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Your Vinyl Transfer Workflow (sharing best needledrop practices)*

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Vocalpoint, May 11, 2011.

  1. AVTechMan

    AVTechMan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Texas, USA
    I agree, if my brain was good enough like theirs I would get the info pretty well too! Straightening out a cantilever IMO should be a separate thread.
     
    Stefan likes this.
  2. ghost rider

    ghost rider Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago
    Best Tractor / Arc Protractor / Mint Tractor / tonearm alignment / Yip Mint Protractor / Mintlp Protractor
    This tractor you align the cantilever not the cartridge body. I would not recommend trying to straighten it out. Sometimes they are irregular.

    Never mind it's a $39 cartridge knock yourself out.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2021
  3. Staxus

    Staxus Senior Member

    Location:
    Motown
    Boz Scaggs - Boz Scaggs
    [​IMG]
    CD Ripped to FLAC
     
  4. Stefan

    Stefan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Yep, that's turntable 101, always align to the cantilever and never to the cartridge body. Of course if the cantilever is badly skewed from the body, the cartridge is not going to perform to its best, but within a certain margin, it'll be ok.

    Then you just have to hope the diamond is properly mounted in the cantilever. I had an Ortofon 2M Black I could never seem to get dialed in. I aligned to the cantilever but it still handled sibilants really badly. One day I tried twisting the entire cartridge inwards towards the spindle. at about 3 degrees from where it should have been, I suddenly got the best sound ever from that cartridge. It still didn't sound perfect on all records but the Black is known to be intolerant of less than perfect pressings. This told me the diamond wasn't mounted properly. I suppose I should have contacted Ortofon but instead I moved on to other cartridges (AT, Denon and Shure with Jico). All were much easier to deal with and gave me great sound when aligned to a standard Baerwald.
     
    ghost rider likes this.
  5. harby

    harby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    Maybe if you had a time machine: like the SL1200, a case of don't know what you've got 'til it's gone, this is a NIB AT92ECD I shouldn't have opened - The Japan 29dB channel separation, 27kHz response (vs 20dB and 20kHz AT85 now). 2019:

    BTW would not be the first cartridge I've tweaked with techniques I wouldn't recommend others experiment with.

    I spend last night re-writing azimuth correction code and stylus profiling in a way that it would be useful shared. Actually would be possible to do that alone (without the required analysis) in Nyquist plugin programming for Audacity. Throw out the Feickert and Fosgometer and an end this kind of debate. And reviewing specs, it looks like crosstalk correction needs an EQ curve also, not just a number.
     
    ghost rider likes this.
  6. junkculture

    junkculture Well-Known Member

    I'll share my own vinyl transfer workflow. First of all, I enjoy listening to albums on vinyl all the way through and my goal is to preserve that listening experience, but with less hassle and wear on the LP and stylus. I also used to rip vinyl to cassette tape and like the simplicity in that process, so I found a workflow that's been great for me, recording over 400 records so far over the last year.

    Equipment: Technics SL-1210GR (cover off) with KAB damper, isolation platform, BJC-LC1 interconnects from TT (2 foot), PS Audio Stellar Phono, Tascam DA-3000, balanced ICs from preamp, Sennheiser HD 600. Choice of cartridge (see below). I don't use speakers when recording, don't need the extra noise/feedback.

    Tascam settings: DSD-128, Ref level -9dB (only reason is to keep balanced and unbalanced inputs at the same metered level), 0dB gain to keep peak levels between -12 and -6dB typically, depending on cartridge and preamp gain.

    I record to CF cards, the entire side at once. I can fit 8-10 records on a 32GB CF card. I don't bother editing or marking tracks until later. Tried marking tracks as I go but that required too much attention. After recording a batch, I'll go back and trim the recordings directly on the Tascam, with a USB keyboard attached to reduce wear on the rotary knob. I can get through a batch of records efficiently and multitask while I listen on headphones. Tip: I won't claim that there's better sound quality on CF, but on this device, editing on CF is MUCH faster than SD, by maybe 2-3x.

    Then I just copy the files to PC, name them, and add some recording info. I play back as dsf either via PC/USB/DAC, A&K media player, or on the Tascam (I'll put my favorites on 128GB or 256GB SD cards). I don't bother declicking or splitting tracks.

    My CDs are ripped to flac, so I thought eventually I might batch-convert dsf to pcm flac in foobar2000, then normalize or apply replay gain, add track marks, etc., but for now dsf works well for archiving and listening. I might even try just making "mix tapes" using the dsf source some day.

    About the cartridge choice: My default is the VM540ML for most records for best tracking, decent sound from lower quality pressings, good cost/hour ratio, and a fairly neutral sound (running about 160pF capacitance total). But I will switch to another cartridge if tracking isn't an issue and I want a particular sound for a recording.

    Listening to the dsf sounds nearly identical to the vinyl. I will still sometimes play the record though, if I want to use a different cartridge, or if I want to crank it up and get a little bit of that room feedback...
     
    pho, ghost rider, arisinwind and 2 others like this.
  7. Daicehawk

    Daicehawk Active Member

    Location:
    Russia
    My workflow is:
    Wash the record either in an ultrasonic machine or under a tap, dry it with a vacuum cleaner , tube civered with a sock, power set to minimum, just to suck dry. Clean the stylus with the brush. Off it goes onto the platter of a SL1210 with AT33PTG/II to a nanocrystalline core 10:1 SUT to a pure tube x-less phono pre to my beloved Korg MR-1000, not modified. The peaks hitting between -12 and -6, so the average level is -18 is the sweet spot soundwise. DSD128 exclusively.
     
    arisinwind and gabbleratchet7 like this.
  8. Stan94

    Stan94 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Paris, France
    My workflow is the same as before. What I do now is play with noise reduction a little and also spectral repair mostly for the fades. The problem is, as I'm now a little better than I was a few months ago, I want to start over again and redo the records I've cleaned before. Do you guys do that?
     
    ghost rider, arisinwind and Grant like this.
  9. Stefan

    Stefan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Oh yeah, I've redone needledrops lots of times, whether it's when I got new gear or just experimented with different settings, software, hardware, etc. It's part of the fun of the hobby.
     
    arisinwind and Grant like this.
  10. I've redone albums as my skill improved or my software changed. I'm at the point now where I do it and that will be it. It's time to enjoy the music.
     
    gabbleratchet7 and FrankieP like this.
  11. Stan94

    Stan94 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Paris, France
    The other day I was wondering if trained engineers with skill (unlike me) can make needledrops that sound as good as tape? I mean first clean the record, transfer it to digital, clean the file, possibly EQ it either to undo the EQ of the record or to improve upon it, and then use it as a source for commercial material?
    The other thing I was wondering about is if PBTHAL finds the time to listen to all his drops 'cause he makes thousands? And how he chooses to needledrop a record or not?
     
  12. Daicehawk

    Daicehawk Active Member

    Location:
    Russia
    The needledrop won't sound as tape/LP in PCM. So I just record in DSD128 and it does sound like the master.
     
  13. old music lover

    old music lover Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Salonta, Romania
    PBTHAL 's needledrops are a little muffled, I guess he uses high levels of processing...But he does very good skills! And he does not choose them... My opinion...
     
    arisinwind likes this.
  14. Stan94

    Stan94 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Paris, France
    How do you process your files, like declicking or denoising? I thought there was no software for working on DSD files, only PCM?
     
  15. Daicehawk

    Daicehawk Active Member

    Location:
    Russia
    I do not process files. Any denoising and declicking degrades the sound more than gains anything. I rather have an occasional click, than mush.
     
  16. old music lover

    old music lover Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Salonta, Romania
    For old LPs declick at 1.5-2.2 in iZotope, in automatic mode. In manual mode you can do, for big clicks, even 4.0. And no denoise, etter a higher ratio to declick! For local big noise use EQ for highs.
     
    arisinwind likes this.
  17. Daicehawk

    Daicehawk Active Member

    Location:
    Russia
    Might share a sample in DSD, but you need a native DSD DAC to really evaluate.
     
  18. Grant

    Grant Living in the 90s

    Location:
    United States
    Modern noise reduction software does not turn the music into "mush" as you put it. Of course, you'll have to pay some money to get it. You won't find it in Audacity!
     
    FrankieP, arisinwind and ghost rider like this.
  19. Daicehawk

    Daicehawk Active Member

    Location:
    Russia
    It is not about paying money. pcm per se does not allow to capture analog source at its full resolution. So I rather stay with noise and crackles but with the 3d of the analog stereo source, be it stereobus of the console, mic stereopair, analog sourced vinyl, or tape.
     
  20. Grant

    Grant Living in the 90s

    Location:
    United States
    Nonsense!
     
    ghost rider, numanoid and arisinwind like this.
  21. Daicehawk

    Daicehawk Active Member

    Location:
    Russia
    To each their own.
    I stand corrected, "PCM per se does not allow to capture and playback at the full resolution of stereo analog source".
     
  22. harby

    harby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    If you were to be corrected, it would be by "vinyl does not allow capture and playback of the full resolution of digitally-encoded PCM source."
     
    stetsonic and Grant like this.
  23. Daicehawk

    Daicehawk Active Member

    Location:
    Russia
    If you talk about dynamic range and parameters measured with sines, then yes. If we talk linearity and low-level details that allow preserve the 3d space and depth of the analog source, then absolutely no. Sines are just easier to measure.
     
  24. Grant

    Grant Living in the 90s

    Location:
    United States
    Again: nonsense!
     
  25. Anton888

    Anton888 Forum Resident


    I would rather prefer to listen to a digitized record that beforehand has been cleaned carefully from any distracting noises (crackles, clicks, pops etc.).

    It is not fun to listen to a digitized record full of clicks and pops that overshadow the music.

    I am sceptical that one can hear a difference between PCM and DSD. Maybe you can measure it, if at all.
     

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