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Digitising my LP's.

RichD1

Active member
Aug 23, 2020
13
3
25
Wondering what is the best way to digitise my LP collection.

1. Could buy replacement CD's but most look like they have been remastered and they will cost between £8 to £12 on average. Got about 50 albums and at least a third are doubles.
2. Buy a USB turntable say the Dual DT 210 at about £120
3. Buy a NAD PP 4 digital phono for £165 to use in my existing system which is Rega 3/Ortofon MC25E/Naim NAC62/NAP140/Pro9TL speakers.

What are your thoughts on this?

Richard
 

Earsome

Active member
Dec 10, 2020
21
2
25
Why? An MC cartridge into that Naim must give you a terrific sound surely? If you digitise your LPs you will throw away most of the information contained in the groove only to later re-synthesise it and filter unwanted artefacts via a DAC. I 'dump' old demo cassettes onto my hard drive using a 24 bit Behringer interface at 44.1k and I can hear what's missing but it's OK for reference. It certainly isn't better. But - a 24bit interface is cheaper than buying another turntable - if you've got software to record 24 bit audio. Don't bother with 16bit - you'll hate yourself!
 

iMark

Well-known member
May 16, 2008
324
126
19,070
I've recorded many LPs to a computer at CD quality settings. A digital recording of an LP will sound great if you clean the record first and then record it. I use an old Minidisc deck for the analogue to digital conversion. The Minidisc deck is connected by optical cable to a an old MacBook with optical in. The actual recording is made on the hard drive of the computer with Vinyl Studio. I then copy the recording to a USB stick and transfer it to my Mac mini which also runs Vinyl Studio. I do all the tagging and editing on the Mac mini.

There is nothing wrong with recording at CD quality (16/44.1). That bitrate has more than enough headroom to capture the limited headroom of an LP.

The good thing about using the equipment in the hifi rack (turntable, stereo receiver and minidisc deck) is that I only have to plug in the old laptop if I want to make a recording.
The funny thing is that an old minidisc deck has a much better ADC than a computer and many current ADCs.
I don't do it as often as I used to. It's good fun but a lot of work. Especially the titling and editing of the recordings. But it does feel like you've achieved something when you can listen to your favourite LPs in the car by listening to audio files on your phone.
 
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Gray

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2015
1,518
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Wondering what is the best way to digitise my LP collection.

1. Could buy replacement CD's but most look like they have been remastered and they will cost between £8 to £12 on average. Got about 50 albums and at least a third are doubles.
2. Buy a USB turntable say the Dual DT 210 at about £120
3. Buy a NAD PP 4 digital phono for £165 to use in my existing system which is Rega 3/Ortofon MC25E/Naim NAC62/NAP140/Pro9TL speakers.

What are your thoughts on this?

Richard
My order would be 3, 1, 2.
I've digitised a bit of vinyl.
If you do it, two things will be absolutely essential:
1) Patience
2) (At least one) separate device to back up to.
 
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JukeLad

Active member
Jun 21, 2020
3
4
25
Well, some/many/all? of your LPs have already been digitised and are available of course on one or more streaming services. Of course, some of them may have been remastered and therefore not sound like your LPs (and/or have different track listings).
If you are set on digitising your particular albums and aim to have a complete digital replication, that is a perfectly understandable goal, although it requires a lot of hard work and dedication!
I did a similar thing with some of my singles collection as many of them were simply not available in digital form (plus I liked to record the occasional 'pop'/crackle). However, I prioritised the collection so I probably did about 150 out of 600+.
 

RichD1

Active member
Aug 23, 2020
13
3
25
I'm not wanting to ditch the LP's but I would like to be able to play them via my iPad and Bose Soundlink when I'm in the garden or workshop and when we go travelling in our motorhome.

Richard
 

iMark

Well-known member
May 16, 2008
324
126
19,070
I limit my digitisation of records to stuff I can't find anywhere else. It's a lot of work to do well. But it is nice to listen to an old record while travelling.
 

DougK

Well-known member
I agree with Gray and Mark. LP digitising takes an awful lot of patience and time to do well. I tried a few years ago and was not happy with the results; the files didn't sound anywhere near as good as playing an LP in real time... I decided to leave it as a retirement project.
 
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iMark

Well-known member
May 16, 2008
324
126
19,070
One of the easiest ways to digitise records was/is using my portable minidisc recorder. I would plug it into an amp and simply record the album. After recording it was very easy to split the tracks and the recording was done. Minidisc gives a very good representation of the output from the record player and amp combination. But you do hear all the noise, clicks and pops. Titling the tracks on the minidisc would take up most of the post recording time.

Obviously the better the record player/amp combination the better the recording will sound.
 

sktn77a

Active member
Dec 8, 2020
5
4
25
You might be surprised what music is available on youtube or, heaven forbid, one of the torrent services (after all, you've already bought the rights to listen to the music).
 

djh1697

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2008
56
8
18,545
Minidisc is a dead format now, and certainly not the best way to put music on to a NAS to play using Roon (or what ever your favorite software is) I have tried two methods, neither of which I am happy with. A pioneer PDR609, an award winning CD writer, 44/16 resolution. The second one, which is different, a Rega A2D, 48/16 resolution. I'm not sure which is better? If either? However, you say that you still want to retain your LP collection, a wise choice! The Rega will go straight into your USB port, and you can use Audacity to split the track separations, and put various pieces of metadata with the album.

The only issue you will have is that you would have to get a MM cartridge, there is also the Project AD Box S2 Phono, although I have not tried it, like the Rega it will plug into a USB port
 

Greenwich_Man

Well-known member
Sep 6, 2008
104
31
18,620
I agree with Gray and Mark. LP digitising takes an awful lot of patience and time to do well. I tried a few years ago and was not happy with the results; the files didn't sound anywhere near as good as playing an LP in real time... I decided to leave it as a retirement project.
I too decided to leave it as a retirement project. But now I am retired it doesn't make much sense. As now I get more detail from prerecorded CDs.

I suggest you get some CDs to replace the old LPs. And for your favourite album's get some Japanese pressings.
 

Longchops

Well-known member
Oct 15, 2020
137
55
170
The problem with digitising vinyl is its very difficult to do well, even if you have top gear. Even the super star DJs of the 90s couldn't get round the problem of crackle, and they were using fresh records and DAT recorders. On a good hifi you can tell very easily if a recording has come from vinyl

I've got a bunch that I need to do myself, things like white labels that you just can't find anywhere, not really looking forward to it tbh because I know its going to be difficult!

CDs these days are very cheap. If you look on ebay you can find a lot of stuff for <£2 with free delivery. I keep my 'master copies' on CD, other formats are just for nostalgia tbh
 

Al ears

Moderator
To me digitizing LPs is a complete waste of time and effort. If your analogue setup is of a high quality then trying to create a digital equivalent is pointless even if your digital front end is of simpilar quality. You want digital then buy a decent digital recording in the first place.
If you have a really good analogue disc you simply must digitize them good luck..... You are on an expensive loser as it's very unlikely to sound the same way you remember.
 
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manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
829
175
19,070
I’ve wanted to digitise my late father’s LPs for a while now - because many of them never were released on CD, and I mean never - some are not even on Spotify. I don’t have a turntable now, so I too would look at archiving at some point.

A cost-effective solution is the Sony PS- HX500, which will record straight into DSD, or standard/high-res WAV. It apparently rips very well. I will get this in the near future.

As for pops and crackles I really couldn’t be bothered. I want the purest copy possible, the rest can be done post rip if I really care.

WHF and Wired were impressed with this deck.
 

Al ears

Moderator
I’ve wanted to digitise my late father’s LPs for a while now - because many of them never were released on CD, and I mean never - some are not even on Spotify. I don’t have a turntable now, so I too would look at archiving at some point.

A cost-effective solution is the Sony PS- HX500, which will record straight into DSD, or standard/high-res WAV. It apparently rips very well. I will get this in the near future.

As for pops and crackles I really couldn’t be bothered. I want the purest copy possible, the rest can be done post rip if I really care.

WHF and Wired were impressed with this deck.
Whatever you do I would suggest getting the LPs properly cleaned before you start digitising, it will a cost effective way of getting the best copies in the long run.
 
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ifor

Well-known member
Dec 3, 2002
74
2
18,545
I’ve recently recorded all my vinyl to ALAC that I don’t have digital copies of. It’s very easy and the quality is superb. I take the feed from my phonostage to a Behringer UCA202 and from there to computer using Vinyl Studio software.
 

myrrhman

Well-known member
Apr 24, 2020
71
35
70
I tried a while back using a cheap Art Accessories ADC and Audacity software on a Windows laptop. Results weren't great, and would've demanded a lot more effort on my part to improve things (and I did have some prior experience with Audacity).
What stopped me persevering was the feeling that I realised I wanted to listen to my vinyl music on my turntable, not in the car or on headphones when travelling. I now have different sets of music for different settings:
- my iPhone, playing FIP radio for music discovery / Tidal hifi for albums I don't have in other formats and further discovery / a selection of variable bitrate MP3s I downloaded from eMusic a while back, and played either in the car, on headphones at work / travelling, or through my DAC at home
- a mix of ripped CDs and purchased hires downloads, with a bias towards modern classical (ECM etc.) played at home from my Mac Mini using Audirvana
- LPs, including those bought recently to replace albums I've listened to on Tidal or tracks discovered on FIP, or stuff I've had for decades and am cleaning up and rediscovering.
Once I buy an LP, I tend not to listen to it in any other format - it is preserved for home listening. To justify the non-trivial purchase price of an LP, it has to be something I'm going to enjoy listening to on multiple occasions, not just serving as background music to accompany another task, like working or driving. So while I can appreciate wanting to take a favourite album away with you, and I miss my records when I'm working away from home, I appreciate them all the more when I return. (The same applies for my classical downloads - I'm just not in much of a classical phase at the moment...)
 

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