Whats The Best USB Audio Interface For Ripping Vinyl

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Sunwire
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Re: Whats The Best USB Audio Interface For Ripping Vinyl

Post by Sunwire » 26 Apr 2018 03:49

Ah, OK. When you said you use "Roxio's Easy LP to mp3", I assumed you were creating MP3 files.
Sorry.

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Re: Whats The Best USB Audio Interface For Ripping Vinyl

Post by Sterling1 » 26 Apr 2018 11:55

Sunwire wrote:Ah, OK. When you said you use "Roxio's Easy LP to mp3", I assumed you were creating MP3 files.
Sorry.
Writing my last post, I thought the software title might be confusing. I should have explained. Also, I want to point out, it's my software which is what causes me to digitize vinyl using the process I described. For the most part, digitizing in wav is my only lossless choice; thereby, making a direct import to iTunes cumbersome, if I attempt to add metadata to the file being imported. This is essentially why I just burn a CD first and then add metadata to it while importing to iTunes. I'm certain your software, is more accommodating to the addition of metadata.


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Re: Whats The Best USB Audio Interface For Ripping Vinyl

Post by bmovies » 30 May 2018 16:22

Hello to everyone. This is not a reply, but just some comments on the subject of this thread. I'd like to share my experience with some USB interfaces with the purpose of providing some information and doing some learning too

I've used two of them to digitise vinyl, so far: the Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi and the Pro-Ject Phono Box USB V. I wouldn't recommend either of them and I don't see any reason to think that similar devices, such as the Rega Mini A2D or the Art USB Phono Plus, for instance, might do a better job.
Sure, you can digitise vinyl with these devices, but the results are less than ideal. I mean, the quantity and the strenght of the signal you get from them leave much to be desired, either the input you send them is amplified or not. Using the same old modest amplifier, I've had much better results connecting the TAPE REC output to the LINE IN of my computer -equipped with a modest dedicated sond card- than using USB interfaces as recordig devices. Without amplification, the results of just connecting a turntable to the computer through one of these things were much poorer. This makes me think that the problem with the devices I've tested might be in their integrated preamp: they don't work properly without amplification and when they receive an amplified signal it's as if they cut it down.

By the way, I've never been able to get a decent vinyl rip out of a laptop, whatever the method, so I use a desktop PC that isn't near the HI-FI combo. Therefore, my best bet would be to have some dedicated equipment to do it and that's the task I'm on. I've tried a cheap, light and very portable USB turntable that would work for me if only I could improve its sound with a new cart, but to anyone attempting seriously to digitise vinyl my recommendation would be to get the best turntable, phono preamp -as little "versatile" as possible- and PCI sound card he or she could afford plus a 2 RCA to minijack cable. Place all that stuff near the computer you intend to use and forget the USB thing.
But, as I started, I've entered this thread to learn. I assume that what I say may make appear lots of counterexemples.

Best regards.

GrumpyBob
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Re: Whats The Best USB Audio Interface For Ripping Vinyl

Post by GrumpyBob » 30 May 2018 19:31

I guess this comes down to taste and the purposes for which one is ripping vinyl, but I've been very happy with rips from my Rega Planar 3 via the Rega Fono Mini A2D connected via USB to my MacBook running Audacity.

Robert

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Re: Whats The Best USB Audio Interface For Ripping Vinyl

Post by bmovies » 31 May 2018 02:14

Hello. I can see that you like what you do and besides it's easy for you to do it. In sum, you're happier than me regarding the subject of this thread and I can only congratulate you.

Warmest regards.

kuja
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Re: Whats The Best USB Audio Interface For Ripping Vinyl

Post by kuja » 02 Jun 2018 00:10

I'm using the line input on my Tascam DR-100 MkII digital recorder for all my vinyl ripping.
Sound quality in 24/96 WAV mode is great, practically indistinguishable from the original.

What I like most is that this is battery operated self contained recorder.
No humming due to ground loops, no noisy computer power supplies, no extra USB cabling, etc.

And it is within the OP's budget. :)
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bmovies
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Re: Whats The Best USB Audio Interface For Ripping Vinyl

Post by bmovies » 02 Jun 2018 13:07

Tastes, subjective... Look at how those words are often used when talking about sound. I think that many times they make discussion inviable because they refer to sound as something completely evanescent.
Obviously, every person has his or her tastes, every person is a subject; but if that evidence leads us to treat our experience of sound as something exclusive, irreducible to other people's experience, the result of that use of words is that, when we think we are talking about sound, what we really do is to talk about ourselves.

The topic here is the performances of different audio interfaces. This involves comparison and it's clear that any comparison requires some measurements related to a common given pattern taken in a common given way. And, since this thread is also about digitising vinyl, my point is that the acoustic spectrum analysis is to be considered in order to bring some objectivity into the assessment of the performance of different audio interfaces in digitising vinyl or, more generally, of different methods to digitise vinyl, taking for granted that everyone's goal is to get the best (=accurate) possible output from a given source.

The recipe: digitise the same piece of music using different audio interfaces with the same turntable, the same computer and the same software -i.e. Audacity- adjusting the recording level just below clipping each time. Save the WAVs. Then, run a free software, such as Spelk or Spectro, to get the spectrograms of the different audio files, save the images and finally compare them.

Will this recipe give you a final verdict about the best audio interface? Sure, it won't. But it will be of some help. At least it will make easy to set a threshold of acceptability that one couldn't easily refer to taste, subjectivity, etc. Use your taste, subjectivity, etc. above that threshold. Even if the spectrum analyzers I suggest are basic things, they aren't misleading for your purpose and they are certainly better than nothing. Of course, you can test their performance by using several of them -same record, same computer... you know-

Best regards

GrumpyBob
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Re: Whats The Best USB Audio Interface For Ripping Vinyl

Post by GrumpyBob » 02 Jun 2018 13:21

I only occasionally rip vinyl these days, as most LPs I buy come with a download code which is often 320k mp3 but may offer a variety of lossless formats. My main reason for ripping vinyl is to add the music to my digital music library, which is then portable (including to an iPod for when I am travelling). I've done this in several ways:

1. Some years ago, I ripped most of my older vinyl to 320k mp3 using a direct line from the amplifier to the onboard sound card of a 2010 MacBook Pro.

2. Later, I bought a 2013 MacBook Retina, and this laptop didn't have an ADC function as the older model did. I bought a cheap Behringer ADC and used that via a USB cable to my laptop.

3. More recently I bought a Rega Fono Mini ADC, which has a convenient USB socket on the front - I directly connect this via USB to the 2013 MacBook. Around about this time I switched to 16/44.1 flac.

All these options produced rips which were perfectly usable for my purposes - which is what I alluded to in an earlier post. Occasionally I have to work on the primary recording using Audacity to remove pops and clicks and so forth. Chasing after possibly unattainable fidelity in these rips isn't really my goal, but I would imagine the biggest issue would be various extraneous noises picked up by the turntable.

Robert

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Re: Whats The Best USB Audio Interface For Ripping Vinyl

Post by bmovies » 02 Jun 2018 13:39

Hi Robert. Audacity is a great software, but its weakest feature is, in my opinion, the click removal utility. Based on my experience, I would recommend Brian Davis' Click Repair, an inexpensive software that does the job wonderfully in a few seconds with no loss in sound.

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Re: Whats The Best USB Audio Interface For Ripping Vinyl

Post by tentoes » 03 Jun 2018 20:11

My set up: Turntable => Hagerman Bugle preamp => Asus Xonar Essence STX in a Windows 7 PC and Audacity software. Playback with Foobar 2000 through Asus Xonar Essence STX line-out. My vinyl ripped FLAC files do sound like the live turntable.

Back to the USB discussion. I was looking at getting the Asus Xonar U7 USB box, but found a 2nd hand deal on the STX PCIe card. I am still curious how the Xonar U7 stacks up against a good sound card for ripping vinyl via a preamp and line-in.

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Re: Whats The Best USB Audio Interface For Ripping Vinyl

Post by bmovies » 04 Jun 2018 15:19

I am still curious how the Xonar U7 stacks up against a good sound card for ripping vinyl via a preamp and line-in
Hi. I've never tried the Xonar U7, but according to my experience, using TWO external devices to rip vinyl is not a good idea. The lesser gadgets and connections the better, no matter how good performers they may be.
Just my 2 cent opinion.

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GrumpyBob
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Re: Whats The Best USB Audio Interface For Ripping Vinyl

Post by GrumpyBob » 04 Jun 2018 15:27

bmovies wrote:
I am still curious how the Xonar U7 stacks up against a good sound card for ripping vinyl via a preamp and line-in
Hi. I've never tried the Xonar U7, but according to my experience, using TWO external devices to rip vinyl is not a good idea. The lesser gadgets and connections the better, no matter how good performers they may be.
Just my 2 cent opinion.

Best regards
I agree the fewer devices in the chain the better. I reckon that once you've converted the analogue signal to digital, the digital data can be transferred easily from one device to another. It seems to me that the key points here are (a) recovering a decent analogue signal from the record -in my case this is my Planar 3 and then (b) making a decent analogue to digital conversion - in my case in the Rega phono ADC device.

Robert

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Re: Whats The Best USB Audio Interface For Ripping Vinyl

Post by bbr620 » 04 Jun 2018 17:27

Best bet is get yourself a decent USB Sound Card, if you want quality and Gain control, that is.

I currently rip with:

Rega P3 / RB300 Modded Arm with Audio Technica AT150MLx Cartridge
> Parks Audio Budgie Phono Amp with EH Valves
> Tascam US-122mkII USB Sound Card

Rip with Izotope RX 6, after processing click / pops, etc, use Flac Frontend or DBPoweramp to convert wav's to Flac.

You can pick these Tascams up on auction site for around £30 - £50 now.

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Re: Whats The Best USB Audio Interface For Ripping Vinyl

Post by rjdunnill » 11 Aug 2018 06:37

bmovies wrote:Hi. I've never tried the Xonar U7, but according to my experience, using TWO external devices to rip vinyl is not a good idea. The lesser gadgets and connections the better, no matter how good performers they may be.
Just my 2 cent opinion.
I used a vintage Luxman linear track (OMP 20 cartridge) with a Sony STR-DE835 receiver (for its pre-amp) with an XP PC (Realtek audio), all connected with Monster cables, with good results. Software was Nero WaveEditor.