Whats The Best USB Audio Interface For Ripping Vinyl

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benisjamin
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Whats The Best USB Audio Interface For Ripping Vinyl

Post by benisjamin » 12 Dec 2017 20:27

Hi all,

Whats the best USB audio interface for ripping vinyl and retaining the highest compression possible? The setup I currently use for this process is a Hitachi PS-48 TT and a Marantz 1060 Amp. I was using a Behringer UCA222 previously with my windows 7 machine, but when this gave up the ghost a few months back, I bought a windows 10 machine, but could not for the life of me get the UCA222 to work with my new machine. Id ideally like to up the KHZ from the UCA222 , to improve the audio recordings, my budget is up to £300.

Any help or advice from fellow digitisers would be most appreciative.

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Re: Whats The Best USB Audio Interface For Ripping Vinyl

Post by steve716 » 12 Dec 2017 22:45

Hi benisjamin,

there seems to be lots of advice over on the Vinyl Ripping Forum, and my recent post which lets you hear what the SB box I have does at 96 ksps. Given 96 ksps (thousand samples per second) it's a step up. The jump from 44.1 (CD) to 96 is itself almost academic but does improve the 5 kHz - 10+ kHz range; the key issue being THD in the upper frequency bands. That distortion in the upper range is what gives CD's a false HF bright / edgy sound.

192 ksps is today still a bit of a push and from what I can tell, this finesses past 20 kHz inaudably. This is a diminishing returns thing; every doubling makes less and less audible impact. But, with that sort of money, I'd be tempted to buy a good 2nd hand Win 7 box from morgancomputers and stick with the Behringer...?

But do take a look at the ripping forum. Don't forget, vinyl is not magic and does have drawbacks re CDs especially hiss and other noise. And I'm still worried a bit re tracking...

If I have time, I'll repeat the recording post but at 48 ksps and post a sample for comparison. I think the 48 ksps vs 96 ksps jump will only just be audible - and that's going to be with the very best headphones. But I'll take that on...

Steve

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Re: Whats The Best USB Audio Interface For Ripping Vinyl

Post by benisjamin » 14 Dec 2017 20:55

Hi Steve,
Firstly many thanks for the in depth response, I'm greatly appreciative, and secondly I'll head over to the vinyl ripping forum now to check out your post and samples.
The reason for wanting, or trying to replicate as close to the original vinyl sound as possible, is because I embed via HTML, a media player into my business ebay ads, of either full recordings or part recordings of rare vinyl pressings. I understand most 'bidders' will only hear the audio as if its being played through a tin can coming out of their computer speakers, but for some Id like the audio experience to be as high as possible, thus i'm more than willing to invest in a more expensive USB audio interface than say the UCA222.

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Re: Whats The Best USB Audio Interface For Ripping Vinyl

Post by benisjamin » 14 Dec 2017 22:32

Just to add, I'm not interested in 'cleaning' the audio up, I wish to offer the vinyl playback with all defects clearly audible.

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Re: Whats The Best USB Audio Interface For Ripping Vinyl

Post by Hermetech Mastering » 15 Dec 2017 09:15

It's a bit like saying 'What's the best car to get me from A to B?', it depends entirely on your circumstances and goals. Get the best you can afford. And why do you need 'high compression'? Do you mean dynamic range compression, or file size compression?

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Re: Whats The Best USB Audio Interface For Ripping Vinyl

Post by steve716 » 15 Dec 2017 10:41

Hm. This is difficult, as the question comes - how will people play the record?

RIAA curves (which the Behringer can't do) are going to be used when the record gets played, so to put raw recordings up - at whatever sampling rate, but without RIAA - is not going to be faithful to what the buyer will hear when they get the record.

I see you want to be accurate, but unless you get top end kit you will always be introducing some form of "audible fallacy" - I mean, the cartridge you are using is going to make a really big impact.

Given what you want to do I suggest:
  • get analogue RIAA correction going (= use most any preamp with phonograph input)
    get a decent input system at 92 ksps
    make sure your cartridge is a reasonably respected one with OK stylus
    tell them your system.
IMHO you don't need to have a system which is super-top end. If your customer is thinking "I can do better then that" - this might incentivise sales, as they know they will hear at least as good or better.

But for the ADC, again suggest the Ripping forum.

All the best,
Steve

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Re: Whats The Best USB Audio Interface For Ripping Vinyl

Post by cafe_liegeois » 17 Dec 2017 22:55

Been using a Terratec Phase 26 for years. They're out of production but there's loads of them on the second-hand market.

It has its own phono input but no built-in RIAA filter. I usually rip at 96 kHz, do the rest including RIAA correction, de-crackling etc. on the computer and then save as FLAC with 48 kHz. Works fine for me.

Ralf

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Re: Whats The Best USB Audio Interface For Ripping Vinyl

Post by audiodoc » 04 Jan 2018 14:59

The Behringer UFO-202 works fine in Windows 10, plugging it in Windows automatically installed the drivers for it and it is recognized in Audacity.

It has a phono-preamp/RIAA EQ built in and is set for 47k loading.

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Re: Whats The Best USB Audio Interface For Ripping Vinyl

Post by macnoob » 04 Jan 2018 15:43

Surprised the UCA 222 didn't work for you in Win 10 as it's nearly the same as the UFO 202 (UFO has phono pre, UCA doesn't).

I have both here and a fresh Win 10 install. Will have to test.

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Re: Whats The Best USB Audio Interface For Ripping Vinyl

Post by Sterling1 » 09 Jan 2018 23:49

I use a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi HD external sound card to rip vinyl to digital files. It will properly input RIAA material either direct from your turntable's RCA output or already equalized from your preamps output. I use Roxio LP to mp3 software. The X-Fi HD is compatible with Windows 10, as well as the Roxio software. The software allows track separation, and noise reduction if you wish. It will also find metadata for your rip, which makes your rip very easy to retrieve from your digital music library. The X-Fi HD also works as a usb to optical S/PDIf converter in addition to its DAC and ADC functions. It costs less than a hundred bucks and operates up to 24/96. For analog to digital the Roxio produces 16/44.1 files from your vinyl. My listening tests of this means to digitizing vinyl makes me prefer the digital files to the original vinyl for a multitude of reasons, BTW, there is absolutely no reason to digitize your files at a greater sampling than 16/44.1. There's no headroom need at all as there might be for audio mastering.

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Re: Whats The Best USB Audio Interface For Ripping Vinyl

Post by Sunwire » 10 Jan 2018 02:05

If you have a computer with a half-decent sound card built-in, I don't understand the need for the USB interface.
I plug the tape REC output from my preamp into the audio input on my computer and do the recording using Audacity software, which is a free download.

What are you gaining by using the USB interface?

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Re: Whats The Best USB Audio Interface For Ripping Vinyl

Post by macnoob » 10 Jan 2018 04:10

I just find it easier to deal with. I leave the UCA222 plugged in to the tape loop on my stereo. When I want to digitize something I just plug in the USB to my laptop. The analog signal never gets anywhere near the relatively noisy and crappy laptop sound card.

But yes, with a good sound card you don't need anything else other than the appropriate cable.

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Re: Whats The Best USB Audio Interface For Ripping Vinyl

Post by Sterling1 » 10 Jan 2018 12:05

Sunwire wrote:If you have a computer with a half-decent sound card built-in, I don't understand the need for the USB interface.
I plug the tape REC output from my preamp into the audio input on my computer and do the recording using Audacity software, which is a free download.

What are you gaining by using the USB interface?
My laptop does not have RCA input or output, so an ADC is necessary. It has been over a decade since I've had a computer with RCA input/output. But, since you indeed have the capability to convert analog to digital with your internal sound card, might be that is adequate.

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Re: Whats The Best USB Audio Interface For Ripping Vinyl

Post by Sunwire » 10 Jan 2018 19:15

My computer doesn't have RCA inputs or outputs either.
It uses 1/8" inputs and outputs.
But it's a desktop machine, not a laptop. Maybe that's the difference.
Laptops may be noisier, I don't know. I've never used one for phono recording.

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Re: Whats The Best USB Audio Interface For Ripping Vinyl

Post by Sterling1 » 10 Jan 2018 21:33

Sunwire wrote:My computer doesn't have RCA inputs or outputs either.
It uses 1/8" inputs and outputs.
But it's a desktop machine, not a laptop. Maybe that's the difference.
Laptops may be noisier, I don't know. I've never used one for phono recording.
Well, you can clearly digitize your vinyl without need for anything other than a 1/4 inch to 1/8 inch stereo cable and software, assuming you are outputting from a phono preamp. You will not have any noise issue, expect to be completely satisfied.

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