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What high-end pre do you use to record turntables / records in the studio?
Old 1st March 2014
  #1
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Dirty Halo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
What high-end pre do you use to record turntables / records in the studio?

I tried asking this question (in part) in another post, but have since refined what I'm really asking...

I'm using the Radial J33... and if I go with the mic level outputs, I need to use one of my outbaord pres, I have:

API 515

Pacifica

Neve 1073


Which of those do you think would be the most "accurate" to recording the record?

(And/or which pre do yopu use in the studio?)



Thanks guys!
Old 1st March 2014
  #2
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ddageek's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
What are you using for phono EQ?
Old 1st March 2014 | Show parent
  #3
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Dirty Halo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddageek ➑️
What are you using for phono EQ?

The Radial J33 is specfiically designed for the RIAA curve, so I "think" I should be good there.

But, I also figure out, I'm using the 1% of the kind o cartridges that are NOT supposed to work with the radial (namely, the Denon DL-110 is Motion Coil, instead of a Magnetic... for whatever reason, that's a problem... leave it to me to pick THE one kind that doesn't work )

So, I need to buy a NEW new cartridge (open to suggestions on what is a high-end solid studio cartridge, but not stupid audiophile territory).

Even when I do find the correct match for the Radial J33, do I need to put one of my preamps behind it or will the Radial be enough gain to go straing into Pro Tools (Burl converters)?

My concern was/is, by adding one of my pres, I'm coliring the sound and putting it through yet another stage... but maybe that's what always happens and an API, Pacifica or Neve is better than some home receiver/amp.

Thanks for any and all help!
Old 2nd March 2014
  #4
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MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
All of these will add color...as they do with microphones.
Millennia HV3 would probably be the best...but it's still half-assed....and not for critical transfers.
When available we supplied the Apt Holman (with optional moving coil pre if needed) for transfer purposes...but the real way is a Millennia Archival Phono Pre...as used by Library of Congress & Smithsonian

Millennia LOC
Old 2nd March 2014
  #5
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ddageek's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Why not just buy either a consumer Moving coil pre or a Grado MM cart?
I would go with a decent Phono pre and do it in one stage!
Old 2nd March 2014
  #6
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Channel time's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I recommend a good quality phono pre amp and you may need a DI box to get it correctly interfacing with your A/Ds etc
Old 2nd March 2014 | Show parent
  #7
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Dirty Halo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddageek ➑️
Why not just buy either a consumer Moving coil pre or a Grado MM cart?
I would go with a decent Phono pre and do it in one stage!
Thanks guys.

Any suggestions on good studio moving coil phono pres? (assuming the Millenium is out of my range... willing to spend a few hundred +, but not into the thousands)


Thanks so much!!!


-a
Old 2nd March 2014 | Show parent
  #8
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MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirty Halo ➑️
Thanks guys.

Any suggestions on good studio moving coil phono pres?

-a
See if you can find a used Apt Holman...I have a moving coil pre I'll give you to go with it.
Old 2nd March 2014 | Show parent
  #9
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Dirty Halo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MIKEHARRIS ➑️
See if you can find a used Apt Holman...I have a moving coil pre I'll give you to go with it.
That's incredibly kind and generous of you.

Would you mind if I bother you with a few questions, please?

To be honest, I am REALLY confused by why it seems so hard to get my turntable interfaced with my studio... Did I go woring with the Denon DL-110 moving coild cartridge?

Why is that such an ordeal?

I've found an Apt Holman on eBay... is that what I want, is it better than what I can get today?

If I get this:

What high-end pre do you use to record turntables / records in the studio?Apt Holman Vintage Stereo Preamplifier Cambridge Massachusetts | eBay

What is it that I additionally need to use my Moving Coil cartridge?

Is it better for me to just buy a Magnetic cartridge and stick with the Radial J33?

(I'm looking for the best sound possible)

Man, this seems much harder than it should be!


Thank you!

-a
Old 2nd March 2014
  #10
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ddageek's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Check out The Needle Doctor phono stages at all price points
The Pro-ject are great cheap pres!
Old 2nd March 2014
  #11
TZk
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🎧 15 years
Prism orpheus. It has a built-in RIAA filter and one of the best converter designs.
Old 2nd March 2014
  #12
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Karloff70's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Strange thread. A rather picky friend of mine with very good ears loves his J33. What don't you like about it?
Old 2nd March 2014
  #13
tkr
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
If I were in your shoes, I would sell the Denon and buy a decent MM cartridge, at least if you are keeping the J 33. The J33 seems pretty decent, and with another (MM) cartridge, you will get the full use of it:

1) You will have a sufficiently strong signal in.
2) Your J33 is already be impedance-. matched to accommodate an MM cartridge.
3) On most MM cartridges, the stylus is exchangeable. Your Denon MC will have to be sent in for retipping/rebuild when the needle is worn out or damaged.

You might take a look in this thread : https://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-mu...hows-whys.html
Old 2nd March 2014
  #14
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🎧 15 years
The Apt is better than what you can find today...especially the well priced one you found.
If you don't get it I will. Moving coil cartridges were always better than moving magnet...tho I don't know the Denon. We used to supply Grace F9L Ruby to studios and broadcasters that were unable to handle the additional pre the moving coil required.
The Apt does things no other pre we've used can do. Variable mono..left or right channel into both channels. Tom Holman went on to bigger & better with Lucasfilm developing THX and continues to develop surround for performing arts facilities.
If I still have a rack kit I will include it as well as the moving coil pre. I prefer it to be used as opposed to gathering dust on my shelf.
Old 2nd March 2014 | Show parent
  #15
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Dirty Halo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 ➑️
Strange thread. A rather picky friend of mine with very good ears loves his J33. What don't you like about it?

Then you don't understand this thread.

The Radial J33 does not work with Moving Coil cartridges, which is something I didn't know before this ordeal.

The Radial J33 literature says it works with 99% of all cartidges out there... leave it to me to get THE one kind it doesn't work with. And I did.

Thing is, Moving Coil cartridges actually seems more common than Radial is letting on, most of Grado's carts are Moving and many of the other top ones I looked at.

Soooo... I either need to buy a new cart or replace the Radial and I'm trying to figure out which option will be better for sound.

-a
Old 2nd March 2014 | Show parent
  #16
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Dirty Halo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MIKEHARRIS ➑️
The Apt is better than what you can find today...especially the well priced one you found.
If you don't get it I will. Moving coil cartridges were always better than moving magnet...tho I don't know the Denon. We used to supply Grace F9L Ruby to studios and broadcasters that were unable to handle the additional pre the moving coil required.
The Apt does things no other pre we've used can do. Variable mono..left or right channel into both channels. Tom Holman went on to bigger & better with Lucasfilm developing THX and continues to develop surround for performing arts facilities.
If I still have a rack kit I will include it as well as the moving coil pre. I prefer it to be used as opposed to gathering dust on my shelf.


Thanks again and so incredibly generous of you (both in the offer to send me your pre, which I won't let you do, I insist on paying you for it AND for the advice).

The eBay auction has 6 more days, I'll see if I can win it (it has 4 bidders now and up to $124)... that said, what is a reasonable price for me to pay, do you think?


Thanks again!!!

-Andrews
Old 2nd March 2014 | Show parent
  #17
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Dirty Halo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tkr ➑️
If I were in your shoes, I would sell the Denon and buy a decent MM cartridge, at least if you are keeping the J 33. The J33 seems pretty decent, and with another (MM) cartridge, you will get the full use of it:

1) You will have a sufficiently strong signal in.
2) Your J33 is already be impedance-. matched to accommodate an MM cartridge.
3) On most MM cartridges, the stylus is exchangeable. Your Denon MC will have to be sent in for retipping/rebuild when the needle is worn out or damaged.

You might take a look in this thread : https://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-mu...hows-whys.html

Agreed that the Radial J33 is supposedly good. At the moment, it seems to be the ONLY phono pre designed with a studio in mind.

At the moment, the cartrdige and the Radial are almost the same cost, so I'm trying to figure out which direction is better to go.

I keep hearing how good MC carts are, so I'm intrigued to go that direction (but at the monent, it seems like a pain).

-a
Old 2nd March 2014 | Show parent
  #18
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirty Halo ➑️
Then you don't understand this thread.

The Radial J33 does not work with Moving Coil cartridges, which is something I didn't know before this ordeal.

The Radial J33 literature says it works with 99% of all cartidges out there... leave it to me to get THE one kind it doesn't work with. And I did.

Thing is, Moving Coil cartridges actually seems more common than Radial is letting on, most of Grado's carts are Moving and many of the other top ones I looked at.

Soooo... I either need to buy a new cart or replace the Radial and I'm trying to figure out which option will be better for sound.

-a
By now I have understood the thread........unfortunate. But then your outcome might be better still, so hopefully worth the journey.
Old 2nd March 2014
  #19
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ddageek's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Grados are moving iron, output is similar to moving magnet.
Radials take would be, most professional cartridges, Broadcast or DJ are moving magnet.
In the non hippster, audiophile world Vinyl is dead so no major market for a pro phono pre anymore.
Always thought for Archiving a simple gain stage and plugin with adjustable EQ would be ideal ( there was a very cool 78 pre years ago with all the different EQ curves and some ajustment in case things were off ) with some decent impulse noise reduction a plug would be great !
Old 2nd March 2014 | Show parent
  #20
tkr
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirty Halo ➑️
Agreed that the Radial J33 is supposedly good. At the moment, it seems to be the ONLY phono pre designed with a studio in mind.

At the moment, the cartrdige and the Radial are almost the same cost, so I'm trying to figure out which direction is better to go.

I keep hearing how good MC carts are, so I'm intrigued to go that direction (but at the monent, it seems like a pain).

-a
There is, of course, stuff like this. There are even some DIY kits out there:
Attached Thumbnails
What high-end pre do you use to record turntables / records in the studio?-mc-mm_600.jpg  
Old 2nd March 2014 | Show parent
  #21
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Dirty Halo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tkr ➑️
There is, of course, stuff like this. There are even some DIY kits out there:

Thanks for sharing this, I'll check it out right away.

Do you think I'm just adding too many variables in the audio chain with this or is it still better to go with this and the Radial... meaning, am I better off with just getting a phono pre that handles MC?

I'm trying to figure out if something like this:

Musical Fidelity V90-LPS Phono Stage


... is better or worse than the Radial J33.


Unfortunately, when I try researching on turntable gear, it's like apples and oranges when trying to evaluate compared to Gearslutz (there's just so much audiophile hype AND I'm dealing with consumer gear v. studio... which may be fine in quality, but it's just harder to say).


Thanks for any insight and advice.
Old 2nd March 2014 | Show parent
  #22
tkr
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirty Halo ➑️
Thanks for sharing this, I'll check it out right away.

Do you think I'm just adding too many variables in the audio chain with this or is it still better to go with this and the Radial... meaning, am I better off with just getting a phono pre that handles MC?

I'm trying to figure out if something like this:

Musical Fidelity V90-LPS Phono Stage


... is better or worse than the Radial J33.


Unfortunately, when I try researching on turntable gear, it's like apples and oranges when trying to evaluate compared to Gearslutz (there's just so much audiophile hype AND I'm dealing with consumer gear v. studio... which may be fine in quality, but it's just harder to say).


Thanks for any insight and advice.
Well, it depends, doesn`t it.....If you want something that "pays its way" I`d go for a moving magnet cartridge and keep the Radial.

If, OTOH, listening pleasure comes into the equation, I would definitely go for the Denon and something like the MF, which has an excellent reputation.

Sorry if my answer is a bit vague, but I don`t know why you want a turntble in your studio.
Old 2nd March 2014
  #23
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MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
If you keep the J33 ( we recently supplied one to a client) you return to the original question...which external pre to use. Phono cartridges have very low output...adding a passive RIAA filter exacerbates the gain issue. In this case choose a moving magnet with highest output...and a pre with the lowest noise floor. You probably need to lower your expectations..the transfer will not be unusable...just not the best. The source also comes into play...if you're transferring a 12" single the output will be greater than a DGG 30+ minute classical recording.
Shhh...don't tell anyone but vinyl is making a comeback.
Old 2nd March 2014 | Show parent
  #24
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Dirty Halo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MIKEHARRIS ➑️
If you keep the J33 ( we recently supplied one to a client) you return to the original question...which external pre to use. Phono cartridges have very low output...adding a passive RIAA filter exacerbates the gain issue. In this case choose a moving magnet with highest output...and a pre with the lowest noise floor. You probably need to lower your expectations..the transfer will not be unusable...just not the best. The source also comes into play...if you're transferring a 12" single the output will be greater than a DGG 30+ minute classical recording.
Shhh...don't tell anyone but vinyl is making a comeback.

Thanks, funny enough I JUST sent you a PM... more there.


Grateful and with high regards,

Andrews
Old 2nd March 2014
  #25
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Out of interest, are you going to use the turntable to sample stuff into productions or actually archiving stuff with minimal sonic change whatsoever?

As if it is number one I think you will be more than happy with the J33. If number two all bets are off I suppose......go forth.
Old 2nd March 2014 | Show parent
  #26
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Dirty Halo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 ➑️
Out of interest, are you going to use the turntable to sample stuff into productions or actually archiving stuff with minimal sonic change whatsoever?

As if it is number one I think you will be more than happy with the J33. If number two all bets are off I suppose......go forth.

Well, both ideally.

For my own education, why do you say the J33 would be better for sampling?

-a
Old 2nd March 2014 | Show parent
  #27
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Karloff70's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirty Halo ➑️
Well, both ideally.

For my own education, why do you say the J33 would be better for sampling?

-a
I was more implying it is plenty good enough for sampling used with a nice pre. Whether it is the tool for maximum neutrality archiving is a different debate.
Old 3rd March 2014
  #28
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LP2CD's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Various LP to digital transfer issues are a periennial topic. Like so many things in life, it's not nearly as simple as it ought to be if it's well done. Here are a few items germane to this thread:

KAB Electro Acoustics.
PHONO PREAMPS AT KABUSA.COM
All manner of semi- and pro-quality phono stages and associated gear, including top quality rack mounts. Myself, I use a Musical Fidelity M1ViNL phono stage very effectively. Balanced outs and several useful adjustments. I run it directly into a Mytek Stereo96 ADC.

As for turntables and carts, the sky is the limit and the arguments endless. I use a VPI Scout Signature TT with the VPI SDS speed controler. It's perhaps the sweet spot on the price/performance curve. YMMV. And who has an unlimited lifetime and budget to audition all the cartridges? I've had VERY good results with a MM Shure M97xE cart fitted with a JICO SAS stylus. N97xE SAS, JICO stylus | Online Shopping for Japanese Phonograph Needles A total of $250+/- and as flat and fast as anything I've ever heard. The stylus is fragile, though. It requires a good TT and is NOT for backcueing or scratching etc. Use it like a disco stylus and you will destroy it instantly.

Things I tell anyone is that in transferring from LPs there are few to no shortcuts, and that you will pay what you get for. Your biggest cost will be time. There is no quick, simple, brain-dead way of doing LP to digital transfers that is worth it, and there will be a learning curve. Also, there is NO software that will reliably and accurately break up the sound file of an LP side into individual tracks. It HAS to be done "by hand" and again will take considerable time to learn and do well.

Good luck!
Old 3rd March 2014
  #29
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AlexK's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Setup is critical too. Most turntables (although some much more so than others) are very sensitive to their placement. I have a (somewhat modified) Rega Planar 3 which sounds amazingly different if you place it on the wrong surface - low density wood (Ikea fibreboard etc...) just doesn't work at all. You need a big, flat surface of dense wood, or even better is something like a big heavy rock (again, flat!). I've had pretty bad results with marble, glass and especially softer surfaces.

It's easy to get swept up in all sorts of audiophile b/s, and equally put-off of genuine 'improvements', but there are no shortcuts (as LP2CD says). Vinyl seems to be an odd mixture of black-art, true science and excellent-engineering.
Old 4th March 2014 | Show parent
  #30
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LP2CD's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexK ➑️
It's easy to get swept up in all sorts of audiophile b/s, and equally put-off of genuine 'improvements', but there are no shortcuts (as LP2CD says). Vinyl seems to be an odd mixture of black-art, true science and excellent-engineering.
So very true and well said. As AlexK noted, I barely scratched the surface of vinyl LPs. Get into 78s, old casette or reel-to-reel tapes, or wire recordings, wax cylinders & etc. and you will find yourself in an esoteric jungle in an altogether different world.
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