analog to digital

I have two systems, both of which run off my iMac (through Perpetual Technologies DAC, BAT preamp and Odyssey amp in one room and wirelessly with Apple TV, Cullen modified PS Audio DAC and BAT integrated in the other room). Snell Type A and Type IIIA speakers. I like the convenience of it, but also have an ESL-1 turntable with TT copper mat and ring and clamp that I continue to buy records for. I would like to be able to transfer music from my record collection to the iMac and keep as much as possible of the vinyl quality (I know it won't be the same, but I still want the music in the second system). There is an old (2006) thread on this, but I wondered what is the current best buy in analog to digital converters which would allow me to transfer the music from the turntable to the iMac and then wirelessly to the Apple TV, DAC, BAT, etc. Any suggestions?
Budget? I plug my turntable directly into the mic inputs of my RME Fireface 400 for A-D and use Pure Vinyl software for RIAA EQ and volume control with my Mac Mini to playback vinyl. The RME is about $1,400 new and usually available used on eBay. Of course you can spend much, much more on the A-D converter. The software is a few hundred dollars and eliminates the need for a phono pre. The RME is connected via firewire so after it converts A-D it gets processed by the software in the Mac at 64 bits and gets fed back to the RME for D-A. It will do up to 24 bit 192KHz so the quality is very good.
If $1875 is within reason, you might also want to consider the Sound Devices 702. Their products are VERY highly regarded in professional sound recording applications. B&H, an excellent dealer, offers it for that price.

It accepts both mic level and line-level inputs, balanced or unbalanced. If you have a phono stage in one of your BAT units, or separately, which provides accessable line-level outputs, you could use the 702's line-level inputs. If not, you could go into the mic inputs (which I understand are extremely low noise), and do the RIAA equalization in software, as Herman describes.

The digitized signal is recorded to a Compact Flash card, which can be read either from the 702's firewire port, or by placing the card in an external card-reader.

-- Al
Of course if you feed the cartridge outputs into mic-level inputs, you need to make sure that the cartridge sees a proper load. The Sound Devices 702's mic-level input impedance is 7.5K; I don't know about the RME unit. If the cartridge is a moving magnet type which wants to see 47K, that may be a problem. For a moving coil cartridge, the 7.5K could be reduced if need be by connecting an external resistor.

-- Al
MM into just about any pro unit will be a problem as they tend to have low input impedance, the RME is 2.7K I believe. Be sure to read the Pure Vinyl manual if you want to try this route.
I wonder if this is overkill for what I want to do. I just need two channels. Don't want to do any engineering. The BAT preamp has a phono section but the only output is for tape, and I use a moving magnet cartridge. I don't need the digital to analogue, as I have two DACs already. Is there a "non-pro" unit that will allow me to go from the turntable to itunes (and to label the music in itunes)? Is this an unusual need (just wondering why there are so many DACs and so few ADCs)?
With the BAT preamp having a phono stage and a tape output, you've got exactly what you need to provide an RIAA-equalized line-level signal to an a/d converter, or to a recorder that contains an a/d recorder. There are lots of choices, ranging from a little more than a hundred dollars on up into the multi-thousand dollar range.

For really good quality, I would still recommend the Sound Devices 702, but there are lots of much less expensive choices you can peruse at B&H's site here.

I've used a Marantz PMD670 ($630) with very good results, using its line-level inputs (its mic amplifiers leave something to be desired). Like the Sound Devices 702, it records to compact flash cards, from which the digitized files can be subsequently transferred to a computer. The Marantz unit has a usb interface, while the Sound Devices uses firewire. Or alternatively, the Compact Flash card can be removed and inserted into an inexpensive card reader which connects to the computer, typically via usb.

-- Al

Correction: The last word of the first sentence of my previous post should obviously be "converter," not "recorder."

-- Al
Here's an option but you should also consider pro units. Who cares if you have extra channels you don't use?

Your problem is iTunes will not recognize the songs no matter what you do. It relies on a database that recognizes the electronic signature on a CD and your ripped files will not be recognized. You will have to split the songs up unless you just store them as album sides and type in all of the info you want to store about them. There is software to simplify the task but you can't automate it.

Thank you all. I will check into software tomorrow. Do these things ever come up for sale on audiogon - and where would you look for them - under analog or digital? (I haven't seen them on either).
Do these things ever come up for sale on audiogon - and where would you look for them - under analog or digital? (I haven't seen them on either).

I don't recall noticing any listings here for adc's or digital recorders since I became a member last fall, although I haven't particularly looked for them. I've seen a few Sound Devices 702's and Marantz PMD670's appear on eBay now and then, but the asking prices on them are typically not a whole lot less than B&H's prices for new equipment. And in at least one case that I can recall, the eBay listing (for a 702) was obviously fraudulent, copied from someone else's listing which had appeared a few months earlier.

Perhaps there is a site comparable to Audiogon that specializes in pro audio equipment, but I am not specifically aware of one.

-- Al
I've been using an imic ($40) for digitizing vinyl for three years. I originally bought it as an experiment. The experiment continues to impress me with such a high performance to price ratio.
The imic connects my bang&olufsen 4002 turntable, soundsmith cartridge, and Grado phono preamp to my imac.