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What Hardware Are You Using

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Hey Innertuber welcome to Computer Audiophile. I think I should change the title of this topic. Post like your help more people than just posting the best of any category. We like to hear what readers are actually doing because the chances are high that someone else is doing it too and has the same issues or successes. Please keep us updated on your experiences.


P.S. I will get to you other post shortly.


Thanks for joining and chiming in on the forums!


Founder of Audiophile Style | My Audio Systems

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Years ago I realized some of the music I wanted would never come to CD (this has proven to be wrong to some extent) so I went out and bought a turntable. I'd had a Thorens TD-125 with an Ortofon MC cartridge but lost that a few moves back. This time around I bought a Moth turntable. It worked but that's about all; they take a Rega arm and put it on their own turntable. It worked reasonably well. At the time I just played records. CD recorders were sometime in the future.


When CD recorders came out I thought about buying one. I borrowed one from a friend and fired up the old tired Moth to transcribe a few LPs. This worked well enough but the CD recorder was hard to use. Eventually I bought my own (an hhb) that had better controls.


Once the computer revolution hit I wanted a better way to make CDs. I went to one of the few remaining real stereo stores and bought:

Rega Planar 5 turntable, with outboard power supply

Rega Exact cartridge

Pro-ject Tube Box phono stage


I combined that with equipment I already had:

Mackie 1202 mixer for gain control

Alesis Masterlink ML9600 hard-disk/CD recorder


The Masterlink has no input gain control, which is why I put the Mackie in there. The result was good-sounding CDs. The process is straightforward and free from potential computer glitches. Set the levels by sampling the record's loud parts, then record both sides as one long track. Then I use the ML-9600's editing features to trim off the lead-in and lead-out noise and break the recording into tracks. Once that's done I tell it to make a Redbook CD and walk away. 45 minutes later the CD is ready for the computer.


After too short a time the Tube Box blew up. I then did the research I should have done before buying that dog, and ended up with a Graham Slee Era Gold Reflex. What a difference that made!


This system makes excellent CDs. When I listen to this music over the Squeezebox/DAC1 playback it's every bit as involving as any other well-made CD. Total cost is pretty steep, at around $6000 all told, but I'd already bought the Mackie and the ML9600 for other projects.


Why not use a computer? I don't trust them. The ML9600 is made for recording. That's all it does and it's a good solid component, with a very good ADC. Computers are always doing other stuff that might get in the way. I'm tempted, however, to buy a Benchmark ADC1 to use with the computer but haven't done it yet. The process would be simplified somewhat if I did so.


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Wow! This forum is just what I've been looking for... but I definitely have more questions than answers.


I started using the Alesis ML9600 but soon the 40 Gb disk was full and after numerous contacts with the Alesis tech staff I found out there is no way to either increase the size of the HD in the Alesis, or to download that info to an external HD. The only way to get the data onto the computer is to burn a CD-R and transfer it directly. With a record collection of c. 4000+albums I don't need 4000+ CD lying around. I must say the unit worked great and the sound was excellent but it wasn't what I was looking for.


I've been using my phono setup (SOTA turntable [upgraded to Cosmos v. ?] with a Immedia RPM 2 arm with a Crown Jewel MC cartridge) into an audio interface (Focusrite Saffire) connected via firewire to my computer and external 400Gb external HD where I store the music files (to save space on the computer HD). The Saffire allows sampling rates from 44.1 to 192 kHz. When setting the input level on the Saffire be sure that you do not get a flash on the red LED... digital clipping is BAD.


I've been using Pure Vinyl software on my Mac. Pure Vinyl is a full featured program that allows recording at multiple sampling and bit rates, editing pops/ticks, and saving in various formats. It even applies the RIAA equalization within the digital domain if you don't have a phono section on your preamp. It saves the original file in its raw state and does everything else in the digital domain on the fly. It seems to be oriented to the engineering types (which I'm not) and for me it was complex and confusing. I started this project (archiving my vinyl) last winter but had so many so bugs and glitches that, come spring, I gave up. Now I'm ready to start again with the latest version that hopefully addressed my previous problems. Anyone know of a simpler program with multi sampling, multi storage modes, and some editing (ticks/pops) functions?


I'm interested to hear what other are doing and how it's worked for them. I like to follow the KISS principle!





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