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  1. #1

    What about ADCs or DA/AD Converters??? What about a vinyl ripping strategy???

    Can't seem to find a specific forum relating to ADCs (Analog to Digital Converters)...or even DA/AD converters. I know most of these concern professional gear, but for the vinyl ripper audiophile that wants to build a computer based library I think answers to the following questions is kind of essential and this seems to be the right place to ask them...I don't see a Vinyl ripping strategy, nor a ADC or DA/AD converter on the cash list on Computer Audiophile or in any dedicated forum threads. But when I look at other forum threads concerning DACs, some equipment is often referred to. I only want to rip my vinyl collection and listen to my rips...So I have several questions that need to be answered...

    1-Instead of paying $5k for a really good DAC (like the Weiss), would it be better to pay $5k for a really good professional AD/DA converter(like the Lynx Aurora 8 or 16)?
    2-Or spend $3k on a really good DAC (like the Ayre QB-9) and $2k on a pro ADC (like the benchmark ADC1)
    3-What is the best software to use...Pure Vinyl, Amarra, etc...
    4-What would be a good vinyl ripping strategy that takes into account metadata

    I would also like to see answers based on all platforms available (MAC OS-X, Windows, Linux)

    Thanks for your answers and input.

    Me:
    Oracle Mk. II>Linn Ittok>Grado Sonata>WHAT ADC?>WHAT SOFTWARE?> OR >Mac Mini>iTunes or WHAT SOFTWARE?>WHAT DAC?>Atma-Sphere MP-1 Mk.3.1>Atma-Sphere MA-1 Mk.3>Tannoy GRF

  2. #2
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    RIP

    Hi Donsounds,
    I have played with ripping LPs a bit using a Korg digital recorder and the Korg Audiogate software. The Korg records in DSD which is easily coverted to whatever sample rate you want to use. The resulting files sound very good and I am happy with that aspect of my setup. I haven't tried anything else to compare with and the files are played through my Bryston BDA-1 DAC from my computer using a Lynx AE16 card. The cost in CDN$ is about $3k for the DAC and recorder. This whole process is very time consuming and I have abandoned it temporarily but would definitely be interested in the answer to your question re ripping strategy, especially anything that would streamline the process. Maybe something will emerge from the CES coverage.
    tomE[br]Bryston BDP-1, Bryston BDA-1, Oppo BDP-95, Rogue Audio Sphinx, Montor Audio Silver RX8s. [br]Analog: LP12, Alphason HR100S, Benz Micro LO04 and Rogue audio Triton phono pre

  3. #3

    Rip and Strategy

    Thanks for your input TomE...Which model Korg do you use? I went to their website and there is 2 models (MR1000 and MR2000S)...But both seem to have integrated pre-amps (which is not something I would be looking at since i will already be interfacing the DA/AD converters with my Atma-Sphere preamp)...But being able to archive in DSD and having the flexibility to convert to WAV, FLAC and AIFF is a very good proposition. I guess the ideal solution would be to archive in DSD using a unit that does not have integrated pre-amps...As far as ripping strategy goes, I like Computer Audiophile's strategy for ripping CD's (see Computer Audiophile CD Ripping Strategy and Methodology)...I think it could easily be implemented for vinyl with some modifications on hardware and software. This is why I started this thread, to find the best software/hardware combination to this.

    I currently use a very cheap software solution called ''lp recorder'' and ''lp ripper''. I connect my preamp via an RCA to USB cable to my computer's USB port. The sound is satisfactory, but to a certain limit...I know I can improve on this...I record each lp as one file then edit each track using the software and save them as WAV files. I then use dBPoweramp to convert the WAV files into FLAC and AIFF files according to the strategy suggested by CA on my Windows based laptop. I then use an external 2TB drive connected to a Mac Mini where the AIFF files are located and play them through iTunes. I have two external hard drives, one for archiving the original WAV files and converted FLAC files and one for all my AIFF files that I use to play on the Mac.

  4. #4
    Senior Member 4est's Avatar
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    5K budget

    At that price, I'd be looking at the Metric Halo LIO/ULN 8 or Prism Orpheus AD/DA converters. Both are very well respected DACs that also have ADC in them as well. There should be info around here on them. I doubt you would be disappointed with either.
    Forrest:
    Win8/i5 HQPlayer DSD/DXD>SOtM sMS100 NAA>TP Buffalo II w/ UTC xformers over Vishay I>V
    >Bent Audio TAP>Bedini 100/100 mkI >Tannoy System 15 DMT; some expensive cables, some cheap ones too.

  5. #5
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    MR1000



    I have been using the MR1000. I haven't used it in quite a while and it does have mic preamps on board I believe. I'll probably get back to experimenting with it in a couple of months. One thing that I've been debating is whether it is better to upgrade the vinyl front end or the ADC/recorder. Which would give the biggest increase in sound quality? My Linn is 25 years old (wish I was!) and there are factory upgrades available. Not too sure if it is cost effective to upgrade the TT or get a current new/different one. Moot question for now as I need new speakers (sold my Martin-Logans) before I spend any more on archiving my vinyl. I might check out the software you mentioned though.
    tomE[br]Bryston BDP-1, Bryston BDA-1, Oppo BDP-95, Rogue Audio Sphinx, Montor Audio Silver RX8s. [br]Analog: LP12, Alphason HR100S, Benz Micro LO04 and Rogue audio Triton phono pre

  6. #6

    Korg Recorder

    I too have been using a Korg recorder and their included Audiogate software to rip my analogue collection (both tapes and vinyl). The original rips are archived in 1-bit DSD files and then can be transcoded to anything that I like.
    I am still deciding on which format to use but I am leaning toward 96kHz/24 bit FLAC. The software also has metadata editing as well as minimal sound editing capabilities. I have enjoyed the sound as well as the capabilities of the software very much. The MR 1000 costs about $1200.
    If I had the extra money I would also look into the Metric Halo LIO-8, ULN-8 as they seem to have very good 'reviews' here.

  7. #7

    Metric Halo LIO-8, ULN-8

    Thanks for your inputs...yes I did see a lot of good reviews about these units, but they both have preamps in them no? Also, I only need 2 channels...what do I do with the other 6?

  8. #8
    Senior Member wappinghigh's Avatar
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    Your right!

    I Nearly bought a MH ULN-2 for exactly the same reason (I didnt need 8 channels)
    Until I discovered it only did 24/96.

    There are alot of potential 2 channel MH customers out there who have been screeming for an upgraded ULN-2, and a simplified 2 channel interface for just the reasons you asked in your OP!

    Until this day arrives, maybe get a cheaper 24/192 ADC and a better hifi type DAC? Though I have no idea on whether jitter can be put INTO a vinyl recording( using cheaper ADC gear)

    Someone on this forum should be able to clarify this for us
    New simplified setup: STEREO- Primary listening Area: Cullen Circuits Mod ZP90> Benchmark DAC1>RotelRKB250 Power amp>KEF Q Series. Secondary listening areas: 1/ QNAP 119P II(running MinimServer)>UPnP>Linn Majik DSI>Linn Majik 140's. 2/ (Source awaiting)>Invicta DAC>RotelRKB2100 Power amp>Rega's. Tertiary multiroom areas: Same QNAP>SMB>Sonos>Various. MULTICHANNEL- MacbookAir2011>A+(Standalone mode)>Exasound e28 >5.1 analog out>Rotel RB976MkII (bridged)/RotelRKB2100>Linn Katan front and sides. Linn Trikan Centre. Velodyne SPL1000 Ultra

  9. #9

    Donsounds



    The LIO-8 does NOT come standard with (mic) preamps, but they can be purchased separately later.

    The LIO-8 lists for $4k and can be found for $3500.

    At that price you'd have a tough time finding a better sounding standalone 2 channel DAC or a better sounding 2 channel ADC, let alone a combination of separate DAC and ADC that sounds better anywhere near that price point.

    As for "what do I do with the other 6?", you simply do the same thing you do with the unused inputs and outputs on any ADC/DAC, you ignore them.





  10. #10

    Dear REM fan...;-))

    I'm a newbie to computer audio and not very familiar with pro equipment and its standards. But I am willing to learn and that is why I posted this forum...so please be patient with me...You seem to know about this type of equipment. My questions for you are the following:

    By not using the 6 other channels, will that affect the sound quality? Also, how would I connect it to my Pre-amp and to my Mac mini? My preamp has balanced outputs via XLR and the LIO-8 has AES inputs/outputs...Would going from XLR to AES affect the signal quality? When using the firewire input/output with my Mac mini, should I expect clocking problems (jitter...)? Can the LIO-8 let me keep my copies in DSD files? What software would you suggest using with this hardware?

    thanks,
    Don

  11. #11

    "By not using the 6 other



    "By not using the 6 other channels, will that affect the sound quality?"

    Not that I'm aware of.

    "Also, how would I connect it to my Pre-amp and to my Mac mini? My preamp has balanced outputs via XLR and the LIO-8 has AES inputs/outputs...Would going from XLR to AES affect the signal quality? When using the firewire input/output with my Mac mini, should I expect clocking problems (jitter...)?"

    Connecting asynchronously from the computer to the LIO-8 via Firewire is the preferred method for lowest possible jitter. I'm not aware of any other interface method (between computer & DAC) that has been proven to be superior in reducing jitter.

    The LIO-8 outputs are balanced (TRS) as well. One can have cables custom terminated - as I did - or use an adapter on one end of the cable. The adapter theoretically could impact the sound. A custom terminated balanced cable will not degrade the signal.


    "Can the LIO-8 let me keep my copies in DSD files?"

    File mgmt is not dependent on the LIO-8, but the LIO-8 plays at a maximum sample rate of 192kHz.


    "What software would you suggest using with this hardware?"

    You can use whatever software program you prefer on the Mini. I most often listen via Ayrewave. Others prefer Pure Music or Amarra.

    enjoy




  12. #12
    Tone Junkie AudioDoctor's Avatar
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    I use an RME Fireface 400

    as both a DAC and a ADC, it works wonderfully, sounds great, and costs $1500.
    The idiocracy is now...

  13. #13
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    Apogee Duet

    I am still looking at better options. For now the Duet is fine. The mic pres work with a Denon 103R. My tonearm is wired for balanced output and I suspect this helps with hum.
    Using Pure Vinyl as software and RIAA. This is a PITA to do. I can rip 30 CD's quicker than one side of an lp. Using a 2TB drive for 88.2/24. May convert later to a smaller file size.
    Want an Apogee Symphony I/O with a mic module to go with the analog in and outs. But the 500.00 Duet is fine for now.

    George
    2011 Mac Mini, i5 - 2.5 GHz, 16 GB RAM. 60 GB Force 3 SSD, PM/PV software, KRK Ergo with board work, Penasa My_Ref Evolution Rev A amplifier, Thiel CS-3.5 with Blue Sky SUB 212, G-Tech G-Drive 5400 rpm FW Drive, Plextor 880-U external drive for ripping. 2 GB Fanthom drive for 88.2/24 vinyl rips. TC Impact Twin as ADC for vinyl rips.
    Ergo doing quad duty as Dac, Preamp, Crossover, and DRC.

  14. #14

    Agree with the initial post

    Agree with the initial post that it would be great if CA offered a comprehensive analysis/guide for digitizing LPs and related software and hardware (ADCs). A couple of observations based on my limited experience:

    - on software: Pure Vinyl was elected product of the year in Stereophile last December, this should not have happened as PV-3, which should allow editing of 24/96 and 24/192 files, is still an empty promise. In the August edition of Stereophile Mickey Fremer said PV3 was about to come out, I bought PV it in September expecting the final version at any moment - it still hasn't come out! Perhaps I'm missing something, in this case please correct me.

    - on hardware: I also bought the little Apogee Duet, it is nice .. until you compare it with a higher quality ADC. I compared the Duet with a 5 years old Weiss ADC, there was no contest, the Weiss was by far superior in terms of plasticity and resolution. For playback comparisons we used the same DAC2, also from Weiss.

    - when we experimented with the ADC Weiss we recorded the same LP songs in 24/96 and 24/192. The latter appeared slightly more airy but differences were small, it wasn't conclusive. However what really shocked us was that although the digital versions were very good, they paled when compared to the original LP played back on my analogue setup (EMT 930 turntable, FR 64s tonearm, class A phono preamp, Lundahl step-up transformers and custom Benz cartridge). Big difference, no contest.

    - has anyone ever compared his own 24/96 digitalised LP with the same music downloaded from the net in 24/96? We compared the Peter Frampton "Thank you Mr. Churchill" LP with the 24/96 download from HDtracks, the version recorded in 24/96 with the Weiss ADC was clearly superior. While I can only speculate about the reasons for this, it does point out how important it is to have a high quality ADC.

    macbook pro 2013, hegel hd25, emt 930, thorens td124, amaudio mm-mc reference[br], kuzma 4point, jadis jps8, amaudio b130, avalon radian[br]

  15. #15
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    CES

    Just saw this on Stereophile site:

    http://www.stereophile.com/content/furutech-rips-vinyl-and-plays-files-gt40

    only 24/96 though
    tomE[br]Bryston BDP-1, Bryston BDA-1, Oppo BDP-95, Rogue Audio Sphinx, Montor Audio Silver RX8s. [br]Analog: LP12, Alphason HR100S, Benz Micro LO04 and Rogue audio Triton phono pre

  16. #16
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    How did you rig up the Duet?

    I kicked around using either a transformer or active step up. The transformers are AN from the UK. The active an opamp based mic pre. For simplicity just used Duet mic pre since turntable is wired up balanced out.
    Never tried it, but the Duet instrument inputs should handle a MM or HOMC. To load the 103R, added a 200 ohm resistor across +/- since the preamp is around 1500 ohms as is.
    I need to PV 3 and other things before getting serous. Ripping vinyl is hard work for me. Practice should help.

    George
    2011 Mac Mini, i5 - 2.5 GHz, 16 GB RAM. 60 GB Force 3 SSD, PM/PV software, KRK Ergo with board work, Penasa My_Ref Evolution Rev A amplifier, Thiel CS-3.5 with Blue Sky SUB 212, G-Tech G-Drive 5400 rpm FW Drive, Plextor 880-U external drive for ripping. 2 GB Fanthom drive for 88.2/24 vinyl rips. TC Impact Twin as ADC for vinyl rips.
    Ergo doing quad duty as Dac, Preamp, Crossover, and DRC.

  17. #17
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    You might like to read this old thread

    http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/ADC-Analogue-Digital-conversion

    I had a similar need donsounds. I ended up buying an RME Fireface 400 which I have found excellent.

    David
    Main System
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  18. #18

    I converted my vinyl to digital

    I have close to 1000 vinyls, during the past several years I slowly convert my vinyls into digital.
    I am using EMU-1212M as the ADC. ( http://www.emu.com/products/product.asp?product=9872 )
    The reason is:
    - low cost but using AKM ADC chip, which was one of the best ADC chip few years back.
    - sampling rate up to 24 bit 192KHz
    - balanced input/output, instead of the ordinary unbalanced.

    I compared some capture softwares, and finally settled with the simplest one (Goldwave, http://www.goldwave.com/ ). As long as the software is able to capture directly from the sound card without passing thru Windows' mixer, then it is fine.
    To adjust the volume level, I am using DIY switched resistor-array after the phono stage.
    After converted into WAV file, it then passed thru a software called ClickRepair ( http://www.clickrepair.net/ ) to eliminate the pop/click which may exist.


  19. #19

    Looking for updated recommendations

    I'm looking for an up-to-date recommendation for a simple external sound card (>$100) to hook up to my iMac running OSX Lion for vinyl ripping to 24bit FLAC. The Behringer UCA202 recommended here looks good, but seems questionable as to whether or not it will support 24/96. I might just use 24bit non 96, but I'd like to have that option.

    Thanks to anyone who can lend some advice.
    Rega P3, Rega Elys 2, Creek 4330 mkII, California Audio Labs CL-10, DevilSound DAC Snowflake, Fidelia Advanced, Vampire Wire Cables, Krix Equinox Speakers

  20. #20

    digging around...

    It looks like the Cakewalk USB might be my best bet.

    http://www.amazon.com/CAKEWALK-RJA-UA-1G-UA-1G-AUDIO-INTERFACE/dp/B0021HUHEO/ref=sr_1_1?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1317922972&sr=1-1

    Any ideas about these or others?
    Rega P3, Rega Elys 2, Creek 4330 mkII, California Audio Labs CL-10, DevilSound DAC Snowflake, Fidelia Advanced, Vampire Wire Cables, Krix Equinox Speakers

  21. #21
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    You really need to spend a little more

    Over at Gearslutz they had two threads where they run loop through tests on many of the available interfaces. This is taking a digital file, converting to analog, then running through an ADC. The test is comparing the resulting file to the original.
    Results for the too performers were MH and Mytek. But the 300.00 TC Impact Twin was very close to the top. Measured better than many of the other expensive units.
    I bought one after seeing this. The clocking is top notch. The linearity is also very good. But even a unused does not sell for a 100.00.

    George
    2011 Mac Mini, i5 - 2.5 GHz, 16 GB RAM. 60 GB Force 3 SSD, PM/PV software, KRK Ergo with board work, Penasa My_Ref Evolution Rev A amplifier, Thiel CS-3.5 with Blue Sky SUB 212, G-Tech G-Drive 5400 rpm FW Drive, Plextor 880-U external drive for ripping. 2 GB Fanthom drive for 88.2/24 vinyl rips. TC Impact Twin as ADC for vinyl rips.
    Ergo doing quad duty as Dac, Preamp, Crossover, and DRC.

  22. #22
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    You really need to spend a little more

    Over at Gearslutz they had two threads where they run loop through tests on many of the available interfaces. This is taking a digital file, converting to analog, then running through an ADC. The test is comparing the resulting file to the original.
    Results for the too performers were MH and Mytek. But the 300.00 TC Impact Twin was very close to the top. Measured better than many of the other expensive units.
    I bought one after seeing this. The clocking is top notch. The linearity is also very good. But even a unused does not sell for a 100.00.

    George
    2011 Mac Mini, i5 - 2.5 GHz, 16 GB RAM. 60 GB Force 3 SSD, PM/PV software, KRK Ergo with board work, Penasa My_Ref Evolution Rev A amplifier, Thiel CS-3.5 with Blue Sky SUB 212, G-Tech G-Drive 5400 rpm FW Drive, Plextor 880-U external drive for ripping. 2 GB Fanthom drive for 88.2/24 vinyl rips. TC Impact Twin as ADC for vinyl rips.
    Ergo doing quad duty as Dac, Preamp, Crossover, and DRC.

  23. #23
    Senior Member bdiament's Avatar
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    $50k to spend

    Hi Donsounds,

    If I had $50,000 to spend on a setup to digitize vinyl, I could get the very best setup I know of.
    In fact, I could save 90% of that and spend under $5k to get all of the following:

    1. The best (i.e. most transparent, faithful to the input signal) A-D converters I know of.

    2. The best (i.e. most transparent, faithful to the input signal) D-A converters I know of.

    3. The best recorder I know of, regardless of price or format.

    4. RIAA conversion to rival (if not beat) the best hardware preamps on the planet.

    The price may go up a bit if you don't have a Mac, so include the price of the Mac of your choice, if necessary.

    All those things would be in one box: Metric Halo's LIO-8.

    Caveat: The LIO-8 does not include mic preamps and these might be required to use the RIAA decoding/preamplification functions. If that is the case (check with Metric Halo), then the box would be their ULN-8 instead.

    The software that comes with all their interfaces includes their Record Panel. I know of nothing better for capturing any signal.

    All this is just my perspective of course but these devices have been the first (and so far only recording devices in my experience which -when used at 192k- give me back a signal I have not been able to distinguish from the direct mic feed.

    Hope this helps.

    Best regards,
    Barry
    www.soundkeeperrecordings.com
    www.barrydiamentaudio.com


  24. #24
    Senior Member esldude's Avatar
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    I have used a couple good mid

    I have used a couple good mid level sound cards, an Impact Twin, and an MSB Audio Director. All will do at least 24/96 AD conversion. Have also done 24/192 with those able to do so.

    It is my opinion that AD isn't so hard to do to high quality as DA is. I don't think you need to spend all that much money to achieve excellent results on the AD end as a result. DA on the other hand usually means more money gets perceptible improvements in sound quality. Unfortunately even up into quite substantial sums your money does buy something in DAC's.

    So my suggestion would be allocate the bulk of your money toward a quality DAC, and a few hundred dollars at most to a good ADC. I would prefer stand alone ADC units like the MSB or Twin Impact simply due to the fact LP playback gear is so sensitive to noise/hum etc. The next thing to consider is how user friendly it all would be.

    Finally, nothing teaches like experience. I of course assume you have a computer. Most likely it has a sound card with analog inputs. Give it a try on a few albums. Even a most basic laptop might do better than you think to at least see what are the biggest issues in doing this. However, I notice your pre-amp uses XLR connections. If you have another pre-amp with phono that outputs RCA it would make it easier. All you need then is RCA to 1/8th inch phono adapters.

    It might be one of the EMU units or Impact Twin with mic inputs would work for a phono pre amp. I haven't tried it, but using a mic input would be balanced and should do the trick. You then could do RIAA EQ digitally on the resulting file which probably is quite beneficial. It is an extra step to futz with however.
    You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.

    Mark Twain