Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need an audio noise suppressor?

Historical sound recordings, whether cylinders, 78, 45 or 33 RPM records, magnetic recording tape or film, or CD transfers have a lot to offer as portals into different technologies, repertory, social perspectives, or performing styles of a bygone era.  The Packburn Audio Noise Suppressor will allow you to enjoy the richness of the old performances without excessive surface noise inherent to the original or brought on through years of wear and tear.


Why are there three noise reduction stages and not just one?

There are different kinds of audio noise – transient and continuous.  Two noise reduction stages addresses clicks and pops whereas one addresses hiss.



Is Packburn equipment intended primarily for cylinder and old 78 RPM records?

The Packburn Audio Noise Suppressor is applicable to all vintage recorded media, monaural or stereo, including poorly made analog or digital transfers.  It is true that two of the noise reduction stages apply generally but the third stage only works on monaural media. The reason for this third stage is that it reduces further the more egregious clicks and pops found in earlier recordings.  However, this stage will also benefit monaural 45 and 33 RPM records.

The Packburn Audio Noise Suppressor (Model 325) includes turnover and rolloff equalization controls, signatures of the 78 RPM era. The owner’s manual will show how these controls also apply to 45 and 33 RPM records manufactured prior to about 1955.


Are noise suppressors utilizing computers superior to analog noise suppressors not utilizing computers?

There are several points of comparison involved here.  Computerized noise suppressors, also known as digital noise suppressors, are capable of suppressing noise to CD-like inaudibility.  If used too aggressively they can distort the music or take away frequencies that end up altering the musical ambiance.  A certain degree of skill or caution is required to operate them in a way that is in keeping with the original.  The Packburn Audio Noise Suppressor does not rely on a digital computer, rather patented analog noise reduction methods.  There are many instances when the Packburn suppresses noise as effectively as the computerized method.   The Packburn is seldom injurious to the music and simpler to use.  Packburn equipment is considerably less expensive than high end computerized equipment. Whether or not computerized technology is superior depends on your personal needs.

Is the Packburn Audio Noise Suppressor hard to operate?

At first glance there are a lot of controls. However these controls are arranged and labeled for intuitive use.  There are input and output level controls, a monaural/stereo selection switch, three rate controls, equalization controls, and various in/out controls.  A couple of the controls are meter assisted.  That’s about it.  For general listening, the settings are often a matter of one-time adjustment.  The manual describes the functions of these controls and the expected results.


Where do I buy equipment to use with the Packburn Audio Noise Suppressor?

The Packburn Audio noise suppressor requires a pre-amplifier ahead of it.  For cylinders or phonograph records, the pre-amplifier needs to have a phono input.  For optimal playback of monaural discs (or cylinders) the phonograph cartridge needs to reproduce in stereo.  The equipment in line after the Packburn is up to the user and may include equalizers and a power amplifier with loudspeakers.  We do not recommend specific manufacturers, however a check of the internet and other retailing venues will provide numerous sources for most types of audio equipment.

Why is the Packburn Audio Noise Suppressor so expensive?

The Packburn Audio Noise Suppressor serves a niche market that includes historical recording archives and serious audiophiles.  Packburn is a cottage industry that serves this very focused field and the machines are built by hand. Each machine goes through an extensive testing process, run-in period and a listening evening to verify correct operation.


Are any old Packburn units available?

We have a very limited number of used machines here.  There have been occasions when a new customer has located an old unit no longer in use and has asked us to test it, something we are still able to do.  Although these earlier models do not contain all of the advances of the current model, they can satisfy particular needs.

If you have an old machine, it might be possible to upgrade it to current capabilities.  Please contact us.

Thanks in advance for your interest!

Whether you have a question, want more information on a machine, or are interested in purchasing one, please feel free to contact us.