frequently asked questions
What is meant by audio restoration ?
Audio “restoration” is the digital transfer of audio information from an out of date, damaged or obsolete format to a long lasting format that can be played on current equipment. Unwanted noise is usually removed from the original source during the transfer process. The result is a CD that contains a “cleaned up” version of the original information.
Why should I convert my 78's or other records to CD ?
Here are some quick answers:
- Your car stereo does not play 78’s.
- Your friends’ or relatives’ stereo does not play 78’s – so you cannot share your music with them outside of your home.
- There are not a lot of inexpensive, good quality turntables that can play 78’s. Most play at 33 or 45 speeds.
- You need a special stylus and preamp to play back the 78 properly. The 78 groove is much wider than the LP, so the LP stylus will sit at the bottom of the groove and pick up mostly noise.
- 78’s are usually very noisy from previous damage or dirt in the grooves. Cleaning the 78 is a risky proposition. They are very fragile and must be “dry” cleaned in many cases. Only certain 78’s can be wet cleaned properly.
- Many of the old 78’s did not play at the same constant speed. You must figure out which speed to use – and be able to set that speed on your turntable.
- The spindle hole on the 78 could be off centre. This would cause a wow in the playback of the record.
- CD’s are convenient and almost indestructible. They will not wear out from frequent playings. They rarely need cleaning and are much easier to store.
What kind of guarantee do you offer on your work ?
HKA guarantees your complete satisfaction. If you are not satisfied, simply return the original and restored recording, along with a written explanation of the problem, and it will be repaired and returned to you at no cost. If it is un-repairable, a full refund will be issued, and your original recording will be shipped back to you at no cost.
Does transferring or restoring damage my original recordings ?
Transfer is an electronic process. It does not physically alter the original recordings. Cleaning your records will make a difference to them, physically. You will get back records that are cleaner than when they were first manufactured and packaged at the factory. We also return your records in poly sleeves to keep them clean after the transfer/restoration.
What if my records get damaged during return shipping ?
We take great care in preparing your items for shipment. Since the handling of your package is beyond our control, HKA will not be responsible for items damaged or lost in shipment. We recommend that you ask us to insure the shipment for you (at extra cost). If your parcel arrives damaged or gets lost, you will be responsible to place a claim with the shipping company.
What if my records/tapes get damaged during restoration ?
While in our possession, and during processing, every measure possible will be taken to insure the safety of your recording. We will not be responsible for damage due to age or deterioration of your recording. Old, brittle tapes may break during normal playback. Old 78 records may break during cleaning or handling. If you are worried about damage, we suggest that you insure the recordings if they are very valuable to you.
What if you cannot restore my records or tapes ?
Certain conditions may prevent us from being able to restore your recordings. These include:
• 78 records, so worn that there is nothing left to restore. The distortion caused by excessive wear cannot be reduced or removed.
• Records with severe cracks or scratches – that prevent the stylus from going forward.
• Records that are so warped – that the stylus is tossed around up and down off the record.
• Severe needle drops on the record – causing the stylus to stop at that spot.
• Tapes with the oxide coming off as we try to play them.
• Tapes, so brittle that it is impossible to prevent them from self destructing.
• Tapes with lots of splices that come apart during playback.
We will try a partial restoration, if you like. If the stylus skips forward, we will continue the process. If the stylus skips in place, we will push the stylus into the next groove. This will be done until the stylus tracking is back to normal. There may be some noticeable glitches as a result of this situation. If this is unacceptable, please let us know ahead of time – or better yet, don’t send us the defective record. Please do not send us records that you cannot play on your own system because they are cracked or contain bad skips or scratches. They probably will not play on our system either. Recordings that we cannot restore will be returned to you – with just the shipping charges.
Will you remove all of the pops and clicks on my record ?
Probably not all the noise will be removed. In most cases, as much as eighty or ninety percent of the noise will be removed. If we process the record too much, you will lose the overall clarity and zip that the record had originally. This will mean a dull, lifeless sound. It is much better to create a balance between the noise removal and overall sound. We do not just transfer you recordings with a “one size fits all” setting on our computer. We sample the record noise and decide on a good compromise between noise and fidelity.
I have had work done, where the tracks were not indexed properly. Does your system guarantee proper indexing ?
For a system to index tracks properly – there must be a certain length of silence between the songs. If the silence is too short, the automated indexing can miss the right spots. We use a semi-automated system, as well as manual indexing. We are usually 99.9 % accurate. In the case of certain classical pieces or live recordings, we normally don’t try to guess where the indexing should be. We let the system do the work.
Are the CDR's you use compatible with my CD player ?
The CDR’s we use are compatible with all new CD players. Some older CD players do not play CDR’s. It is your responsibility to make sure that the CD player you have is compatible with CDR’s.
How long does this transfer work take ?
It takes ten to fifteen working business days in our lab to complete a standard restoration order. Special, or large orders will take longer. Some of the other factors include complexity of restoration, quantity of recorded materials sent to us, the workload we already have and the time of year. Please allow for shipping times both ways, as well.
Why are some of your restoration prices so high ?
My record is in pretty bad shape. Can you do anything with it ?
If the record has been made available on CD, I would recommend that you purchase the CD. This is usually less expensive than a level 2 or 3 restoration. If the record is not available on CD, send it to us – and we will do a free evaluation for you. We will not charge for the evaluation. We will give you an estimate, and you can take it from there. If the record is not restorable, we will let you know – and return it to you. If there is shipping involved, we will charge you for the shipping.
I have a record that skips. Can you do a restoration of that ?
There are two things we can do. We can do the restoration with the skip included, or we can try to repair the skip by using special tools and a microscope. The restoration using the second option will cost you $ 35 per hour over and above the regular cost. Depending on the general shape of that area of the record, there is a possibility that we will not be totally successful. There may still be a click when we run over that part of the record. Please keep that in mind. There is a limit to the effectiveness of the repair. If we cannot do anything with it, we will not charge you the extra fee.
My tapes seems to have lost the highs. Is there anything you can do about that ?
Once the response of the tape has changed – there is not much that can be done. We will do our best to make sure our tape recorder is in the proper alignment with you tape – so that we get the best transfer possible. We can also try to use a harmonic enhancer to add some highs to the restoration.
Do you repair broken tapes ?
Yes we do. Please see our tape repairs page for more information.
What formats do you transfer or restore ?
Please see our formats restored page. If you have a format which is not listed on our page, please call us to discuss the options. If you have a machine that plays back your format, we can probably do the transfer.
Do you transfer video or film ?
At present we do not. There is a good chance that we will go there in the future.
What happens if the transfers get lost on the way back to me ?
We keep a backup of the work for thirty days. As long as you let us know before we delete the backup, we can redo the work. If your CD gets lost we will redo the CD(s) for $ 15 per CD, plus the cost of shipping. We are not allowed to make another backup of the transferred material as per copyright laws. If the material is your own – or not copyrighted, we can make backups for you at $ 8 per CD.
What does your CD label and insert look like ?
Please see our CD covers page for more details.
Is it possible to hear a sample of you restoration work ?
Certainly, please see our Restoration Samples page for various examples of our work.
Can you transfer my recordings to DVD or SACD ?
Sorry, we cannot do these formats presently. This is something which is on our radar screen for the near future.
What else do you do besides restorations ?
Please check out our Site Map to see the other areas of our business. We are involved in:
• audio transfers
◦restoration, archiving, sound enhancement, digital editing, forensic audio
•sales of record and tape accessories, cleaning supplies, archival storage
◦library, educational, government and commercial archival planning, historic audio restoration, process design, project coordination
◦2-track to 16-track Pro Tools, 2 – 8-track analog recording
◦recording equipment and software, DAW’s, sound reinforcement
◦ supply very experienced live sound and audio recording engineers, by the hour, day, or project
•professional live sound reinforcement and or recording training
◦ one on one or groups
•sales and consignment of vintage pro audio and home hi-fi equipment
I have some old audio equipment that I'd like to get rid of. Can you help me ?
Sure, we do consignment and eBay sales. Let’s talk.
I understand that you offer other services and products related to record preservation. Can you tell me about these ?
Yes, we are very into preservation. Preserving music and sounds is a great passion around here. We stock and sell a variety of items to help maintain and preserve different forms of media. These include:
• LP, 45, 78 and CD accessories:
◦paper and poly inner and outer sleeves as well as record jackets;
◦record cleaning kits and brushes;
◦record cleaning products – including our own special brands of record cleaning fluids;
◦Taiyo Yuden CDR’s, CD cases and labels;
◦Stylus cleaning kits;
◦turntable cartridges and styli;
◦record cleaning – a specialty
◦baking tapes (coming soon)
•adio cables and connectors:
◦hi-fi cables (shielded and speaker), adapters
◦custom cables (special types and lengths)
◦pro audio cables and adapters
◦pro audio custom cables (special types and lengths)
◦ac cables and assemblies
◦Neutrik and Switchcraft connectors & adapters
•books and training materials
◦ custom training materials for pro audio and recording
Please see our accessories and archival supplies pages for more details and prices.
I noticed that much of the equipment that you rent is very old (outdated). Is there a need for this?
We supply this equipment to people that wish to do their own transfers and restoration. For many people purchasing such equipment may be financially prohibitive or they may not have enough work to make it worthwhile to buy. We offer reasonable rental rates and are here to train people on the use of this equipment. We have other hardware formats available. Please inquire about these.
Can I send you my own graphics to put on the CD and insert ?
Definitely. Please see the CD covers page for more details.
Are my records safe ?
While in our possession, your recordings are literally treated with kit gloves. If you are worried about sending them to us, have a professional company pack and ship them for you. We would also recommend getting the recording materials insured.
How should I send my recordings to you ?
Please read our postage and shipping page for detailed information about packaging and shipping.
How do I order your services ?
Please see our forms download page for more information on the forms and how to fill them out.
Where are you located and what are your business hours ?
Please see our contact page for our map and business hours. Sorry for the inconvenience, but at present we will meet with you by appointment only. To make an appointment, please call us at 204-586-6144.
Do you give discounts on large volumes of work ?
For sure. Give us a call with the details.
Which forms of payment do you accept ?
We accept the following:
• personal cheques, company cheques (if you are out of Winnipeg, we will wait until the cheques clear before shipping your order.)
•Interac email money transfers
Paypal allows you to use Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and echecks. You do not have to open a Paypal account. Please see our method of payment page for more details. We also accept cash, if you drop off the recordings in person.
Do you give credit on restoration orders ?
Sorry, we only give credit to schools, government agencies and established businesses. Payment for the transfer/restoration is due before the work is picked up or shipped out.
Will I get my original recordings back ?
Absolutely. We will return any materials you have sent to us, unless you do not wish the expense of paying for shipping back to you after the transfers have been completed. In that case, we will discard the materials and only send the finished CD’s. We hang on to the materials for 30 days to make sure that you have received the transfers and are happy with the work done.
I am in the United States. Do you take orders from down here ?
Definitely. We will ship anywhere in Canada and the United States. You do not pay any of the Canadian sales taxes. You can pay in US dollars if you wish. Contact us for the current currency conversion.
live elsewhere in Canada. Do I need to pay the Manitoba 8% provincial taxes ?
If you reside outside of Manitoba, you will not be charged the 8% Manitoba sales tax.
Is my personal information safe with HKA ?
All our clients’ information is kept confidential. Our business/accounting computer is not used for normal Internet activities. Our network is very secure. Your personal information will not be sold, leased, lent, rented or released. If we need to supply your information to one of our working associates for a restoration related activity, we make sure that their personal information policy will mirror our own.
How do copyright laws affect restoration ?
When you purchase the music, you are buying a single license to own and play that particular album. You are allowed to make, or have made a “backup” copy if you are the owner of the copyrighted material. You are not allowed to sell the copy for profit. If you sell the original, you must give up the copy to the buyer.
Some companies put the cover art and label on the CD and insert. Why do you not offer this ?
It is illegal to copy and sell someone else’s artwork. We are not allowed to scan the artwork and then charge you for using it on the CD copy. This definitely breaks the law – and any company that offers this service is breaking the law.
What if I refuse to sign your agreement ?
Our agreement serves two purposes. The first section deals with your acknowledgement that you will take responsibility with regard to the copyright law. The second section absolves us of any responsibility with regard to the possibility of HKA causing damage to your recordings. In either case, I am afraid that we have no flexibility on these two matters. If you refuse to sign the agreement, and you have already sent the recordings to us, we will charge you for shipping them back to you – and return them to you as soon as we are paid for the shipping.
Your company is fairly new. Can you give me some background on who you are ?
Our company is relatively new, but Henry Kreindler and some of our associates have been in audio for more than thirty years. Please see our about us page for more information.
I don't see my question here. Is there a way to contact you ?
Please contact us at 204-586-6144