Converting Vinyl to digital

I saw an interesting unit in JC Penny's today. For $99 you get a record player and you can feed your LPs to either a computer or burn a CD. While this is probably not the best choice for an audiophhile, I am curoius what is out their that will do this to satisfy at an audiophile level.
The main problem with the JC Penny rig is that you are limited to the sound that will be produced by that turntable and cartridge which probably is not that good. So you will be recording the sound of a crappy turntable and you will get a crappy sounding CD as well.

I have gotten some great results and many of the best sounding CDs in my collection were recorded by me from vinyl. The cool thing about it is that you get as good of a recording as you have for playback. So the better the table, arm, cart and phono stage, the better the recording.

You do need a good AD converter as well to get a great recording. I am using a Wadia 17 AD converter fed from the tape out of my preamp and then digtial via AES/EBU to an Alesis Masterlink recorder. I edit the album sides into individual tracks and then burn a CD of it which I rip via itunes into my computer. It takes about 10 minutes to edit the recording so you can burn a CD from it. There are some other options that might be a little quicker on the editing side of things but the Masterlink works pretty good and if used with a good outboard AD converter you can get great sound from it too. The weak link of the Masterlink itself is the AD conversion, but since it has a digital input you can just bypass it by using a better outboard AD converter.

I'm not saying that the CD recordings sound better than actually listening to the vinyl but they sound better than most CDs you buy assuming you've got a nice playback rig. It is a little trouble but it's fun and the sound you get is worth it.

It's pretty hard to do comparisons between different phono carts for example but if you get a recording made from them then you contrast the differences easily by comparing the recordings made to CD.
"Great analogue sound is never reproduced from a CD"

My Lp rips to CD sound just as good if not better than my Lps. I can turn my amp off during recording to avoid acoustic feedback and also run digital click removal software on the rips.

I get excellent results recording from my BAT preamp to an M-Audio Audiophile USB. I use Audacity on a Macbook for recording and Clickrepair to clean up the sound a bit.
hi Riley,

I don't know what difference it makes to use different software/hardware since I'm completely satisfied with what I have (I actually bought the Mbox for recording live music) and have no urge to 'upgrade' or do A-B comparisons. as far as all the various noise-removal software goes, nearly all my LPs have so little noise - and I'm not bothered by what noise there is or I'd find a better copy - that I don't do any editing except fades (in and out).

one last thing: I save all the 24/48 WAV files so when I go to a HD-based hi-rez USB DAC, my digitized LPs will sound even better!
Musicslug - thanks for the info. Great thread...... I am curious about the hi-rez Tascam CD recorder too. They make one (forget the model) that records DSD and 24 bit data. It seems like it could be a pretty cool piece too....

Thanks for all the great responders here. My situation is that I upgraded my TT from a Thorens with Lin Basik arm and artridge to a Project Perspective TT with Sumiko Blue Point cartridge that I bought from someone local. We packed it up and when I got home, the weight and end of the arm broke off. I was able to glue it back on but, I can't help but, believe that I am not getting wonderful performance on this rig. When I checked with the manufacturer, I found that it would cost > 800 to replace the arm. Rather than spend the $$$ fixing up, buying a decent record cleaning machine I figured it would be less costly and simpler to record my LPs to CD and stick with CD. My system:

Vandy 3aSigs
Eastern Electric CD
TAD 150 Signature pre
Tad 125 monos
Project Perspective TT