VInyl digitize?

It looks like being a long winter, and I am trying to figure out the best way to digitize the vinyl record collection that surrounds me…

Software wise I am expecting that Audacity will do (some familiarity too) but hardware seems to be a different story. Anybody out there doing this to a greater or lesser degree? Do I bite the bullet, and get my turntable serviced - then try to hook it up to the computer? At what level/input is best? Is there a USB turntable worth getting for the purpose? Is there a good USB turntable, that has a removable headshell so I can swap in my trusted Shure ERA IV cartridge for better performance?

Any better information than seems to be floating around out there would be welcome - or suggestions, of course. Thanks in advance…

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Look under Pro Audio

Edit@: You can get this one.


Depending on your turntable, you might have to run the signal from the turntable to a pre-amp then to your computer. Most of the amps from the eighties had a set of RCA connectors just for turntables that ran the signal through a pre-amp.


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Yeah - My ‘main’ system has a Denon direct drive turntable, with SME3009 tonearm and the Shure cartridge mentioned above- and is hooked through Technics 9000 series preamp. Just not sure about the hookup from there to the computer that would work out the best - and not too sure about the working condition of the system either - it’s kinda OLD these days!

It could all use reconditioning, but I don’t know how that would happen these days - which is why I was considering the alternatives - like USB feeds - but I have no trusted information on what works well. Intended result is FLAC output, with careful pop reduction (most of my collection is pretty good that way - OCD care with cleaning and use, and doubles of the most critical items).

Oh - and the 80s? I’m not sure my stuff is that new! :grin:


I’m a vinyl junkie what you have basicaly is a 60-70s setup that is fine just change the cartridge those old Shure cartridges were pretty naff try a Ortofon more modern and dynamic. don’t go for usb turn tables you will regret it they are just terrible you will find pops cracks rumble you never had before. Buy a head Amp if you can’t use what you already have. Use line input on comp you may need a converter from RCA to 3.5 jack for the cable. I personally record at 24/96 and save as flac it presserves the vinyl sound and feel


I never had the requisite ‘mouse ears’ for finding anything wrong with the ERA IV Shure - lesser ones, though I’d agree were more marginal! Anything you’d find in a Dual was as mid-range as the turntable back then…

If I had a way to get the turntable serviced for intermittent left channel drop-out, that would be the way to go I expect. I just have to hope that the line in is attached to something decent on the system I have near the sound system…

24/96 sounds like the right choice to me - I wonder how close it comes to direct-to-disc reproduction?

Thanks for the feed-back - I was getting slowly convinced that finding a phone pre-amp with USB was going to be necessary - all the USB turntables I saw seemed to threaten to trash my platters.


Here is some more info about ripping your vinyl to 96/24 FLAC using Audacity.


The sound is very close

In its day Shure was fine then came moving coil and moved the goal posts, I went through that and its still a very strong sound, They say vinyl sales are now higher than in the so called peak. But that being said CD can sound good, and vinyl if you spend a load of time and money is unbeatable so much involvement between sound and the listener.
ITS very very personal what you choose I play CDs Vinyl and Flac from hardrive they all have their advantage/disadvantage, but CD can sound hard and bright in the mid-range and top end, Vinyl can sound to warm in some systems but bass is in a league of its own, its horses for courses at the end of the day.
On a side note Audicity is the nearest thing to COOL EDIT 2000 that was the pro choice for audio editing before Adobe totally destroyed it with their greed it was also featured in a Westlife video


I spent some time selecting the Shure - and I was A-B testing it against moving coil alternatives. I couldn’t find an MC that sounded better (regardless of price) at the time - even on some seriously high end equipment. Thus my comment about ‘mouse ears’! The Shure had a gimmick as well (if you look it up) - hydraulically damped ‘pre-brush’ that served 2 purposes, minor clean up if I missed anything, and a form of suspension (in the car sense) for riding minor warps while minimizing effects.

When I couldn’t notice any advantage beyond what the Shure provided (even on Direct-to-Disc items like Dave Grusin and Thelma Houston, as well as test records) I went for it, to feed my KEF 105s - which were selected on the same basis - I couldn’t find anything even remotely affordable that was superior.

Nowadays, of course, age has stolen some of the higher frequencies, but I still appreciate tight and snappy bass - and FLAC seems to be the best I can manage to find at providing it.

I am just going to have to try to resuscitate my Denon DP-2000 if I can, and go with Audacity. It still performs well on most counts, but the electronic controls need a good clean! If the Shure can’t still cut it, at least I have the tonearm to use an MC (or an Ortofon M2 Black?) if I need it… :grin:


I’m lucky my hearing is still not bad, But yes The Shure was a good performer and still is. The Denon is a fine DD, but I was a Lin Sondek user stil got it in fact its the DIY of record deck still getting regular upgrades keeping to its slogan “Garbage in Garbage Out” meaning other decks are lacking, Still not showing its age 47 years on with upgrades.


All you really need is this:

Behringer U-Phono UFO202 Audiophile USB/Audio Interface with Built-in Phono Preamp,Black

Amazon sells it currently for $38.00.

You merely connect your turntable to this device and then you connect this device to your computer. (You would be disconnecting your turntable from your preamp. You would then hear the sound through the computer.)

This method works perfectly. I have one of these and I have used it to digitize a couple of my records.

Note that digitizing records must occur in real time AND, unless you have some kind of noise reduction device (I do not), you will hear every tick, pop, and scratch that is on your record(s).

You’ll also have to experiment with the sound levels; it varies from record to record.

On Amazon’s page scroll down to the reviews; my review is the second one listed and people have found it to be useful (130 people found this helpful). It will tell you almost everything you need to know.

I hope that this is of some interest to you.



Ahh - the Lin! That was the A-B comparo at the time - and a fine (though not ostentatious) deck it was. Given I couldn’t hear enough difference to matter, I went with the one that allowed my on-platter discwashing without complaint, or slowing (direct drive has good torque!). Almost replaced it with an Oracle at one point, but thought better of it :grin:

COOL EDIT 2000 (I believe the Pro version) is what I used when I copied all my Vinyl to MP3. At the time I don’t think FLAC was out yet, and LAME was the most popular codec. Most people were going for small file size. I was going for better fidelity, so I think I used 960 bit?

I just check my CD Archive and COOL EDIT 2000 was not there. After I went totally 64 bit I went through all my apps on CD and tossed the ones that wouldn’t run on 64 bit Windows. That must have been one that didn’t fly on 64 bit.

I still think COOL EDIT had the best pop & click and noise reduction, even over Audacity. Just my opinion based on memory. Was never able to compare them side by side.


OK in some cases, but they don’t have everything at HQ, or even everything at all. Sometimes the best things are ‘take-downs’ at the wrong times too.

Very much so. I have some research to do on the relative audio qualities of my different computers to determine if I should operate in place by the stereo, or bring it to the most recent box for its audio. No functional separate sound cards any more - they weren’t PCI!

Glad to know of an alternative to the Parasound zphono - especially for this limited use! - bookmarked now…


It was the Pro version Flac plugin was always available as a download, I have Cool Edit Pro complete with the CD burning extra, The flac Plugin is now available from abobe, it runs on windows 10 perfect, Also DVDA disk burning gear from the early 2000s installs and runs on win10

Most desktops are fine mine is nothing special I use a Bluetooth Dac setup in the next room pluged into a Class D amp sound is excellent

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Good to know - always find the lazy choice to be superior if all else is equal! I think I even have a spare cable around for the connections…

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This is what you missed out on 45 years as a top level turntable NOT The Best I will say but still the bench mark and still in production.
I will also say a digital 24/96 or 24/192 is also excellent choice slight tonal difference but its equal.