I do a lot of vinyl ripping and was wondering if both Chris and Paul might comment on their equipment for doing that. Chris, you've reported here that you recently got the Puffin phono preamp that has some click/pop/etc. cleanup capabilities and Paul, I'm pretty sure I remember that you have made comments at the DC HiFi group meetings in the past about the Sugarcube. I'm hoping that you might comment on how satisfied you are with the capabilities of those pieces of equipment in making rips. Dave Raden, I think, also has done a lot of ripping of vinyl and other formats and I would be very happy to hear any comments he might have too. Thanks.
VPI Prime/VAS Nova Signature /Bob's Sky/Musical Surroundings Nova II; VPI Prime/Hana ML/Bob's Sky/PS Audio Stellar Phono; SL1200 MkII/SME Type II Improved/Grace F9//Soundsmith Ruby OCL; Dual 1219/Shure V15 Type III Improved/JICO neoSAS; Vinyl Nirvana-modified Thorens TD125 MkII/SME M2-9/Ortofon Quintet Black; Oppo BDP 105D; Bluesound Node 2; ARC LS28; Rogue RP-5; AVA FET Valve 600R; Bryston 4BSST2; Magneplanar 3.7i//M-L Dynamo 1100X's; Magneplanar 1.7i/REL T-9
I think the Puffin as I have reported elsewhere has the potential to be very good tool in doing vinyl rips. Years ago I did about 300 vinyl rips of albums that had never come out in digital form. About one hundred were from the German ECM label. Since then, all of their music is now finally in a digital format.
I used modest equipment but paid attention to details and they hold up to this day. See your message inbox for a sample you can download and listen to.
I used an Audio Technica LP120 direct drive turntable (Shure M95 cartridge with Jico stylus) and an ART Audio Phono Pre. The Phono Pre has a USB output that goes straight into a computer and acts as a soundcard. It is natively 48k/16b so that is what I captured the audio at. I know many people like to capture at very high bit rates but at the time I was concerned about disc space and felt that 48k/16b was more than sufficient. Mark Waldrep has estimated that the bit depth of a vinyl LP is 12 bits? Others may disagree.
I used a program called Sound Forge that had features that sped the process along. You could use almost anything such as the free Audacity audio editor. Sound forge has several features, including scripting, which automated turning the edited audio file into tagged FLAC files. This was a time saver. I did not do any eq or other adjustments. I did normalize the audio which raises the audio signal so that it uses all 16 bits of bandwidth. This has the effect of making the loudness equal to most CDs you would listen to. I also used the excellent "declick" filter that is built into Sound Forge. I found it to be quite transparent. That was all the manipulation I did. Of course, I divided each side captured into individual FLAC files with my script.
I also have the PS Audio Nuwave phono preamp that is like the ART Phono Pre with a USB output. It has a higher sampling rate and the option to do DSD as well I think? The last one I bought I paid $999. Unfortunately, I never got around to trying it out for vinyl rips.
Back to the Puffin. You would want to get the extra option with the S/PDIF output which adds $50 to the price. You still will need a computer capture card with S/PDIF input. The Puffin has so many ways to optimize the Phono signal that it would undoubtedly add value for vinyl ripping.
I heard this in action yesterday at Chris's. Wow, his system is top-notch in my book. The Puffin looks real interesting
Paul and I had a good time yesterday. Kind of a mini "DC Hi-Fi Group" affair!
I appreciate Paul's comments on my rig. We audiophiles are typically a solitary bunch so it is great to get another perspective from time to time.
I hope we all can get together sooner than later. I floated a bunch of ideas with Paul that I will discuss with John soon. Something may come out of it. Most likely we will do another YouTube stream pretty soon.
I just purchased one of those Puffin phono preamps, based on Chris' quick review on our DCHFG online meeting the other day, plus my own reading up on the thing. It offers a huge amount of flexibility in terms of equalization, scratch compensation, ability to set cartridge azimuth etc.
The SPDIF version now costs $100 more, but the maker provides a very nice description of adding this yourself to an existing model (for free if you have the parts handy!) -- that is excellent support!
Now I'll have to sit down and listen to it, but I have high hopes.