Archival Analog Disc Re-Recording and Remastering

KVG Laboratories KVG Laboratories has extensive experience in archival re-recording and remastering of LP, 45 rpm and 78-rpm disc records, both microgroove and coarse groove.

We offer two levels of service:

  1. Straight Transfer: $35.00 Per Hour, 1 Hour Minimum.
    • Archival cleaning of disc prior to playback.
    • Use of playback equalization setting that is closest to that specified by the original record label.
    • Playback speed set to nominal speed.
    • Removal of major record pops and ticks.
    • Re-recording onto customer choice of analog cassette (no noise reduction, Dolby B or Dolby C), analog 7.5-ips reel-to-reel 1/4-track format, analog 7.5-ips reel-to-reel 1/2-track format, analog 15-ips reel-to-reel 1/2-track format, or common digital formats: MP3, WAV, AIFF, OGG, FLAC, AAC Lossless encoding, Red Book CD, Orange Book CD-R, at any sample rate up to 24-bit/96 kHz or any compressed digital format fixed bit rate or variable bit rate.
  2. Full Remastering: $75.00 Per Hour, 4 Hour Minimum.
    • Archival cleaning of disc prior to playback.
    • Use of playback equalization setting that is closest to that specified by the original record label.
    • Optimization of disc playback equalization to compensate for deviations from standard equalization and for record wear.
    • Playback speed adjusted by our musicologist to achieve accurate pitch and tempo during the playback.
    • Removal of major record pops and ticks.
    • Extensive denoising and sound enhancement to make the recording as high fidelity as possible.
    • Correction or enhancement of stereophonic spatial imaging (stereophonic records only).
    • Re-recording onto customer choice of analog cassette (no noise reduction, Dolby B or Dolby C), analog 7.5-ips reel-to-reel 1/4-track format, analog 7.5-ips reel-to-reel 1/2-track format, analog 15-ips reel-to-reel 1/2-track format, or common digital formats: MP3, WAV, AIFF, OGG, FLAC, AAC Lossless encoding, Red Book CD, Orange Book CD-R, at any sample rate up to 24-bit/96 kHz or any compressed digital format (fixed bit rate or variable bit rate).

Equipment List

  • Rabco ST7 straight-line tracking turntable, with Ortofon VMS-20 and Stanton 681EEE. Turntable is highly modified, mounted on a custom-engineered isolation platform, and fitted with a record clamping system to ensure disc flatness during reproduction.
  • Several custom styli of differing diameters and profiles to ensure that each disc record is correctly tracked because the stylus fits the groove precisely.
  • KVG Laboratories 76EQ phono preamplifier equipped to compensate for nearly all known record playback equalization characteristics.
  • KVG Laboratories K-DAW II Disc Archivist software, together with Logic Pro, Reason Record, and numerous proprietary and third party plugins, running on Apple iMac 2 GHz Intel, with modified Focusrite Saffire Pro24 and ART DI/O ADA convertors.
  • Revox A77 Dolby (highly modified).
  • Revox B77-HS ( highly modified).
  • Revox B710 Mk. II (highly modified).
  • Nakamichi 600.
  • Nakamichi 680ZX.
  • dbx 117 Compressor/Expander (modified).
  • KVG Laboratories 82A Dynamics Processor (compressor/expander).
  • Symetrix 422 automatic gain control.
  • KVG Laboratories 91SG Spatial Image Optimizer.
  • KVG Laboratories 92MPQ Mastering Program Equalizer.
  • KVG Laboratories 96CMPS Correlator Precision Metering System.
  • Shure AudioMaster (EQ system) [highly modified].
  • Burwen TNE-7000 Transient Noise Eliminator (record declicker).
  • SAE 5000A Transient Noise Reduction (record declicker)
  • Crown D-75 stereo amplifier.
  • KVG Laboratories L-81G Spatial Image Reference Loudspeakers.
  • Edison Standard Cylinder Phonograph, circa 1903, fitted with KVG Laboratories custom engineered microphone.
  • VPI HW-16.5 Archival Vacuum Disc Record Cleaning Machine.

Equalization Curves

The following list of Disc Playback Equalization Curves are those that we have determined through extensive research and experimentation that provide the most satisfactory reproduction of the greatest possible selection of nearly all of the more prominent record labels. Smaller or obscure record labels often adopted the standard of a major label, so the more obscure labels can be accommodated by these same equalization curves.

The standards have been denoted by two numbers separated by a slash. A letter "F" in the standard's name denotes "Flat." Following each standard's name is a list of prominent record labels who adopted that standard. Record label names following a semicolon are not exactly compliant with the cited standard but are close enough to that standard to achieve a satisfactory playback, especially if additional equalization is applied.

  1. 150/5800: Decca 1930s
  2. 200/5500: Columbia, Victor, some small U.S. labels,
  3. 250/6360: London/Decca FFRR 1949 (microgroove discs, early LPs until 1955)
  4. 250F: Columbia, EMI, HMV, Blumlein, EMI
  5. 350/3180: CCIR, IEC; Columbia 1938, London FFRR, EMS
  6. 400/2700: Esoteric, Decca, Urania, Decca 1934, Concert Hall, Colosseum, Capitol, Mercury, Cetra-Soria, Westminster; Lyrachord
  7. 400/5500: RCA Victor, some small U.S. labels, some small European labels
  8. 400F: Most U.S. mid-1930s Labels other than RCA Victor, Columbia, MGM
  9. 450/2700: London FFRR coarse groove, London International, Ducretet-Thomson
  10. 500/1600: Vanguard, Vox, Decca, Lyrichord, HMV, Urania, Westminster, Folkways, Polymusic, Audio Fidelity, Concert Hall, Columbia, Cetra-Soria, Boston, Bach Guild, Oceanic, Overtone, Haydn Society, Remington, Colosseum, Epic; AES, NAB
  11. Enhanced RIAA: U.S. 33-1/3 rpm and 45 rpm microgroove LPs from some esoteric audiophile labels.
  12. RIAA (IEC): European and British LPs from 1955 to recent; some esoteric audiophile labels.
  13. RIAA (New Orthophonic): U.S. 33-1/3 rpm LPs from 1954 to recent excluding esoteric audiophile labels.
  14. RIAA (RCA Revision): U.S. 45 rpm large hole singles.
  15. 500F: Brunswick, Parlophone, Westrex, Vitaphone (1927 - 1933), most electrically-recorded U.S. 78s between 1910 and 1935.
  16. 500/2700: RCA Victor, Angel, MGM, some obscure Asian and European labels.
  17. 500/5500: Concert Hall, Ouiseau-lyre, some obscure Asian and European labels.
  18. 629/1600: Batok, Caedmon, some obscure Asian and European labels.
  19. 629/3000: RCA Victor, some obscure Asian and European labels.
  20. 800/5500: RCA Victor, some obscure Asian and European labels.
  21. Flat: Edison, Berliner, most discs recorded before 1910.

House Engineer Kermit V. Gray has been doing archival re-recording since 1987, when he was an engineer (together with the late R. l. "Mac" Macdonald, who was a legend in archival work) for the Marr Sound Archive when it first began. Kermit assisted in the initial design, installation and operation of the archive's re-recording system. He was trained in archival re-recording by engineers from the Library of Congress, Steve Smolian and R. L. "Mac" MacDonald. Kermit's prior experience as both an equipment designer and as a LP mastering engineer in the 1970's is a definite advantage in his archival re-recording work. He hears problems and details in analog disc recordings that few others hear.


A Re-Recording Project

The client wanted a re-recording onto CD and analog audio cassette of a 2-minute edison cylnder ecord, but he insisted that he wanted the re-recording to be authentic as if the player was live in the room. Thus, he didn't want the usual extensive denoising and declicking. While we were doing the project, we decided to make this video at the same time. The phonograph shown is in the studio owner's private collection.