Vinyl ripping

 

Want to digitize your vinyl collection?
Today there are a couple of options:

Standalone systems

They record albums directly to CD (or iPod or flash memory, depending on the system). This is the easiest way to digitize your LPs and 45's. It's also the crudest.

Digital turntables

They have an AD converter on board. Output is mostly USB but some offer SPDIF.
You need recording software on the PC.

Analogue Turntables

These are the traditional ones.
You need a phono stage to bring the signal to line level, an AD converter and recording software. This setup allows you to choose each individual component.

An extensive overview can be found at Knowzy

Instead of a phono stage you can use a linear amp like a microphone amp and apply the needed RIAA correction using software.
Software like Pure Vinyl allows you to work this way.

Recording

A lot of debates about bit depth and sample rate can be found on many audio forums.
According to Shannon-Nyquist your sample rate should be the double of the highest frequency.

Vinyl can contain signals up to 25 kHz (but higher values are reported) so 44.1 kHz (Nyquist=22) is probably a bit at the low site.


When doing the AD conversion any signal in excess of half the sample rate generates an error.
The input should therefore be band limited.
Low sample rates like 44.1 kHz forces you to use the same steep filtering (brick wall) as in the first generation CD players.
Higher sample rates allow using a smoother filter.

 

Vinyl can have a dynamic range of 70 dB (but often limited to 50 dB) so 70/6=12 bits should do. We can hear certain tones to 30dB below the noise level. So 70 + 30 dB = 90dB.

16 bits should do the job.

But you need some headroom and in case of post-processing it is beneficial to have a 24 bit format.

 

Ripping vinyl is a hell of a lot of work.
Even if 24/88 is overkill as some advocate, I rather would go for the overkill.

 

Some recording software can be found here.

 

Sony PS-HX500 US$599,99

 

Phone amp (on/pass thru)

USB out ( DSD 2.8 MHz or 5.6 MHz / WAV (up to 24-bit/192kHz )

 

AD converter

If the turntable has analog out only, you need an AD converter to digitize.

This is typically a sector dominated by pro-audio companies like Prismsound, Metric Halo, etc

Older models often have a firewire interface.

Newer models support USB 2.

 

Metric Halo ULN-2. Starting at $1695

 

Prismsound Lyra 2 $3,225

 

RME Babyface € 535,00

  • 24 bit / 192 kHz AD/DA converters
  • 10 Input / 12 Output channels
  • 2 x Analog Input
  • 4 x Analog Output
  • 1 x ADAT I/O or 1 x SPDIF I/O optical
  • 1 x MIDI I/O
  • 1 x USB 2.0
  • 2 x Mic Preamp with digitally controlled gain
  • 1 x Hi-Z instrument input
  • TotalMix FX (with EQ, Reverb, Echo)

RME ADI-2 Pro €1.599,00

AD/DA converter with a lot of options.

 

The USB 2.0 port is fully Class Compliant (UAC 2)

Extensive headphone options

  • Dual headphone out with individual volume control allowing for level matched comparison.
  • Can also be used to drive one headphone balanced.
  • Five bands parametric EQ
  • Tone control (bass/treble)
  • Loudness with adjustable gain
  • Crossfeed

DA Filters: Short Delay Sharp, Short Delay Slow, Sharp, NOS.

Added 2017

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 US$ 150

  • 2 in / 2 out USB audio interface
  • 96 KHz, 24-bit conversion
  • 2 Focusrite microphone preamplifiers
  • Red anodised aluminium unibody chassis

Korg DS-DAC-10R $599

1-bit USB-DAC/ADC with line and phono inputs.

 

Input Format (USB):

DSD: 2.8224MHz/5.6448MHz, 1bit
PCM: 44.1kHz/48kHz/88.2kHz/96kHz/176.4kHz/192kHz, 16bit/24bit

Vinyl Engine

Turntable information, images, articles and reviews from around the world. We have user manuals, service manuals, schematics and brochures available for free download. Created as an archive for classic, often unobtainable turntable manuals, we also provide information on many current products complete with links to manufacturers home pages and other online resources.

 

Nimbus Records transfer their 78s using an acoustic horn gramophone.
The only 'electric' part of the whole playback process is the Technics SL-15 turntable.

Reference

Vinyl archiving – Werner Ogiers
An article covering aspects like AD-converters, sample rate, LP production process, recording software.

Guide to Converting Analog Vinyl To Digital Files Using Windows - Mitch Barnett

How vinyl records are made - Do it