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  • westgroveg
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LP to CD Conversion
I am thinking of starting to take on the task of converting my, my friends, my family's LPs, 78s, 45s to digital, CD's, I would like to do this with the best possible quality & find an easy, standard way of doing it so my mind can be at peace the process was done as best as possible & I won't have to do it again. These are questions I have,

Question 1. What hardware would be best as far as quality/price? I was thinking of getting a Darla Recording Sound Card would this be a good choice? what about Phono (I have no idea about this)?

Question 2. I want to get the best possible quality so I will clean the Vinyl records, what's the best way to do this?

Question 3. What software should I use to record the audio? Cool Edit? Sound Forge? others?

Question 4. Should clicks and crackles be filtered? if so which is (are) the best tool(s)?

Question 5. Can anyone recommend a guide to read?


Thank you
  • Last Edit: 09 July, 2004, 03:59:27 AM by westgroveg

  • Jan S.
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LP to CD Conversion
Reply #1
This guide is vrey good:
http://www.delback.co.uk/lp-cdr.htm

  • magic75
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LP to CD Conversion
Reply #2
If price is an issue...
Q3: I like Waverepair, for its level meters
Q4: On heavily decayed vinyls I got some good results with waverepair to remove light crackle and groovemechanic for louder clicks ans pops
Both programs are cheap (~30$) and are mentioned in the guide Jan S. refers to. I actually tried Cool Edit 2000 as well but gave up after half an hour of fiddling with settings, I wasn't even near the results i managed with the above mentioned software.

  • Pio2001
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LP to CD Conversion
Reply #3
Quote
Question 1. What hardware would be best as far as quality/price? I was thinking of getting a Darla Recording Sound Card would this be a good choice? what about Phono (I have no idea about this)?[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=224330"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


You absolutely need an analog volume control somewhere between the phono preampli output and the soundcard ADC. Otherwise, the phono preampli might clip the ADC, especially with 45 RPM records. For example there is no way to record a Stanton Trackmaster cartridge with a Marian Marc 2 soundcard. This soundcard is mine, but most other soundcard have the same problem with their line in conception. You can do whatever you want with the software mixer, the ADC clips the signal coming from the record !

If you have some 78 RPM record to record, get the special stylus needed. All Stanton cartridge (but you can check other brands too), have 78 RPM stylii (bigger than microgroove stylii) available. You'll have to get the different emphasis curves so as to apply the right treble boost too, unless you can get an old phono preamp with all equalisations available.

Quote
Question 3. What software should I use to record the audio? Cool Edit? Sound Forge? others?[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=224330"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


The recording process is straightforward. The software has little to no influence on its quality. Rather consider the noise reduction abilities (try the demos), and the editing abilities (for vinyl burning, a virtual multitrack view, with instant non destructive editing, with a CDR burning engine, and the separate standard wav view is a must).

Quote
Question 4. Should clicks and crackles be filtered? if so which is (are) the best tool(s)?[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=224330"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


They must be filtered only if they are audible. With records and stylus in good condition, you can get a clean recording with only several audible clicks without the help of a declicker.

  • toomuch
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LP to CD Conversion
Reply #4
"Question 4. Should clicks and crackles be filtered? if so which is (are) the best tool(s)?"

WaveRepair by Clive Buckham is a great tool, lots of options for dealing with LP noise....

http://www.delback.co.uk/wavrep/

....but if you want a quicker, simpler solution, try GrooveMechanic by Coyote.
my personal favorite now, 

http://www.coyotes.bc.ca/

  • dev0
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LP to CD Conversion
Reply #5
Personally I always leave the recording untouched and just split it using CDWave.
"To understand me, you'll have to swallow a world." Or maybe your words.

  • DerEber
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LP to CD Conversion
Reply #6
me too .... untouched!!
in some rear cases i use Sound foundry click and crackle removal.
Its like audio compression. You can distroy your sound without noticing it at the first moment. So be carefull!
greetings
DerEber

  • JeanLuc
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LP to CD Conversion
Reply #7
What really rocks are the Waves DX Plug-Ins X-Hum, X-Crackle & X-Click ... you can preview a "residual output" to ensure no music content will get processed.

As for recording, I use my normal amplifier's phono module and my DAT's ADC for digital transfer to the PC (alternatively, you could use your amp's analog tape outputs as well). If you do not have an amplifier with a built-in phono preamp, you definitely should get yourself one of decent quality (there is an NAD model that is believed to work quite good).

The recording application doesn't have any influence on sound quality if it does work properly - for editing, I would recommend a DX-capable wav editor (like sound forge or wavelab).
The name was Plex The Ripper, not Jack The Ripper

  • gordo
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LP to CD Conversion
Reply #8
I've embarked on the same thing and for what its worth here's what I settled on:

I bought an M-Audio Firewire Audiophile audio interface (www.m-audio.com).  This supports high resolution A/D and is external so it avoids PCI noise.  I digitize at 96 kHz 24 bit.  This is well beyond what you'll get off an LP but 24 bit means I don't have wasted bits since there is no input gain on the audiophile (this is a source of noise on cheaper A/D cards) and the line level off my cartridge (which is a moving coil Ortofon) is a bit low - down to 1/3 of peak which looses >1 bit, a big deal for 16 bit not for 24.  This approach insures no clipping, however you do it the need to avoid clipping will loose bits so better to digitize at higher bit depth and downconvert after normalizing.  I downsample to 16 bits and 48 kHz after normalizing and save to flac files.

Prior to digitizing I clean each record using a Nitty Gritty Record Cleaner, this is not cheap but works very well, even on pretty crapped up LPs.  It makes a huge difference in surface noise and means I only do cleanups of big pops (see below).  I found it much better to get a clean signal to begin with than mess with software decrackling which damages fidelity of things like cymbals.

The software I use is Goldwave (www.goldwave.ca) which is shareware but quite good.  It has all the things needed, easy to change bit depth and sampling frequency, mark cue points, extract individual tracks using the cue points  (as flacs with tags), remove pops etc.  I don't do any noise filtering or automatic pop removal since I found that introduces artifacts.  I do manually remove pops and clicks (before normalizing!) when they are severe using Goldwave.

I use Tag&Rename (also shareware) to edit the flac tags and dbpoweramp to batch convert flacs to lossy compressed files for portable playback.  I will be playing back the flacs on a Soundbridge using slim server (converting to wavs).  For the moment my Roku HD1000 uses 320 kbps mp3s batch converted from flac and I make ~180 kbps wma files for my ipaq.
  • Last Edit: 09 July, 2004, 08:29:07 PM by gordo

  • magic75
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Reply #9
Quote
Prior to digitizing I clean each record using a Nitty Gritty Record Cleaner, this is not cheap but works very well, even on pretty crapped up LPs.  It makes a huge difference in surface noise and means I only do cleanups of big pops (see below). 
...
The software I use is Goldwave (www.goldwave.ca) which is shareware but quite good.  It has all the things needed, easy to change bit depth and sampling frequency, ...

An old thread, but I just have to comment on this if anyone takes this advice... Spending so much money on the nitty gritty cleaner (really expensive) and then using cheap Goldwave for sampling rate conversion is not very wise. The sampling rate converter in Goldwave is really bad, at least in the version I tried some time ago. Don't get me wrong, Goldwave is a really good piece of software for cut&paste type of editing which I use from time to time. I just wanted to warn that spending a lot of money on cleaning could easily by wasted by sample rate conversion in Goldwave...

  • ChangFest
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LP to CD Conversion
Reply #10
I get decent results using my cheap Technics  SL-BD20D and an Audio Technica P-mount cartridge and stylus. I use my recievers (Marantz SR-68) phono pre-amp and line out to record through my M-Audio Transit to 24-bit 96000Hz. I use that resolution in case I want to edit the recorded wave either by manually declicking audible clicks or running a light de-clicker on older, more used albums. I use Adobe Audition because it seems to work well for this task. I uploaded a sample of a Mahavisnu Orchestra track I recorded off a relatively used LP. I get decent results with this relatively cheap setup.


Sample uploaded here: http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....ndpost&p=255720
  • Last Edit: 23 November, 2004, 11:38:56 AM by ChangFest

  • gordo
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LP to CD Conversion
Reply #11
There may be an issue for a non-integer ratio sample rate conversion but going 96 to 48 kHz doesn't require any fancy algorithm.  Lately I've been digitizing at 48 kHz 24 bit depth in any case since my main concern is having the bit depth to allow backing off from clipping and then normalize properly before going to 16 bits which has enough dynamic range for a properly normalized LP source.

The Nitty Gritty is expensive (although can be got on E-bay occasionally) but by far the biggest defect in digitized LPs is surface noise - not bit depth, sampling, rate or even compression (unless you really screw up one of those three)

Quote
Quote
Prior to digitizing I clean each record using a Nitty Gritty Record Cleaner, this is not cheap but works very well, even on pretty crapped up LPs.  It makes a huge difference in surface noise and means I only do cleanups of big pops (see below). 
...
The software I use is Goldwave (www.goldwave.ca) which is shareware but quite good.  It has all the things needed, easy to change bit depth and sampling frequency, ...

An old thread, but I just have to comment on this if anyone takes this advice... Spending so much money on the nitty gritty cleaner (really expensive) and then using cheap Goldwave for sampling rate conversion is not very wise. The sampling rate converter in Goldwave is really bad, at least in the version I tried some time ago. Don't get me wrong, Goldwave is a really good piece of software for cut&paste type of editing which I use from time to time. I just wanted to warn that spending a lot of money on cleaning could easily by wasted by sample rate conversion in Goldwave...
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=255648"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
  • Last Edit: 23 November, 2004, 02:00:41 PM by gordo

  • DonP
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LP to CD Conversion
Reply #12
Quote
If you have some 78 RPM record to record, get the special stylus needed. All Stanton cartridge (but you can check other brands too), have 78 RPM stylii (bigger than microgroove stylii) available. You'll have to get the different emphasis curves so as to apply the right treble boost too, unless you can get an old phono preamp with all equalisations available.

[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=224359"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I have a mono preamp with multiple EQ settings, but how do you choose? Is there a reference for which labels used which ones and what year they caved and went to RIAA?

LP to CD Conversion
Reply #13
Hello Changfest,

? I pickup subsonics on your sample...Is this on your original?

  • Gray_Wolf
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LP to CD Conversion
Reply #14
Hi  ; I have recorded many LP's to my PC with COOL EDIT PRO v1.2a; and cleaned the recorded tracks with the option: Transform (menu) --> Noise Reduction --> Click/Pop Eliminator ----> Hiss + Lots of clicks (preset). I am very happy with the results    .
  One trick is clean each channel lonely (L - R) of each recorded track; not the two channels at the same time...  With this technique I get better results... 

In the other hand my hardware combination is very simple:
 
  One PI-233Mhz, 64M Ram, running Windows 95, with old soundblaster 16 bit.
 
  One old FISHER amplifier, with RIAA preamp included...

  One direct drive TECHNICS turntable, very old too...

  One old, but very good cartridge: EMPIRE 2000 E/III, with
      elliptical diamond stylus [0.2 X 0.7 mil];
      weight and tracking force applied: Only 1.2 gm.

I recorded many LP's with good results...

I have one sample HERE: Test.zip [Right click, and "Save target as..."]

VERY IMPORTANT!! : The test sample is a old heavy metal vynil from 1981, this LP have 23 years old!!!!  , but is a good example to show the ability of COOL EDIT PRO in this old vynil....

The electric connections are simple:

OUTPUT CABLES (including ground (GND)) of the turntable ---> PHONO PREAMP input of my FISHER amplifier...

REC LINE OUT for Tape Deck (of my FISHER amp.) ---> LINE IN of my PC (old soundblaster 16 bit...)

THAT'S ALL !!!
 
P.D.: sorry my bad english...
  • Last Edit: 25 November, 2004, 01:05:18 AM by Gray_Wolf

  • 2Bdecided
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Reply #15
Quote
I have a mono preamp with multiple EQ settings, but how do you choose? Is there a reference for which labels used which ones and what year they caved and went to RIAA?
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I used to know the answer to this question - it's on the web - give me a moment...

This is the nearest I've found to answering your question.

[a href="http://www.rfwilmut.clara.net/repro78/repro.html]http://www.rfwilmut.clara.net/repro78/repro.html[/url]

Excellent discussion about 78s, and there's a section on equalisation which includes some useful information and good links. This is a UK site - if you’re elsewhere, you may know of local sources for equipment, and find different record labels!

Towards the bottom of this page there are some rough dates:

http://www.vadlyd.dk/English/RIAA_and_78_RPM_preamp.html


There is/was a little book that listed all the known curves for thousands of record companies - I think I saw in on a tour around the Sony studios where they re-master old recordings - but I don't know where to do it.

One good approach is doing it by ear!

A final suggestion for digital audio restoration is to declick at the "flat" response (not RIAA or any other) and the apply (or re-apply, since you usually have to remove it first!) the EQ. This doesn't help me at all, but it does help some people.

Cheers,
David.

  • 2Bdecided
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Reply #16
Quote
Hi   ; I have recorded many LP's to my PC with COOL EDIT PRO v1.2a; and cleaned the recorded tracks with the option: Transform (menu) --> Noise Reduction --> Click/Pop Eliminator ----> Hiss + Lots of clicks (preset). I am very happy with the results     .
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=255817"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


A lot of people on the old Cool Edit forums reported getting great results with CEP.

I could never understand it. As much as I love CEP for other things, I've found its automatic declicking (and, to a lesser extent, its denoising) to be fairly poor. It's probably because I mainly do 78s, but even for LPs I found it to be hard work. The Sonic Foundry NR-2 direct X plug-in is faster, better and easier to use. Cheaper too, though I use it from within CEP, so it's not either/or for me.

X-waves restoration is another amazing piece of software when it comes to removing crackle (rather than just clicks) but is too expensive.

However, the "fill single click" function in CEP is great. I've also found many uses for it beyond fixing record clicks.

Cheers,
David.

LP to CD Conversion
Reply #17
Quote
Question 4. Should clicks and crackles be filtered? if so which is (are) the best tool(s)?


WavePurity

  • ChangFest
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LP to CD Conversion
Reply #18
Quote
A lot of people on the old Cool Edit forums reported getting great results with CEP.

I could never understand it. As much as I love CEP for other things, I've found its automatic declicking (and, to a lesser extent, its denoising) to be fairly poor. It's probably because I mainly do 78s, but even for LPs I found it to be hard work. The Sonic Foundry NR-2 direct X plug-in is faster, better and easier to use. Cheaper too, though I use it from within CEP, so it's not either/or for me.


I don't use it for the whole album. I manually use the single click filler unless I cannot find the click I want to get rid of. Then I use the  automatic declicking tool on small sections to destroy clicks that I cannot find. It works quite well and doesn't compromise my sound as if I would do it for the whole album. I do agree though, I've found when using the auto-declicker I get sub-par results, but using it with small sections, I've found it to be the best option for me.

  • cliveb
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Reply #19
Quote
A lot of people on the old Cool Edit forums reported getting great results with CEP.

I could never understand it. As much as I love CEP for other things, I've found its automatic declicking (and, to a lesser extent, its denoising) to be fairly poor. It's probably because I mainly do 78s, but even for LPs I found it to be hard work. The Sonic Foundry NR-2 direct X plug-in is faster, better and easier to use. Cheaper too, though I use it from within CEP, so it's not either/or for me.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=255918"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I feel that the CE2000 audio cleanup plug-in (which I presume is the same code as the declicker included in CEPro/Adobe Audition) works pretty well on LPs in reasonable shape. The "Medium Amplitude Audio" preset seems the best compromise on my LPs. I've always found that the "Auto Find All Levels" facility seems to install settings that are too aggressive and lead to artifacts. Overall I'd say the CE declicker is one of the better ones around, although as you say it does run very slowly. Jeffrey Klein's ClickFix plug-in for CE/Audition also works well and is much faster.

You're right about 78s being much harder to deal with. The level of surface noise on them is much higher and far more difficult to remove without artifacts. I've only done a few 78s, and they were in appalling condition. I found that the best results were from a combination of using the Younglove procedure for crackle, plus careful manual repair of big clicks.

When I evaluated it, the Sonic Foundry NR2 plug-in did some things better than the CE audio cleanup facilities, and some things worse. I got very excited on my first test, because it successfully removed some nasty clicks that had defeated every other declicker I'd tried, but after further testing I came to the conclusion that overall, CE's declicker and NR2 are about on a par, but with different strengths and weaknesses. As you say, the SF plug-in is much faster (about 10x, I'd say). But it's certainly far more expensive than the old CE plug-in. Granted, now that CE2000 is unavailable, NR2 is cheaper than Audition, but it can hardly be described as "affordable".

FWIW, I reckon the best affordable standalone auto declicker around at the moment is Wave Corrector (no relation to my own program Wave Repair, BTW).

  • auldyin
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LP to CD Conversion
Reply #20
I also have been using Wave Corrector and have to say that I'm very happy with results from vinyl and tape

I'm now going to upgrade my sound card, redo some stuff, sit back and listen and then get the precious vinyl stored away for posterity.

auldyin
  • Last Edit: 25 November, 2004, 11:05:55 AM by auldyin

  • dvautier
  • [*]
LP to CD Conversion
Reply #21
The most important consideration in LP to CD conversion (sort of like the weakest link) is what’s called the transducer device, the thing that converts mechanical groves to electronic signal.  This is your stylus, or pickup.  If you want to get good quality conversion you need to start with a good stylus, something that can handle 20 to 2000 hz which is about the range of human hearing.  So try to focus on a good stylus/cartridge.  Next is the turntable.  I strongly suggest direct drive which is free of rumble.  Then next is the pre-amp which should be at least 90 s/n ratio (seriously) because digital picks up everything.  You can buy such pre-amps for a reasonable price on ebay.  Finally you can think about all the other stuff, like audio card and software, but most of it performs well enough as long as you get good stuff into your computer to begin with.

2. clean your records?  I have well over 3000 records.  I use mild hand soap and cold water.  Works fine.  If you have scratches nothing will get those out no matter how hard you scrub.

3. software?  A minor consideration.  Whatever you like.  I like DAK.

4. clicks and scratches?  I found that if I try to remove the clicks it takes away all the headroom.  For my 78s see my web page at:

http://dvautier.home.comcast.net/records/records.htm

this may give you some ideas

5, lots of guides.  Check google.

good luck and I hope somebody reads this.

  • Joncat
  • [*]
LP to CD Conversion
Reply #22
Why would you recommend direct drive as opposed to a DIY table or semi-audiophile table with an outboard motor? I have heard the Tech1200's can be modded to be pretty good but I know of very few high end tables that employ direct drive.

I agree on the stylus being exceptionally important; as well as correct setup e.g. tonearm matching, azimuth, VTA etc.

I have given up recording at 88kHz in part because the EMU1212M only allows 96kHz & 192kHz (and I have read about possible asynchronous downsampling issues) and use 32bit/44kHz. Employing greater bit depth is more important than an extreme sample rate.

However, I plan to try some testing of 32/96 and listening once downsampled compared to 32/44, and see if the higher sample rate allows the dither to be "shoved" up there further out of the hearing range. I am using the Waves L2 to add dither: Type 1/Ultra. X-crackle seems to a very impressive job but I heard they made a better plugin for samplitude but I can't seem to find it in the program yet.

A lot of this is rather extreme; good source components and a stable PC (benchmark, RAM test, & torture test it!) are imperitive. Utilizing ASIO for recording is another benefit as you bypass the Windows K-Mixer. The EMU1212M has gain adjustments although some will claim this will color the signal; I can't hear the difference but I leave it at 0db anyway. When I owned the M-Audio cards, once you set the inputs to +4 or -10dbv you couldn't adjust any further, even by pulling the fader down it still clips the ADC. I wonder if the EMU master fader allows the signal to be truly attenuated or if it's an illusion of some sorts in that it simply doesn't show the signal in the same way the M-Audio cards do.

Also, how are you losing headroom with crackle/click removal? Are you referring to
the high end being rolled off? Waves X-crackle applied to a noisy track (each channel individually) is pretty amazing, as a few others mentioned. I'm all about minimalism when archiving audio as that's what it's supposed to be, archiving. But, even something like peak limiting can come in handy. I have an olf 45rpm I recorded the other day and the bass drum was recorded horribly, just spiking way up there. With peak limiting your able to squeeze those peaks down and still "normalize" the amplitude. Since the bass drum is already recorded too hot, your not losing anything by compressing it. Most tracks need very little, just a good hot signal and maybe some normalizing or noise reduction (I choose not to EQ at all).

With Lp's you'll probably have a good enough RMS ( I shoot for -10 rms) w/o normalizing (most of the time) and still have some headroom for your amp to operate away from it's noise floor, instead of being stuck at turning your volume control no further than 8 o'clock.


JC
  • Last Edit: 19 March, 2005, 11:20:42 AM by Joncat

LP to CD Conversion
Reply #23
Quote
Why would you recommend direct drive as opposed to a DIY table or semi-audiophile table with an outboard motor? I have heard the Tech1200's can be modded to be pretty good but I know of very few high end tables that employ direct drive.

Why? I could explain to you...

I have used many turntables by around 10 years; some were direct drive and others were belt drive... Most of them were of the 80's (vintage turntables). In the decade of the 80's were constructed excellent commercial turntables (mainly Technics and Pionner were very good) to an accessible price.

Quote
... I know of very few high end tables that employ direct drive.

Would be you badly informed then... as I said before, in the 80's (as example) the majority of the turntables were direct drive, and they work very good.

I tested around many of these turntables, and I prefer those of direct drive. Why?
Because the belt drives have more wow and flutter (speed variations) than the direct drive turntables. This defect is stronger with the passage of the years... The belt stretches with time and use, and produces important variations in the speed of the turntable. You have that change the belt around of each 3 years of continue use, when this occurs you can perceive very easy that the turntable was significantly slower (with the old belt) than with the new belt.

The direct drive motors are Servo controlled. The Servo mechanism is a electronic system that compare the output in real time (in this case the motor speed) with a reference. This reference is the "desired speed". The idea of the Servo mechanism is to maintain the output (motor speed) EXACTLY EQUAL to the reference (desired speed)... The Servo mechanism works in real time, comparing ALL THE TIME the motor speed (output) with the reference (desired speed). As a result of this the motor speed is CONSTANT all the time, because any minimal possible speed variation is corrected inmediately by the Servo mechanism. This feature of auto correction is not the case of the belt drive turntables. The possible speed variations of a direct drive motor as a consequence of many years of use is NULL. Other good thing: Many good vintage direct drive turntables have the reference controlled by a QUARTZ crystal, this type of motor is more precise and accurate.

Another FUN myth is this: "The belt drive outboard motors are a lot better than direct drive internal motors".
Don't exist scientist evidence of this (or at least credible). I believe very seriously that this MYTH is product of the lack of knowledge of some people of as the basic electronics works, as too the general Servo electronic mechanism theory.

The normal noises in any turntable (as example "rumble") are more controlled and reduced (as a result of the Servo mechanism correction circuit) than the belt drive turntables.
  • Last Edit: 20 March, 2005, 12:20:26 AM by Acid Orange Juice

  • Joncat
  • [*]
LP to CD Conversion
Reply #24
I still don't buy it. I do agree those tables were well made. I had an old Kenwood and those few Sansui models were nice too, as well as Pioneer.

First of all, the Stanton, Technics, Denon etc. TT's are made with DJ's in mind. High tracking forces, pitch correction, high torqu motors, to be used with high output MM cartidges. Do you think a rumble is really factored into the design?  If you have something creating vibration under the platter, how does Quartz tech. help remove the vibrations; seems like simple physics to me.

Which tables have you tested and compared?

Second, if you are using an unshielded cartridge such as a Grado, the further away you place the motor the better.

Third, the belts used today have the advantage of being composed of stronger and better engineered materials; after three years I doubt a perceptible difference would be noticable.

Fourth,  direct drives would seem to be easy to implement into a TT, more  than
a complicated belt drive system which employs and outboard motor. Then why isn't everyone doing it. I;d argue that the engineers of the Rega's, VPI's, Michelle's, etc. have examined this rather throughly. Yeah, there is a LOT of hype in the hi-fi world but  not in this regard.

JC


Quote
Quote
Why would you recommend direct drive as opposed to a DIY table or semi-audiophile table with an outboard motor? I have heard the Tech1200's can be modded to be pretty good but I know of very few high end tables that employ direct drive.

Why? I could explain to you...

I have used many turntables by around 10 years; some were direct drive and others were belt drive... Most of them were of the 80's (vintage turntables). In the decade of the 80's were constructed excellent commercial turntables (mainly Technics and Pionner were very good) to an accessible price.

Quote
... I know of very few high end tables that employ direct drive.

Would be you badly informed then... as I said before, in the 80's (as example) the majority of the turntables were direct drive, and they work very good.

I tested around many of these turntables, and I prefer those of direct drive. Why?
Because the belt drives have more wow and flutter (speed variations) than the direct drive turntables. This defect is stronger with the passage of the years... The belt stretches with time and use, and produces important variations in the speed of the turntable. You have that change the belt around of each 3 years of continue use, when this occurs you can perceive very easy that the turntable was significantly slower (with the old belt) than with the new belt.

The direct drive motors are Servo controlled. The Servo mechanism is a electronic system that compare the output in real time (in this case the motor speed) with a reference. This reference is the "desired speed". The idea of the Servo mechanism is to maintain the output (motor speed) EXACTLY EQUAL to the reference (desired speed)... The Servo mechanism works in real time, comparing ALL THE TIME the motor speed (output) with the reference (desired speed). As a result of this the motor speed is CONSTANT all the time, because any minimal possible speed variation is corrected inmediately by the Servo mechanism. This feature of auto correction is not the case of the belt drive turntables. The possible speed variations of a direct drive motor as a consequence of many years of use is NULL. Other good thing: Many good vintage direct drive turntables have the reference controlled by a QUARTZ crystal, this type of motor is more precise and accurate.

Another FUN myth is this: "The belt drive outboard motors are a lot better than direct drive internal motors".
Don't exist scientist evidence of this (or at least credible). I believe very seriously that this MYTH is product of the lack of knowledge of some people of as the basic electronics works, as too the general Servo electronic mechanism theory.

The normal noises in any turntable (as example "rumble") are more controlled and reduced (as a result of the Servo mechanism correction circuit) than the belt drive turntables.
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  • Last Edit: 20 March, 2005, 11:58:59 AM by Joncat