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intexity
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Converting LP's to CD's

Hello. I want to convert my LP's to digital format and was wondering what the best equipment is to use for someone who doesn't have access to Fort Knox. I understand I need a turntable and preamp. I believe that paying for better cables would be an asset. Does it matter if I use my integrated audio chip or would I be better off getting a dedicated audio card? If someone could point me in the right direction I would greatly appreciate it.

mrlowry
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Re: Converting LP's to CD's

There are lots of crappy turntables on the market with USB output but those are a waste of time because if your are going to spend all of the time in my book it makes sense to do it once and do it right. With that in mind Project makes nice turntables and they have one with a built in phonostage and a USB out. Check out the American importer's website for it. http://www.sumikoaudio.net/project/products/debut_usb.htm

judicata
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Re: Converting LP's to CD's

I completely agree with the Project TT option. Another option is to get a decent phono stage with a usb out (which is what I did), but this is probably a more costly option (mine is the Bellari VP-530, by the way).

Personally, I wouldn't go overboard on cables and interconnects for these purposes (unless you already have nice ones used in another component - then just "borrow" those). You can sell everything after your done if you really want to. Same goes for the Project.

Lamont Sanford
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Re: Converting LP's to CD's

Converting LPs to CDs properly is a pain in the ass project. Everybody thinks they are going to come out sounding like Jimmie Page's remastered CDs. Not. Just get the CD commercially if it is available and save yourself a lot of time and frustration. Otherwise, just listen to your LPs and enjoy them.

linden518
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Re: Converting LP's to CD's

I've been told that if you're a Mac user, Apogee Duet is a great interface.

ncdrawl
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Re: Converting LP's to CD's

just get an ION Turntable. It comes with the software and everything, it hooks up via USB, and the instructions are included.

d

intexity
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Re: Converting LP's to CD's

Well there are records that I have (Grateful Dead Bootlegs for one) that will never come out on cd. Hence the need to convert for archiving and listening anywhere. As a side note I believe that audacity would be a good choice for software. Any comments?
oh and by the way I do have concern for sound quality. Not seeing much in the way of the ion turntable that excites me other than ease of use.

BillB
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Re: Converting LP's to CD's

a few months ago there was another thread in the Stereophile forum on this topic. If you can find that you'll have more good info.

I chose to purchase a CD Recorder component (by Teac). I hooked it up to my stereo and it records from analog (or digital) sources. I'm happy with it and it gives good results. I end up with a CD-R; I rip that to my computer. And the CD-R of course gives me a full CD resolution backup.

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Re: Converting LP's to CD's

you said you were digitizing the records. what about the ION do you find not suitable for doing that?? have you heard it? are you basing your ideas off some sort of unwritten code that money spent is related to quality?? if so, youll make a fine audio zealot. if you want solely to DIGITIZE the recording, the ION will work as well as anything else FOR THAT PURPOSE. of course you could buy a 20,000.00 turntable for doing the same thing, converting the signal to bits... it is your money, after all. around these parts more money spent ALWAYS means better product gotten, I keep forgetting that, silly me.

jesus christ, so much bullshit out there/here it is ridiculous.

dbowker
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Re: Converting LP's to CD's

Yes- on the previous topic a few people suggested trying the M-Audio Transit USB. It seemed exactly to fit the bill: hook it to your Tape or Pre-out RCAs and then via USB to your computer. I got one, however, despite years of computer experience and troubleshooting, it's a no-go so far. Oddly, according to user forums and other info, it seems to be LEAST compatible with laptops, the obvious hardware to use it with!

For now- I'd have to give it a thumbs down, although it has apparently worked for others. My laptop is barely two years old, fully updated, and by every appearance be up to the job- so I'm guessing M-Audio has not done enough to resolve compatibility issues and I've also read some pretty irate customer reviews since.

So I'm looking too- mostly I want to digitize favorite albums for music server fun and portability. They are not about to replace any LPs, but since almost EVERYTHING I buy these days is vinyl, (and not all come with digital downloads) it'd be nice to have an easy way to bring them into iTunes.

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Re: Converting LP's to CD's

Project has a great reputaion for quality when it comes to affordable turntables and related accessories. While I haven't used the Project table for coverting vinyl to digital files I've talked to a number of people who have and all of them have been happy. However I have listened to it as a turntable and it sounds good which would mean that the the digital files created should sound good too. If you were to go with a turntable other than the Project they also make a Phono preamp with USB out that could be used with nearly any turntable. http://www.sumikoaudio.net/project/products/phonobox_2_usb.htm

Passing on the Ion is probably a wise move. Tones of plastic probably mean tons of resonance coloring the sound and raising the noise floor. Not to mention the cartridge on it is probably total junk.

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Re: Converting LP's to CD's


Quote:
you said you were digitizing the records. what about the ION do you find not suitable for doing that?? have you heard it? are you basing your ideas off some sort of unwritten code that money spent is related to quality?? if so, youll make a fine audio zealot. if you want solely to DIGITIZE the recording, the ION will work as well as anything else FOR THAT PURPOSE. of course you could buy a 20,000.00 turntable for doing the same thing, converting the signal to bits... it is your money, after all. around these parts more money spent ALWAYS means better product gotten, I keep forgetting that, silly me.

jesus christ, so much bullshit out there/here it is ridiculous.

I don't like to see this sort of talk in the Entry Level forum, ncdrawl. It has nothing to do with the fact that you disagree, but entirely with how you've presented yourself. You've already stated your opinion. I don't want newcomers to have to wade through this kind of talk. Please keep the rants to the appropriate forum.

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Re: Converting LP's to CD's


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Passing on the Ion is probably a wise move. Tones of plastic probably mean tons of resonance coloring the sound and raising the noise floor. Not to mention the cartridge on it is probably total junk.

pure conjecture.

ncdrawl
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Re: Converting LP's to CD's

it wasnt a rant.

what sort of "talk" are you referring to?


Quote:
[
I don't like to see this sort of talk in the Entry Level forum, ncdrawl. It has nothing to do with the fact that you disagree, but entirely with how you've presented yourself. You've already stated your opinion. I don't want newcomers to have to wade through this kind of talk. Please keep the rants to the appropriate forum.

judicata
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Re: Converting LP's to CD's


Quote:

pure conjecture.

So, on what basis can you recommend the thing?

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Re: Converting LP's to CD's


Quote:

Quote:
Passing on the Ion is probably a wise move. Tones of plastic probably mean tons of resonance coloring the sound and raising the noise floor. Not to mention the cartridge on it is probably total junk.

pure conjecture.

Actually, I'd call it a very good "educated guess."

Let's break that $80-$100 down: You get- a turntable/arm, a cartridge, a phono pre-amp, an A/D converter. I can hardly think of ANY one of those items I'd consider decent quality for under $100, let alone all FOUR. Plastic formed TTs almost always have major issues- resonance, too light, motor noise, etc. The company is geared not towards vinyl enthusiasts or music lovers so much as people who happened to have old LPs around and think getting them on an MP3 player would be just the ticket. A quote from the company itself:

"We've taken this nifty analog retro invention called the turntable and transformed it into a digital music player powerhouse."

OK- so there you have it. Maybe exactly what some DJs and boomers with lp collections in their closer want. From user reviews I read they all seemed to fit that profile, and granted, many were happy.

For instance: "Price for this is great. I have a lot of albums and 45's from the 80's and this has put all of them on my computer. Now on my MP3 player. Have a lot of Christmas music also from my childhood and cannot find them on CD's anywhere."

But if you actually care about some semblance of sonic integrity, and maybe still use your TT as a primary source, then I'd say this is not likely the product to choose. Just sayin...

ncdrawl
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Re: Converting LP's to CD's

on the basis that it does a good job at transferring the vinyl to digital. and yes, ive used it. that function will be as good as the function of any other USB turntable. if you are talking about playing the files, using it as a source, no... but if that were the case, one wouldnt need the digital stuff anyway, right?

my understanding was that the OP wanted to transfer his files from analog to digital.

im sorry, but plastic vs wood vs whatever the hell is moot in this context. part of my recording business is doing this stuff, and while I do not own this particular table, I have used it many, many times. Had I not owned a dedicated transfer system prior to that thing coming out, I would indeed use it for that purpose with no fears.

all this stuff about "im guessing avoiding it is a wise move because it is plastic" is uninformed rubbish.
again.. as a pure source, no I wouldnt use it, but for transfer?? without a doubt.


Quote:

Quote:

pure conjecture.

So, on what basis can you recommend the thing?

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Re: Converting LP's to CD's


Quote:
I want to convert my LP's to digital format

Doug, that quote is from the OP.
we arent talking about using it as a source.. the mention was for transfer.

and I wish, by God... that people here would quit associating quality with some arbitrary cash figure, or with some general blanket "textbook" definition...
if you can, check out my "hifi fetishism" post....

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Re: Converting LP's to CD's

I don't think anything I said or what has been said is uniformed or blanket guesswork. It's from many years of experience.

"all this stuff about "im guessing avoiding it is a wise move because it is plastic" is uninformed rubbish.
again.. as a pure source, no I wouldn't use it, but for transfer?? without a doubt. "

How can that be? If you wouldn't use it as a source, then why would you use it to transfer, effectively making your music sound like the source forever? And the poster went on to say several times that he DID want good sound quality.

Lastly, to say materials in a piece of equipment completely dedicated to retrieving micro-vibrational information is unimportant is ridiculous. The whole purpose is all about retrieving what's on the LP and NOT what's coming from the motor, arm, plinth and outside environment. From the Rega P1 all the way to a high-end VPI, it's all about synergy of materials and design. It's not conjecture to look a TT spec and give an educated judgement.

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Re: Converting LP's to CD's

A turntable's ONLY job is to take minuscule vibrations and turn them into electricity to later be turned into acoustical energy. If you have something adding additional resonances because it's direct drive and plastic those vibrations will then become part of the electrical signal and when the electrical signal is turned back into acoustic energy those additions will present themselves as higher background noise (a raising of the noise floor.)

If the unit CAN'T sound good as a turntable then the files it creates MUST logically be inferior too. Obviously, those vibrations would become part of the digital file FOREVER. Could they be removed in some kind of post production? Possibly, but I'd venture to say that part of the music would be removed too. Why not try to create a transfer that's as clean as possible then do little to no post-production? The better the initial transfer the better the outcome.

I've put together hundreds (not an exaggeration) of Project turntables and the sound never failed to surprise and delight the customer. On the flip side I've put cartridges on literally hundreds of cheap plastic POS turntables and no matter what the cartridge (including a highly regarded Sumiko Blue Point #2 that a customer insisted on) they always sounded like SHIT. I believe that this allows me to make a very accurate and well reason "educated guess" (Thanks for the phrase Doug) and I've never claimed it was anything more than that.

If the Ion is a giant kill I welcome it, but I'd need PROOF. Why don't you send forum members some of the recordings that you've transferred with it for our evaluation (with minimal post processing as this is what most people are likely to do.) For me cheap gear is guilty until proven innocent. Project, on the other hand has an excellent reputation in the community and from TONS of my own first hand experience. For me all of their products are good until proven otherwise. They've earned that privilege, Ion HAS NOT.

intexity
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Re: Converting LP's to CD's


Quote:
you said you were digitizing the records. what about the ION do you find not suitable for doing that?? have you heard it? are you basing your ideas off some sort of unwritten code that money spent is related to quality?? if so, youll make a fine audio zealot. if you want solely to DIGITIZE the recording, the ION will work as well as anything else FOR THAT PURPOSE. of course you could buy a 20,000.00 turntable for doing the same thing, converting the signal to bits... it is your money, after all. around these parts more money spent ALWAYS means better product gotten, I keep forgetting that, silly me.

jesus christ, so much bullshit out there/here it is ridiculous.


Well another self righteous statement gotta love these.
i supposed i could take my record player from downstairs get a preamp and plug it right into my computer and spend less than fifty buck right?? But considering the fact that the record player doesn't do much justice to my records. Why not do you ask? I don't know but I am assuming that because the record player isn't properly balanced for one, that its getting old and it wasn't built to maintain high quality sound.
When I built my computer I realized that yes spending large amounts of money would get me a better and faster computer than what I could purchase prebuilt. I have found in alot of cases when you want top quality don't go to wal-mart.(I don't go there period)
I don't mind spending a few hundred purchasing a precision piece of equipment if the result is great sound. 20,000 maybe to someone is worth it but not to me.
I looked up the ION versus the Debut III and guess what? To my stupid eyes the Debut III is a better purchase hands down. Maybe all the attention to audio quality but maybe im mistaken.
oh and looking around i found more users of the ION who didn't like it or gave it a passing grade more than raves. So maybe the people who have bought the ION realized that they got a lukewarm piece of crap?
Anyways not to rain on your parade but looks like I apparently for whatever reason had to spend a few minutes of my morning explaining my outlook on quality. Maybe I am an idiot. But if so who the hell are you to judge my decisions?? self righteous mumble mumble mumble....

dbowker
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Re: Converting LP's to CD's

Well said and explained- and sorry you got the Inquisition on your first post- as I hope you come believe, it generally pretty friendly and helpful around here. Welcome and stick around.

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Re: Converting LP's to CD's


Quote:
kneejerk mumble mumble mumble....

.... anyway, id recommend that, if for whatever reason, you do not want opinions and input from a wide range of users here, that you refrain from posting questions in this forum(which, last I checked, was public)..

intexity
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Re: Converting LP's to CD's

well with some good luck i came across a technics turntable (SL-QD33) with more features than my last record player. haven't gotten around to teaching myself how to tweak it but i will. the sound on it is pretty good and think i will start with getting a preamp for my new turntable. still kinda unsure on software to use if anyone has suggestions on that or a good preamp. Oh and by the way I got the turntable for free so I guess I won't be spending ungodly amounts of money. My main concern was having a record player that was a piece of crap even to my uneducated eyes.
My first concern is quality. Will post updates as I acquire a preamp and software and put it all to use.

SAS Audio
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Re: Converting LP's to CD's


Quote:
well with some good luck i came across a technics turntable (SL-QD33) with more features than my last record player. haven't gotten around to teaching myself how to tweak it but i will. the sound on it is pretty good and think i will start with getting a preamp for my new turntable. still kinda unsure on software to use if anyone has suggestions on that or a good preamp. Oh and by the way I got the turntable for free so I guess I won't be spending ungodly amounts of money. My main concern was having a record player that was a piece of crap even to my uneducated eyes.
My first concern is quality. Will post updates as I acquire a preamp and software and put it all to use.

That is good to hear Intexity. I hope all goes well for you.

Steve

intexity
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Re: Converting LP's to CD's

Came across what seems to be a good preamp and fits my budget. TCC TC-750LC. Was wondering if anyone had experience with this preamp. Also was wondering if I should invest in a seperate audio card or if my onboard 7.1 Creative SB X-FI extreme chip will be fine. Read about getting electical noise from onboard sound cards when recording but wasn't sure if that was a dated statement. Thanks to all for your time and comments

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Re: Converting LP's to CD's


Quote:
Came across what seems to be a good preamp and fits my budget. TCC TC-750LC. Was wondering if anyone had experience with this preamp. Also was wondering if I should invest in a seperate audio card or if my onboard 7.1 Creative SB X-FI extreme chip will be fine. Read about getting electical noise from onboard sound cards when recording but wasn't sure if that was a dated statement. Thanks to all for your time and comments

On the soundcard, I don't see any reason not to try it and see. Make sure to compare it with the output from the turntable (probably with headphones) so you can make a better call on whether any noise is coming from the TT/preamp or the card.

I don't have any experience with that preamp, but it will probably get the job done. From a quick look at what people have said, I would expect it to sound like an average built-in phono stage. From my experience with such preamps, there probably won't be any show-stopping flaws like loud buzzing, excessing clipping, or inadequate amplification or the like, but the sound won't be as robust or clear as a phono stage going for $100-200. I admit that I'm speculating, but drawing from some experience with cheaper phono pres.

If you get something like the Pro-Ject Phonobox II (around $200) it will likely be a better preamp AND you won't have to worry about your soundcard. Since the Pro-Ject has a USB out, it serves as its own sound card and just feeds the signal to your computer.

intexity
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Re: Converting LP's to CD's

looked on the Pro-Ject audio systems at the Phono Box II but didnt see anything for usb output. am i missing something?

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Re: Converting LP's to CD's


Quote:
looked on the Pro-Ject audio systems at the Phono Box II but didnt see anything for usb output. am i missing something?

They offer two versions, one with USB one without. Here is the one that has the USB connection:

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

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Re: Converting LP's to CD's


Quote:
looked on the Pro-Ject audio systems at the Phono Box II but didnt see anything for usb output. am i missing something?

The USB version is also listed at needledoctor.

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Re: Converting LP's to CD's

I've still been looking for something easy and not requiring another TT or phono pre-amp, and I think this device just might be it: Gemini iKey Plus USB Recorder.

It records directly to a USB thumb drive (don't even need my laptop for the process, cool!) and it had phono or line inputs. I believe it's even battery powered for further simplicity. It'll do uncompressed wave files or, bleah, MP3s of your choice. With a 16GB thumb drive going for only $30 and this device for $109, it's a pretty easy decision. I figure that adds up to being around 16-20 albums you could record in each session, which honestly, you wouldn't anyway since that's all day at least.

I am going to order it soon and will report back. Feedback on Amazon.com is very positive. You can check it out further Amazon Page

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Re: Converting LP's to CD's

Haven't used it, but I have used some of the other inexpensive solutions, like the much debated ION, and they sound...ok, as in decent, in a mid-fi kinda way.

The problem comes if you claw your way up thru' the audio food chain and end up with even mildly better equipment. You hear the limits of the cartridge and the turntable itself and the rest.

I'm not a purist by any means, but I could hear the problems. Analog is fussy like that; it seems to require a pretty good chain from start to finish.

Scott A.

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Re: Converting LP's to CD's

Well- everything BUT the recorder is pretty high end, so either I'll be annoyed it doesn't capture that resolution, or it'll all be a help in getting something decent out of it. We'll see. It's not a replacement for my analogue listening by any means- just a way of creating portability and convenience for times when I can't actually listen to the real thing. That, and being able to mix in LPs with CD rips for mix play lists. So the acceptability level is a lot different than what I expect from my serious listening system.

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Re: Converting LP's to CD's

boy that thing looks MUCH better than the ION.
wheres that eye roll icon...??? that thing looks like hot ass!

not that I give a damn either way, i have a good analogue system and a good digital system, and a decent computer based one..but your willingness to jump all over a usb key is funny in light of your ION dismissal.... but you meant to be , im sure ?

just wanted to pop in and poke fun for a bit! good night!


Quote:
I've still been looking for something easy and not requiring another TT or phono pre-amp, and I think this device just might be it: Gemini iKey Plus USB Recorder.

It records directly to a USB thumb drive (don't even need my laptop for the process, cool!) and it had phono or line inputs. I believe it's even battery powered for further simplicity. It'll do uncompressed wave files or, bleah, MP3s of your choice. With a 16GB thumb drive going for only $30 and this device for $109, it's a pretty easy decision. I figure that adds up to being around 16-20 albums you could record in each session, which honestly, you wouldn't anyway since that's all day at least.

I am going to order it soon and will report back. Feedback on Amazon.com is very positive. You can check it out further Amazon Page

dbowker
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Re: Converting LP's to CD's

I'm not entirely sure what your point is, other than it sounds like your sore 'cause I dissed the Ion. OK- I can a accept that, though I didn't think you'd take it personally. I took a look at it again today as I was passing through Best Buy and I still contend that by every known design principle the thing is a flimsy toy.

Anyway, it'd be silly for me to even think about it. I don't need a TT (I have a Well-Tempered Classic and a Grado Sonata MC) so from the beginning it's been all about getting my analogue signal out as it is and doing as simple a conversion to Wave files as possible. So the product I posted seemed like a very good solution.

Different folks will have different needs or standards, but I think many of us here objected to solutions that clearly don't have a lot of respect for the what a good TT should be.

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Re: Converting LP's to CD's

Doug-

I look forward to the update on that product. It is very affordable and doesn't require the duplication of equipment. Please post your findings here or in another thread.

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Converting LP's to Digital: A Review

OK- So I got a Gemini iKey Plus USB Recorder and have had a chance to test it out. Bottom line is: VERY easy to use, convenient and completely computer free as far as the recording process goes. That alone is huge for me, because who wants to have to drag even their laptop into the listening room and get all the wires hooked up, etc? Not me.

This device can sit comfortably, and permanently, on the back of my audio rack, hooked into the Tape Out and I never have to bother with anything else. I just pop in the USB thumb drive when I want to record and then bring it to my computer when I'm done. You can record as many albums as you want until the drive is full and then dump the files to the hard drive. After, you can use your app of choice, (I'm still deciding which to settle on), and split the tracks up if you want, tag them etc. or whatever. Mine will all be destined for Apple Lossless files in iTunes.

So the SOUND: That's hard to judge in some ways. For around $110, to me, it's perfectly acceptable. I don't compress the files, but still you ARE going through a A/D converter, and then for playback another D/A converter.

So the sound-stage shrinks some, I think you may loose some dynamics, and some detail is lost. A more fair comparison will be to record a record I also have CD of and hear how that compares. EVERYTHING sounds better off my TT, so comparing a CD made from an LP is unfair really.

But again- it sounds very good when not directly compared, and for playing off my iPod/Wadia combo for casual listening, it's great. I'm really very excited to be able to able to bring over some of my favorite old and new albums to my digital listening.

Two thumbs up.

judicata
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Re: Converting LP's to Digital: A Review

Thanks for this dbowker. I'm considering ditching my Bellari phono stage with USB out eventually, and I'm glad to know there is another option out there. Please keep us posted if you compare a CD made from it to the original. I mostly have the same goal as you - to enjoy some casual listening on the go and at work, and it sounds like this will do just that.

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Re: Converting LP's to Digital: A Review

BTW: I did not mention that the bit rate for the files comes in at around 1400kbs, a very acceptable rate indeed IMO.

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Re: Converting LP's to Digital: A Review


Quote:
BTW: I did not mention that the bit rate for the files comes in at around 1400kbs, a very acceptable rate indeed IMO.

Doug is it 1411 and you were just rounding it off? Because if so that means that it is most likely 16 bits at 44.1kHz (standard Red Book CD.) Does it allow the user to change the recording resolution?

dbowker
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Re: Converting LP's to Digital: A Review

Yes, I did round it off, and yes it is indeed designed to record at standard Redbook resolution. No go for higher res stuff, although I wasn't looking for one that did. I believe there are ones out there, but more expensive and complicated (of course, heh).

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Re: Converting LP's to Digital: A Review

Doug,
How difficult and how much time does it take to separate and name the tracks?
I'm assuming this is essential if you want to insert into a random playlist and don't want whole LP sides as a single track.
Have you settled on software?
Anyone have recommendations?
I'm eager to know what a CD from LP sounds like vs an original CD....hope you can get to that.
Thanks for the recommendation.

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Re: Converting LP's to Digital: A Review

"How difficult and how much time does it take to separate and name the tracks?"

It's kind of a pain in the arse actually, but I think I haven't quite found my system yet. Probably just a matter of figuring out an efficient process. I bought an app called Dexster that seems to work pretty well. Cost $30 and is stable, unlike some freeware I tried.

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Re: Converting LP's to Digital: A Review

Audacity works pretty well for me. And it isn't loaded with crappy spyware, trialware, etc. Plus it works in linux (pretty much a deal breaker for me if it doesn't).

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Re: Converting LP's to Digital: A Review

Yeah- I'm using Vista 64-bit and they don't seem to play well together. I've heard that Audacity is pretty good otherwise.

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Re: Converting LP's to Digital: A Review

Judicata,
I also have started to dabble into converting LPs to CDs. I bought the inexpensive "INport" from Xitel at Costco ($50), as the first try, and didn't expect top-of-the-line sound. Those connect from your pre-amp to the computer via a 30-foot cable (RCA), to an A/D converter box, to a USB cable, all included. It's enclosed software saves as wav files. I did find it a bit difficult to get from that to a CD, but it gets to MP3 easier.

I think that the hardware USB connection is selectable through Windows, which means that another audio software may be able to use the same USB connection to record from the pre-amp, not just the software that Xitel uses. Which means, that Audacity may be of use to me, as I've heard good things about it.

Intexity,
The Xitel equipment I got could be an inexpensive "start" for you too. I think the others' recommedations here are probably better than what I'm trying out now with the Xitel, but I think it sounds decent enough via headphones.

My experience is that all A/D and D/A converters in the consumer range that I've tried alter the sound a little. It's also difficult to tell which is better without extensive comparisons. I don't know about the pro stuff, but I'd guess it's more expensive.

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Re: Converting LP's to Digital: A Review

So once I got into it, it's actually pretty easy with that Dexster app. You bring in your file, select a track section and export that selection as your individual song file, and it does just about any format you want. My best luck has been as AIFF files since I'm going into iTunes. AIFF allows for more tag info to be embedded.

I also did a screen comparison of of the song from a ripped CD and as the Vinyl recording. Both are Wave files. Looks pretty good, and is visually what my aural impressions have been. Nothing major to report anyway. Further comparisons will come.

Wave comparison

Oh- and the comparison between actually listening to a CD made from the record and the original CD was also very favorable. The CD was only a little more extended and detailed, a bit tighter in the bass, but the LP recording was surprisingly close.

The final bottom line for me is that this recorder is really a winner- easy, small, and makes very decent copies of my LPs. It's really been fun (yes, FUN) to be able to grab my favorites or just ones I want to mix into iPod play lists any time I feel like it now.

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Re: Converting LP's to Digital: A Review

I finally decided to get one of these, and your review is completely consistent with my experience so far. To add a bit more information, I recorded Janos Starker's Bach Cello Suites on both my Bellari (which has issue that don't seem to be related to this) and the Gemini iKey plus. Doing this, I had to account for the fact that the iKey was being fed by a Graham Slee Era Gold versus the Bellari, which would give the ikey an edge. The only other real difference should be the AD converters. Second, I compared another recording from the iKey with a free digital download (mp3, somewhere around 192k-256k) I got free with the album (FYI, it was Bon Iver). For these purposes, I recorded in WAV and left it that way for my iPod, although I'll probably covert them later.

I also found the best way to get the recording level I needed, I had to hook my phono preamp directly to the iKey. A little annoying, but not too bad. It's really because I have a stripped-down preamp.

Comparing the recordings, I concluded that the iKey is great for my purposes (listening to songs on my iPod at work and in transit). The recordings sound very comparable and pretty darn good. I really have no complaints about the sound quality.

The only pain in the neck is separating tracks, but I found a solution: don't do it. I usually listen to albums straight through anyway, so I just left it as "Side 1" "Side 2" etc. This has the added benefit of maintaining the transitions between the tracks (which just isn't perfected - especially with mp3s). I might change it when I get bored.

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Re: Converting LP's to Digital: A Review

Thanks for the follow up J. Yes- separating the tracks can a be a bit of pain, although once I got a system down it usually takes me no more than 10-15 minutes per album, including adding track names. I like separating them out also so I can make mix play lists for ipod/iTransport playing. But anyway- keeping recordings as entire albums is a good option to get going.

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