George Moneo said
I looked up Vinyl Studio and it looks pretty good for a $30 piece of software. I may give it a whirl. I’m not unhappy with the sound I get from my active USB cable (Mac -> DS-DAC) so I may try Vinyl Studio with that before investing another six bills on the LANrovers.
According to VPI, I have to have my dealer disable the internal phono preamp that comes with the turntable and then connect it to the NPC with phono cables. So if I get this straight, these are the connections I’d need:
For vinyl playback: Turntable (Phono Interconnect) -> NPC | NPC -> DS-DAC (I2S/HDMI)
For recording to Mac with existing cable: Mac (USB) -> NPC (USB)
For recording to Mac with LANrovers: Mac (USB) -> LANrover 1 (RJ45) -> LANrover 2 (RJ45) -> NPC (USB)
Is that about right?
Vinyl Studio is excellent. Best audiophile $$ I've spent. If you don't like it, you're only out $30!
You could actually keep the built in phono stage active on the VPI and input to the generic analog input on the NPC in order to utilize its ADC. I haven’t used it, but I assume it would work. That would bypass the phono stage on the NPC.
Using the I2S from NPC to DAC is by no means necessary. I’d go with the analog out when not ripping and skip having to spend the $$ necessary on a good quality HDMI cable to approximate the analog output, through which good sound can be achieved with cheaper RCA cables, IMO. It is a good option if you want to bypass the preamp, though, and go with a digital chain through the DS DAC.
That about sums it up. One reason I didn’t mention for the LR is that it allows me to keep the Mac Mini out of the equipment rack and minimize my components to subsequent EMI/RFI from the computer. You could actually put it in another room, altogether, if you like.