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VINYL RIPPING EXPERIENCES
#1
I've been ripping vinyl for 13 years and have listed below suggestions for obtaining good rips. Hopefully this will be of interest and of value to other Devialet owners.
I started with a Devialet D-Premier in 2012. The D-Premier was upgraded to a Devialet 250 in 2014. The Devialet is a most convenient and cost effective vinyl ripping engine. The cost of separate components of commensurate quality - analogue to digital converter (ADC), phono stage, digital to analogue converter (DAC), preamp and power amp - would be significantly greater than the cost of a Devialet. For me vinyl playback and vinyl ripping are the best features of the Devialet.

WHY RIP VINYL?
Ripping vinyl can be can be a lot of fun. The resultant digital files provide a convenient and versatile method of playback on multiple digital devices. Vinyl ripping when done well can generate high resolution files superior to those commercially available for download. Rips can sound as good as or, in some ways, better than direct playback of the original vinyl. Consider your vinyl collection a ready source of high resolution digital files.
Vinyl rips also provide an archive, allowing comparisons of current with past equipment and software, including cartridge, tonearm, turntable, power supplies, cables, computer software and Devialet firmware.
Vinyl ripping also allows for editing out of clicks, pops and other defects of the original vinyl.

HOW TO GET GOOD RIPS
Simple attention to basic setup can give significantly better rips. The suggestions below are based on my experience. Decide yourself what for you, if anything, is relevant and how much time and/or money you wish to spend. Draw your own conclusions from your own listening to your own system.

In computer audio there is often more than one way of doing something. I recommend comparing alternative methods and listening for yourself whether there is a benefit of one method over another. Have an audio buddy on hand to lend their ears to any A/B comparisons.

The suggestions below may seem numerous and detailed, but if you’re going to the trouble of ripping vinyl – something which must be done in real time – you may as well do it once, do it well and, ultimately, save time.

Turntable Setup

It goes without saying to have a well set up turntable and clean LPs. There exists much advice online, in books and on DVD. It’s worth spending a few hours ensuring your vinyl rig setup is optimal.

Particular points to note:

STYLUS WEAR is gradual and may not be noticed until advanced. I only discovered a worn stylus after I had already done a whole lot of rips with it! A stylus re-tip brought back the detail and purity I had unconsciously been missing. I now monitor cartridge use and have my cartridge inspected annually.

VERTICAL TRACKING ANGLE (VTA) is an adjustment some say should be a "set it once and forget about it" adjustment. My experience is otherwise. I've been surprised just how much difference VTA adjustment can make. At times, for the sake of being thorough, I've adjusted VTA to what I would have thought an extreme degree only to be surprised at the better sound achieved. I check VTA for each LP before ripping. A VTA too low results in a less distinct bass. A VTA too high gives an edginess to the treble. These differences may seem subtle at first but you can learn to readily recognise them. With VTA just right both bass and treble sound right and midrange frequencies, such as the human voice and clarinet, will sound most natural. Don't be afraid to experiment with large variations in VTA. My VTA settings from one LP to another have varied by as much as 9mm! Make a note of your VTA settings for each LP for future playback.
Some tonearms have no VTA adjustment so one has no choice.

Turntable to Devialet Connection

If you have a moving coil (MC) cartridge then consider using a step up device and configuring your Devialet to moving magnet (MM). I’m using a Graham Slee Elevator EXP with a Graham Slee PSU-1 power supply (itself powered with a Furutech power cable). This results in better defined bass and treble, quieter background and better soundstage.

Devialet Setup

CONNECTION TO COMPUTER
DEVIALET D-PREMIER     The D-Premier has no USB port and warrants the use of a digital-to-digital converter (DDC) to connect to computer. When using the D-Premier I employed a Weiss INT203 (bi-directional DDC) to connect to my Apple computer – the Weiss connecting to Devialet via SPDIF, and to computer via Firewire. The Weiss, as with all digital devices, benefits from a good linear power supply (see below).
DEVIALET 250     The two-way USB connectivity of the 250 provides a simpler and, to my ears, better quality signal path to computer.
USB CABLE      I've compared various USB cables between Devialet and computer. They each have their own effect on the sound. Try out any cables to which you have access. It's always a matter of bang-for-buck. Upgrade only if you hear a difference and are happy to pay for it. I'm staying with my Audioquest Diamond USB cable for the time being, but I consider the [/url]Curious USB better value for money.

ANALOGUE TO DIGITAL CONVERSION (ADC)      Set ADC to 192 kHz in the Devialet Configurator. This gives a more clean sound than an ADC of 96 kHz.

DIGITAL OUT     When using the SPDIF digital out with the D-Premier set this to 48kHz in the Devialet Configurator. Surprisingly, I found 48kHz to give better results with the D-Premier than rates of 96 or 192 kHz. Using the USB connection of the 250 the sample rate is set in your software. I found 192KHz best with the 250.

CARTRIDGE SETTINGS      Let your ears decide which settings are best for your cartridge rather than rely on those specified in the Devialet Configurator. Cartridge settings can now be altered easily and on the fly using the remote.

RIAA     I tend to use only the 1953 and 1976 curves according to the mastering date of the vinyl, however, some pre-1976 pressings, to my ears, sound better using the 1976 curve. I don’t have any recordings stamped prior to 1953 so I don’t tend to use the other curves. I’m interested in others’ experience of the various RIAA curves.

SUBSONIC FILTER      Switch the Subsonic Filter OFF. By default the Subsonic Filter is ON when selecting the Phono input – annoying! To my ears this filter has undesired effects on the rest of the frequency spectrum. Do a long press on the "BASS" button on the remote. The "Balance" setting will appear on the Devialet display. Keep doing short presses on the button and you will cycle through the various phono cartridge settings. Keep going until you get to the next window and the Subsonic Filter is highlighted. Switch it to "OFF" by turning the volume control.

DYNAMIC POWER MANAGEMENT (DPM)      Ensure DPM is on. The setting is in the same display window as the Subsonic Filter setting. DPM gives a much more natural sound and better soundstage.

CARTRIDGE MAXIMUM OUTPUT LEVEL      This level can be set for your cartridge but also individually adjusted for a particular LP. Aim for a full wave form in your recording software but without clipping. If clipping occurs increase the Maximum Output Level to allow more head room. For example, with my MC cartridge: (1) without a MC step up device and Devialet set to MC I used levels of 0.7mV to 0.9mV. (2) with the MC step up device and Devialet set to MM I am using levels of 0.9mV to 2.2mV.

SPEAKER VOLUME      Turn the volume all the way down to -97.5 dB and monitor the rip through headphones. This will prevent any feedback from speakers to cartridge. If you don’t have headphones, monitor with the speakers at very low volume.

Computer Setup
There is much information about computer setup on various websites including Computer Audiophile. I’ve listed below some basics from my experience.

SEPARATE DRIVES      Record to a drive other than the system drive. This means the operating system and software are on one drive, while music files are written to another drive. This is a standard recording protocol for good reason. It does make a difference. In one variant of this arrangement using a late model Apple Mac Mini computer it is possible to run the operating system and applications on an SD card inserted in to the back of the Mac mini while using the internal drive (ideally a solid state drive) as the record drive. In this configuration a more direct path to the record drive is obtained. One avoids the potential for degradation of signal through USB or Firewire cables.

SOLID STATE DRIVES (SSD)      Replace spinning hard drives, both system drives and recording drives, with solid state drives. SSD are more expensive, but they do make a difference.

LINEAR POWER SUPPLIES (LPS)      Most electronic equipment, computers and computer peripherals are powered by switch mode power supplies (SMPS) which can be internal or external and which are electronically noisy. External SMPS are readily recognised as "wall warts" or "power bricks". Replacing these common SMPS with a good linear power supply (LPS) is one of the most significant upgrades you can make. Good quality LPS include the  Keces DC-116, UpTone Audio JS-2and models by Paul Hynes. The Keces DC-116 is very good value for money at about US$400. A good LPS will result in greater detail and blacker backgrounds.

DC POWER LEADS      Even the DC lead between LPS and device makes a difference! When replacing the cheap DC lead between my LPS and an external drive with a quality lead (terminated with Oyaide barrel connectors) the improvement in sound quality was greater than upgrading the USB cable to the same drive! Complete DC leads with Oyaide connectors can be purchased from Mains Cables Are Us

SOFTWARE      There is no shortage of software for ripping vinyl, some free, some not. If you're happy with what you're using go no further. I've been using Pro Tools software ever since it came bundled with my first serious audio interface. I have tried other ripping software but keep coming back to Pro Tools. It is reliable and sounds clean, detailed and natural. Pro Tools can also be used for better CD rips- see my post at Computer Audiophile.

SAMPLE RATES
D-Premier settings are done in the Devialet Configurator. As mentioned above, I found ADC of 192 kHz and digital out of 48 kHz best.
Devialet 250 settings. As mentioned above, I found an ADC of 192 kHz and a digital output of 192 kHz best (the latter set in recording software).
I always use a word length of 24 bits. Ripping at 24bits/192kHz generates a file size of up to 3GB for one LP. This size is not an issue with hard drive space today, however, copying such files to another drive as a backup may be slow – if only I had USB 3.0 on all my devices!
For playback on devices such as iPods and smart phones, 24/192 files can be dithered to 16/44.1 using various software applications possibly including the one you’ve used to rip your vinyl, or even iTunes. I believe there is more professional high quality dithering software out there, such as Izotope Audio Editor, but I’ve not used such … yet.

COMPUTER PREFERENCES      I’m not a Windows user but others have told me [url=http://www.fidelizer-audio.com]Fidelizer is excellent for improving PC audio. There are Apple Scripts for optimising performance for Apple Mac computers but I haven’t used them. However, I have gone through System Preferences to ensure as little as possible is running in the background – Spotlight: ensure all options are unchecked and that any drives attached to your computer have been added to the “Privacy” list. Energy Saver: sleep never. Software Updates: uncheck automatic updating. Screen saver: Never. Time Machine: Off. If your computer is dedicated to audio and not used for other purposes you can delete email accounts and any cloud computing connections. In addition on a Mac you can run Activity Monitor to ensure you do not have any unnecessary applications running unknown in the background using up memory and CPU.

BACK UP      Much effort and time goes in to the creation of a vinyl rip. Regular back ups are good insurance. Off site backups can be a good excuse to share your files with a friend.

Quality Control
To check you’ve done a decent rip and not overlooked any parameters compare your rip to the original vinyl. It is possible for your rip to sound as good or even better than the original vinyl played live. In addition, compare your rip to any other version you may have of the album. Other versions could be (1) a rip of the LP done previously with earlier equipment and software, (2) a CD rip or (3) a download. A CD rip or download may sound clean and “pure”, but, if your original vinyl is a decent pressing your vinyl rip, despite the presence of surface noise and clicks and pops, may sound superior. A good piece of vinyl ripped well will have greater openness, more detail, a more life-like sound and better sound-staging.

Conclusion
By putting the effort in to building a good vinyl ripping engine you can end up with a great collection of high resolutions files to be played back at your convenience. It’s now possible to have the sound quality of analogue with the convenience of digital – as someone said, “the future of analogue is digital”.

Happy ripping!
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#2
Hi Leigh, may I be the first to give you a warm welcome to the forum. MONSTER first post with some very interesting and helpful advice on ripping. Interesting points on VTA. I had always assumed that this was a set and forget adjustment but I shall do some experimentation now that I know differently.
Thanks for the tips!
Project Eperience X Pack with Ortofon Rondo Red MC, Oppo BDP 105D, Sonos Connect, QNAP HS251+ NAS, Mutec MC-3+USB, Mac 5K running Roon, iPad Pro 12.9" for remote control. Devialet 440 Pro, Sonus faber Olympica ll, Rupert Neve Designs headphone amp.Denon AH-D5000, Sennheiser HD600 and HD800 with Cardas cable,  Van Den Hul The First Ultimate interconnects, GSP Audio Spatia speaker cable.
South Coast England
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#3
That has to be the best first post ever seen on this forum! Welcome Mr Hibbins!

I too was interested in your comments on VTA, as well as SUT's. (We like TLA's around here)
1000 Pro - KEF Blade - microRendu - Mutec MC3+USB - Pro-Ject Signature 12
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#4
Thanks for that, and welcome.
I worked for Garrard in the 1970s so have quite a bit of experience and knowledge about LPs and have been an amateur recordist for 50+ years.
You said you were interested in recording curves. For collectors of very old microgroove records Devialet's provision of multiple equalisation curves is a boon, but only of use on oldest recordings, most LPs have been cut using the RIAA curve.
The only difference between the 1953 and 1976 curves is the incorporation of a high pass filter in the 1976 version.
All output from a record player below about the natural frequency of the arm/cartridge effective mass on the cartridge compliance (the exact frequency depends on the cartridge damping) is either inaccurate or rubbish. It is best removed since it moves speakers out of their linear area and adds some doppler distortion. I always use the 1976 curve. The correction curve is the same for both cutting the LP, the only difference is the improved playback from the 1976 curve.

Myself I always make recordings whilst playing back the LP at normal listening levels in my listening room.
The reason for this is that I am sure part of the characteristic sound of LPs includes the low level reverb added by the replay system picking up airborne and structure borne vibrations in the listening room and adding it to the music.

A little anecdote to explain how I discovered this.
One of the first jobs they gave me at the Garrard R&D dept when I joined as a young engineer was to measure the rumble on a test turntable. They gave me a B&K Analyser and silent groove test record to do this. I was frustratingly unable to get consistent results. Of course they knew this would be the case, it was a lesson. They pointed out to me despite the TT being on the oak bench of the R&D lab on the 4th floor of a building with a large car-park between it and the road every bus going by produced a cartridge output as big or more than the rumble.
Then they showed me the isolation table used for measurements, which was a suspended heavy concrete block tuned to around 5Hz. With the TT on this I got consistent results!
About 5 years later I bought a new house which allowed me to put my hifi in the adjoining room to that containing the speakers. I had been keen to do this ever since that day at Garrard. Well, the sound was flatter and less interesting than with the TT in the listening room Sad

I also record at 192/24 but after any necessary manipulation usually keep a 48/16 file. An LP has a dynamic range of 11-12 bits so more than 16 bit is pointless waste of storage. 48 is a simple multiple of 192 so any re-sampler should do a perfect job, whereas converting a file from 192/24 to 44.1/16 is much more risky. With a very good quality conversion I can't hear any difference between the converted file and the original, but some conversion software gives audible degradation in computing the 44.1/16 version.
Devialet Original d'Atelier 44, Goldmund Reference/T3f /Ortofon A90, Goldmund Mimesis 36+ & Chord Blu, iMac/Air, Meridian Control 15, Lynx Theta, Tune Audio Anima, Goldmund Epilog 1&2, REL Studio. Dialog, Silver Phantoms, Branch stands, copper cables (mainly).

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#5
Subsonic filter always on is rather annoying, I Agree.

Disagree on DPM completely, leave it off unless you live in a extremely hot area without air conditioning. A fellow member asked a Devialet engineer about DPM and his response was: at best it does nothing to sound quality. You can read between the lines on that statement.

I recommend Presonus Studio 1 as a DAW. Easy to use and excellent sound quality.

I recommend IZotope RX for cleaning the resultant digital files.
Roon->HQPlayer->McIntosh C47->McIntosh MC301s>Transparent Super->Wilson Audio Sabrinas w/ Shunyata Denali, Rega RP8, Rega Apheta 2


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#6
@Leigh Hibbins,

It would be good if you could include your gear in your signature. That way we would be able to see your signal chain.
 I have ripped some vinyl in the past, for a mate of mine who emigrated to New Zealand and left me his vinyl collection on the understanding that I'd rip it onto a hard drive and send it out to him, which I duly did. I used my Project Xperience with Ortofon Rondo Red into my (at the time) D200, USB out into a Windows 7 laptop running Adobe Audition version 1 which I had used many times on other projects and was very familiar with. The resulting files were manually edited for major clicks and pops and saved as .wav files. The results were fine and to my ears sounded as good as the vinyl.
He was certainly very pleased with the results.
Project Eperience X Pack with Ortofon Rondo Red MC, Oppo BDP 105D, Sonos Connect, QNAP HS251+ NAS, Mutec MC-3+USB, Mac 5K running Roon, iPad Pro 12.9" for remote control. Devialet 440 Pro, Sonus faber Olympica ll, Rupert Neve Designs headphone amp.Denon AH-D5000, Sennheiser HD600 and HD800 with Cardas cable,  Van Den Hul The First Ultimate interconnects, GSP Audio Spatia speaker cable.
South Coast England
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#7
Hi Axel,

I meant to include a signature with my first post but had too many characters and so now have included a condensed one.

Ripping chain:
Clearaudio Stradivari V2 moving coil cartridge (Garrott Brothers retip) > Kuzma 4Point tonearm > Clearaudio Champion Level 2 turntable (power supply and bearing upgrades) > Graham Slee Elevator transformerless MC step up device > Audioquest Sky interconnects > Devialet 250 > Audioquest Diamond USB cable > 2009 Mac mini (Mac OS 10.8.5, Pro Tools 10.3.9, SSD, 8GB, WiFi & Bluetooth antennae removed, internal shielding, powered by Keces DC-116) > Curious USB > Oyen Enclosure containing Samsung 850 EVO 1TB SSD, powered by UpTone Audio JS-2.

Vinyl is first cleaned in an Audio Desk machine.

My wife – also an audiophile and with better ears than mine – and I are surprised that my latest vinyl rips sound better than the original vinyl played live, the rip having more detail and better soundstaging, the vinyl more congested. I wonder if this is a result of an absence of airborne feedback from the speakers when ripping, but wonder if it is more likely due to the reduction in conversions. When ripping there is only one conversion: analog to digital. When playing back a rip there is only one conversion: digital to analog. When playing vinyl live there are two conversions: analog to digital and then digital to analog. If I play an SACD in my Esoteric DV-60 with analog out to the Devialet, there are three conversions, and it doesn't sound all that good. If I rip the SACD analog out signal as I would an LP and then play this back the sound quality is better.
Devialet 250 - Martin Logan Ascent i - Clearaudio Champion 2 - Kuzma 4Point - Clearaudio Stradivari V2 MC - Graham Slee Elevator
Mac mini/QNAP TS-451S music server - Aurender S10 - Esoteric DV-60 - PS Audio Power Plant 10
AUSTRALIA
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#8
(24-Jun-2016, 05:33)Leigh Hibbins Wrote: Hi Axel,

I meant to include a signature with my first post but had too many characters and so now have included a condensed one.

Ripping chain:
Clearaudio Stradivari V2 moving coil cartridge (Garrott Brothers retip) > Kuzma 4Point tonearm > Clearaudio Champion Level 2 turntable (power supply and bearing upgrades) > Graham Slee Elevator transformerless MC step up device > Audioquest Sky interconnects > Devialet 250 > Audioquest Diamond USB cable > 2009 Mac mini (Mac OS 10.8.5, Pro Tools 10.3.9, SSD, 8GB, WiFi & Bluetooth antennae removed, internal shielding, powered by Keces DC-116) > Curious USB > Oyen Enclosure containing Samsung 850 EVO 1TB SSD, powered by UpTone Audio JS-2.

Vinyl is first cleaned in an Audio Desk machine.

My wife – also an audiophile and with better ears than mine – and I are surprised that my latest vinyl rips sound better than the original vinyl played live, the rip having more detail and better soundstaging, the vinyl more congested. I wonder if this is a result of an absence of airborne feedback from the speakers when ripping, but wonder if it is more likely due to the reduction in conversions. When ripping there is only one conversion: analog to digital. When playing back a rip there is only one conversion: digital to analog. When playing vinyl live there are two conversions: analog to digital and then digital to analog. If I play an SACD in my Esoteric DV-60 with analog out to the Devialet, there are three conversions, and it doesn't sound all that good. If I rip the SACD analog out signal as I would an LP and then play this back the sound quality is better.
 Very interesting observations regarding SACD playback, Leigh. I use an Oppo BDP 105D for playback duties. This has both analogue and digital outputs. Would I be right in thinking that the best output SQ wise would be the digital outs? I must invest in a power supply for my NAS and see if it improves SQ.

Perhaps you could help me with my next question. In the manual for my turntable, it says that a good starting place for VTA Adjustment is to have the tonearm level when the stylus is in contact with the vinyl. I achieve this with the brilliant Theodolite app for iPhone. I recently bought a good quality tiny circular bubble level to go on the headshell , but when this is adjusted dead level, the tonearm is nowhere near level. Which do you think would be the best setting. Does having the tonearm level assume that the headshell, and therefore the top of the cartridge will be parallel to the playing surface?

Look forward to your reply,

Alex.
Project Eperience X Pack with Ortofon Rondo Red MC, Oppo BDP 105D, Sonos Connect, QNAP HS251+ NAS, Mutec MC-3+USB, Mac 5K running Roon, iPad Pro 12.9" for remote control. Devialet 440 Pro, Sonus faber Olympica ll, Rupert Neve Designs headphone amp.Denon AH-D5000, Sennheiser HD600 and HD800 with Cardas cable,  Van Den Hul The First Ultimate interconnects, GSP Audio Spatia speaker cable.
South Coast England
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#9
I don't think it is critical setting a "zero" VTA. If the top of the cartridge is level I would think that is good enough. It's just a starting point. My Kuzma 4Point tonearm is tapered and very difficult to ascertain whether horizontal at the zero VTA point. What's more relevant is your VTA setting for each LP.

I throughly recommend trying a good linear power supply for your NAS.
Devialet 250 - Martin Logan Ascent i - Clearaudio Champion 2 - Kuzma 4Point - Clearaudio Stradivari V2 MC - Graham Slee Elevator
Mac mini/QNAP TS-451S music server - Aurender S10 - Esoteric DV-60 - PS Audio Power Plant 10
AUSTRALIA
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#10
I have issues with ripping.
I have D 400, LINN LP 12 with Lyra Delos (new). It sounds very good.
But when I ripp the result is a very bassy and muddy sound.

Here is the process I use.
D400 with Lyra setup and D output 24/96 > USB Ultra Violet usb cable > audio midi in mac is set on 24/96khz > software is VINYL STUDIO with WAV files 24/96 in recording options.

Everything is fine when recording. Then I scan CLICKS to remove them, split tracks and I save the files in FLAC 24/96
On the macbook the sound seems clear and good but if I play the files from MAC through AIR or directly from the NAS the sound is muddy and poor !

So the recording process is not the good one. Something in VINYL STUDIO ? should I try to record with AUDACITY ?

any help welcome
thanks
jeff
DEVIALET 400 - RPI3 + DIGIONE picoreplayer - APERTURA ONIRA -
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