Vinyl lovers are a hearty lot, willing to accept all sorts of iniquity just to listen to some jazz or classic rock the way their ancestors did. But what if you don’t want all that crackle and pop found on most older vinyl?

According to the company, the box is a compressor and a filter that listens ahead to the sound information and reduces clicks in real time. “In operation, the line-level signal is digitized with a depth of 24bits and a sampling rate of 96kHz. If the input signal is too loud, an overload LED will alert you. You can then activate the -6dB switch for a more manageable gain.” In other words, the system reduces click sounds by -6dB instantly, ensuring you get the sound around the click but not the click itself.

Pro-Ject has the answer. Their $399 Pro-Ject Vinyl NRS 3S reduces noise in vinyl and smooths out the sound, ensuring that your sax reproduction won’t suck. From the release:

Most vinyl collectors have old or damaged records that cannot be replaced by a new pressing. Though some noise and clicks are part of the vinyl experience, at excessive levels it can distract from the listening experience. Pro-Ject’s team of expert engineers saw this as a solvable problem, leading to the development of the Vinyl NRS Box S3.

The digital domain houses the main processes of the Vinyl NRS Box S3. The signal is filtered to avoid interference by the processing itself. In action, high-frequency artifacts are used as a marker for crackles, the dedicated algorithm identifies such peaks and users can adjust the sensitivity with the potentiometer on the front based on the targeted noise they are aiming to achieve. The signal is first separated into two frequency bands before being sent to two expanders to increase the signal-to-noise ratio. There are no audible noise modulations with this technique, and the process reduces noise by up to 8dB. Working between your amplifier and phono preamplifier, the Vinyl NRS Box S3 is a sleek and compact solution to enhance the listener’s enjoyment.

It’s a clever solution to a nasty problem and the price, at $399, is definitely right for the audiophile/entry-level user.

By John Biggs

John Biggs is an entrepreneur, consultant, writer, and maker. He spent fifteen years as an editor for Gizmodo, CrunchGear, and TechCrunch and has a deep background in hardware startups, 3D printing, and blockchain. His work has appeared in Men’s Health, Wired, and the New York Times.

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