Analog to Digital Converters - for vinyl ripping

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by recstar24, Jan 17, 2021.

  1. recstar24

    recstar24 Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    Hello!

    I was hoping to see if anyone out there that’s into archiving and ripping their vinyl digitally had ideas and recs of A-D devices. My workflow will be tapping the RCA out from my phono stage (it has both an RCA and XLR out, I use the xlr to connect to preamp) into an A-D converter, then doing USB out into my laptop with audacity. From there, it can be streamed to my basement rig which is kind of a secondary digital rig that uses a squeezebox into a nice dac. Thanks!
     
  2. formbypc

    formbypc Forum Resident

    Consider using a solid-state audio recorder such as those made by Tascam, Denon and others.

    The Tascams are made for studio use, so already have studio-grade A-D conversion built in.

    Workflow becomes;

    TT to phono stage to recorder, which records WAV files on SD/CF card or internal storage. Copy WAV to USB stick

    Paste WAV from USB into folder on PC, where you import it to Audacity and edit.

    Export from Audacity as WAV, FLAC or mp3, whichever suits the replay system.
     
  3. recstar24

    recstar24 Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    Thank you @formbypc ! I think that would work really well, and I do like how that flows nicely. I’ll be on the lookout for those type of devices for sure.
     
  4. DPC

    DPC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    I use a Denon DN-300R recorder that does a great job for me (I only record 16/44).
    Also use the singled ended RCA out of my phono pre directly into the Denon and the balanced XLR of my phono pre out to my preamp.
    Very hard to distinguish between source record and the recording once I'm streaming it...results are so good I'd be OK purging a bunch of albums if not for the ethical concerns.
    What turned into a project to get a few albums recorded for my wife to stream has turned into almost 800 albums now...I'm essentially going to record my entire collection (except maybe the jazz) to have for streaming.
    I use VinylStudio on my iMac...great, easy program that has saved me a lot of time.
    Fun, fun hobby...

    Edit: The Denon DN-300R is now at MK II (a buddy bought one and he loves his, as well). Cheap and effective.
     
  5. jeffmackwood

    jeffmackwood Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ottawa
    I use the Audi2USB cable to rip vinyl to my laptop in WAV format, captured using Audacity, and from there edit into individual tracks using Wave Editor (who's editing functions I find to be much more user-friendly than Audacity's). I archive the WAV files and convert them to 320MP3 before putting them on my music server. I notice absolutely no difference in the sound quality when I listen from the vinyl as compared to the final ripped tracks; the cable does a great job (at an incredibly low price.)

    Jeff
     
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  6. Apesbrain

    Apesbrain Forum Resident

    Location:
    East Coast, USA
    katstep, c-eling and recstar24 like this.
  7. Timbo21

    Timbo21 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    I use Focusrite Clarrett. They are very good
     
  8. recstar24

    recstar24 Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    thanks again for the rec and looks to be a great, but simple, device to use. I did have a question about input levels - there doesn’t appear to be any individual volume/gain trims for each channel in the event that a signal was coming in hot/clipping. In actual practice, do you find that to be an issue with your rig? I saw in your profile you are using a Lyra Delos as well, with all that gain from the phono stage have you run into issues with the signal clipping, or does it all kind of just work out well enough level wise where you don’t have signal issues?
     
  9. Drew769

    Drew769 Buyer of s*** I never knew I lacked

    Location:
    NJ
    I have a Tascam DA-3000 that I’m very happy with. It’s about the closest thing to using a cassette deck that you can get. Very easy to use, and I can still take the files and manipulate them in Vinyl Studio on my Mac (click repair, etc) as I see fit. Mine was a returned unit (basically new) and I got it for $400.
     
    recstar24 likes this.
  10. recstar24

    recstar24 Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    Thanks @Drew769 for the rec, I’ll definitely check it out. Your the 2nd person in this thread to reference the vinyl studio software, what are some of the benefits with that program vs the free audacity?
     
  11. hacksaw99

    hacksaw99 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Arizona
    I use a Tascam DV-RA1000HD. It has every imaginable bell and whistle for digital recordings but it's no longer made (link to the manual: DV-RA1000HD | DOWNLOADS | TASCAM - United States ).
    Maybe you can find a used one, and re-sell it after you're done. I believe they were around $2500 MSRP when new.
    I also use Vinyl Studio Pro for converting album side recordings to separate tracks. Never tried audacity. I downloaded the VS trial (it has all the capabilities of the pro version), thought it was easy to learn, did everything I wanted pretty efficiently (including preloading track listings and duration from discogs or other database just by entering the album catalog number and release number, which really helps speed things along), so I didn't bother with trying audacity.
     
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  12. DPC

    DPC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    I have not run into any gain issues at all (my phono pre is at 57 db gain unbalanced out). I do wish the Denon had more resolution with the level meters, but I generally just shoot for -4 to 0 db peaks and it's been fine. I just sample what I anticipate to be the hottest track, set and forget like any cassette deck. When I do the occasional needledrop-to-corresponding-cd rip comparisons, I've never detected any unusual level differences, either. It really is a very simple unit to use; I'm sure there are better ones, but for me its results are exactly what I need. It has cost me ~ $0.25/recording thus far...

    Processing Note: When processing the wav files, I do not mess with levels in VinylStudio...the only thing I do is cleanup empty space and set/adjust track breaks (in addition to track naming / album art via Discogs - great great feature.). Occasionally I need to manually input track titles, but still simple. I've had to use the Click Repair (at various sensitivities) for a few albums, and it does a great job, as well. I import to my NAS via Apple Music (iTunes) for final assembly, as I'm used to its interface.
     
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  13. recstar24

    recstar24 Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    Thank you! It sounds like our setup and needs are pretty similar, the unit definitely sounds like what I’ve been looking for! And thank you for selling me on Vinyl Studio, the Discogs integration is huge as I have all my vinyl catalogued through Discogs currently.
     
    DPC likes this.
  14. Frost

    Frost Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago
    why would one think their $1000 turntable with a $200 interface would provide a better digital copy than the professional engineers who have decades of experience and world class conversion as well as access to the original tapes? why not just play the digital that exists?
     
  15. recstar24

    recstar24 Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    I’m personally not making that claim (as the original thread starter), nor am I trying to accomplish some kind of competition with my analog vs digital library. My particular setup and needs allow a pretty smooth and easy workflow (literally I can just press a button with that denon device above while I’m listening to a record already), and allow me to stream that to a secondary rig as needed.

    I’m sure I could just as easily stream it from my Spotify if I’m in a pinch but there’s no fun in that!
     
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  16. jbmcb

    jbmcb Forum Resident

    Location:
    Troy, MI, USA
    I don't have direct experience, but I've worked with audio engineers, and their go-to ADCs were always Focusrite or Apogee. I've heard good things about the newer, "entry-level" Apogee ADCs as well, such as the One.
     
    recstar24 likes this.
  17. formbypc

    formbypc Forum Resident

    The digital might not exist. The original tapes might not exist. The original tapes may have been damaged, leaving the vinyl as the best remaining copy.

    etc.

     
  18. Brucedgoose

    Brucedgoose Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hawaii
    There are lots of reasons why I use a good turntable, outboard phono stage and a professional CD recorder to digitize my vinyl;
    1. It allows me to make excellent digital compilations of a variety of songs which I can then easily share with my friends via CD or take with me to play in my car.
    2. It would be prohibitively expensive to repurchase all of my vinyl in digital form.
    3. Sometimes, a digital version is not available.
    4. Sometimes, the vinyl sounds better than the Cd. My equipment and method captures vinyl’s superiority when it is present.
    YMMV
     
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  19. psulioninks

    psulioninks Forum Resident

    Location:
    KC Chiefs Kingdom
    Good recommendation...I use one as well. IMHO, it's best to remove the computer from the recording process if possible - especially if you are using a Windows based PC/Laptop.

    Ripping Vinyl To Laptop Computer, What Is Really The Best Way??
     
  20. Galactus2

    Galactus2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    Not speaking for anyone but myself, so I'll just say that I found Vinyl Studio about 100x easier and more user friendly to work with than Audacity.

    Well worth the $30 that they charge, IMO.
     
  21. hacksaw99

    hacksaw99 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Arizona
    Wait...are you arguing that an appeal to authority (the opinions of 'professional engineers,' noting they are certainly not of one mind) is the answer to this question, or ANY question, on a forum that on a daily basis has debates about what various members of the human race insist can be heard, or insist cannot be heard or even measured, across the dozens of possible points and components in the signal flow chain of an audio system? And that's just looking at an audio system in block diagram form, not even considering equipment design differences, room differences, music mastering or source differences, encoding format differences, A-D or D-A conversion differences, or any other of the many differences between both people's hearing and brains, and their systems?
     
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  22. c-eling

    c-eling Fruit Juice Everywhere

    Because some don't exist digitally and/or have been destroyed by modern mastering practices.
    [​IMG]
     
  23. luckybaer

    luckybaer Thinks The Devil actually beat Johnny

    Location:
    Missouri
    My phonostage, a PS Audio NuWave Phono Converter, gives me the option of converting the analog from my LPs to digital (PCM or DSD). I use it for needledrops and my software of choice is Vinyl Studio. I'm pretty happy.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2021
  24. DPC

    DPC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    That list is a good start...
    WRT #4, much more than sometimes for me. I have about 200 titles on both my needledropped vinyl and cd...there are several where it's about even as to preference between cd and my needledrops (one with a clear preference for the cd (bob - street legal), and in every other case I prefer the needledrop.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2021
  25. DPC

    DPC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    This is just a hobby (for me, anyway), so concur with the fun element. It's certainly not work.

    I am fortunate in a sense that my "audio room" is adjacent to my office alcove, so I can listen and enjoy the recording music (at lowish volumes) while working. Having been teleworking for the past several months, I've made ~500-600 needledrops, and my personal workflow is pretty smooth.

    Diagnostic note: I'll also soon start using the needledrops to check cartridge wear. I know which LP's I started with at ~900 hrs (est.); I anticipate ~3000 hrs for my Delos, and I sense (hear) no issues thus far at over 2000 hrs. I got over ~ 2500 hrs with my Lyra Argo (i) and I don't know how long it would have lasted, as it still sounded great when I traded it for the Delos. That's where it's nice to have needledrops/cd's that are very similar to provide a diagnostic comparison.

    (...and of course, I'll have to get another Delos when the time comes so my needledrops don't sound too different, right?)
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2021

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