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Great ADC for Vinyl record listening/recording
wgh52
post May 2 2010, 11:18
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Folks,

I'm not sure this is the right forum to ask, so if this fits better somewhere else, please moderator > shift to the right place.

The Situation:
Owning a few hundred vinyl records, I really enjoy playing those on my SL-1000 II
My Audio Listening line has become mostly digital due to the use of a DEQX digital Preamp/X-Over for my active speakers.
I'm swithching digital sources (CD, Minidisk, Satellite Radio, PC, ...) with an electronic SPDIF switch feeding the DEQX digital input
I'm not using an analog preamp anymore, besides the Phono pre.

My Desire:
For ease of use (only switching sources at the SPDIF swith) and quality purposes (need 24 bit / 96 ks/s!), I'm looking to connect the Phono/RIAA Preamp to a well working, stand alone AD-converter.

The ADC shall have:
Separate (R/L) input level adjustment (to compensate cartridge chanle differences)
Capability for 24 bit / 96 ks/s and 24 bit/192 ks/s through AES/EBU and SPDIF Coax outputs
Normal HiFi line level input sensitivity
A bearable price well under 1000 Euros

I have found very few alternatives so far, so as this forum seems very analog AND digital "competent", I though I'd join and ask you folks for help and recommendations.

Thanks in adance!
Winfried
from Germany

This post has been edited by wgh52: May 2 2010, 11:20
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2Bdecided
post May 5 2010, 09:54
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IME, for most pop music, decent vinyl is often transparent, or at least more-than-good-enough. I guess it depends what era you're listening too, and where you live. Most 1960s UK pressings are really good, even of pop music. Things were going downhill by the 1980s.

The challenge for older music is finding decent vinyl.

But usually, if the CD is lousy, you won't have to find decent vinyl - someone else will already have done so and made a nice needledrop.

I'm not condoning piracy, but if you've already paid for the LP or CD, then you've already paid for the music, whatever route you use to listen to it at its best.

A bigger challenge is when you know there's been a decent CD re-issue somewhere (e.g. you've heard it on the radio, or it's on Spotify etc but the cover doesn't match the issue the audio came from), but all the CD versions you can find for sale turn out to be far lower quality. If it's just EQ (or lack of it), you can fix it yourself - but if it's excessive DRC, or third generation tapes used when the masters still exist, then you have to track down the decent copy.

(Me? Obsessive? wink.gif If I like the music, I like to find the version that sounds the best. Sometimes it's quite interesting hearing all the different ways one track has been presented over the decades - sometimes it's like a mini history of recording)

Cheers,
David.
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cliveb
post May 5 2010, 18:22
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ May 5 2010, 09:54) *
Most 1960s UK pressings are really good, even of pop music. Things were going downhill by the 1980s.

Things took a nose-dive during the oil crisis in the early 1970s. I worked in a record shop at the time, and remember seeing loads of LPs coming in that actually had little bits of paper pressed into them. For some reason I recall Mike Oldfield's Hergest Ridge was especially badly affected by this - we had dozens of bad copies of that.

The explanation I was given was that when vinyl records are returned for any reason, the practice was to cut out the centre section (with the label) and recycle the remainder. But when the price of vinyl went through the roof, they stopped bothering to cut out the labels and just chopped up and recycled the whole record. (Mind you, I never saw a classical record with this problem).
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botface
post May 5 2010, 19:55
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QUOTE (cliveb @ May 5 2010, 18:22) *
QUOTE (2Bdecided @ May 5 2010, 09:54) *
Most 1960s UK pressings are really good, even of pop music. Things were going downhill by the 1980s.

Things took a nose-dive during the oil crisis in the early 1970s. I worked in a record shop at the time, and remember seeing loads of LPs coming in that actually had little bits of paper pressed into them. For some reason I recall Mike Oldfield's Hergest Ridge was especially badly affected by this - we had dozens of bad copies of that.

The explanation I was given was that when vinyl records are returned for any reason, the practice was to cut out the centre section (with the label) and recycle the remainder. But when the price of vinyl went through the roof, they stopped bothering to cut out the labels and just chopped up and recycled the whole record. (Mind you, I never saw a classical record with this problem).

You're right about the oil crisis affecting quality. LPs suddenly became a lot thinner (hence lighter) then too. I'm surprised about the paper contamination though. If memory serves Virgin were being pressed by EMI then and the standard practice among manufacturers was, as you say, to cut out the lable section before grinding up the vinyl for reuse. EMI, being "a major" were usually pretty good at QA. As an aside, the reason you never saw a problem with classical was that no reground material was ever used in classical (or jazz) pressings - at least the company I worked for didn't it and again, I think that was standard among the "majors".

On the whole quality improved again in the late 70's/early 80's as improved cutting lathes and presses came into use. Plus, the oil crisis had largely gone away by then too
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2Bdecided
post May 6 2010, 11:34
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QUOTE (botface @ May 5 2010, 19:55) *
On the whole quality improved again in the late 70's/early 80's as improved cutting lathes and presses came into use. Plus, the oil crisis had largely gone away by then too
Like-for-like that may be true, but by then the vinyl was thinner (slight impact on sound), and the sides were often longer duration, hence thinner grooves, hence often cut at a slightly lower volume (huge impact on sound, not to mention resilience to wear, scratches, bad needles, etc).

Having said that, EPs (4 tunes on one 45rpm 7" single) has similar quiet-cut narrow grooves in the 1960s, and they often sound poor too.

Cheers,
David.
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