Listen To SweetVinyl's Sugar Cube Remove a Bad Scratch From "Blue Rondo a la Turk"

SweetVinyl's Dan Eakins demonstrates the company's Sugar Cube that digitizes vinyl at 192/24 or DSD and stores files on a USB stick— and that's but a small part of what this device can do.

It automatically adds track breaks as well as metadata that it gets online from an enormous data base that recognizes vinyl and includes track break info, album cover art, etc.

In addition, in PCM mode, it can automatically remove pops and clicks during playback. A second model that just eliminates the pops and clicks but has no record functions is also planned at a far lower price.

With this device you can buy scratched "cheap records" and they should sound great! Watch the video in which Eakins plays a seriously scratched version of Dave Brubeck's "Blue Rondo a la Turk" and via the Sugarcube removes all of the clicks.

Ortofan's picture

...records that skip...that skip...that skip...that skip...

Bob Harden's picture

I spent about a half hour in the SweetVinyl room at T.H.E. Show Newport listening to this and another demo over and over again. I couldn't hear a difference between the straight turntable feed and the converted version except that the pops and clicks were gone. My ear isn't that highly trained, but the audio engineer sitting next to me was also having trouble hearing a difference, which I took as a good sign that this device works pretty well. Looking forward to hearing it in a less controlled environment, but it looks really promising.'s picture

Ok, maybe for some. Doesn't appeal to me.

Chemguy's picture

I'm with you, Sgood. Some may really appreciate this, but it's not for me. Must admit, though, that it is a really impressive stunt!

thomoz's picture

I have some rare but not in great condition jazz lps (one featuring Cy Touff comes to mind) that would really benefit from this kind of processing. I'd rather spend $1000 for a "fixes all" box than blow $200/ea on upgrading my favorite rare lps.

treyroscoe's picture

I was really impressed by the demo at AXPONA as well, and there they also mentioned that they were planning on also offering RIAA curves in the digital domain (which Pure Vinyl currently does). Very exciting for someone like myself who uses DEQX or other room/speaker correction that requires A/D conversion. Or heck, maybe RIAA in the digital domain has benefits even for those who don't...

kenkirk's picture

Well non of us hard core pure analog types want to digitize our analog, but most of us own lots of records we never listen to because they got trashed many years ago.Back in the day we took our favorite records to parties and just threw them into the pile for anyone to cue up. A box like that would open up a huge stash of my old records for enjoyment. And if they are bad enough, I could record them to tape and save my stylus from playing them more than once. A very handy and looks to be well thought out piece.


theroey's picture

Thanks Michael for showing me this room.
Easily one of the coolest demo's at.... well, THE Show.

Digitizing isn't for me at the moment, but the audible "clean up" this unit does was NIGHT AND DAY.
I can start buying used records again without stressing.
I'll keep this one on the top of my wish list!


Nellomilanese's picture

I hooked my iMac directly to the Rega Aria phono Rca outputs and recorded at 24/192...then removed the pops&clicks with one click from a drop down menu.
Sure it's more work because you have to split the tracks (if you want to) and spent 10 secs to google the metadata but it's FREE. I rather just digitize the whole side of an Lp in one file and play it back at 24/192 through my Oppo Bdp 103..pure heaven! Very very hard to tell them apart on most tracks...though the vinyl still has the edge...specially so when real instruments are involved.

Keen Observer's picture

That's great if that satisfies you. As you do, I prefer using a general purpose computer for the task instead of investing in this special purpose computer. Unlike you, I would use an outboard audio interface with low noise and a better DAC than what is built into your iMac. I cannot comment on how well Audacity performs its impulse noise reduction, not having used it. There are plenty of software options available, albeit not necessarily free.

Nellomilanese's picture

some people would like to take it 1 step up with dedicated machine/outboard and dacs.
IMO this product serves the purists among the purists...the 1% of the 1% :D
I recently did a 24/96 transfer from my Rega RP8+Exact2 cart through Rega Aria phono onto Audacity on Mac, with the very few pops removed (except the 1 when the needle drops)...check it out:
I think it sounds sublime even through youtube...specially the sax solo.

Keen Observer's picture

Not everyone would consider the dedicated hardware a step up, but it may be more convenient for some.
As for the needledrop noise (and any ocean roar that follows it), proper editing will fix that. It should be simple to do with Audacity or any other DAW. You want to have a little bit of "leader" in the file before the music starts. I typically use 0.3 seconds (trim as desired). Completely mute the first part of the leader and then apply a fade-in on the remaining leader portion. The fade should end just before the music starts. This gives you a nice clean start to your file.

amsco15's picture

A machine that does the tedious work!!! Count me in.

jarroyoeq's picture

The same question is inside all of us: If we digitilize them, are they still analog? That would make sense only if we can´t get a well mastered CD of a record we love so much that we will listen it in digital. There is something about sound here I´d like Mike to comment us.

Analog Aecad's picture

This is definitely on my list. My LP collection is a modest one (just over 1k albums) but many of them have never been published in digital format (or were done poorly.) My digital collection is about the same size with very few duplicate titles.
I live with music, and while I thoroughly enjoy dedicated listening time in front of the main system it's always been my desire to have any title available through out the home, and portable besides.
Hopefully the Sweet Vinyl unit will prove to be a one-shot solution to achieving that goal, or short of that, at least provide enjoyable general and portable listening.

gorkuz's picture

Well, this would beat the taping of new vinyl to "save it" as in yesteryear...considerably. That was only convenient for compilations, IMO (or saving the record from groove-gouging TT setups - in which case the money should have been spent on better equipment, first). I always wanted to hear the real thing, myself, anyway. But 192/24 and DSD does sound as good as digital needs to be (with too little gained above that to justify the additional storage space I find over and over again) and almost as good as the "real thing" (in vinyl), depending mostly on the quality of the encoding and decoding rather than more samples. Big question, at this point is, of course, what does this device/convenience cost as opposed to Pure Vinyl's wares, or Audacity, Et al?

SeagoatLeo's picture

I am very interested in using this device for LPs and 78s; however, would you use this device in your $250,000 analog system for noisy records (if you have any, such as due to bad vinyl)? I have 37,000 LPs and 78s and cannot clean away bad vinyl, used vinyl damages or many 78rpm surface noise. It sounds nearly perfect those records. Would you also use it without a loss of sonic quality from your best records? My own analog system costs only $28,000 (mod VPI TNT VI, mod SME IV, Benz Ruby 3, isolation bases, EAR 324 and my custom tube phono-pre/SUT).

Chemguy's picture

...last week, and haven't stopped listening since. I am one of the 20 Indigogo "kickstarters" that got it in its trial stage.
It is an amazing device that does what its supposed to: it removes pops and clicks and doesn't degrade the sonics one iota. Truly wonderful and is the game changer we all hoped it would be.

If our fearless leader and host wants to know more, I'd be more than pleased to offer further description.

Worth it? You have no idea...

Vtl's picture

Have my SC-1 in the system and agree with chemguy re effect on noise - records that were "unlistenable" are back in rotation. Records with minor/usual noise more enjoyable without it. Cannot detect any degradation of sound when it's removing noise. Can't say same when it's in bypass mode - I'm hearing (or think I'm hearing) some degradation in sound. I have it inserted between phono pre and system pre - that might explain what I hear?

Tony A's picture

Just wanted to say thanks for the tip about this device. I've had a SC-1 over four years now and it may be the component that adds the most enjoyment I have.