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Thread: Phono stage for recording advice needed.

  1. #1
    Join Date: Aug 2012

    Location: North

    Posts: 2,601
    I'm Steve.

    Question Phono stage for recording advice needed.

    In need of a little advise from those a little more savvy than me about transferring vinyl album tracks to my laptop. Is there an inexpensive Phono stage with a USB output available with simple software to achieve this. Any tips or pointers appreciated.
    WEBSITE.... www.theprogmeister.com

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  2. #2
    Join Date: Jan 2017

    Location: Bristol

    Posts: 101
    I'm Clive.

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    To some extent it will depend on the quality you wish to achieve.

    Cheap external USB stages are out there. I have used a cheap external SoundBlaster phono/ADC in the past. Maplin also did one though I have not checked if they are still open for business.

    You can get cheap ADCs without phono stages but which can be connected to phono stages. For example I use the Novation 4X4 Audiohub.

    Some of the phono stages by Project. Rega and NAD include ADCs though tend to be restricted to 16bit transfers only.

    Software is relatively straight forward. Audacity is the obvious freeware option. Ocenaudio is another freeware option though I have not tried if for transfers.

  3. #3
    Join Date: Aug 2012

    Location: North

    Posts: 2,601
    I'm Steve.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cre009 View Post
    To some extent it will depend on the quality you wish to achieve.

    Cheap external USB stages are out there. I have used a cheap external SoundBlaster phono/ADC in the past. Maplin also did one though I have not checked if they are still open for business.

    You can get cheap ADCs without phono stages but which can be connected to phono stages. For example I use the Novation 4X4 Audiohub.

    Some of the phono stages by Project. Rega and NAD include ADCs though tend to be restricted to 16bit transfers only.

    Software is relatively straight forward. Audacity is the obvious freeware option. Ocenaudio is another freeware option though I have not tried if for transfers.
    Thanks for that. I thought software would have come with the device. I think most Maplins have now closed unfortunately. I will check out the project et al. I only need an mm ready device in order to convert to mp3 for my radio show.
    WEBSITE.... www.theprogmeister.com

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  4. #4
    Join Date: Aug 2016

    Location: Tynedale

    Posts: 69
    I'm David.

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    I've been ripping vinyl at 16/48 with an NAD PP4 and the bundled Vinyl Studio software with great results - reviewed on my blog at
    https://digitalprakel.wordpress.com/...x-and-install/
    also of the various modules that comprise Vinyl Studio.

    I'm fussy about SQ and I didn't feel the gently edited 16/48 files would have been bettered as 24/192.
    DGP

  5. #5
    Join Date: Aug 2012

    Location: North

    Posts: 2,601
    I'm Steve.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DGP View Post
    I've been ripping vinyl at 16/48 with an NAD PP4 and the bundled Vinyl Studio software with great results - reviewed on my blog at
    https://digitalprakel.wordpress.com/...x-and-install/
    also of the various modules that comprise Vinyl Studio.

    I'm fussy about SQ and I didn't feel the gently edited 16/48 files would have been bettered as 24/192.
    DGP
    Thanks for that. Looks just what I'm looking for.
    WEBSITE.... www.theprogmeister.com

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  6. #6
    Join Date: Aug 2008

    Location: Suffolk, UK

    Posts: 1,142
    I'm Paul.

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    I believe that some software like Audacity have RIAA modules so you can just plug the TT straight into the soundcard and correct the RIAA by software. You will probably need a good external soundcard or a digital multitrack recorder. I have a Zoom H6 that allows you to record onto the H6 under battery power for low noise and transfer to computer later, or you can use it as an external USB soundcard and record straight onto the computer.
    ~Paul~

  7. #7
    Join Date: Aug 2017

    Location: Hertfordshire, U.K.

    Posts: 120
    I'm Graham.

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    I use a Project Record-Box E phono stage, which has both MC and MM inputs, line out and a very good AD converter with USB output. I record to a small laptop using Audacity software. SQ is very good.
    GrahamS

    Present Kit: NAD 326BEE, NAD C515BEE CD player, JVC QL-7 DD turntable, JVC Tonearm, Shure M97Ve, Ortofon SL-15e, Pickering D-350, JVC Z1, Wharfedale Diamond 9.1s and My Ears.

  8. #8
    Join Date: Aug 2008

    Location: Suffolk, UK

    Posts: 1,142
    I'm Paul.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Primalsea View Post
    I believe that some software like Audacity have RIAA modules so you can just plug the TT straight into the soundcard and correct the RIAA by software. You will probably need a good external soundcard or a digital multitrack recorder. I have a Zoom H6 that allows you to record onto the H6 under battery power for low noise and transfer to computer later, or you can use it as an external USB soundcard and record straight onto the computer.
    Although thinking about this I am not sure how loading the cartridge would work, so you would probably want a phono stage in the chain.
    ~Paul~

  9. #9
    Join Date: Mar 2018

    Location: Queensland, Australia

    Posts: 30
    I'm Dazz.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Primalsea View Post
    Although thinking about this I am not sure how loading the cartridge would work, so you would probably want a phono stage in the chain.
    and you might struggle with signal levels. Even if you have enough gain you then might have noise floor problems. Yes, a properly designed phono stage is the best.

  10. #10
    Join Date: Feb 2010

    Location: Berkshire, UK

    Posts: 2,925
    I'm Tom.

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    I'm getting pretty good results from an HRT Linestreamer+ Analog to Digital Converter box, which I feed from my preamp, either the tape out or pre out (pre out gives me more flexibility when monitoring as I can adjust the gain on the preamp amp and power amp to get a nice comfortable monitoring level at the same time controlling the input signal so I don't overload). This way I get to use my main phono stage and preamp (EAR 912). The Linestreamer is a USB device into the Mac. I capture Audacity or Vinylstudio. This works really well and all I need is a set of cables from the pre-out, and the USB connector into the Mac. No extra boxes required.

    It does 24/96 if you need it (though I've been happy with Redbook) and no faffing with computers.
    Main: Speakers 'RFC' Tannoy Canterburys / custom crossovers; Amp - Radford STA100; Pre EAR 912; Vinyl: Thorens TD124 MkII + Ikeda IT345-CR1 / Ikeda IT-407 tonearms; Cartridges Stereo - Miyajima Madake, Ortofon SPU Royal N, Ikeda 9C III, SAEC/Excel C3; Mono - Miyajimas - Zero 0.7, Premium 1.0, Sonovox MC-4 1.0, Edison '78' 4.0 conical, and Shure M44 strapped for mono with several Expert Stylus conicals for different eras of 78s; Phono stage and SUT from EAR 912; Esoteric Sound Re-Equalizer for equalisation of early mono and 78, switchable in from tape loop; Digital: Audio Note CDT2/II transport, heavily modded AN Kit DAC + Mutec MC3+USB.

    Study: Speakers - Tannoy DC6; Amp: Pass Aleph 'Mini'; preamp - Firebottle custom; Vinyl: Garrard 401 with AT1503 tonearm and vintage Ortofon SL-15e with matching Ortofon 2-15k SUT; Phono Stage: Firebottle Plus; Digital - Trichord Genesis III CDP + Arcam rBlink; Schiit Multibit DAC.

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