky enough to get a mint boxed example with all that printed documentation, intstructions, reviews etc a few years ago on ebay.

It was lightly used and all I did was De-Oxit the inputs which were a bit tired looking. It is a TNE7000A.

As I said it's an interesting thing to have but i havn't used it for transcription much as it's not transparent in my system.

It's definitely a high quality analogue noise gate with no digital signal processing.

If want state of the art digital filtering you'd need CEDAR which can be hardware or software but is pretty expensive and can be found in studios like Abbey Road.
post #14 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post
So does this system fully digitize the Analog signal , process the clicks/pops when detected and then do a D/A conversion or does it just cut in when it detects pops/clicks?
The Burwen units are analogue, not digital. Since the TNE is in total bypass until it is triggered, and when the noise reduction cuts in it's only for a tiny fraction of a second, it's impossible for it to pump. Pumping is a artifact of a broadband dynamic filter that's set too high. The artifacting that occurs when the TNE is set too high sounds like flurries of tiny pops or clipping around sustained pure high frequency tones like soprano voice and flutes. But if it's calibrated properly, it's very difficult to make it artifact. The DNF is very easy to set too strong, however. It pumps at even the moderate setting. The Burwen DNF and TNE look very similar. KLH made them as well at one time.

If your TNE is adding noise to the signal, odds are there is something not functioning properly. I can turn the sensitivity all the way down and do an A/B with bypass and there's no alteration of the signal at all. It's possible that some component in it is prone to burning out after 3 or 4 decades of use. In the day, most film and video sound houses had one of these on hand and they were used on a daily basis for cleaning up stock SFX and music libraries.

See ya
Steve
post #15 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

If your TNE is adding noise to the signal, odds are there is something not functioning properly. I can turn the sensitivity all the way down and do an A/B with bypass and there's no alteration of the signal at all. It's possible that some component in it is prone to burning out after 3 or 4 decades of use. In the day, most film and video sound houses had one of these on hand and they were used on a daily basis for cleaning up stock SFX and music libraries.
The one I have came from a private collector and seems to be in perfect order. It even had the original receipt. Quite an expensive bit of kit back then !

As you say it's difficult to make it artifact and to my ear when it does with some really extreme settings it sounds hollow like it's slightly out of phase and adds a sort of exaggerated tonal echo to the clicks which sounds rather like feeding it through an analogue delay with the feedback set at full.

This isn't what i mean by it being non transparent though.

I mean that when plugged into the tape loops on the amps I have tried it on so far, a NAD 3020 and Marantz PM-94, even with the effects settings at minimum or bypass set it sounds noticably different to just listening directly to the phono input.

Cartridge choice makes a difference too. It sounds better with my vintage rolled off Shure carts than it does with my more modern ones. Maybe I should get it serviced but altogether it just has the character of other '70s / '80s effects I have. It certainly doesn't pump though like my DBX boxes which make an intersting effect on drums
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