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3 Stupid Questions About Converting Analog Vinyl To High Res Digital

Posted on January 5, 2017 at 10:10:22

Posts: 537
Location: Chicago
Joined: December 26, 2012
1. I keep reading about downloadable aps, or other online sources, that allow you to use an ap as a phono preamp. But, doing a Google search for that only brings up actual, physical preamps. So, what are the aps that are available for RIAA EQ and all of the things that are needed to play a vinyl record? What are the names of those wonderful aps?

2. Then, you also hear about hi-res conversions to digital. 24/96, 24/192, DSD, or whatever. Maybe even 32 bit word lengths. What aps are available for that? What aps can convert my analog phono signal to digital?

3. Finally, the most basic step is connecting a turntable to a computer. How's that done? I understand that that it maybe done by using a sound card, but that presents 2 big problems:

a] There don't seem to be many [if any] sound cards around anymore

b] Even if you can find a sound card, they use a mini-phono jack input for a mini-phono plug. That's a pretty low-fi way to go. What I mean is, if I've got a fairly decent turntable and cartridge, and I've spent extra money on output cable from my turntable to whatever it's going to be hooked up to, it's really, really, really self defeating to funnel that into some low-fi, humble mini phono plug. Kn ow what I mean?

So, are there any other ways of plugging a turntable [or line-level pre-amp out, for that matter] into a computer?

Thanks in advance for your time and expertise.

Severius! Supremus Invictus


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Here's my approach..., posted on January 5, 2017 at 12:51:03

Posts: 24520
Joined: May 12, 2000
April 5, 2002
First of all, I purchased an HRT Line Streamer. It connects to your preamp tape output jacks downstream of the phono stage. As such the RIAA equalization has already been done.

I connect the preamp to the streamer via standard interconnects. I use a USB cable to connect unit to computer.

I downloaded the free Audacity app for my laptop. It captures the analog stream and converts to a 24/96 digital file.


RE: 3 Stupid Questions About Converting Analog Vinyl To High Res Digital, posted on January 5, 2017 at 15:35:39

Posts: 1045
Location: Texas
Joined: May 2, 2001
It's not hi-res, but I am about to order one of these to digitize some LPs. I will connect my preamp tape out to the RCA inputs (the preamp has a phono input for the turntable), and plug the USB into the computer. No drivers required. Then I will use software such as audacity to make the recordings.

They also make a similar model with a built-in phono preamp/ RIAA equalization, called the UFO202. Using this, you wouldn't even need a phono preamp, but I think the phono in my Linn Kairn preamp must be better than whatever is used in the UFO202.

Both devices have received many positive reviews as to the sound quality, especially for the low price.


RE: 3 Stupid Questions About Converting Analog Vinyl To High Res Digital, posted on January 6, 2017 at 05:37:55

Posts: 732
Location: Boston
Joined: April 8, 2004
Search AA for digitize vinyl and sort by date.

Also read Michael Fremer on Channel D and his test with various Analog to Digital Converters in his blog analog planet.

Computer Audiophile has an article on digitizing vinyl as well.

I have used stand alone recorders. I prefer to use my phono stage into a dedicated recorder. I was using the Alesis Masterlink and now use the Tascam DA-30000. I copy the files into my computer via usb stick from Tascam and edit them using Tascam's free app.

Audacity is an excellent audio editing program and it is free as well.

there are many ways to do this. It is time consuming but for some fun and valueable way to archive your lps and make them available when your turntable is not.


Much Thanks To All for Clearing This Up, posted on January 6, 2017 at 20:03:47

Posts: 537
Location: Chicago
Joined: December 26, 2012
Thanks, guys.

I wasn't even aware of Channel D. Nor paying attention to the ADC's. I've looked for HRT Line Streamer, but it seems to be no longer made or available.

The higher quality ADC's highlighted on the Channel D site are a bit too pricey for what I'd want to spend on an ADC.

That leaves two options:

1. The Beringer super low cost converter that KH6IDF recommends. For about $25 it's hard to resist. Thbe downside is that it's not hi-rez - only 16 bit word length.

2. The PS Audio Converter's now on deep sale for $999.

The PS's really tempting, but now with MQA now on the horizon, that may not be a wise decision. Thus, I'm going to run another thread on buying any ADC or DAC's and an MQA future. It's a $1k decision for me.

Thanks for your help, guys.
Severius! Supremus Invictus


RE: Google is your friend, posted on January 6, 2017 at 21:39:00
Jeff Starr

Posts: 1565
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Joined: March 4, 2000
According to Google HiFi Heaven still has Line streamer+ for $349.

I have one I use with Vinyl Studio, digitize at 24/96.

That $29 thing will not give you very good results. But that is just my opinion. You get What you pay for.


Cards and software, posted on January 7, 2017 at 05:12:17

Posts: 40
Location: Connecticut
Joined: March 7, 2001
1) If you have a phono pre, it usually already has the RIAA EQ. If not, find a vinyl ripping software package that has the RIAA feature. I use VinylStudio by AlpineSoft and it has the RIAA EQ available.

2) You need to convert the analog signal to digital and the best way to do this is through chipsets used in analog to digital converters. These can be outboard standalone units or onboard cards.

3) See #2 above
(a) Go to the website, click Computer Audio, click Audio Interfaces, click PCI audiointerfaces. This will give you an idea of some of the card options. Not included is the Asus Essence STX which is a PCIe card that is supposed to do both A to D and D to A. I have the Asus but never used it for ripping.
(b) Most of these cards have breakout cables, a cable set that includes RCA and/or XLR inputs and outputs. To take the analog signal from your cartridge, you can either try the tape monitor output, line level preamp out or direct from your phono preamp if that unit is a standalone. Be careful as you'll need to control the gain. My experience has been that the tape monitor output level is too low. I have not tried the line level out as I have not needed this option. Recording levels can be managed by the ripping software and depending on the card, the soundcard drivers/mixing software.

I use an RME Hammerfell 9632 which will do up to 192/24 resolution. It is a PCI card that I bought on EBay for $300USD a couple of years ago. They can be had for less. I have a LOMC cartridge into a step-up transformer into a ARC PH3SE phono preamp whose outputs go into the soundcard via the breakout cables. I have ripped 2,400+ lps to date and continue to rip. Good luck.


Another Thumbs Up for the Tascam DA-3000, posted on January 7, 2017 at 09:44:06

Posts: 618
Location: Richmond, VA
Joined: January 5, 2001
Following the advice of several folks, I recently purchased a Tascam DA-3000 used via eBay for $300 - couldn't beat the price and they show for sale in that range fairly often if you're patient. I've been recording my vinyl with it to Double DSD files and couldn't be more pleased with the results.

I have about 6,000 LPs on my shelves, so I'm just recording as I have occasion to be listening to something. For me, this is a long term project in anticipation of having to downsize somewhere down the road.


TASCAM UH-7000 interface, posted on January 7, 2017 at 15:17:12

Posts: 1238
Joined: January 13, 2000
look on ebay


but now with MQA now on the horizon, that may not be a wise decision. , posted on January 8, 2017 at 10:24:42

Posts: 1546
Joined: March 31, 2008
One part of MQA is lossy compression of hires audio.
You might wonder if you are really in need of a hires MP3 style format.
For ADC have a look at typical pro-brand like RME , Focusrite, etc
The Well Tempered Computer


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