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

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

  1. Synthfreek

    Synthfreek I’m a ray of sunshine & bastion of positivity

    I have been eyeing a Sugarcube for a while now and it's at the top of my list of wanted components, I'm just not sure which model. I know these are pretty much out of stock but I've been looking for used as well. I want to cut back on my vinyl collection and properly digitize as best as I can before I start selling.

    I have an Apogee Desktop Symphony as an ADC, but it's usually in a separate room with my music studio setup. It would be a pain to keep moving it back and forth when I want it in the opposite room. If I decide on a unit without recording capabilities and use my Apogee it looks like it will still be a pain because there isn't an extra set of outputs on the Sugarcube, so I'd be monitoring on my laptop as recording directly from the unit or alternately using an output from my preamp and have the recording chain go there...so confusing.

    The Discogs tagging feature, do I have to use the recording software that's included? Can I get that software at no charge if buying a model without recording capabilities? Would it be better to just spend the extra bucks and get a recording model? I just don't think it will hold a candle to my Apogee.
     
  2. keiron99

    keiron99 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Stockport, UK
    As an enthusiastic original SC1 owner, I'd like to hear more about SVNR.

    What does it do to regular 33rpm records? Does it remove the irritating "whoosh - whoosh - whoosh" sound that I get on too many records as the record rotates?

    Has anyone got any audio clips of it in action?
     
  3. r.Din

    r.Din Seeker of Truth

    Location:
    UK
    It can be used to attenuate such noises, but not without a cost to overall sound quality and for that reason I never use it.
     
  4. Jim0830

    Jim0830 Forum Resident

    The Sugar Cube converts the signal to the digital realm, does its magic and converts it back to analog before sending it along to your amp. The fact that most people hear little to no adverse effects from its use speaks to the quality of the AD/DA chips used within it. It is almost as easy doing a needle drop While just listening to an LP. Recording just involves a few additional clicks. It is easier than any other process I have heard of or used. The Discogs lookup feature serves two purposes: Recording and display. You are able to display the LP's album art on the LCD display of the SC-2 (not the SC-1). The album art is an integral part of the recording process and software. The album art image file gets saved into a recording buffer together with the digitized file in a raw format. You then export the digitized file in the CODEC you want to a USB thumb drive or to a device on your LAN. I really don't know how this would even work on an SC-1.
     
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  5. keiron99

    keiron99 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Stockport, UK
    Maybe it depends on what else you have in your system and/or how good your hearing is!

    On the previous page, @Joel Cairo says "People have mentioned that SVNR is for use on things like 78s, etc. (and it does work marvelously on those), but in spite of Dan modestly soft-selling it, I find that it's something I keep on and use on a very low default setting. At the levels I use, I don't find it to be destructive at all, and it's so well integrated into the processing that it's essentially a free ticket to dropping your noise floor to truly inaudible ranges, so why not take advantage of that?"

    Would love to see/hear it in action.
     
  6. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident

    Location:
    Idaho, USA
    Looked at these devices online and YT videos. Seems like they can work great but I've only got 10-15 problem records out of 400+ so spending $1500+ doesn't fit anywhere in my world view. But for big collectors who are indiscriminate in their purchasing, they seem like a godsend.
     
    Sterling1 likes this.
  7. WDeranged

    WDeranged Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    It's amazing. But if you don't need it, you don't need it. I have to admit I feel incredibly silly and indulgent for buying it.
     
    csgreene likes this.
  8. Old Zorki II

    Old Zorki II Storm Watcher

    Location:
    near Tampa, FL
    Well, with 50-60+ year old first presses, no matter how hard you try you will hear clicks and crackle. Even if you manage to win a lottery and will be able to get sealed ones)).
    Of course for many of those you can get recent represses, but for some of us it is really being indiscriminate in purchasing )).
    Sorry for off topic.
     
    Sterling1 likes this.
  9. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident

    Location:
    Idaho, USA
    I will? Not on most of them but yes, on a few. I get pretty much zero crackle on most of my records that I bought new but do get some ticks and pops on a few.

    Even if I had 50 bad records, it would cost me $30 per record to buy one of these things. Honestly, I'd rather stream or get the CD. Now, if one has a big collection and lots of problem records, the economies of scale come into play.
     
    Sterling1 and Old Zorki II like this.
  10. WDeranged

    WDeranged Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    This is why I feel like a bit of a nutcase. I have 30 records! It's my irrational desire to get back into vinyl that pushed me to buy it. I think I might need to up my meds :laugh:
     
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  11. Old Zorki II

    Old Zorki II Storm Watcher

    Location:
    near Tampa, FL
    Well, my Gravy Train - Pieceful Man (first UK press) I got for $200 and it is a little beat up, but with SC-1 it sounds terrific.
    Of course I can try to replace it with NM version, but it will be $1500+. And it probably will have clicks and pops anyway.
    Here we have just one records and my sc-1 mini is paid off )).
    And no, CDs are no substitute.
     
    r.Din likes this.
  12. WDeranged

    WDeranged Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Being halfway confident about buying VG for 1/3 the price of Mint is a feeling I quite like.
     
  13. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident

    Location:
    Idaho, USA
    Now that you've got it, you can worry less about the quality of the records you add to your collection!
     
    WDeranged likes this.
  14. FrankieP

    FrankieP Forum Resident

    I have a large collection of 80’s 12”. Most are obscure and rare that has not been released on CD or digital. It has been a goal of mine to transfer them digitally for my own personal use. This is why I splurged out for my SC-1mini. You’ll be hard pressed to find a another copy in good condition. And if there’s one available, the cost is too high. I have no regrets whatsoever.
     
    Ben Adams and WDeranged like this.
  15. Ben Adams

    Ben Adams Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    It’s a complete game changer. I continue to be highly amused and also sad for the folks who keep popping into this thread saying they don’t need it.
     
    Hogues likes this.
  16. WDeranged

    WDeranged Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    I dunno. Not everyone is a lunatic about noise. I am :help:
     
  17. Joel Cairo

    Joel Cairo Media Doctor (& Video Gort) Staff

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Well, for those who are curious, I have a real torture test example showing the difference between a raw and a treated file, using a beater mono copy of "Are You Experienced"... it's the first 50 seconds or so of "Purple Haze".

    Although the LP is mono, I've left the files in the actual stereo mode in which I recorded them, because the album's surface noise is more accentuated. Generally, of course, we'd sum the channels when we listened-- which drops the surface noise considerably, even in the "raw" file.

    Please note that I didn't try to remove absolutely **everything**, just a sufficient amount to make the record enjoyable.

    I should also point out that the "treated" file used **twice as much** filtering on both Click/Pop and SVNR settings as I'd normally use (it really **is** a beater copy of AYE); but I think you'll agree, it still turns out quite nice... especially if you sum the channels.

    The sample files are FLACs, and they're about 33 MB each... if someone wants to host them, shoot me a PM, and I'll upload them to wherever is most convenient.

    Happy listening!

    - Kevin
     
    Jim0830 likes this.
  18. DigMyGroove

    DigMyGroove Forum Resident Thread Starter

    It’s not just older, less than perfect records for which a Sugar Cube shines, it’s a large percentage of new releases from pressing plants with consistent quality control issues (even the “good” ones). Having the Sugar Cube stops me from having to deal with returning records, or accepting the flaws and being forever annoyed at those random clicks and pops.

    It’s a far different price point, but it’s the same reason I own a Vinyl Flat and Groovy Pouch for fixing warped records. Both devices let you have the ability to resolve the issue at home without dealing with a physical or postal return.
     
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  19. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident

    Location:
    Idaho, USA
    Perhaps but at quite a price. Used records is one thing but not getting quality records new is a problem and, while this may be a solution for some, it shouldn't even be necessary. But I haven't bought a new record in more than 30 years.
     
  20. WDeranged

    WDeranged Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    It is a luxury item. But not really when you consider the cost of a mid range turntable or a top tier phono pre. It's also cheaper than the top tier record cleaners.

    I have the same problem. I remember where the clicks are. It's maddening.
     
    gabbleratchet7 likes this.
  21. Jim0830

    Jim0830 Forum Resident

    There is a story here that does have a connection to the Sugar Cube, but the story takes a while to develop. It ends with both a question and a possible answer to an odd problem should anyone be in a similar situation as I was in. Also I have been retesting my SC with some very critical listening with new speakers. For the quick version skip to the 4th paragraph.

    Friday I took delivery on a new set of speakers: the Sonner Audio Legato Duo's. They replaced my SVS Ultra Tower's and are far more resolving and have a wonderful sound stage-more on that relative to the SC later. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time two weeks ago at my audio dealer. I managed to get a great deal on these speakers that had been used and returned after only two days. I got a great trade-in for my SVS speakers, which I bought from this store in 2017. The dealer would deliver the speakers in a week and take away my old speakers. I liked these speakers so much after auditioning them, I decided I was not going to play any new records for the next week. I'd only want to do it again on my new speakers.

    Friday arrived and the doorbell rang at 10:00. When I opened the front door who should I see? One installer plus the owner of the company. I was rather stunned. He explained they were short staffed that day. Things went quickly as one would expect with the owner there. He had to be at the store when they opened at 11. We went to play a record and were greeted by the sounds...of silence. I was mortified and embarrassed. My system is a bit complex with my TT being located remotely so I have a separate phono preamp running via a cable down through the basement and back up to my integrated amp. I had just been watching YouTube until 10 and everything was fine. The only thing they had done was unplug the speaker wire and plug it back in. I had turned the gear off for the installation. I was so mad that the owner had pinch hit as an installer for my installation so it would happen on time, and now this delay. He had sold me all of the audio gear but the SC, and he was intimately familiar with the workings of all my gear. They checked everything we could think of. In an effort to expedite things I suggested I was just watching YouTube via my AppleTV, let me try that. This worked perfectly.

    I told the owner: "Why don't you head to the store? We know the new speakers work, I will take it from here." I was scratching my head because I hadn't touched a thing in my record playing chain. The only other thing I could think of that was in the loop was the SC-2 Mini. It appeared to be normal, it had just been in inactive for a week. Usually the most my SC goes is a couple of days without me spinning a record. I did a reboot and was greeted by the sound of my TT playing once again. Somehow the SC had gone inactive during this time, although the both the front panel and software appeared to be operating normally. My question: Is this normal? Does the SC have some sort of sleep mode? Has anyone else seen this? Moral of the story: If you are suddenly having issues with LP playback try rebooting your Sugar Cube, it may have taken a nap.

    I am going to end with a picture and describe a test of the SC-2 Mini I have been doing for these last two days now. The picture shows my new speakers, If you look carefully you can see my SC on the far left of the equipment stand, just under the TV. I mentioned these speakers were very resolving and had an amazing sound stage. Subtle changes to the sound stage were the only thing a few people mentioned they found changed with the SC in the loop. I was curious to see if I now would hear this with new, more resolving speakers. For the last two days I have been playing my best sounding audiophile pressings to audition the speakers. I've played MoFi One-Steps, the Miles Davis UHQR, Direct-to-Disk's, Analogue Productions 2 x 45 RPM pressings, plus some favorite regular LPs I am very familiar with. I have been constantly using the BYPASS mode and I haven't heard a thing. Believe me I was tryin hard to hear something. If I don't hear it on these LP's, I will soon stop using BYPASS again and leave the SC on full time like before. The SC certainly is an amazing piece of equipment!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2021
  22. r.Din

    r.Din Seeker of Truth

    Location:
    UK
    After the latest update I noticed this issue for the first time. After the update I was greeted with silence each day for a few days and had to reboot the unit prior to play. I reported this to SweetVinyl but since I reported it it's been fine, although as far as I'm aware no other updates have arrived since. Prior to the update I never experienced this issue, or at least not that I recall.
     
    Jim0830 likes this.
  23. Jim0830

    Jim0830 Forum Resident

    Thanks I will be on the lookout for that. My last update was 21 days ago.
     
  24. r.Din

    r.Din Seeker of Truth

    Location:
    UK
    That's the update... mine arrived around the same time.
     
  25. Jim0830

    Jim0830 Forum Resident

    I had an email from tech support from around then that implied the next update would be in two weeks or so. I have been anxiously awaiting it to fix a couple things that weren't bad bugs, but were annoying. The fact that additional undocumented features, aka bugs, keep showing up makes me think it is going to be longer than they originally thought. That and we are 3 weeks now.
     

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