The SugarCube SC-2 Is Here At Last...Clicks & Pops R.I.P.

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by DigMyGroove, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. TerryS

    TerryS Forum Resident

    Location:
    Peyton, Colorado
    mmm... May be wrong here, but I thought the reconstruction filter was required on playback of a CD to prevent out of band signals from appearing at the output. I think the output, if unfiltered (and not over-sampled) would have the image mirrored at 44kHz. I assume this extra frequency info was what was throwing off the algorithm.
     
  2. TerryS

    TerryS Forum Resident

    Location:
    Peyton, Colorado
    Here is a quick description of what comes out without the reconstruction filter...

    "What happens if a DAC is not followed by a reconstruction filter? You get lots of ultrasonic components, with the details depending on the nature of the DAC. Virtually all DACs use the zero-order hold (ZOH) technique, which means that the output stays steady at one value before the next value comes along. Unfiltered, this gives a step waveform "
    source:
    Dave Kimber's audio pages - CD audio sampling and reconstruction
     
  3. Davey

    Davey very clever with maracas

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Well, sure, but we aren't talking about D/A conversion problems, we are talking about digital signal processing. So if you convert it to analog and then sample again to get back to digital, won't you still have the same problem if your theory is correct?

    Anyway, not really important in the Sugarcube discussion, sorry to get off topic. You could be right since the software wouldn't know the file has been band-limited to 22K.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  4. 56GoldTop

    56GoldTop Unapologetic Music Ho

    I read the paper.

    In light of the fact that CR works in the digital domain (see text from CR's website below) and as such doesn't know or care what the source was whether it was digital or analogue, I don't see how those points are relavent. Unless the data on the CD was encoded with HDCD or MQA or used pre-emphasis or something, a 16/44.1 wav file is a 16/44.1 wave file. I don't see how what a DAC may or may not do after the fact comes into play. Secondly, even if the source wasn't bandlimited to 20kHz or 22kHz, it shouldn't matter because, again as stated below, CR is supposed to work with files all the way up to 24/192. I would imagine, it would work even better with higher bit/sampling rates for a number of reasons.

    From the CR website:

    "In order to use the audio restoration software on this site, you must first capture the audio as uncompressed sound files, 16 or 24 bit*, in either AIFF or WAVE format. My applications will accept either mono or stereo files, with a sample rate up to 192 kHz. The minimum I would recommend in any case is CD quality (see below). Capture at 24 bits rather than 16 bits makes subsequent processing much easier, since it may be made at a lower level, to avoid overloading and clipping. The level is then restored, using an audio editor, as the last step. If you want to do the restoration at a higher sample rate, 96kHz is a good choice. I do not recommend 48kHz if you intend to subsequently down-sample to 44.1kHz, although it is fine for other purposes."
     
  5. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Nowhere is it indicated it was designed to work on files natively created in the digital realm. Ask the author if his application was designed with declicking CDs. I'd think the icon/logo of the application being an LP would be enough of a clue.

    No idea why you're clinging to these arguments. It's made to process vinyl, period. Not CDs or anything else that is natively digital and devoid of any such extra noises. Why you'd think any of your tests would be indicative of anything is strange to read but it seems important to you to use an application in ways it was not designed to be used and ways nobody would ever use in practice, outside of trying to prove something on a message board.

    As I said, the only mistake the author made was to have a counter so some very select few can cling to those numbers as proof of anything.
     
  6. 56GoldTop

    56GoldTop Unapologetic Music Ho

    And, how are you going to get your vinyl into ClickRepair (or any other DA/DAW/DSP editing software/hardware)?
     
  7. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Hence the word "natively".
     
  8. 56GoldTop

    56GoldTop Unapologetic Music Ho

    Irrelevant. Once you capture sound and digitize it, it is digitized. Period. Neither ClickRepair, nor SugarCube for that matter, has any idea or care whether the resulting digital audio file (digital stream, I would guess in the case of the SugarCube) was "natively" recorded to digital or is a needledrop from a record. It does not know the difference. It is treating both the same... ...as sound that may or may not have clicks and pops that need to be eliminated. Period. Either the program/algorithm correctly identifies said pops and clicks or it false flags them. Period. "It's made to process vinyl." So, it is. It still does not change the fact that it, does not, infact process vinyl. It processes a digital file. And, that is a fact that is made incredibly clear and succinct by the maker of the program in his own words. Pretty hard to miss that.

    If you want something that works "natively" in the analog domain, you're gonna have to find and use the Garrard or SAE units. And both of those units would also not know the difference between digital audio coming from a DAC or from an analog player. They will also either correctly identify click and pops or false flag them on both sources. The difference is that these units do not need to convert audio to digital to process them. These devices do actually work "natively" in the analog domain... ...and typically with not as good results. You pick your poison. Just don't pretend something is what it is not.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
    morinix likes this.
  9. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    If you expect any application to be perfect, I don't see why you have any interest in the SC-1. It is impossible for it or anything else to perfectly execute any of these tasks. There will always be some degree of imperfection.

    The sole difference is there's no counter on the SC-1 to make you believe that it is either missing or false-flagging anything. In your case, having something like that is utterly lethal.

    I've long decided to let my ears decide, not some white paper or arguments by those who'd rather debate 'til they're blue in the face.

    People here overestimate their abilities to a ridiculous degree. Sometimes, it's amusing while in other instances, it's a bit strange. If you believe you can hear a microsecond of a file being treated and can identify it, I don't know what to tell you.

    Sometimes, I find people's obsession with this stuff to be remarkably unhealthy. I listen and enjoy myself. If something is inaudible, I don't care about the tiniest details. Again, no idea whatsoever why you'd be interested in this device in any way if your unique superhuman hearing figuratively convulses whenever it hears anything being manipulated in less than with utter perfection. :shrug:

    Pretty much my last post on this specific topic. Sounds more like arguing for the sake of arguing at this point. :shtiphat:
     
  10. 56GoldTop

    56GoldTop Unapologetic Music Ho

    Actually, what it sounds like is redirection and deflection because your points aren't points. But, I am okay to let it lie here.

    Nevertheless, I still look forward to getting my hands on a SugarCube and still hope it does a better job at automated click and pop removal than that which has gone before. And, from what I've heard and seen thus far, it does.
     
  11. vwroccet

    vwroccet Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I took delivery of my SC-1 earlier this morning.

    First thing I played after set-up was this late 1950's pressing of Handel's Messiah ( Handel*, Sir Thomas Beecham, Bart, C.H.* - Messiah ) . A noisy, crackly slab of rice krispies became a MUCH more listenable and pleasant experience.

    Next up was Abbey Road (side two) from a early- to mid-80's packaging of The Beatles Collection (blue box, not MoFi). I had listened to this just a week or so ago after shelving it about a year back. It was noisier than I had remembered, I suspect because my old rig didn't reveal as much as my current one.

    Can the SC-1 work miracles and refresh worn vinyl like the almost 60 year old Beecham Messiah record? No. Can it replace worn grooves or fill in no-fill? Again, the answer is No; in those cases, there's nothing there for your stylus to read anyway.

    In both cases, though, the SC-1 did a remarkable job of doing exactly what I wanted and expected it to do, namely remove snaps, clicks, pops while leaving the music to ring through without any discernible modification.

    Was it pricey? Well, yeah. But then again, IMHO it's money well-spent that will help me enjoy more fully some old vinyl I've been on the verge of ditching.

    Thanks, SweetVinyl!
     
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  12. JohnO

    JohnO Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    ClickRepair can if it is set at a strong level, so I assume SugarCube can also. That's why there are adjustments on both. If someone wanted to put clicks in a recording for effect, there are ways to do that that these processes would not eliminate but would effectively sound the same to a human ear.
     
  13. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    I have to admit that would be impossible for either an application or a STB like the SC-1 to be able to differentiate between native clicking and ones used as part of the album. Thankfully, this situation would probably very rarely happen so it shouldn't be that big of a deal.
     
  14. Phillip Slepian

    Phillip Slepian Active Member

    Location:
    Elizabeth, NJ
    Strat: You make some good points. While I would never claim to be able to hear things with a duration measured in microseconds, I do believe that the cumulative effect of these brief duration sounds, whether music signal or some additive to the signal, can be heard. Not heard in the sense of a distinct event, but as a general degradation of sound (in the case of unwanted additives). I, too, listen for the music, and try to enjoy it for what it is. Yet, I often wonder why one piece of kit of speaker appeals to me more than another, or why sometimes things in my system just seem to click, and then at others, not so much. I see no harm in searching for answers, especially since, if we ever find them, they could help make our listening experiences more consistently enjoyable.

    I continue to be thrilled with my SC-2, although I anxiously await track-splitting and the ability to send my digitized files to my server directly. The beta experience continues to be interesting, informative, and fun.
     
    56GoldTop and Strat-Mangler like this.
  15. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Glad you're enjoying yourself. That's what this hobby is (supposed to be) all about! :)
     
  16. Otlset

    Otlset Forum Resident

    Location:
    Temecula, CA
    Any comment on the SC process in regards to the diminishing of very subtle spatial cues in simple but very well recorded LPs such as The Kingston Trio's Stereo Concert, as mentioned in a fairly recent Michael Fremer column discussed here?:

    Parks Audio Puffin DSP Phono Pre

    Better yet, any SC owner actually have that album and can verify if the SC process actually does impact and lessen perception of the subtle spatial cues in it?
     
  17. DigMyGroove

    DigMyGroove Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Well I’ll have to get one for myself and report back. As I’ve stated previously in most cases I really can’t hear a difference with the unit engaged vs. bypassed. But there have been circumstances with very airy recordings where I did notice a loss of that air and highest treble, perhaps on those occasions the recording was simikar to the Kingston Trio, but I couldn’t say for sure. Even so I’ll concur with what Fremer said, which is that even when one can tell the record sounds different, it’s not a case of sounding bad, just different.

    On another note I’ll share that my SC-2 has been sent to Sweet Vinyl for a checknup of sorts. From time to time there have been dome quirks in performance that are software related, most of which were seemingly corrected via wi-fi updating. However Dan Eakins thought it would be a good idea for them to update the firmware on the board, something they needed the unit back to do. I’ve been very pleased at the process of being a beta user and with Sweet Vinyl’s communication with me.
     
  18. DigMyGroove

    DigMyGroove Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thanks for sharing your experience, and please keep updating us as you spend more time with the SC-1.
     
  19. Joel Cairo

    Joel Cairo Video Gort Staff

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Well, I'm not representing that I know anything more about the innards of the SC than the average person, but I have noted this exact effect when ClickRepair RT is set too high... in fact, that's one of the ways I tuned it for use in my "Equal". I have to say, I didn't think the effect was particularly subtle, myself. You can definitely notice the difference.

    - Kevin
     

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