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fajw

converting records to CD

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I have one of these record players for playing records outputted to my computer. How much difference to the sound quality will a more expensive record player make? I have a quality sound card so that is not an issue. I know SFA about records and record players. Should I get a better, more expensive one?

Edited by fajw

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Depends on the quality of the ADC in it.

 

Are you happy with the sound quality?

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It seems noisy but I don't really have a basis for comparison.

 

And I don't know how much of it is player and how much is the dirtiness of the record and how much is the nature of vinyl.

 

Oh, and I am outputting in analogue to the sound card.

Edited by fajw

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Turntables won't have an ADC unless it's a modern USB one or one that interfaces with stereo gear via one of the digital interfaces.

 

What makes a difference - all sorts. The stylus for starters. The arm as well for that matter, as well as the turntable and drive system.

 

Higher end gear in the day used to have adjustable ballast on the opposite end of the pickup arm and a strobe system with series of marks on the side of the turntable which allowed the speed to be finely adjusted.

Then there's the electronics.

 

But all that aside, hiss, crackle and hum will be the main enemies. Hum often by mains power interference or poor grounding. Hiss/crackle can be by dirty record and/or stylus.

 

Going back 10 years or so ago I tried converting a few songs and using utilities to get rid of the noise. TBH I wasn't impressed with the results.

Bottom line is if you want the old LP sound, then play it back from the original media.

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The reply I got from Jaycar:

The GE4132 will provide reasonable audio quality.

 

For high quality audio, we recommend the GE4142 which will become available in late September and will retail for $299.

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Of course the gear makes a difference, but to be frank fajw, your stuff is not going to produce good results, nor does it sound like you are going to buy quality gear that would make a difference. So the simplest advice here would be to clean the records properly before converting them. That is the greatest source of noise.

 

You don't have to spend a lot to get decent equipment. Old second hand turntables work well and don't cost much, match it up with a decent stylus and set it up properly, average quality phono input and AD converter. Easily doable for under $500. More than likely, all record players that have a USB out are poor quality, best avoided.

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I appreciate the input.

 

How good is an old National system likely to be?

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"cartridge" is the same thing as "needle" and "stylus"?

 

How would it compare to the unit you recommended?

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No, a needle goes in a cartridge, its what mounts to the headshell.

The cartridge contains the magnets and all the hoo haa that converts the needle movement to sound, to send down the tone arm.

 

I wouldn't compare the two.

The REGA I posted I used to sell, it has a heavy solid platter meaning little discrepancy in speed caused by voltage fluctuations from the mains power. The tonearm and cart it comes with are actually quite mellow. If I recall its an eliptical needle meaning less skipping on scratches; but not quite as 'flat' sounding as a rounded tip.

 

Really for what you want, use whatever old thing you have, put a new, quality, brand name cartridge on it (check DJ stores for brands, then google reviews; or grab a REGA cart?), and run it through an active UPS.

 

You have 3 main enemies in record converting.

 

1. Power. Its not stable so the motor changes speed (can be minimised by platter weight; good ones are pure marble!)

2. Needle and cart. Some are very sensitive, some are able to take the worlds biggest beating. I use Ortofon GT cartridges, they're a DJ cart, and not as sweet as I'd like, but you can load them with weight, without distortion, so the needle never skips

3. dirt. Which can be removed from groves using the 'risky' PVA glue method, or another sticky film like the revirginiser. Never been a fan of the 'brushes'

Edited by Master_Scythe

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Thanks. So the National one > the one I've got? And is it important to run it off the battery part of the UPS or should I just run it from the surge protection part?

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battery part.

 

If your UPS can actually run the machine for long enough (and the beeping doesnt drive you mad) run it solely on battery power. Take mains power fluctuations out of the picture.

 

National was a big brand, made some amazing and shitty stuff, and unfortunately was before my time, so model numbers wouldnt mean squat to me.

 

But yes, I'd wager WAY better than a jaycar unit regardless.

If the platter is heavier and the tonearm feels more 'robust', they're your main signals of a quality unit.

And hopefully carts are still available with whatever mounting style it uses, so you can get a nice fresh one :)

 

As I said, talk to a record store about carts, because some are feather touch and distort with lots of weight. They're good for fidelity and clarity, but your records need to be in top top top condition, otherwise they'll skip and crackle.

 

I've always been happy with the DJ style carts, they can always take weight because they're designed to resist 'turntablist' work (scratching and spins). This means I can put all the weight available on the tip, and even big scratches on the vinyl wont normally make it skip :)

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So here is my old National SG-D10 system. Anyone know how good it is?

 

Posted Image

Posted Image

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Well that would tell me the difference between the units I have but it wouldn't tell me whether or not I should get the unit you suggested.

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Most of those integrated systems are pretty Joe-average. National = Panasonic = fairly reputable brand which for quality and such competes on fairly level footing with Sony (not that it's saying a lot).

 

By the looks of that, there's no line-level RCA output available. That was the usual, they generally had headphones and a Mic input and nothing else.

Possibly you could use an RCA adaptor on the headphone output.

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just remember that most units people have 'kicking around' are consumer grade. If you're trying to make master recordings, then yeah I'd buy even better than what I said; I'd START at the RP3 and go up to what I could afford

http://www.whathifi.com/review/rega-rp3elys2

 

You need a spirit level too.

And you'll need a FANTASTIC phono Pre-amp. Expect to pay about the same as you did for a table.

I was going to suggest a sondproof box, but as long as you record without speakers on, the tonearm shouldn't be affected.

 

Last guy I saw who was really 'serious' about his records, had a hole cut in his floor, and an additional concrete stand built up from this foundations, with a perfectly level top.

Then a layer of isolating foam.

Then a marble top.

 

It didnt make sense to me why he spent so much, and went to so much trouble to get the turntable so perfect, but he built it in the same room he wanted to listen in!

 

Of course your speakers are going to get 'into' your tonearm! silly...

 

 

 

But anyway; as you can see, there are levels.

 

If you'r making a consumer quality MP3\FLAC out of your records, then what you have will do.

If you're planning on using them for some form of professional use, or think you may have the only archived copy in existance, its pretty easy to empty your bank account.

 

Personally? I have some DJ decks designed for club use. Nope, nothing special, but I'm only listening to (and scratching :P) my records, so I never saw a need for audiophile quality. Even on a few of my collectible classics like Simon and Garfunkel

Edited by Master_Scythe

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PMSL. By fixing it to what's essentially a foundation, he'd be getting vibration from passing cars and the like that would normally be near non-existant on a normal floating floor.

 

Really, just the level placement on a marble plate isolated by the piece of foam and away from the speakers influence would probably have been ideal, and at a miniscule fraction of the cost.

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He lived fairly remotely, and made a 'new' floating floor on top of the pillar.

 

 

Seriously, if you ever get the chance to work in audiophile hifi, do it, you'll never meet so many crazy's with huge amounts of money.

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I doubt any of that is going to make a pinch of shit difference to fajw. Clean record, better turntable, mid level phono pre and soundcard line input. That's all he needs to know.

Edited by komuso

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better turntable, mid level phono pre and soundcard line input.

Better than what I already have? Is there a turntable you would recommend? What does "mid level phono pre and soundcard line input" mean?

 

Thanks.

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better turntable, mid level phono pre and soundcard line input.

Better than what I already have? Is there a turntable you would recommend? What does "mid level phono pre and soundcard line input" mean?

 

Thanks.

 

There are hundreds or thousands of different models of equipment, and you haven't specified a price range. You need to do a bit more footwork. Anyway...

 

You've already had several turntable recommendations. You might want to look for a second hand Technics SL1200 series turntable, which are very reliable, and you can get a bargain if you're patient.

 

For a cheap phono pre, try Art DJPre II, or Rolls VP29, both pretty reasonably priced. Behringer also make one for around $40.

 

Soundcard: upgrade if you're using on board audio in your computer. Buy something that you've heard of. If you want something better, go to a computer audio shop and buy something more expensive.

 

Any software for audio recording is fine; try Audacity, its free. I would look into some vinyl restoration plugins as well. VST plugins with work with Audacity.

 

There are many configurations and methods, but this basic chain,with a little know how, will have you doing clean conversions.

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