ZhongFeng Electronic Technology Co., Limited
***Unfortunately ClickRepairRT is no longer available***ClickRepairRT is a sound restoration program for shellac and vinyl records. It works as the record is playing, like the very expensive CEDAR equipment. As far as I know, there is no other reasonably-priced software that works in real time.ClickRepairRT is a ‘stripped-down’ version of the full ClickRepair program. ClickRepair is an excellent program, but it only works on sound files, which is no good for me, as I am not interested in creating a monster digital archive.ClickRepairRT is effective at reducing the scratchy sound on 78s, but has no effect on steady, hissy background noise. There is no compression or filtering. I usually keep the DeClick setting just below half way. On this setting, whatever the record, there is virtually no loss of sound quality. In the video, the DeClick setting is a bit too high… there is some distortion of the music, and traces of music can be heard in the ‘removed’ sound. There is a slight delay as the program works its magic, but since the delay is only about half a second, I think that still qualifies as ‘real time’!I have thousands of shellac records with a total monetary value of next to nothing. Recording each one as a sound file, followed by processing with a sound restoration program, then saving to hard disc or CD, is simply never going to happen. Life is too short for that… and anyway, I prefer playing the actual records.My old equipment for removing scratches, a Garrard MRM-101 and Marantz SX-72, are now consigned to the bin. Both units are barely worth using with LPs, and don’t work at all with 78s.If you regularly play old records on ‘modern’ equipment, I recommend you buy Brian Davies’ suite of programs right now (httpss://).The record on this video is Crazy Rhythm by Roger Wolfe Kahn and his orchestra, recorded in New York in 1928. My shellac-only system comprises:Pickup: Shure M44/7 with 0.0025″, 0.003″ or 0.0035″ stylus. The 78 stylus supplied by Shure for the M44 and M55 cartridges, the N44/3, does not have a 0.003″ stylus, as its name implies. It is in fact 0.0025″, which is OK for later 78s, but a bit small for older pre-war records.Tone arm: Rega RB251 (OEM version of Rega RB250). The fixed headshell is not ideal, but I’ve changed the stylus in the M44/7 hundreds of times so far, without mishap.Turntable: Fons International Mark 1. The Fons is ideal for old records as it has continuously variable speed settings, including 78 rpm. As I only use the Fons for old records, I have modified some components on the motor drive PCB, so all three speeds can be set from 45-90 rpm. I bet there’s no other turntable with push-button selection of 78 or 80 rpm! I set the turntable speed using an optical tachometer (an ebay purchase direct from China. Only £10!). The reflective strip can be seen in the video. Phono pre-amp: BTECH B-26. I have removed or changed components on the PCB to give a flat response rather than RIAA equalisation. The gain at 1kHz is unchanged (32dB).Equaliser: Behringer Mini-FBQ. To provide the bass boost required by all 78s.Computer (in control amplifier’s tape loop): Asus Xonar DS PCI 7.1 sound card, Windows XP, running ClickRepairRT. The sound card has a fancy graphic equaliser and various sound effects, none of which can be used when ClickRepairRT is running… not that I would use them anyway. At the sound card output, the stereo signal is combined into a mono signal using a resistor network.I no longer use the Boss equaliser shown in the video. Instead, I am now using a KEMO VBF/3 laboratory filter unit, which contains two filters with adjustable corner frequency. Each filter can be set to high- or low-pass, 24dB/octave. It’s not really designed for audio, but it works fine.Control Amplifier: Rotel RC-971. The mono signal connects to both channels, so the stereo headphone output works properly in mono. Incidentally, listening to a 78 in ‘stereo’, without combining the L and R signals, gives a music signal in the middle of your head, and a panorama of scratches and hiss from ear to ear! Electrically-recorded 78s use various recording characteristics. I simply tweak the control amplifier tone controls to get a decent sound. Power amplifier: Mono Valve amplifier based on the Mullard 5-20.Speaker: A single Castle Howard S3. The Howard has speakers in the front and top of the cabinet. The upward-facing speaker helps give some ‘space’ to the mono sound.I have tried the program with LPs in another system, using my Thorens TD166 Mk2, Audio Technica AT440 and Rega Fono pre-amplifier, and it works amazingly well. There are no horrible ‘plups’ or ‘blubs’ (which you get with the MRM-101 and SX-72). I have spent many hours listening to my old classical LPs which have taken on a new lease of life, now their pops and clicks can be removed.