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LP to digital

 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 640
Registered: Jul-07
There are a bunch of USB out turntables pretty cheap. I have not found a method for using my Rega P3 to digital and skip the step of burning CDs on my Pioneer CDR.

Say I splurge for a Soloos (fat chance!) or other music server I need to connect the turntable somehow.

Just read an ad "don't buy a usb turntable"

http://www.dak.com/reviews/2020story.cfm?Ref=G&PM=LPCD&type=GSrch&Srh=digital_tu rntable&gclid=COmxy8SI4ZoCFRo-awodQVZXCA
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3307
Registered: May-05
Its good to hear from you again, Kevin.

I don't really understand what you're trying to do, but more importantly why. I think you're trying to digitally record your LPs. Why? Are you tired of playing LPs and want the convenience of them being digital? Or are you recording them to listen to them in the car, iPod, etc? I haven't tried to do what I think you're rtying to do, but I may have some insight.

There are a bunch of ways to digitize your collection, and the prices range from the $100 Best Buy tables like the Ion stuff, to multi-thousand dollar stuff. Programs range from very simple to very complex. Ultimately it all depends on how good you want them to sound.

You have a very good turntable, so there's no sense in replacing it for this purpose. I don't think you have an external phono pre-amp, so that may change things a little. I also don't think your Mira has a pre-amp out, but does it have a record/tape/monitor out? If so, you may be able to use the Mira's internal phono stage.

You'd need either an external analog to digital converter (ADC) or computer software that can do this for you. The ADC will convert the music into a digital stream. What you get depends on how much you're willing to spend and the sound quality you're after. The sound quality you're after should depend on what you want to listen to the music through - Mira, car, iPod, etc.

Benchmark makes what should be a very good ADC. Its about $1800. Benchmark is used by studios and is very well respected gear. If you've got a dozen or so LPs that you can't get on CD, this isn't a very cost effective route. If you got a huge collection and know you'll get plenty more, it may be worth looking into. Benchmakr would probably also be able to talk you though the process of what you need and how to do things. I've heard they're very good like that. They're in the US (Syracuse?); its not like trying to speak to someone in China.

Pro-Ject makes a phono stage with a USB output called the Phono Box USB for about $200. It'll output a digital signal via USB. I don't think it comes with any software though. Music Direct sells them, and they are very good to speak to regarding how to use it and what else you'll need. I've dealt with them a few times and have no problems with their ability to answer questions honestly.

There are some companies that'll do everything for you. All you need to do is send them your LPs. I'm assuming there will be a big price range and that should reflect their attention to detail.
In the end, which route you go depends on how good you want them to sound, how many LPs you have, how much time and effort you're willing to put into it, and how much you're willing to spend. If you have a dozen or so you want to convert, your best bet may be to try to track them down on CD instead of investing a bunch of time and money. Only you know what its worth, from a time and money prespective.

The Benchmark ADC -
http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=BEADC1USB

The Pro-Ject Phono Box USB -
http://www.musicdirect.com/product/80652
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 644
Registered: Jul-07
Thanks for the post. This is a quick reply before studying into your suggestions.

I have lots of LPs to be stored digitally, with great sound quality, not too complicated to do, and not too expensive. Have you ever heard that before: "great sound cheap and easy"?

I have been reading a little about music servers for over a year but to be honest I don't understand most of what I read about it, being basically computer illiterate.

As to your suggestion of the ADC: before looking into that, I assume that means using my computer as storage. Actually, I would buy an outboard storage device rather than filling up my computer. I wouldn't mind using the computer to get it there. I wouldn't mind if the computer was not involved at all.

I talked to my Cambridge Audio, Azure dealer who refuses to carry their music server/cd burner saying that it is not user friendly.

For now I have been listening to the Rega turntable with my Rotel gear because the Rega Mira and Apollo are my main living room set up and the lps are off in another room. If it would help the copy or download job I could change the gear around or even buy a different kit that would be best for the purpose.

I have thousands of lps which I collected starting in 1968 until the stores quit carrying them. Way too much and too far away to send out.

I remember the 1st album that I was forced to buy on CD because they did not have it on LP. That was Paul Simon's Graceland. Up until then I had copied LPs to reel to reel and cassette. From then on I bought CDs or used LPs and I gave away the whole cassette collection. All that work made obsolete.
I am thinking that it could happen again with CD or with poor sounding digital. I noticed that music that I stream from the internet to my HiFi via an Apple Airport Express sounds WAY worse than FM, let alone compare to CD or LP. I don't want any LP copies with lower than good CD sound. That would be a big waste of time.

To listen to the LPs other places than "the vinyl room" is one main reason. So many LPs are not in print on CD or would be too expensive to re- buy all that music. I have indeed already bought many of the same albums on LP and CDs.

I am a "snowbird" who spends from a quarter to over half my time away from Alaska. That will probably increase when my wife retires someday since her family is far from here.

The LP collection is a burden with the size and space and inconvenience to store and especially to move.

My plan is to hopefully keep just the best, or favorite LPs and copy and sell those that would not be played very often. I need to get the collection down to a manageable size. If I go from Alaska for an extended time, I would have to put them back into storage again.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3314
Registered: May-05
If music from your Apple Express sounds bad, there's a few things possibly going on - you're using the analog out, the DAC you're using isn't very good, or you're playing compressed music. Check how you're storing your music - mp3,Apple lossless, Flac, etc. Use a lossless format.

You don't have to store your music on the computer itself. You should get an external hard drive. I got a 1TB drive for about $125. 250 or so CDs took up about 90 GB using Apple Lossless.

You're most likely going to need the computer to run a recording program.

There's plenty of ways to get all this done. It just depends on what you're most comfortable with. I think you're better off spending a bit of money on the hardware and doing it right. You can always sell it when you're done. Maybe even looking into renting an ADC from a pro-audio store. A lot of them rent stuff, and it may be cheaper in the long run. Maybe not.

As far as music servers go, there's a bunch of different ones out there. The Audiophile ones are way overpriced IMO. Something like a Squeezebox or Apple TV feeding an external DAC will be just as effective and good sounding for possibly thousands less.

I'm going to buy an Apple TV and use it as a music server feeding my new external DAC. The larger one costs $329. It stores 120 GB worth of music and is very easy to set up and use. Best part is the computer doesn't need to be on to use it.

More on that stuff later. Look into the recording options a bit more. I'll help the best I can, and I'm sure others will too.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 646
Registered: Jul-07
So I plug the Squeezebox into my integrated amp and start burning LPs? Where does the DAC go, also into the integrated amp, or to the Squeezebox?

Unfortunately there are no dealers up here so it is all mail order. We have a MAC Computer store where I could get the Mac TV but they don't know anything about analog HiFi.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3315
Registered: May-05
You're a bit confused as to what does what. At this point forget about the music server - Squeezebox, Apple TV, Sooloos, and so on. They won't be used until after the music is digitized and stored.

First thing you're going to need is an ADC (analog to digital converter). This will convert the analog signal to a digital one. It won't record anything, just convert. The ADC will give you a digital signal to feed your computer. You can use the Benchmark ADC or the Phono Box USB.

The computer will take this signal and record it. There has to be some sort of software for this process. This software will help you separate tracks, remove pops and clicks (if you want to), set the format (ie WAV, FLAC, etc) and so on. It'll allow you to decide where to store the recorded music - either on your computer or an external hard drive. I recommend the external hard drive route personally.

Once the music is recorded and stored, then the server comes into play. The server will find your music and pass it along to your stereo. The computer itself can do this, or a server/streamer can be used for convenience. This can be done wirelessly or with a wired connection.

Instead of feeding a crappy signal to your stereo, you can feed it to an external DAC to improve sound quality. The outputs of either a computer or server won't be very good. From the computer or server to a DAC to your stereo.

I know it sounds complex, but its really not. You just have to know what each piece is doing, then it all makes sense. Here's a run down -

Phono pre-amp (aka phono stage) - Takes the turntable's signal and boosts and EQs it to line level (the same voltage level as a CD player, tuner, etc.).

ADC (analog to digital converter) - Converts analog signal to a digital one.

DAC (digital to analog converter) - Converts a digital signal to an analog one.

Music server - Basically a computer; stores and organizes music. Can send music to the stereo as an analog signal, or send it as a digital signal.

Streamer - Wirelessly receives a digital music stream from the server to play music through your stereo. It doesn't store anything, it just makes music on your computer easier to play on your stereo, especially if they're in different rooms.

To confuse the issue, the Apple TV is a server and streamer. After music is stored on your computer, it'll send it to the Apple TV (wired or wireless), and store it on the Apple TV. When the Apple TV's memory is full, it can stream music from your computer for playback on your stereo.

If you want music in several rooms, you can store it all on one computer and put a streamer at every system. An Apple TV or Squeezebox receiver will be required at every stereo though.

If you're doing a few rooms, Squeezebox is probably the cheapest route. The units cost about $100 or so each, and you only have to buy 1 remote. It'll control every squeezebox receiver either separately or simultaneously.

Hopefully I covered everything. My fingers are tired...

So step 1 for you is to figure out which ADC you want, and what computer programs you need. I'm pretty sure Music Direct or Benchmark will be very helpful with this stuff. You really should get an external hard drive to store the music. A 1TB hard drvive will cost about $125 and is definitely worth it IMO. You don't want all the music taking up space on your computer and slowing it down.

After that stuff is sorted out and you've got some music recorded, we'll address the different ways to play that music through your stereo. You can also record your CDs to the same place and play them the same way as the recorded LPs.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3316
Registered: May-05
Also...

The USB turntables make things very simple. You just connect them directly to your computer. They probably have their own software. I'd imagine you just play the LP and hit record. But I'm pretty sure it'll sound awful. If they're $200, how good is the cartridge going to be? How good will the ADC be? If its recorded shittily by your computer, it'll sound shi tty when you play it on your stereo. Garbage in = garbage out.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 649
Registered: Jul-07
Stu- "...You're a bit confused as to what does what...".

That's for sure. I wasn't kidding when I said "computer illeterate". I had to google GB and TB just to do this response.

I agree that I would do best using my Rega turntable.

Thanks, this is so helpful! The articles and ads on these products assume that you have the vocabulary. I see that the Apple TV has 250 gb so if I am correct that is only one quarter of your 1000 GB drive.
Stu: "...I got a 1TB drive for about $125. 250 or so CDs took up about 90 GB using Apple Lossless..."
Still, since I have 2 apple computers w/iTunes I guess it may be more simple to go that route. Although at over $300 for 250 gb, not a bargain that you found. Nevertheless, still affordable, esp considering that it would do 3 functions, server, streamer and storage?

I have an apple ibook notebook computer that I could but with the Turntable hifi system since my main computer is in another area. I could get the Squeezebox and a hard disc instead of the Apple TV right.

So then I want a DAC for playback. I guess that can wait until last.

Also for now I will stick with the built in Rotel or Mira phono stage. They seem to be good based on listening to the turntable.

So now I will start shopping for the ADC. That looks to be the biggest expense. $1800 for just one piece of this puzzle may be a holdup. I should probably go asap for the Pro Ject Phono Box. I could do that now.

One question is if I need other software than iTunes?

Thanks again.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 650
Registered: Jul-07
Slightly off the main issue is my limited experience w/computer music:

Stu: "...If music from your Apple Express sounds bad, there's a few things possibly going on - you're using the analog out, the DAC you're using isn't very good, or you're playing compressed music. Check how you're storing your music - mp3,Apple lossless, Flac, etc. Use a lossless format..."

All I know is that the Airport Express plugs into the integrated amp as any other component and accepts music from iTunes streaming from the web.
I plugged it into the Tivoli Radio input jack and into 3 different integrated amps. Results being the same on any system.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 651
Registered: Jul-07
I just found an answer to that from Frank Abela:

"My only concern would be the use of the airport express as your DAC. It's not particularly high quality. Look to replace it with something better such as Beresford, Cambridge Audio or (by all accounts) Lavry at your earliest opportunity. Frank.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 652
Registered: Jul-07
I should have referenced that thread:
http://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-audio/553760.html
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3317
Registered: May-05
I think you're still a bit confused, but not as much as you were...

Your best bet is to put all your digitized music on one place. I'm not sure if you have a few different computers with different music or not. Attach an external hard drive to you computer and store all your music on the hard drive, not a computer. Think of the external hard drive as a very large USB thumb drive, if you're familiar with those. It connects to a USB port on your computer.

The 1TB external hard drive and Apple TV aren't the same thing. I got my 1TB external hard drive from Best Buy for about $125. The external hard drive can not be connected directly to an Apple TV. The idiot at the Apple store told me it can, but everywhere else says it can't. I haven't gotten one yet, but I eventially will.

http://ecoustics.nextag.com/1tb-external-hard-drive/zzecoustics01zB1z0--search-html

The Apple TV has a distinct advantage over the Squeezebox - your computer doesn't need to be running to play your music. Since your music is stored on it, its basically a self contained system. Think of it as hooking up a computer directly to the stereo. Its disadvantages are that they're more costly if you need more than 1, and they need either a TV, an iPhone, or an iPod Touch to navigate your music. If you have an iPhone or iPod touch, this is no big deal. If you have a TV with the right connections in each room, this is not a problem either. If you have an Apple TV store nearby, stop in and check out the Apple TV. It'll give you a far better idea of what I'm talking about and what it does. The clowns working there aren't that knowledgable about it. Its the least selling asked about thing in the store.

The Squeezebox has the price advantage if you're buying more than 1. Extra receivers are $150, rather than $300 for every Apple TV. You can get a Squeezebox Duet and then add as many receivers (without remote) as you have stereos. But because it doesn't store any music, your computer needs to be running. Its basically like the Airport express, only more user convenient. The Squeezebox Duet's remote is very user friendly; it makes it very easy to navigate your music.

But in the mean time, iTunes will not record the LPs. You need a separate program. I'm not sure what's out there and for what price. A Google search should turn up some stuff.

If you buy the Pro-Ject Phono Box from Music Direct, ask them if they have any recommendations for the computer software. They're usually very good with answering questions. Don't buy it without consulting with them about what is needed to record your LPs.

Same goes for if you buy the Benchmark ADC. Benchmark sells directly, I believe. Call them and ask what they recommend. Benchmark is a company that sells mostly to recording studios, so they should be very helpful.

I'm sure there are more ADCs out there. These are just examples. A Google search should turn up a bunch of stuff at different price ranges. Their sellers should also have insight on what is required software wise.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 12504
Registered: Dec-04
Good post Stuie.

Is it just me or is there a decidely tinny taste in your mouth with retailers recently? hehehe
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 653
Registered: Jul-07
Thanks again.
I agree, I would rather deal with a good HiFi store than a Megalo Mart.
(Maybe I should contact Eugene HiFi (eh Art?).

Stu: "Your best bet is to put all your digitized music on one place"
Yes, I am up with you on that. . That would be the "vinyl room" but there is no TV in there and no room for one. I have the iBook notebook computer for that room. Forget about my main computer which is not near there.
I was hoping that the ibook would be adequate to navigate the new LP recording set up. Hard to immagine that a laptop cannot do the job of the TV, iPhone, or iPod Touch. I wouldn't mind buying an iPod Touch. So I would need both the iPod Touch in addition to the iBook?

I don't really need more than one playback system for now, but it wouldn't hurt. The main objective is just to copy the LPs.

From what I get now, it seems that the easiest and most cost effective would be:
Squeezebox, hard disc, laptop, an ADC and DAC and the mystery software.

more expensive but maybe simpler?
Apple TV, iPod Touch, (my laptop), an ADC and DAC and the mystery software.

I project that the software is the big hurdle. Having an Apple cuts way back on the options. I don't use any non native software whatsoever. Not Firefox, Internet Explorer, Word, Exell....None of it, just what comes with the apple and I sometimes have to call them to make it work. Without that support I would not get anywhere.

To make the software choices and support simple, if necessary, I could buy a cheap windows PC notebook ("laptop") to go with the Squeezebox.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 654
Registered: Jul-07
It may seem odd to some to not be interested in aquiring a lot of computer knowledge. For me, the computer is just another tool, like a car TV, BBQ grill etc. Just buy and use it. No education needed. Not a hobby. To be honest, unlike most of you guys, I know squat about hifi and have just always counted on a shop to sell me a decent kit.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 655
Registered: Jul-07
I just read a bunch of reviews and forums on the Squeezebox and Apple TV. A lot of people have posted problems and frustration with the Sbox. Love it when it works. Apple got higher ratings by users.
The Apple TV has so many other uses besides the one suggested here, that it seems to be a better value for me, the price being close to the Squeezebox duet.
The Apple TV is iTunes compatable which is convenient even if not for the LP copy.
I am already set up online with a Timecapsule wireless network for my computers which has a nice auto back up system.

I will go talk to the salemen tomorrow.
That ADC Pro-Ject USB Box is available at about $160. I see at Needle Dr a model with a phono pre amp for $200.
I see a lot of Cambridge Audio Dacs under $400.
It seems that this pile of electronics would be useful even if I never got it into LP recording!
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3319
Registered: May-05
That pile would definitely be useful without the LPs, which was why I was mentioning them.

I like the Apple TV because its basically all self contained. Music get stored there in one convenient place. Your computer doesn't need to be running to access your music. Because its stored there and not wireless, there's no issues with interference. People have problems with 'drop outs' when someone uses a microwave, some cordless phones, and so on. If their interference conflicts with the wireless signal, problems arise. Again, with music stored directly on the Apple TV, these problems are a non-issue.

The iPod touch can be a remote if you don't have a TV in the room. All your music will show up on it, even though its not stored to the iTouch. It basically acts the same way a Duet's remote acts.

If you have a Mac with remote control capabilities and a Airport Express, you can skip the Apple TV. Use it as you've been using it, just run it to an external DAC rather than straight to your integrated amp. Sound quality will improve. You can get an iTouch and use it as a remote the same way you'd use it with an Apple TV.

Then there's the Sonos system. A bit more money than the Squeezebox, but reported works better. It doesn't store music like the Apple TV, but its wireless network is far more reliable. It doesn't share a wireless network with anything else; it sets up its own. You can use an iTouch to control it too.

If your computer is in the same room as your main system and will always be in the same room, you can skip all the wireless stuff altogether. Get a DAC with a USB input. You can use the iTouch as a remote, or just use the computer.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 656
Registered: Jul-07
Much thanks for you effort Stu!

I did also notice the Sonus and I agree, it got better online reviews from users.
I did not study into it because I will first go look at the Apple store.

I am going to go into this easy with a one room set up, not wireless in my little LP room. Once I get a bunch of LPs copied to digital storage, I can later start working on the distribution to other rooms.

Because I am happily married I will leave our little living room alone. The boss would not be happy if I set up the turntable there. The main living room system has the main computer, TV, Rega Mira and Apollo, fm Tuner and DVD 2 channel movies.

I have to keep the LPs off in my little side bedroom. Grampa would have called it his "den". It is very small but is an ok little listening room with my antique Rogers L3/5a and HsU sub. The Rotel 1070 integrated amp is very funcunal with good controls and plug in/outlets for recording. I have already set it up to record to the little Pionier PDR 609 cd recorder. That turned out to be an ok cd player/recorder, and cheap.
Not much compared to the lovely rooms and systems of many of our friends here, but comfy and adequate.
Thanks again. I will post progress. I will for sure buy the DAC and ADC asap!
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 657
Registered: Jul-07
I was looking at the pics thread. You guys have some awesome homes/gear.
Really enjoyed going back thru those.
I see my "vinyl room" before I bought speaker stands and changed it to the Rotel.
I will do some "after" pics when I get done.

Before: http://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-audio/396972.html
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3320
Registered: May-05
Their may be a way to record LPs from your Rotel or Mira to the CD recorder. Maybe from the tape out to the recorder's input? Not sure how you would separate tracks or how it would sound, but I think its worth a try.

After recording to CD, import it to iTunes. Maybe iTunes will somehow let you separate tracks? Its worth a shot. If it doesn't work out, you're only out the price of a CDR. The Mira has tape outputs. Does the CD recorder have analog inputs?

I'm thinking Rega P3 -> Mira -> CD recorder. CD then imported to iTunes.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3321
Registered: May-05
What Pioneer model CD recorder do you have? I read about one a while back that has a function that'll separate tracks somehow when recording from LP or tape.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3322
Registered: May-05
I unintentionally came across this -

http://www.hagtech.com/ripper.html

Their products are pretty well respected on a couple of forums. In your shoes, I'd probably go this route. It also has a link to a program called Audacity, which is a free LP recording program.

For $400 with everything included (including simplistic instructions), it hard to go wrong if what everyone says about Hagerman stuff is true.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3323
Registered: May-05
http://www.hagtech.com/setup.html
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 658
Registered: Jul-07
Wow. That looks like a good solution too. Thanks again.
Now it is a toss up with that one vs the Pro-Ject usb box for $160 plus a DAC (which I am ready to finally buy anyway).

You are correct that I can now burn a CD from an LP then install the CD into my computer iTunes.
The Pioneer PDR 609 can burn CDs from the Integrated amp but I want to skip that step for several reasons.
It has many features but I only know how to simply set the record level and hit record as I did so many times in the past with reel to reel, 8 track, Beta-Max, and cassettes.
That is one reason I want to go straight to hard disc.
Besides potential to be obsolete, I don't want to be stuck with the CD quality which may not be the best.
Burning CDs can happen later but not necessarily for every LP.

I would like to keep using the Rotel 1070 Int amp on the turntable because it has more in/outputs than the Mira which makes a nice main system with Apollo cdp. The Rotel also has a decent phono stage and the controls are specifically designed for recording.

The Apple store was closed for moving today.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 660
Registered: Jul-07
Stu- Thanks to you for getting me started, I have a firm plan. I will start with a cheap simple hard wired set up and get into wireless later.

I called Needledoctor and the rep is confident that I will have no problem with the ProJect ADS box. He said I can plug the turntable into it and go directly to the computer/hard disc with the Audacity software. He said that I don't need to use my Integrated amp in the loop. http://www.needledoctor.com/Pro-Ject-Phonobox-II-USB

I plan to take David Mitchel's suggestion from the DAC thread and try out that cheap DAC Super Pro. http://www.diykits.com.hk/dac_super_pro_dac707.htm.

When I break the ice of recording, I will later start introducing the wireless gear. The new Absolute Sound has rave reviews of the HRT music streamer. http://www.highresolutiontechnologies.com/products.html
In Oct 08, Absolute has a big article on digital systems. The author is a Mac guy who uses a Mac mini w/monitor, an airport extreme and a Mac TV.
The new issue also raves about the Music Vault http://www.soundsciencecat.com/MusicVaultusb.html

Cheers, kc
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3328
Registered: May-05
I haven't dealt with the Needle Doctor, but I've heard very good things about them. I'd trust their opinion.

The Pro-Ject Box should work very well. As you said, you can skip the integrated's output and go directly into the computer, same as with the Hagerman piece I linked to.

The HRT gear may be a little misleading. It doesn't need and can't be connected to an external DAC. It has analog outs, not digital. I think it has a DAC in it, but I'm not 100% sure. Check with whoever is selling it. That piece goes directly from your USB to your integrated amp.

I've seen the Music Vault a few times. Its pretty expensive and I can't really figure out what it does that's so unique. It just seems like a CD burner with a hard drive attached. I don't see how its an advantage over using a computer and external hard drive. A 1TB external HD will cost about $125, and you already have the computer. Again, what's different, especially for $1800?

With digital music playback, there are a ton of options. The best way to narrow them down is to figure out exactly what you want it to do now and down the road, how you want to access that music, and what you want it to play back through.

I'm kicking around the idea of getting a USB to Coax converter so I can hook up my computer to my DAC. Either that or the Apple TV, although from what my ears are telling me, Toslink (optical) doesn't sound as good as SPDIF (coax). The Apple TV only has a Toslink digital output.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 661
Registered: Jul-07
You are right about the tons of options! The more I read about it the concept gets more clear but the choices get complex.

That Absolute Sound article on the Squeeze Box, Apple TV etc got a lot of discussion online.
For example, this thread on AudiogoN is interesting.
http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?ddgtl&1240260652&openflup&9&4#9
"...Like you, I was considering the SB Duet and Apple TV. The detailed article, "Music Servers for Audiophiles," which appeared in the August 2008 edition of The Absolute Sound, was extremely helpful in allowing me to make an informed decision. That particular issue of TAS is titled, "The Digital Issue,' and features many articles on music servers and digital playback. The aforementioned article compared the Duet and the Apple TV, complete with "The Sonic Shoot-Out,' Features, benefits and shortcomings. I don't know if TAS has a digital archive, but if you can find that particular issue of TAS, I think you will benefit from the information/articles. Either way you go, I can tell you that you are going to love having a music server."
If you want, I can copy the AS article for you. It did get flamed too on another forum.

The same guy at AS, Steven Stone explains why he likes the Music Vault. Don't misunderstand, I am not advocating that Vault, but just discovering the possibilities.
That new issue is available, but I can paraphrase what he said:
...You CAN buy storage much cheaper but not with the customer service and ease of use... it is not the least expensive but a good value ...no matter your skill level. They are a Logitech dealer so it is designed to match with the Squeezebox, and also Sonos and others
...it is not just storage, but is a PC and server with the software to go with your system, Mac or PC, with huge storage and has a cdp/cdr built in. To listen to music, you don't need to have your computer running as you would with the usual SqueezeB/computer/hard disc set up. This is from the same guy who uses a Mac, airport and Apple TV.

Well, that is all getting WAY ahead of me. I am just very happy to be near to the LP digitizing.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3329
Registered: May-05
I still have a copy of that Absolute Sound issue. One thing he got wrong in it was that the Apple TV can't do internet radio. It can, he just didn't know how. Its not as easy as the Squeezebox and Sonos; find the station and paste it into a playlist.

Another interesting thing from that issue is the Bryston BCD-1 review. They stated something like 'it may well be the ast CD player you'll ever need.' I just heard it again and fully agree; it sounds that good.

From how you're describing the Music Vault, it seems like its a NAS (network attached (?) server). It makes more sense to me, but still not practical for my application.

Did you order the Phono Box? I'm interested in hearing how it works out.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 12582
Registered: Dec-04
I am reading as KC does all the legwork, than I copy his stuff.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3330
Registered: May-05
Are you going to digitize your LPs or set up a music server?

After hearing the Bryston BCD-1 - which I've been told by the dealer that the BDA-1 sounds a little bit better and is $700 cheaper - I can't get that sound out of my head. Anyone who has a Bryston dealer near by needs to hear this thing.

Art described the BCD-1 as stellar. Its the best CD player I've heard in a very, very long time. I used to lust after the Naim CD5x. The BCD-1 does everything the CD5x does, and does it a good deal better.

Now I just need to find $2k somewhere. I've got a ton of change that I've been saving up and bought a change sorter. The $275 is a start.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 12584
Registered: Dec-04
Like bringing Pesos in a wheelbarrow.
Didn' t see the BDA-1 before, Stu, thanks...for killing me!
I am looking to step up the Apollo, so poking around.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3331
Registered: May-05
Mac makes a very good and user friendly server, they're not a ton of money on Audiogon

http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?dgtltran&1249240286&/Mcintosh-MS-300-NYC- /-NJ-area

They used to make a few that had less memory and were a bit cheaper. The only one currently listed on their page is the 750 gb version -

http://www.mcintoshlabs.com/products/mcintosh-ms750-music-server.asp

They also made a few DACs, but only have one listed on their site.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 662
Registered: Jul-07
That looks interesting. Some day.

Now I am waiting for the arrival of the Pro-Ject Phonobox II USB w/ Phono Preamp that I ordered from Needle Dr. I am anxious to see how it works. I am also picking up a bigger hard disc for my iBook.
I will report when it arrives.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 12643
Registered: Dec-04
Looking forward to what you have to say about the Phonobox, KC.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 663
Registered: Jul-07
Hopefully I can figure it out!
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 664
Registered: Jul-07
The box arrived today from NeedleDr. You plug the turntable into it and you must use it's phono stage. Then you have two outputs, the usb to your computer and the rca to an aux, cd or other input in your hifi, but NOT to the phono input.

Now I am installing audacity software. I will see tomorrow how it records.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 665
Registered: Jul-07
Well, Audacity software does work but it is not what I call "user friendly" or intuitive. Perhaps I could learn to use it. The Pro Ject box does it's job but I am confused on the software. I suspect that this will not work for me.

Meanwhile a funny problem. The computer is recording the room sounds, in fact, the next room sounds. When I play the song back on the computer, I hear the next room conversation copied on top of the music. WTF??????????????
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3344
Registered: May-05
Sorry, I just came across this.

I've never used the software, so I have no idea what's going on. It sounds like you somehow have a microphone setting turned on.

Is there any way to contact Audacity? How about calling Needle Doctor?
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 667
Registered: Jul-07
Thanks Stu- I can probably find out from Apple about the live mike but I didn't bother since I have the bigger issue of learning to use Audacity.

Luckily, a guy I know in town who has more vinyl than me is doing the same thing. He has a business and a baby so I have not bothered him. I know his time is limited. I plan to bribe him to teach me the Audacity.
What I see on the software is one steady stream of music. It has play, record, pause and stop buttons. No scroll forward though. I can go to the complete beginning and play or record. When I jog forward as you would on a cdp to the next song, it goes all the way to the end so you can start recording again. I can't figure out how to get to any individual track in the middle.

I read from Audacity that you can transfer the music to iTunes which I would if I eventually get back to it. The Audacity help file will not open on my Apple software so I have to read what I can on their website.

I need a dac or streamer now to play back because it sounds so bad on the laptop speakers. The reason that I think that the playback sound quality problem is not caused by the Pro Ject Box on recording because I sounds good when you hear it on the hifi as you record.

I will get on the dac thread to decide when I get ready to buy.

Basically I just got so frustrated and decided that I will not get going without lessons. Luckily I do know a guy. I will report back after I visit him.
Thanks again!
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3346
Registered: May-05
In the words of Jim Valvano... "Don't give up. Don't ever give up!"
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 12735
Registered: Dec-04
Maybe thats where the 12000 newly released Nixon tapes came from...audacity indeed!
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 668
Registered: Jul-07
he he!
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3826
Registered: May-05
This thread hasn't been active for a long time...

Any luck Kevin? I just got a Cakewalk (made by Roland) analog to USB converter to digitize the fresh batch of vinyl I was given a few months ago. It'll do up to 96/24, which is basically DVD-Audio quality. I've all but completely cracked the Audacity code. A bunch of trial and error. I going to try one or two different settings, but I'm pretty sure It'll work well.

There's a Wiki instructions page, but its a bit misleading, hence the trial and error. If you're still interested - or anyone else is - I'll start a thread and give step by step instructions. Its actually pretty simple.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3827
Registered: May-05
I've got Hendrix's Axis: Bold as Love as a 96/16 file (for some reason I couldn't get it at 96/24), and I successfully copied it to iTunes as an Apple Lossless file (back to 44.1/16) and played it through my Apple TV and DAC. Sounds far better than any Hendrix CD I've ever heard.

Valleys of Neptune is next!
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 677
Registered: Jul-07
Hi guys. Hendrix is classic! Seminal in the history of rock.
I forgot about trying to copy the LPs. I was digging through boxes of LPs yesteday and was amazed atall the great music there. I was obsessed collecting LPs back in the day. I would buy more new music now if there were any cd stores up here.
Stu, I appreciate you being willing to help but I just don't have the time or patience for it now. iTunes is not perfect but Audacity is a really bad program. Plus the problem of the computer also over copying from it's microphone. I still have the Project ADS connected to the turntable.
I can burn a cd from LP but have avoided that because I don't want to copy them twice. Some day I will get them into a server that is user friendly. I read in magazines about some great server systems but they are still out of my price range. That is more true now that I am retired and also took a major cut in retirement income. Most of my money now goes to house repair and remodel, so I have slowed down on lusting over hifi
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 683
Registered: Jul-07
Stu- there is an article in the new Aug 2010 Stereophile- LP RECORDING AND EDITING SOFTWARE...Michael Fremer. He is recommending Pure Vinyl Software.
Looking deeper online I see that he reviewed Pure Vinyl software in March '09 which I missed. That article was discussed on Computer Audiophile forum where people mention other software competitors.
I am encouraged that Audacity is not the only one and that Pure Vinyl is specifically Apple which I use.
I will let you know if I buy some software and start the LP burning adventure again. I think that may be better for me than going back to Audacity.
I appreciate your effort to help me.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 684
Registered: Jul-07
Another Apple specific program recommended on CA forum:

http://www.amazon.com/Sound-Studio-Record-Effects-Audio/dp/B000BNKBDM
 

New member
Username: Bransonbob

Post Number: 2
Registered: Sep-10
I've been told that CD's and DVD's degrade after about ten years. So, KEEP THE VINYL!!! My old 78's and 33's still sound like new. I admit that the old 78's can be digitally enhanced, and cleaned up, but apparently the vinyl doesn't degrade like the digital. I just bought an old streo that has a 16 rpm speed, and in conversations with people about it, several of them said they are starting to make records again. Does anyone know anything much about that? ... And, where the heck can I find a 16 rpm record to play!?! (-:
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 730
Registered: Jul-07
I gave up on trying to copy LPs after reading this.
Stereophile, Aug 2010, discussion of copying LPs Mr Fremer says: "....first set of maddening choices...incomprehensible to all but the most technically informed. ...I found out by blowing two midrange power resisters in my MAXX3 speakers. ...closely resemble a completed Federal tax return. ...Depending on your comfort with computers, you're sure to get lost in the digital labyrinth...even with frequent calls to...I ran into frustrating problems. ...numerous glitches, mysterious malfunctions, crashes, sudden losses of sound.... ....speaker damaging problems...
steep learning curve...

This article was not exactly encouraging to me, who can't even understand what Jan is saying half the time
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 13340
Registered: Feb-05
Spin 'em on the turntable and fuggetabout that digitized analog!
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 731
Registered: Jul-07
Great idea, esp now that I will have my space back to unpack them!
Coincidentially, I am right now spinning THE NEW EARL HINES TRIO, from 1965 on Columbia. Good fun!
http://www.answers.com/topic/the-new-earl-hines-trio

I kept only one box of LPs home and the rest are packed to move. A few listed here:
Zoot meets Jimmy Rawles: IF I'M LUCKY
Oscar- GIRL TALK from the awsome "Exclusively for my friends sessions"
New York Jazz Quartet- IN CONCERT IN JAPAN, (Ron Carter, Rolland Hanna, Ben Riley, Frank Wess (flute). Beautiful!
Frank Wess- FLUTE JUICE W/Tommy Flannagan, Mraz Riley and Chuck Wayne.
James Moody- "FLUTE 'N THE BLUES
Fats Domino- WALKING TO NEW ORLEANS and ROCK and ROLLIN' original Imperial LPs
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 13342
Registered: Feb-05
Good stuff my friend!
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