Converting LP to digital. Advice please...


I am looking to archive some vinyl onto a hard drive that I can then transfer to CD. I would like to take it from line level output to a A/D convertor then store it on a computer hard drive. Then have a program that will allow me to take each LP side and dive the songs into individual tracks. Suggestions on a/d conversion and software would be appreicated greatly
128x128theo
Lewm -

I am in general agreement with your post. It is the convenience features of the Sweet Vinyl SC-2 that are appealing to me.

I have around 2500 LP’s that I want to digitize. I have an Alesis Masterlink. It is nice for making the occasional recording, but there is no way I am going to digitize my entire collection with it. The process is too cumbersome. The Tascam, and the Sound Devices units that Al mentions, allow recording to a usb stick or sd card, but other than that, none of them seem much easier to use than the Alesis that I own.

It is the splitting and naming of tracks, and the de-clicking, that takes up a lot of my time. The extra cost of the Sweet Vinyl SC-2 in my case would be worth it, as it does all of this in real time while the record is being played and recorded.

I don’t doubt that recordings made with the Tascam are excellent. I strongly considered buying it to replace my Masterlink. I am familiar with the two guys on VA and have much respect for their technological knowledge. I have owned some of the same gear that they currently own, but have moved on and discovered other gear that were an improvement to my ears. Such could be the case with the SC-2; who knows until it has been tried and evaluated?

I’m waiting to read further reviews of the SC-2. If the sound quality is good, and preliminary reports are positive, I would choose the SC-2 as it is worth the extra money to me if it means it will make it easier and quicker to digitize my collection. If I were only doing an occasional recording here and there, the Alesis, Tascam, or Sound Devices would suffice.

The feature that takes out the clicks and pops during playback is just a bonus that would be fun to play with. I agree with your philosophy that simpler connections are better. I would use the feature in something like a tape loop so that I can switch back and forth and do a comparison. If I hear a degradation of sound quality, I would not use the feature most of the time, but I would use it on occasion for fun or for some of my more compromised records.
I used to think about buying the Alesis when it was best bang for the buck.  Then I switched to thinking about the Tascam. But I know my own habits all too well, which means I know that I will never invest the time it takes to convert even a small fraction of my own 2500 LPs to digital. I don't even particularly want to do that.  I try to keep up with what's happening in that area only because I am attracted to the gadgetry. These days it's difficult enough for me just to get time to listen to music. 
Vinyl Studio is a great program for this process. It can record the data from USB or import a file. You can split the files and do various cleanup operations. One of its main advantages is that it does lookup of album data for several databases including discogs and imports track timings and names. This greatly speeds up the task of splitting tracks and providing names and other metadata. 30 day trial and only $29 for the license. Don't let the low price deter you - it is a great program.
lewm - Removing clicks and pops indeed changes the data. But, I would argue, the clicks and pops have already done that. Getting the signal back to as close to the original as possible has to be better than leaving the click or pop in. All you have to do is look at the waveform to see the distortion that the pop or click creates. If you only have a few pops or clicks you can just go to those specific spots in the file and do the correction on that specific spot. You do not have to process the whole track. Vinyl Studio, for example, lets you fix just a specific area.  The program will fix the selected section or you can do it yourself manually, while looking at the waveform. You can listen to that section with and without the fix. Give it a try.  Attempting to fix a badly damaged section, especially when the flaw lies along the track rather than across it, can do more damage than good. But I find that removal of a typical short pop or click always sounds better than leaving the defect in.
Lewm you've suggested that the sugar cube is interposed between the cartridge and phono stage but that's not how I read it. They've left cartridge optimisation and equalisation to the phono stage and are expecting to either receive a line level signal from it or from the tape monitor output from the preamp. This means minimal  interference with the signal path.