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The Front End mentioned by George below is essentially the same as the Mousetrap, featuring separately adjustable low/mid/high de-emphasis catering for the vast majority of defined disc curves. It also features a groove wall selector which in the words of Ted K is "several orders of magnitude" faster in its switching capability than the Packburn was. 

A downside of the original Mousetrap/Front End is its inability to pass a stereo signal, even with the groove wall selector disengaged. In response to this point Ted has now completed at least one new stereo preamp, without the GWS.


-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:ARSCLIST@xxxxxxx] On Behalf Of George Brock-Nannestad
Sent: 22 March 2009 01:44
To: ARSCLIST@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad

Hi everybody,

Jan Myren described his Packburn setup and seems quite satisfied. I did not 
know that it had an "undo RIAA" feature in its later versions, but I assure 
you that the Packburn switcher works even better if the treble is not rolled 
of like RIAA does.

In cooperation with John R.T. Davies Ted Kendall has developed what they used 
to call "the Mousetrap" that used components that were 25 years younger than 
those of Packard and Burns, although the basic switcher idea was the same. I 
do not know whether that is incorporated in Ted's "the Front End" 
preamplifier that has many useful features. It is only built to order.

Jan asked:

> BUT; Since I think the Packburn works well on clicks and pops; do you know
> if the engineers from the "analogue remaster area" like Robert Parker,
> also used a second noise reduction system to get rid of more of that surface
> noise, or did they just use it "as is" and accepted a fair amount of
> surface noise on their LP-compilations?

----- if I remember correctly, Robert Parker artificially boosted the high 
frequencies by generating distortion by having an elliptical stylus with the 
long axis along the groove. This permitted/indeed REQUIRED very heavy treble 
filtering to remove the distortion (and any noise from 78s), so that he had a 
lot of fundamentals. Any lack of brilliance was counteracted by heavy reverb. 
All in all disgusting results, but John R.T. was forgiving: "it will 
advertise that there is plenty of interesting material in these old records, 
and those who want to engross themselves will go to the sources".

> -----Opprinnelig melding-----
> Fra: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
> [mailto:ARSCLIST@xxxxxxx] På vegne av ADRIAN COSENTINI
> Sendt: 21. mars 2009 20:13
> Til: ARSCLIST@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Hi Jan,
> When I was the Chief Audio Engineer at The Rodgers & Hammerstein  
> archives we had a number of Packburns, and we never used them,  
> because they sounded like shit, to put it mildly. Now a days with all  
> the digital noise reduction programs out there why aren't you using  
> that? Also why on earth are you using a RIAA curve on 78's?! You're  
> missing most of the sound. A KAB pre-amp would be much better, even  
> though I'm not crazy about the pre-set curves. The OWL 1 is way  
> better to dial in the curves. Good luck finding one of those. Anyway  
> toss the Packburn and the RIAA curve.
> Adrian
> On Mar 21, 2009, at 11:32 AM, Jan Myren wrote:
> > About Packburn 323 Audio Noise Suppressor
> >
> >
> >
> > HI; I have learned that you for many years (and probably still) use  
> > the
> > Packburn for playback and recording from old 78 rpm discs.
> >
> > Since I am a collector of old 78's and have a big collection of  
> > records from
> > all ages. I have also spent some recourses on good equipment and I  
> > think
> > this Packburn would be the correct analogue device to my set-up.
> >
> > I have a Thorens TD 521 turnable. The arm is a SME 3012R and the  
> > cartridge
> > is a Stanton 500MKII and some different stylis, all special made for
> > playback of old 78's! I use a normal NAD RIIA preamp.
> >
> > My experience so far is that it works very well on clicks and pops  
> > using the
> > switcher and the blanker. But the continous noise filter bugs me a  
> > bit,
> > since I think it doesn't reduce that much surface noise. I don't  
> > use the
> > variable adjust very often, since the so called "masked-noise" and the
> > pumping effect bring offer "strange noises" to the sound. Therefore  
> > I mostly
> > use the FIXED adjust, and usually set it fixed at 9 o'clock posititon.
> >
> >
> >
> > I have read that some re-issue engineers, like Robert Parker used the
> > Packburn 323A frequently when restoring old 78's for LP and CD- 
> > releases.
> >
> > MY main question is if the Packburn was used as a "stand alone"  
> > unit or it
> > was also supplied with other noise reduction units in order to  
> > filter out
> > more of the surface noise. If so, what did they (or you) actually  
> > do and
> > what could eventually be a good supplement for that purpose?
> >
> > I would really appreciate if any of you would please give me some  
> > hints and
> > suggestions, since I think the Packburn will work very well if used  
> > the
> > right way!
> >
> > Really hope to hear from you again!!
> >
> >
> >
> > Best regards
> >
> > Jan Myren¨
> >
> >
> >

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