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judicata
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Archiving Vinyl

What is the best stand alone option for converting LPs to digital format nowadays? I can't bring my turntable and records to the office, so I'm stuck with the iPod.

I'd like to just be able to record straight to a hard drive and then mess with everything later. I don't have a desktop computer (and don't want one) so any soundcard I have is going to sub-par - so I'd rather not have to use it at all.

jackfish
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Re: Archiving Vinyl

Maybe you could find a MSB Technology PAD-1 Analog-to-Digital Converter.

mrlowry
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Re: Archiving Vinyl

It depends on how high-end you want to go. Project makes a Phono stages that has USB out. You can't go wrong with Project. They do a great job with budget high-end analog.

http://www.sumikoaudio.net/project/products/phonobox_2_usb.htm

They even have a turntable with built in phonostage and USB.

http://www.sumikoaudio.net/project/products/debut_usb.htm

linden518
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Re: Archiving Vinyl

Bellari also makes a phono stage w/ USB function now. Korg also has a machine that can archive in DSD files... but that seems like an overkill right now for you, j.

mrlowry
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Re: Archiving Vinyl

I believe that one of the down sides of the Korg is that the discs that are recorded in DSD can only be played on that machine because they are stored in a proprietary manner. Didn't John Marks cover it in his Stereophile column? My memory isn't 100% on that one.

BillB
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Re: Archiving Vinyl

This is the way that worked/is working best for me:

http://www.teac.com/consumer_electronics/cd_players_&_recorders/cd-rw880/

dcstep
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Re: Archiving Vinyl


Quote:
I believe that one of the down sides of the Korg is that the discs that are recorded in DSD can only be played on that machine because they are stored in a proprietary manner. Didn't John Marks cover it in his Stereophile column? My memory isn't 100% on that one.

You can record the files on a computer and then use the provided software, Audiogate, to convert to PCM in various rates and then use a disc maker software to create DVDs at say 24/96. As an archive it works fine. To playback at 1-bit, 5.6mHz DSD you do need to playback through the Korg.

Dave

struts
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Re: Archiving Vinyl

I thought it was 2.8224 MHz. That's inflation for you!

Elk
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Re: Archiving Vinyl


Quote:
I thought it was 2.8224 MHz. That's inflation for you!


Korg doubled the rate of "regular" DSD as a marketing gimmick.

As all DSD is transcoded to PCM for editing even for the commercial SACDs we listen to, I don't get to wound up over recording in DSD. Additionally the files are large and cumbersome to work with, and transcoding even 15 minutes of DSD stereo takes hours even on a fast PC.

linden518
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Re: Archiving Vinyl

So what would be an elegant solution to archiving vinyl to digital? I don't even want to bother with working with DSD files, too large still, and cumbersome... Now I'm curious myself, because I want to store the music in my external drive, which I'd then access with Squeezebox...

struts
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Re: Archiving Vinyl

Aha! I thought it was unlike Dave to be out by a factor 2 (although he is out by 9 orders of magnitude...)

Sorry Dave, engineer humor, couldn't resist it .

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Re: Archiving Vinyl


Quote:
So what would be an elegant solution to archiving vinyl to digital? I don't even want to bother with working with DSD files, too large still, and cumbersome... Now I'm curious myself, because I want to store the music in my external drive, which I'd then access with Squeezebox...

Many folks would consider an "elegant" solution to be one where their turntable/preamp is feeding into the computer, and recording on hard drive that way. I used to do it that way but found it awkward (since I brought TT and preamp TO the desktop computer). A laptop would change that for the better but I don't use one.

For me, the component-type CD recorder is the best solution. It's in my stereo rack of components. I record vinyl directly into the CD recorder, as I listen, and the vinyl is recorded in full CD resolution. I then have a CD-R of the record - of course I rip that into my computer, for use in iTunes or whatever. And that CD-R gives me a back-up/archival copy of the record - and I can play said CD-R in my car or in my secondary non-turntable stereo or in my office or wherever.
For me - BINGO! For others - whatever floats your boat, use special recording software into your laptop or whatnot. In some ways that may be considered more efficient but futzing with that stuff can eat up some time...

I provided a link earlier to the Teac model but check out HHB models too. Cool purple color and said to be extra durable.

BillB
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Re: Archiving Vinyl

ah, I see that HHB has updated the model I was thinking of; it's not purple now, the new one is here:

http://www.hhb.co.uk/hhb/usa/hhbproducts/cdr882/index.asp

dcstep
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Re: Archiving Vinyl

Hitting the nail on the head, as usual Elk. This level of archiving requires two "real-time" transfers, the first from LP to Korg and then the file conversion in the computer, which might actually be slower than real-time. (It's long, trust me).

Hence I'm torn, should I archive at 5.6mHz or 24/96 and avoid future conversions???? I haven't tried this yet, but since I've added the Playback Designs CD/SACD player to my system, I'm VERY happy with Redbook. Hence, a Redbook archive should be as good. One more thing to try, but that is my next step. I may save the 5.6 for live recording.

Dave

Elk
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Re: Archiving Vinyl

I would try 24/96 as this will give you a great sense of what vinyl does if you will be playing back the files on a high-resolution system.

If you are using a decent ADC this will give you very nice sound. I suggest a decent soundcard (such as an Audiophile 2496) and some recording software such as Audigy (freeware). This way you can record, divide up each album side into tracks, etc.

You can always resample your vinyl later as better equipment becomes available.

judicata
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Re: Archiving Vinyl

Thanks for the responses, as usual. I use a laptop and would be more interested in recording straight to the hard drive. What do I need? A pre-amp with a USB out? Any suggestions?

Elk
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Re: Archiving Vinyl

There are a number of ways to go about this, differing in complexity and money spent (of course).

Probably the easiest and best yuck/buck would be something like the M-Audio Transit USB 24/96 Laptop I/O. This is a little portable bus-powered device that provides 24/96 recording and playback to any computer with a USB port. It comes with some basic recording software and is under $100.

All you need is a 1/8" stereo to RCA adapter. Plug your phono preamp out into the adapter which then goes into the M-Audio device. You're off and running.

Keep in mind that there are a lot of these products. Check out Sweetwater.com or Zzounds.com to start.

judicata
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Re: Archiving Vinyl

If I don't have a phono preamp, but my integrated amp has a phono stage, can I just hook it up to the tape out?

struts
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Re: Archiving Vinyl

judicata,

My neighbour came to me with exactly the same question. I did some digging around on the internet and ended up recomending the Project Phono Box USB II for $170 and Golden Records Vinyl to CD Converter software for $25 (free trial). You just plug the record deck into the Project box and the Project box into your laptop. Done!

Setup was a breeze and he has since ripped about 50 of his LPs to his hard disk without any further support from me. I should stress he is a great guy but neither an audiophile nor a PC wiz. He wanted something simple, straightforward and cost-effective and this setup seems to fit the bill. It is probably not the ultimate in either fidelity or flexibility, others here are far better qualified to comment on those solutions.

Hope this helps. Good luck!

struts
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Re: Archiving Vinyl

judicata,

Sorry, didn't see your latest post. If you have a phono stage in your integrated amp you don't need the Phono Box, the M-Audio transit as recommended by Elk will be fine. You can just connect it to the tape loop of your integrated.

linden518
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Re: Archiving Vinyl

Any alternative to M-Audio that's equally as efficient in process? Products by Echo, for example?

struts
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Re: Archiving Vinyl

SD, To the best of my recollection Echo does not have any USB-based products, just PCI, Cardbus or FireWire. With plug-n-play installation USB is probably simplest for the majority of users, the Echo product line seems more aimed at the amateur recording engineer than the pure layman/hobbyist.

linden518
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Re: Archiving Vinyl

I was thinking about using the Firewire port on my Apple Powerbook... but I guess Echo is a lot less intuitive than using M-Audio? If there's a noticeable SQ improvement, I'd like to consider the Echo, even if there's a steeper learning curve?

struts
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Re: Archiving Vinyl

I'll let someone with more experience answer the direct question but just toss in my 2c worth. One difference between the 'amateur recording engineer' products and the 'hobbyist' seems to be that the former seem to be aimed at recording live sessions and often support 4, 8 or more channels, whereas the latter are simple stereo. I would imagine that using the former to record from LP you would probably have to deal with a bit of unnecessary complexity as you would essentially be using a bit of a sledgehammer to crack a nut. I have no idea if one of the simpler Echo interface boxes would offer any noticable SQ improvement over, say an M-Audio Transit, but I'll be interested to hear some informed opinions.

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Re: Archiving Vinyl

Echo makes some very nice stuff as well.

The only advantage to USB is that a number of manufacturers are making an effort to use native computer drivers to drive their equipment. Frankly I don't see this is any big deal; so what if I have to load a purpose made driver for a piece of computer equipment? Thus, I would happily use firewire or any other interface.

Unfortunately, a good ADC is typically more expensive than a good DAC. The little handy guys such as the M-Audio will do great for consumer quality recording. It you really want to capture what is coming from your TT you need to start at about $750 for a decent ADC.

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Re: Archiving Vinyl


Quote:
I was thinking about using the Firewire port on my Apple Powerbook... but I guess Echo is a lot less intuitive than using M-Audio? If there's a noticeable SQ improvement, I'd like to consider the Echo, even if there's a steeper learning curve?

Isn't it nice that w/ your new TT, your analog hardware search is over? No more worries about upgrading (except for the ADC, DAC, phono preamp, cartridge, arm, stand, recording software, dustcover, kitchen sink)

Edit - I meant to put a smiley there

linden518
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Re: Archiving Vinyl

I want to stream the LPs into the living room system where the Squeezebox is b/c my wife wants to listen to some of the music but is afraid to touch the TT.

BillB
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Re: Archiving Vinyl

I grok that.

Monkey Mouse
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Re: Archiving Vinyl

I archived 85% of my vinyl (until my Clearaudio cart shit the bed), going through some different setups along the way.

First, USB turntables and preamps suck truthfully. The best way to convert audio is to run through a decent phono pre into a good soundcard and use an audio editor program to make cuts and remove ticks.

Second, it is a slow & tedious process:
Clean vinyl
Record audio
Process audio

Third, you will love the results, especially for songs that you can't get on CD or as digital copies.

Labor of love & convenience...

linden518
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Re: Archiving Vinyl


Quote:
If you really want to capture what is coming from your TT you need to start at about $750 for a decent ADC.


Any recommendations here, Elk? And how about that Apogee Duet stuff? Asking b/c it seems to work pretty seamlessly with Apple.

Elk
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Re: Archiving Vinyl

I have not personally heard the Apogee Duet, but those who I respect that have are extremely impressed. I would recommend it if you have an Apple.

Otherwise I would look to RME, the mid-priced Echo products, etc. There are oodles of options.

linden518
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Re: Archiving Vinyl

Are you familiar with this Alesis iO/26?

http://alesis.com/io26

Looks interesting, especially b/c it has turntable input; so this means I don't go through my phono pre, but directly to the io? For around $350, it's also cheaper than the Apogee Duet. Any experience with this thing, Elk?

judicata
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Re: Archiving Vinyl

By the way, I think when I'm ready I'll go with the Bellari VP-530. I'd like to hear a tube phono pre anyway.

Elk
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Re: Archiving Vinyl

Alesis makes products with a very good yuck/buck ratio so I am sure it is pretty good. It sure is one neat looking and versatile critter - I want one to play with!

While it has phono inputs I can't tell wither they have RIAA EQ built in or not.

Update: It does have a built in phono pre.

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