Gone over to the Dark Side

I have finally taken the step of adding a turntable to my rig. I am in love with my DS DAC, but for the other system I’m adding the TT. My plan is to also digitize my albums as I acquire them. I guess I waited too long and the NuWave Phono Converter is only available used, but PS stands behind their gear so it’s ok.

My main question is about the AtoD. There are so many hoops that people go through to assure their digital is representative of the analog (some snake oil some not). Ripping LPs well, can’t be just as simple as getting software plugging your TT into a AtoD, and running that output through the software on your PC. Do things like clock alignment, USB noise, & power supply matter? If I am going to do it I want to do it right the first time. I imagine cabling is important. I don’t see much on the process as I embark.


I have the NuWave Phono preamp and I have used it many times to create 24.96 recordings of my LP’s, I use the recommended Vinyl Studio software to record with. I am happy with the software but there are a few things that are strange. Vinyl Studio recommends that you leave the input level on the computer set to max and adjust the volume on the input device. This means the NuWave. Fortunately the NuWave allows a wide range of settings, 3db apart so I am getting good at guessing where to set it. It is important to not go above 0db when recording. I usually record a bit low and normalize if needed. The Vinyl Studio software records each side and then you can do non-destructive edits. These include cleaning up clicks and pops, editing track start and stop points, and other interesting tricks. The software gets track name and duration info from Discogs so you save some time and energy doing that.

It takes experimentation to learn how to properly use the cleanup processes. One would like to use as little as possible of such things and you can, in fact avoid them entirely. I have used Soundforge and other expensive programs to work with my recordings. When all is said and done Vinyl Studio does all that I need. And it’s very inexpensive.

I find that I spend two to four hours on an LP recording. But I start with really quiet recordings thanks to my Rega RP10 and Soundsmith Zephyr MIMC Star cartridge. I also have a Audiodesk Glass record cleaning machine. I wash the record before recording and it comes out clean and static free.

I also use a Wireworld Platinum Starlight 7 USB cable between the NuWave and the PC. It makes a difference.

Good luck and have fun with it. The NuWave is a handy little device, I’d love to buy an upgrade but that isn’t happening.


Firstly, my view is that whatever the magic is of vinyl playback, it occurs before the line level input, so good A/D conversion is not a problem and those who think it is are probably cave-dwellers. Many systems do it, including Linn, Devialet, and any of the popular active speakers with built-in processors.

So on my Devialet the usb socket, otherwise unused, is 2-way and because everything is converted to 24/192 PCM, I can take that feed out of the usb into vinyl studio, and when I play it back it sounds like the record, not least because I’m listening to the same thing as when I’m listening to the record normally.

There are loads of A/D converters around, really good ones so you can use it as your D/A and listen to your records as you record them. I understand at the top of the consumer list is the RME ADI-2 Pro. You can pick up a used one for $1000. A Tascam SD-20M would do the job for $300 new.

P.s. this bs about making digital sound analogue is, I modestly suggest, bs aimed at cave dwellers who think nothing will ever be as good as a scratched record using a worn out cartridge. Most music has been digital beyond the microphone input since the late 1970s.


Well I got the last NPC from PS audio… arrives Monday. I’m going to pick up a VPI Scoutmaster in the next few weeks. The journey begins, thanks for the help.


Contact me in the future if you wish. I’ll help if I can.

That’s the critical bit, through which the prior thoughts stated in your post need to be filtered, humorous aspersions upon our forebears aside. Most vinyl fans would be listening without any A to D conversion. Without any “D” at all, actually.

In the big-picture question of comparing to rips, the comparison is between a fully analog chain and one in which you digitize the analog signal and play it back to analog via a DAC. In that scenario, A to D quality matters, just as the DAC does. How much it matters to you, or in your system, depends on a lot of factors.

In most situations it is certainly possible to make rips that most find completely acceptable, and even if you can tell the difference, they are convenient and play in the car and so on. So it is a set of tradeoffs. But there always seems to be something missing in the rips to me. But it is hard to say if that is a failing of my digital recording or PB chain, or something more fundamental.

So firstly - it is always going to be a comparison between an analog chain and a digital one. My current secondary theory is that the vinyl playback is always a “live” play of the recording. Pick up the needle and replay the track, and it will be a new, unique play on a micro-timing level (even leaving out that you shouldn’t immediately replay a hot groove). The digital rip will sound the same every time, or until you change something in your digital chain.


I certainly will be reaching out for help. This whole analog journey is one as far removed as my teenage years. I ultrasonically cleaned my albums in anticipation, all are safely nestled in anti-static covers. I’m researching what record cleaner to get, and what to use in conjunction with said cleaner (did I mention this is a rabbit hole).

I am trying to find out what interconnect to go with. Do I use the Rogue phono stage or, the Npc as a preamp (did I mention this is a rabbit hole). What cartridge will I go with, I have decided MC but that’s as far as I’ve gotten.

Did I mention this is a rabbit hole, a fun new journey where I am learning much, meeting nice people, and realizing just how cool my dealer is. Thanks for the input guys and stay tuned.

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