Gearing Up To Digitize Vinyl LP's

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NOYB
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Gearing Up To Digitize Vinyl LP's

Post by NOYB » 04 Jul 2019 10:14

Gearing up to digitize a dozen vinyl LP's and have a few questions.

Pulled the turntable out of the closet last week and it seems to operate as it always had in the past. The turntable is a Kenwood KD-5070 from late 70's early 80's with original QLM 36 MKIII cartridge and replacement ADC RSQ 36 (QLM 36 MKIII) stylus. Seems to still be in good working order. Cartridge seems to lean left about 1db. But can compensate for that. Measured DC resistance: left 897, right 886.

Anything that should be done for the TT?
Anything to minimize rumble/motor noise? It's not bad but welcome tips for minimizing.


For the preamp I have the choice of using a 2008 era Pioneer SC-25 AV receiver, or vintage Kenwood KR-8010 receiver, or buy a USB phono preamp.
Like the idea of matching up the vintage Kenwood receiver preamp with the vintage Kenwood TT of the same era. They were bought and always operated together. But don't know which would be better signal quality and noise level.

Please help me decide.


Have an M-Audio MobilePre USB from 2009 era that I can run the line level into and it records in Audacity. Though I'm 99% sure the Windows audio subsystem is acting as a go-between. So if I set the Windows audio subsystem to match the device bit depth and sample rate (16/48) does it matter if Windows audio subsystem is a go-between? Though the device claims to be 16 bit 48000 KHz. I'm not certain that maybe the hardware (DAC) is actually 12 bit and the driver is deepening it to 16. Don't know how to determine that.

Considering buying a new USB audio interface. In which case I'd prefer 24 bit. Been looking at the Steinberg UR22MKII and Behringer UMC202HD. Though they both have some pretty negative reviews. That is concerning. But also some good reviews. Seems like a roll of the dice. Or would a USB phono preamp be the way to go?

Suggestions?

The OS is Windows 8.1 Pro on a Notebook (Core i5, 8 GB, SSD).

Not interested in spending a lot of money. But do want to utilize the equipment well. Right now I think the M-Audio MobilePre USB is the weak link. Primarily due to not knowing for certain what bit depth the DAC really is.

Looking forward to your thoughts and insights.

Thanks

P.S. Wish the audio equipment of this era had more complete and detailed data/spec sheets.
None of this stuff seems to have anything about the analog interfaces like S/N, distortion, etc. They don't even clearly state that the hardware (DAC) is actually n-bit depth. Gives them a lot of wiggle room to fudge it and just software deepen it in the drivers.

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Re: Gearing Up To Digitize Vinyl LP's

Post by JoeE SP9 » 19 Jul 2019 19:52

If you're using Audacity set it to use WASAPI. It will then bypass the Windows mixer. I use Audacity for all my vinyl rips.

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Re: Gearing Up To Digitize Vinyl LP's

Post by NOYB » 02 Aug 2019 07:15

JoeE SP9 wrote:
19 Jul 2019 19:52
If you're using Audacity set it to use WASAPI. It will then bypass the Windows mixer. I use Audacity for all my vinyl rips.
What audio interface do you use? I currently have an M-Audio MobileUSB from 2009 era. 16-bit 48k. It works but looking to upgrade to 24-bit 96k.
Last edited by NOYB on 02 Aug 2019 07:19, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Gearing Up To Digitize Vinyl LP's

Post by NOYB » 02 Aug 2019 07:19

Anyone have some thoughts on which preamp to use? The Pioneer Elite SC-25 A/V receiver (2008 era) or the Kenwood KR-8010 receiver (1978 era)?

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Re: Gearing Up To Digitize Vinyl LP's

Post by JoeE SP9 » 02 Aug 2019 17:37

NOYB wrote:
02 Aug 2019 07:15
JoeE SP9 wrote:
19 Jul 2019 19:52
If you're using Audacity set it to use WASAPI. It will then bypass the Windows mixer. I use Audacity for all my vinyl rips.
What audio interface do you use? I currently have an M-Audio MobileUSB from 2009 era. 16-bit 48k. It works but looking to upgrade to 24-bit 96k.
A Behringer UCA-222 works for me. It goes to 16/48 and is so cheap it's a no brainer expense. 16 bits is more than enough to record what's on an LP dynamic range wise and a 48KHz sampling rate is enough bandwidth for just about any LP.

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Re: Gearing Up To Digitize Vinyl LP's

Post by wblynch » 11 Sep 2019 01:36

NOYB wrote:
02 Aug 2019 07:19
Anyone have some thoughts on which preamp to use? The Pioneer Elite SC-25 A/V receiver (2008 era) or the Kenwood KR-8010 receiver (1978 era)?
I know it’s a late response but that AVR will have a DSP (digital signal processor) in the path and your ‘78 Kenwood will be pure analog. I noticed a difference between my Denon AVR and my 1976 Pioneer SX-850. The Pioneer was much more pleasing. (Although the Denon was quieter)

Just something to consider.

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Re: Gearing Up To Digitize Vinyl LP's

Post by Jim Leach » 11 Sep 2019 01:58

I’d run the Kenwood receiver with that table (I have the same one as a second table). I put together a vintage Kenwood system with the KA-9100 as the heart. Haven’t put it all together yet as I’m sorting stuff out with other projects.

No opinion on the DAC as I dump vinyl to the Alesis Masterlink edit it in there a bit and then burn a red book CD. No computer needed.

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Re: Gearing Up To Digitize Vinyl LP's

Post by NOYB » 11 Sep 2019 03:10

wblynch wrote:
11 Sep 2019 01:36
NOYB wrote:
02 Aug 2019 07:19
Anyone have some thoughts on which preamp to use? The Pioneer Elite SC-25 A/V receiver (2008 era) or the Kenwood KR-8010 receiver (1978 era)?
I know it’s a late response but that AVR will have a DSP (digital signal processor) in the path and your ‘78 Kenwood will be pure analog. I noticed a difference between my Denon AVR and my 1976 Pioneer SX-850. The Pioneer was much more pleasing. (Although the Denon was quieter)

Just something to consider.
I didn't think the DSP would be in path of phono-in to line-out. Would it really? I thought it would remain analog path.

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Re: Gearing Up To Digitize Vinyl LP's

Post by Sunwire » 11 Sep 2019 03:22

Why not try both preamps and listen to the result? See which one sounds better.

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Re: Gearing Up To Digitize Vinyl LP's

Post by NOYB » 11 Sep 2019 03:33

Sunwire wrote:
11 Sep 2019 03:22
Why not try both preamps and listen to the result? See which one sounds better.
Interested in signal quality. Not sound preference.

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Re: Gearing Up To Digitize Vinyl LP's

Post by Sunwire » 11 Sep 2019 06:28

I would expect signal quality and sound preference to agree.

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Re: Gearing Up To Digitize Vinyl LP's

Post by NOYB » 11 Sep 2019 16:27

Sunwire wrote:
11 Sep 2019 06:28
I would expect signal quality and sound preference to agree.
I wouldn't. Sound preference is subjective. Signal quality is objective.

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Re: Gearing Up To Digitize Vinyl LP's

Post by Sunwire » 12 Sep 2019 03:44

But if you listen to both preamps, you could at least see if either one is obviously faulty due to noise, distortion, or large frequency response errors. If they are too close to tell apart, then that tells you something. If they sound very different but you're not sure which one is more accurate, then that might tell you something, too.
I guess I'm just saying that it seems like a listening test would be a good first step.

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Re: Gearing Up To Digitize Vinyl LP's

Post by NOYB » 12 Sep 2019 04:09

Sunwire wrote:
12 Sep 2019 03:44
But if you listen to both preamps, you could at least see if either one is obviously faulty due to noise, distortion, or large frequency response errors. If they are too close to tell apart, then that tells you something. If they sound very different but you're not sure which one is more accurate, then that might tell you something, too.
I guess I'm just saying that it seems like a listening test would be a good first step.
Mostly agree. Though as for first step there are other factors that come into play. Like the Kenwood is not set up and requires phono selector contact cleaning first. I had set it up earlier but the phono selector contact was too problematic to do anything serious with. So gathering thoughts about the contrast is an easier first step at the moment.

So to get the TT, ADC/DAC and what not set up I just connected it up to the Pioneer A/V receiver. Honestly other than if there is obvious noise level I doubt I'd be able to tell the difference by ear.

I guess maybe I'm looking for something along the lines of what sorts of phono preamp differences are common/likely from the two eras of receivers.

Still up in the air about whether or not to upgrade the DAC. I did open it up and get the part number. Found a spec sheet online that indicates it actually is 16-bit 48KHz. So that is at least a positive. Though the drivers are of a past Windows version and about a quarter of the time the PC and DAC initialization doesn't sync up correctly (sound comes through garbled up). It's easy to just restart the playback or record a time or two though until it initializes cleanly. But then there is also the mater of it's analog stage vs. something newer.

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Re: Gearing Up To Digitize Vinyl LP's

Post by kalaur » 12 Sep 2019 07:36

Steinberg UR22 or Focusrite 2i2 is my choice, neither are expensive. I own a couple 2i2s and like them. Old v1 2i2s do 24/96khz, v2 and v3 do 24/192khz. Take the time to properly set the input gains on the preamp, and match them properly. If you hit a recording and you see a bunch of clipping (red LEDs on the 2i2, or in your recording software) drop the gains a little and rematch them. If you end up using a preamp with a phono stage integrated, try using the rec or tape outputs, not the main outputs controlled by the volume knob. If you have a separate phono stage, this can go directly into the 2i2 or UR22.

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