Digitising LPs

It’s over a year since I first posed a question about this, albeit with thoughts of buying a Sony USB TT. Now this week I have collected my LPS from storage; I don’t think I have found all of them, but so far I have logged 355 of them onto VinylWall, a database app. I reckon that I have about 30 of these in a digital format, and I like the Roon approach to music curation.
So I could:
A) digitise the LPs using an appropriate TT, plugged into my 52 and out into my laptop; or
B) subscribe to a streaming service; or
C) forget about digitising and buy a decent TT.
The cost of buying replacement CDs or downloads would be about £1750, which could be the low range of my budget for a TT.
As I’m retired I have the time to devote to digitisation, but is it worth it?

I’m really not sure if the time invovled is worth it, however…

Many years ago I bought an Apogee Duet (firewire) which I believe Richard Dane may also have used to digitise stuff at one stage, and I thought the resulting recordings were a little thin compared to playing directly from the LP12.

It does boil down to time and priorities I think.

Digitising my vinyl is certainly on a ‘probably will do’ list, however streaming services have really made it low priority.

I will definitely want to digitise unusual or rare albums that are not available to stream but they probably constitute <5% of my LPs at most.

The other consideration is how to do it.

In the past I’ve used software to separate tracks, add metadata and remove noise/clicks etc.

Now I think I’d simply treat it as a virtual LP and would just digitise side A and B as single A/B files warts and all, with only enough metadata or perhaps just a filename to identify the sides. Simple and quick, and if you really wanted to you could refine on a per track basis at a later stage.

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Digital files made from a Sony USB turntable are not going to sound anywhere near as good as a decent turntable. With £1750 as a low end of your budget you’re in to Rega P8 and Michell Gyro SE territory. Enjoy the records as they are meant to be.


Digitise, the pleasure is in the process.

Then keep vinyl and buy a new TT as well


Having once considered it a ‘project’ I never took to I think that if I did it again I’d have no plan and would simply do it when I fancied playing a particular album as there would be little overhead time wise, side A or B saved for immediate consumption as is or to refine later if I felt the need.

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I would say see how rare your albums are. If you are talking dark side of the moon, then spend your time doing literally anything else. There is nothing you can do that has not been done way better else where.

If your vinyls are some how super super rare, then yes take the time to ‘rip’ them.

I have to say though all the vinyl rips I have heard, all sounded somewhat thin, and dare I say it, poor. (actually I wanted to say something else but the software would not let me)


You can get decent results digitising your vinyl but to do so is very time consuming and I’m not sure the effort is worth it given the cost of lossless streaming. I digitised about 20 albums many years ago but have given up and just play the vinyl now. Consider for good results you will need quality components…

  • turntable set up
  • ADC
  • RCM
  • Maybe a spare PC/MAC for the captures/processing
  • Software to capture the rip but more importantly be able to manipulate the files if you want to remove noise, boost freqs etc etc
  • you will need to do some research wrt to the best way to do this, it generally isn’t point and click (there’s a good but very long thread of SHF on this subject)

If you have a decent turntable to start with I think you will be happier with the quality of the vinyl replay rather than the digital file and if you don’t then hopefully Tidal/Qobuz is your friend

About 25 years ago I was a pioneer of this process. Made a phono to jack plug connection and plugged my Rega 3 into the sound card of the computer fired up Audacity and let the record roll. Stretched the sound wave out, cut it up into respective tracks, ran a de-rumble and de-scratch software package then named and burnt the resulting files on to a CD. Phew!

I did above because a lot of my vinyl albums were not available on CD at the time. Now I am sure you can buy an all singing all dancing software package and pretty much find most things on CD or download.

My view - only digitise the stuff that is not on CD/download or is expensive to source then go on Amazon and select the ‘used’ option and slash that £1,750.

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I suspect it’s time to check out Qobuz for the albums. So far there are only a handful that are not available. Most of the classical options I can source as they are mostly DG.
I may have to break the piggy bank and get a decent TT to make the most of those rarer LPS.

As an aside, the sleeves of all my Genesis albums are empty!

Quality wise I’ve never had much success with Audacity, and haven’t bothered to find anything else. Cd’s are cheap enough now, especially older albums, so I’ve gone that route. The time spent ripping and indexing just isn’t worth the end result.


Went through a similar performance not so recently with a box full of cassettes - bought a half decent tape deck, had everything lined up ready to do it but could never find the time. It boiled down to not having the enthusiasm to sift through a pile of 45 minute recordings to capture, identify and mark each track; and for what? To at some point in the future be able to listen to something that happened to be recorded 30 years earlier?

Life’s too short. The tapes are still in a box, if I ever get an urge to hear them I’ll get an ok tape deck and use that.


When I decided to move from vinyl to streaming, I considered ripping the 300 or so LPs I was actually bothered about, and having tried a few, I was surprised how good they could sound. The prospect of ripping the whole lot was, to me, most unattractive, and considering I would really have needed a record cleaning machine and a decent ADC, quite expensive as well as time consuming.
Given the low price of used CDs, I found it a great deal cheaper and easier to buy and rip them. Or with a lossless streaming subscription, just find them in that and play them.
Sure, if you relish the opportunity to buy a couple of new toys, and enjoy the process, rip your LPs. For me, HiFi is a means to access good music, and I was glad to do without the faff.


What was the problem? I thought Audacity was an excellent piece of software.

That said, in terms of de-scratching (de-clicking) I preferred to do manually as the auto tool wasn’t flexible enough to deal with different degrees of scratch - and although it took a bit of time, the results were inaudible in all but the worst cases. I tried the surface noice removal tool but found it affected the music as well, so only used with the worst cases of eggs and bacon, and not worth it if you can get on CD/download

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To me ripping ~500 LPs was was a great exercise in listening to every LP I had! I am now determined that from time to time I should play all my albums in a similar way end to end, and review my library contents.

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A few years ago I had 2 systems, and my LP12 was still in the living room active Naim system and alas not used very much as SWMBO had commandeered (sp?) that room for her TV watching etc, hence the very capable system (now my only one) in my study. I couldn’t install the LP12 in my study as the it would ‘jump’ if walking across the floor. I have now solved that problem by fitting a Tiger Paw shelf.

So, I embarked on ripping the best part of 4000 LPs, so that I could listen to the music on my study system. Initially I used a standalone CD recorder (Denon, IIRC) to record them onto CD and them ripped them using iTunes and later on, dBpoweramp, but that died partway through, and I bought a Korg MR2. I used that and separated the tracks using Audacity. All metadata was entered as I went along. I did the same for the large collection of Classical Cassettes which I had acquired when Classical LPs vanished from the new releases (using my Nakamichi CR7 as source)

I’m retired, and it took 2 years! I didn’t listen to most of them while ‘ripping’ them (SWMBO’s “room”), but used to come down when each side finished to continue with other side.

Kept me very busy, for a long time, as I have already said, but music (playing and listening) is my main hobby. Results were very good, and I am happy with the results.

I routinely digitise any new LPs I buy as backup in case of any severe damage to the original LP. This is also useful in assessing whether I need to replace my cartridge. If the digital copy starts to sound better, then it’s definitely new cartridge time.


That is a key tip for anyone ripping LPs.

I knew nothing of metadata when I ripped mine, so ended up with a lot of music having no metadata at all - which wasn’t a problem when I first made into CDs, nor when I first had a streamer with software that happily used my methodical file storage hierarchy and filenames to search and browse- then I found that otherLibrary/playing software, possibly the majority, rely on metadata - and fixing metadata for 100s of albums already ripped is a soul-destroying task that I cannot bring myself to do.

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There is the software called SongKong.

  1. Record LP/audio cassette
  2. Split into songfiles
  3. Let SongKong find metadata from the recorded audio and rename files (using the Acoustid database on the net (right now about 12 million songs))

With SongKong you can then work over your full collection (like a database) setting/changing/evolving metadata and it handles classical etc. So you can keep and grow a collection without handling every single file one-by-one. There is a full undo in case you run a command that goes wrong.

I am a happy user of this package and collector/curator of some specialized music categories. With Minimserver2,+ SongKongPro you get readymade setups that works with classical incl. multidisc and grouped tracks. Makes Roon look like gaslight.

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Interesting experience - did you compare digitising via your prep amp with those made with the Korg?

Sound like an observation for the Genesis best musical group thread!


If you digitise your LP collection from the actual vinyl itself you will have it to a standard from that TT at that time. Depending on the number of LPs you have, and you have carefully transferred them, and then you get an upgrade/ better TT then your digitised LPs will not sound the same or not to your liking perhaps?
One thing you can be sure of. Linn and their LP12 will always be up for an upgrade.

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