I am incredably excited about this product. Eliminates ticks and pops and saves Vinyl rips to song files with metadata attached. If it only works half as well as advertised, I’m buying it. I’m ready to rip all my analog and sell all the records and gear. Downsizing my life!
Having read a bit about the Sugarcube, I must say it’s a pretty impressive unit. I wish it had been around a year ago, otherwise I’d have purchased it. There’s a pretty good thread all about it in SteveHoffman forums here:
In the thread, an owner provided a clip of a rip with and without the de-clicking. I’ve taken that clip and run it through the excellent program Vinyl Studio to de-click it and compared it to the Sugarcube de-clicked file. To my ears, the SC file is definitely superior. Both the VS and SC files are pretty well de-clicked. However, in the VS file I noticed the slightest distortion on top of the underlying noise that is not there with the Sugarcube repaired file in the spoken intro of the track. To my ears, the noise in the Sugarcube file is smoother and more natural. It’s almost as if the VS has allowed for a small residue of the original clicks in place of the clicks on the repaired file. Kind of as if the peak of the click waveform was chopped off, but there is still a little shoulder area left. I don’t notice anything once the music starts, but you might in a very quiet passage. The Sc file has no discernible distortion. It just sounds like a clean record, which is the point! The Sugarcube is the real deal, it seems.
amgradmd: Thanks for the link to the Steve Hoffman forum and your comments comparing your results with the SugarCube file vs Vinyl Studio.
I just got a catalog from Music Direct that has the SugarCube SC-1 on the back cover. Price is $1999 and does click and pop removal only; no headphone amp or recording capability. Their price for the SC-2 is $2999, so prices have gone up from what they were in other postings I have seen on the web. So far, Music Direct is the only place I have found where you can buy these.
At 7:30 in this youtube video, Leo Hoarty of SweetVinyl comments on how they are not using an approach that uses filters and peak limiters or peak detectors.
If I could afford it, I would get an SC-2 for ripping my vinyl. One step from needle drop to recording of digital files in your choice of format, including track splitting and meta data.
Anyone try feeding a sugar cube direct into a PSA Nuwave Phono Converter ( analog imput ) to rip LP’s to DSD without pops and ticks?
What I don’t understand about such vinyl ripping interests…why not just make a subscription to a streaming service instead? They will probably offer any of your vinyl at a better sound quality than ripped with such dust removal algorithms.
Underwood HiFi sells the Sugar Cube.
Give Walter a call, you may do better on the price.
+1 to this.
The beauty of vinyl is not only about the sound, but also about the ritual, the process. Having a really nice turntable (do you prefer vintage wood and aluminum or modern glass and carbon fiber?), and the deliberate enjoyment of selecting a record from the shelf, removing it from the sleeve, placing it on the platter – and the visceral, assiduous act of precisely dropping the needle.
It’s like driving a manual transmission. The concert of three pedals, shifting the gears by hand, perfectly and accurately, at the chosen RPM.
Or, dare I say it, sorting the seeds and stems. On an album cover. (Those were the days.)
For convenience sake, a lossless streaming service seems to fit the bill when one wants to play an album away from the turntable.
The one scenario where ripping vinyl makes perfect sense is when you have an out-of-print album that you can’t find on a streaming service. Then, yeah. I get it.
It is an interesting device, automatically doing the work of a software declicker automatically.
For the money, I would do the work myself and controlling exactly what tradeoffs I want to make. But I already have multiple noise reduction programs and am comfortable using them. (I use such programs when editing location recordings. Audience members playing with their programs create noises oddly similar to LP crackles.)
The reviews are positive.
What software are you using or used? What is your highest recommendation?
I often have not found as many offerings on streaming services as there are on LP collections. Plus the monthly cost unless you listen several times a week can be a waste. I use Roon. Had Tidal, cancelled it.
Ripped LP’s doesn’t have to replace the LP playback, it just simple adds the instant playback and ease of taking that music with you or playback on the fly. So for me, that is the point.
It’s a fun hobby, with lots of different options. Happy Holidays everyone!
I use primarily iZotope RX 7 and Magix’s Spectralayers pro 5.
I have used Vinyl Studio only.
I have never used or even seen Vinyl Studio. I assume it works well.
I have so many tools in my studio I do not need a specialty program for a limited task such as LP digitizing. But few have access to such software and the learning curve for these programs is steep. Unless you really enjoy digging into audio files and learning a specialty interface I recommend against buying a pro program.
No, but I’ve ripped 250+ LPs using a GCPH and a Sugarcube SC-1 (I prefer to edit length and metadata manually).
I am surprised at how much information is masked by the noise on most records, even records that would be considered a play-graded Mint -. I don’t know if the device is “repairing” the information or if the noise is a distraction that prevents me from hearing the musical information.
A few reasons.
I own a lot of vinyl that has never seen a digital release, and likely never will. Most are clean titles but oftentimes I can’t find a clean copy of a record. I still have some I’ve been seeking for over 30 years and have yet to find an acceptable copy. If this improves enjoyment of records I normally wouldn’t play often due to damage, what’s the harm in it? None that I can see.
One cannot have turntables in every room, on every system. Especially in the car. While I’m working, I don’t have time to pogo in and out of my chair to flip records. I’m not paid to do that. Nor do I appreciate the break in concentration. Why should I enjoy some of my pressings from only one seat in the house? Digitizing vinyl means I can take favorite versions of recordings with me, or let anyone else in the house listen without having to touch my records.
If I’ve spent a few dollars on a recent remastering or a rarity from decades ago, I can back it up by digitizing it, storing it on my server and putting a copy in my cloud account. Accidents and disasters happen. This ensures I have a copy, even if it’s not 100% the fidelity of the original. Better to have 99% of something vs. 100% of nothing.
Files are easier to share than records; I’d rather let someone borrow a replaceable memory stick than a record.
So there’s just a few reasons why we do this. Not all records need the Sugarcube, but some do. It’s something I can use when appropriate, or bypass completely via my preamp.
"One cannot have turntables in every room, on every system. " You can’t???
All in fun my friend! I can only imagine hitting a bump or making a sharp turn!! I also remember an old Disney 1950s TV show about future car travel where they had auto driving cars with built-in milkshake machines.
Now that’s my kind of car, friend!