DVB Audio Restoration of Colorado

"Serving Colorado and Everywhere Else"

Let us do your Audio Restoration, Don't wait for your old records to go south! :-) Convert them to CD!

We specialize in vinyl record  and restoration and 30's,40's and 50's recording restoration to  CD and general audio work.

Most Tapes too! (and we fix broken cassettes )

And we can work with 16" records too!





Welcome To Our Audio/Record Restoration Section

Let's go back in time. We do that whenever we play one of our "old" vinyl records. Ah yes, those "old" records which bring all the memories "flooding" back. Trouble is, those "old" records sometimes have so many scratches and other undesirable things that  they're tough to even listen to. Besides, "record players" or "turntables" themselves are becoming rare. That's where we come in:We do audio restoration also known as record restoration, in other words we put music on CD's. Yes, those round things that can be played  anywhere there's a CD player:-) The music is recorded in a digital format and it sounds just great. We can even repair those "skips" in your records.(click here to see how we do that) For those who don't know, regular old CD players are all DIGITAL in nature and all CD's are also DIGITAL therefore any music that's put onto CD is DIGITAL. Simple, huh?:-)  Oh yes, we aren't just talking about "records" here, oh no! Your music could be on records OR some other medium, like say, TAPE. We work with everything. We specialize in removing that "hard to locate" noise that really interferes with our enjoyment of the music. Our audio/record restoration service could be just what you're looking for! Just click here to contact us or click here to check our prices.

To keep it simple, we have only TWO levels of service: 1) BASIC,an economical service, intended for those with LP's (an LP can be a record, cassette or 8-track) from the sixties onward that are in good condition, (not too many scratches) and want the entire LP transferred to CD. and  2) HOURLY, which is intended primarily for those with older recordings from the fifties back and those with newer recordings that are in poor condition. Just send your record(s) to us and we'll send you an estimate by E-MAIL.  If you like the estimate, we'll do the work, if you don't, we'll send the record(s) back and all you'll owe is the postage. 

BASIC service includes STANDARD noise reduction (mostly DEFAULT software settings) and a label on the CD which has the album title and all song titles. (all songs get a separate track too)

HOURLY service includes detailed noise reduction, CD case cover of your scanned album cover (or,if your record is "home-made", you may want a special picture on there) and a CD label which is a solid color, has the album title and all song titles.

ALL CD's are the excellent "Mitsui Silver" or the excellent FUJIFILM  and ALL CD's come with a "slimline" case. Case cover scanned Artwork from your album cover is available for the BASIC service at a reasonable price. Return shipping is paid by the customer. FREE return shipping on orders of $1000 or more. (USPS Priority)

TIP: If you are unsure of the condition of your record(s) (unsure as to whether they might have too many scatches and dirt for BASIC service) ask for hourly service and include $45 for each record that you are unsure of. (ONE hour of service) Hey, if it turns out that the record is in better shape than you thought and STANDARD noise reduction does the trick, you'll get the difference back. ($45-$17.50) 

Tip: Unsure of the contents of an old record? (this is typical of old records that were recorded in a booth for servicemen during wartime) then use our PREVIEW service. We play the record and create a file which we send to you over the Internet so you can listen. (your computer must have a sound card and speakers) This costs only $10/record and that amount is subtracted from your bill if you have the record restored.

A note about "basic service": This service utilizes some default software settings that yield good results for a broad range of vinyl records in good condition. This means that, occasionally, some (not much) noise will remain. The average listener won't even notice it, BUT, if you're the type of person that puts on headphones to hear every note, you might, so "hourly" service may be for you. (detailed noise reduction) Just a "heads up"!


By the way, if you're the "technical" type, you just might want to read a truly informative article about recording and records, just click here . If not, just continue reading.

 So you're thinking that this service is fine for somebody with records from way back there in the "thirties", but MY records aren't all THAT old  (maybe from the "sixties") and I can simply buy the CD version of the album for less money, I don't need any "audio/record restoration"! Well, assuming you can FIND the CD you want, go for it! This DOES have advantages: the cost and of course the fact that the music itself is taken right off the studio "master tape" and recorded directly to CD.  This makes for a very good recording, no doubt about it! Unfortunately, we all remember that back there when we were buying records, we'd buy an album for ONE or TWO particular songs and were more or less "stuck" with the others. Well, no more! Services like ours (audio/record restoration services) have one BIG advantage, you can actually "pick and choose" which songs go onto your CD. You could have a CD full of your favorites (I've done just that)!  Now think about all those 45's: You can put them all on CD too. By the way, not everything is on the pricelist, just drop us an email for a reasonable quote. Our audio restoration service just might be for you.


Here at DVB systems "Audio Restoration Division", we do ONE thing and we do it right: We do the BEST audio restoration for the money, period! What exactly is "audio restoration" anyway? If you haven't got time for "surfing", let me put it simply: We take your old music recordings, remove the noise and then create a CD, that's audio restoration in a "nutshell"! Let's make one thing perfectly clear,  we're ALWAYS going to work with the customer until a problem is corrected. If that means working 'till 3 AM, so be it. That's the way it was when we just sold and serviced computers, and that's still the way it is.

By the way, (BTW for "nerds") we also do "audio editing" for $55/ hour, just send an email and we'll give you an idea what your job will cost.











What's "Audio Restoration"?

"Audio Restoration" is commonly called "music restoration","record restoration" or something similar. (Or it might be called something REALLY simple like "putting your favorite music on CD")  Most people(the ones who'v actually KEPT their records)  have records with an annoying scratch here and there, some of us even have records that seem to be nothing but scratches and noise because of the way we treated our records back in the "old days"!  Our process of audio restoration, takes your old records, cassette tapes, 8-track tapes or whatever your music is on, puts that music into a computer so it can be processed  and then we put the result onto a CD in a digital format (this entire process is what we call "audio restoration"). The CD now contains the original music, just as it was on that old noisy record/scratchy record or whatever but now it sounds GREAT because the noise is gone. That CD can now be played on ANY player you have, ("boom-box", PC, etc. ) Audio restoration has done it again, some GREAT sounding music on a convenient CD.  One thing to make clear here: The ORIGINAL recording, be it vinyl record, tape or whatever is absolutely UNCHANGED. Whatever was on that media when you packed it, will be there when you get it back. The only thing different is that now you have a CD with magically clear, noise-free music on it.

How do we do it?

We begin by evaluating the record or tape for obvious damage and "playability". When and if the record or tape passes our scrutiny, then the process of "audio restoration" can begin. First, we clean the record by hand if it's an older record. (if it's a tape, we don't do any cleaning).Newer vinyl records are cleaned on our machine.   Then it goes on a professional turntable or other high-quality machine. The music is then played into the computer with very high accuracy (we use a "professional" grade converter for this) and the noise removed by "state-of-the art" software. The last step is where we actually place the "cleaned up" music onto a CD. The audio restoration process is now complete. Note that since we don't want any misunderstandings or other problems, we may send you an email at any point and work will be halted until the problem is resolved. By the way, our resident "audiophile", Ken, does all music restoration.


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How we fix "skips"

Well, to begin, "skips" are not what you'd call "easy" to fix. What we do is first locate the area where the "skip" is by playing the record. Then, we put the record under a high powered microscope and actually look for the skip. (this is really the hard part, finding a "skip" when the record groove itself may be a thousandth of an inch wide can be "tricky") Fortunately, our microscope displays on a computer monitor which makes the process a bit easier. (we have a dedicated computer workstation for our microscope only) Once the "skip" is found, we usually "cut" a new path to the correct groove using a very sharp knife. The resulting "click/pop" is easily removed with software. NOTE: Providing the skip(s) can be fixed in 30 min., there'll be no extra charge,but,if the skip(s) take longer to fix,we'll have to charge our normal rate of $36/hr. (maximum 2 hour charge. We reserve the right to "send back" to you any record that we determine has "too many skips",in that case, you'd only have to pay the return shipping) 


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Records and Recording

By Ken Bouchard

This article is an abbreviated  history of audio recording on records. (and a bit of technology thrown in for good measure, hope I don't "snow" too many people!)

In the late 1870's, (1877 actually) a man named Thomas Edison, whom you may have heard of :-), invented what is known as  "the phonograph". (Note that decades earlier others had experimented with "sound recording" and achieved some success but Edison was the first one to actually "follow through" and market something.)  Edison knew enough about sound waves to know that  if one yelled into the large end of a "megaphone" (he invented that too) a membrane or diaphragm stretched across the small end would vibrate. He reasoned that a "stylus" or needle attached to that membrane and in contact with something soft (tinfoil in this case) and turning would "capture" those vibrations. He would turn that cylinder with the tinfoil wrapped around it, by hand while having somebody yell into the megaphone What he got was a cylinder with all these wavy lines scratched into it. Edison then reversed the process by letting that "stylus" sit in the groove and turned the cylinder again by hand. By golly, the original sound came out of the megaphone! (But not nearly as loud.) Edison didn't know it but what was scratched onto that tinfoil was an EXACT replica of the soundwave produced when that other person yelled into the megaphone. Things improved in a short time. Someone named Berliner, started using a flat disc  instead of the tinfoil cylinder and this caught on when that device was marketed in competition to Edison's cylinder device.  Amazingly, little has changed since the time of Edison and Berliner. Our modern day vinyl records still record sound as "squiggly" lines on a record which are the EXACT replica of the soundwave produced when Frankie Valli sang into the "mike". (Try to picture Frankie yelling  "walk like a man" into the large end of Edison's megaphone, the end result is the same.) By the way, vinyl has been used for records since the late "forties" for several reasons, among which is that  it's so much less brittle than what was used for "78's". ( But of course it scratches easier since it's a lot softer. A "tradeoff"! )

As time went on, after the initial invention then Berliner's improvement, things were added, like a hand crank that "wound" a spring and turned the record and what was called a "3-D hinge" which attached to the "horn" and contained both the diaphragm and the stylus. (This made it much easier to put the "stylus" in the groove and keep it there.) Unfortunately, right up to the "twenties", music that was recorded on the disc, was still being heard out of that "megaphone". (RCA's company logo is still that dog listening intently to "his master's voice" coming out of one of those megaphones.) That changed when somebody got the idea that if the mechanical movements of the "stylus" could somehow be converted to an electrical signal, then a "tube"  amplifier could be used which would drive a speaker and people could adjust how loud the thing was. A device was invented that would "trace" the groove on a rotating disc and produce an electrical waveform IDENTICAL to the "squiggles". Thus was born the "phono cartridge" which sits at the end of your tonearm and hasn't changed much at all in all these years. It was a simple thing to run the cartridge output to an amplifier and of course, someone put in an electric motor to turn the record. VOILA! You've got your modern phonograph!

Just a  small "blurb" about "stereo": That came about in the "mid-fifties" so that music could be played with the listener feeling the singing group was right there in front of him. (Actually didn't catch on until the "mid sixties".) This would involve recording then playing back TWO separate channels of sound. This presented a problem in that in order for this system  to be commercially acceptable, a record with a single groove had to be able to contain both the older "mono" recordings and those newer "stereo" recordings. This was so the same "cartridge" could play both. It was felt that the consumer just wouldn't buy a phonograph if he had to fiddle and change things just to play different kinds of records.  (well, he STILL had to flip this little thing on the tonearm to get a different stylus for 78's and LP's because of the difference in groove size but that was hardly a "big thing")  The answer was to record the record with the groove not only wiggling from SIDE TO SIDE as the older records did but also the groove would undulate UP AND DOWN. We now could put those two channels into a single groove. A new type of "lathe" cutting head was developed for recording and a newer type of cartridge was developed to put out a signal  corresponding to the SIDE TO SIDE movements of the stylus (The left channel or the "mono" channel.) and a separate output  for the UP AND DOWN movements. (The right channel.) Please note that the basic design of the cartridge stayed the same with only a few small changes.

By 1980, the vinyl "LP" (Long Play) was on it's way out. By 1990, most all music was being put on CD with vinyl records becoming scarce. Today, although you CAN still find some vinyl in places like "Media Play", those "dinosaurs" are mostly impossible to find, you're likely to find only CD's. BUT, you "purists" take heart! There are a number of websites devoted to you and your love of vinyl. Parts for old turntables ARE scarce but can still be found. Personally (a little editorializing here) I think that...well lets not go there, I might say something I'd be sorry for:-) All I can say is, there's an awful lot of records out there with good music on them, just waiting to be converted to CD, hence, "music restoration" services are in demand.

Well, there you have it, a real short history of "phono" recording. Send any and all gripes here. (Like for instance, Emil Berliner is your great grandfather and I failed to mention it or you might have a really HEAVY grievance like "only a "know-nothing Bozo" would write an article about recording and not even mention things like frequency,  dB's,  RPM's, sampling, channel-separation, A-D conversion ,PCM, signal to noise ratio,  furlongs to fortnight ratio,  pizza tossing,  bull riding etc.") Well, all I can humbly say is to send in those e-mail's, I promise to consider each for what it's worth:-)  Seriously, when time permits, I'll answer the simple ones.

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For The "Curious"

You may have a record from "way back there" like say, the WWII era, that was may be a "letter home" from a loved one at war or you might have one made on a home recorder of aunt Ginny and her sisters singing, and you just MIGHT be curious as to what they coated the records with back then. Well, those particular records which were made to be recorded easily on portable equipment (they were called "instantaneous" records by the way, you can guess why) were coated with something called "nitro cellulose",yes,the stuff in smokeless gunpowder. (not enough to make the record dangerous,as opposed to old film that was also made of that but I digress...) with some castor oil mixed in to make it nice and flexible and easy for the cutter to cut into. As the decades roll on,this castor oil leaches out and now we have a record that has a "wiggly" groove seemingly set in concrete with lots and lots of noise. This is why your record,no matter how well preserved, will never ever sound like it did when your grand-dad spoke into the mike in the Pepsi booth back in 1943. These records were never meant to last long, like a few years, and considering the "stylus pressure" of the old Victrolas back then, it's a wonder the groove actually survived the many plays some received.

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last updated 10-10-14