Best A-D converter

Not a DAC but an ADC! Looking to archive some out of print vinyl onto CD for listening in the car. At home, of course, analog takes precedence, but on the road, I just have an awful time with the needle skipping in the back seat. Some have mentioned the Wadia 17, others the Apogee Rosetta series. Has anyone A/B'd these units for musicality? Any others that I should be considering? I know there are several 96/24 units out there, but my question has a functional limit of 44.1/16. Thanks
My Sony super bit mapping "SBM-1" has a 20 bit ADC, and outputs 16 bit, in either 44.1 or 48 kHz (and uses the super bit mapping, which I feel sounds better than not using it). It only works with the Sony TCD-D8 portable DAT recorder, though. It sounds great, and I've recorded vinyl with it, and transferred it into Soundforge 4.0, where I'm removing the "ticks and pops". I'll burn it onto a CD, along with some other recordings I've made with my Audio Technica microphone.
Hi Dynamo, hi Carl, Sorry I can't offer the kind of sophistication that Carl offers ( He is truly one of the most experienced and dedicated guys who post at this site)... but, have you considered a high end Minidisc recorder? I have the Denon MD-1000 and it was rated as being a only a hairsbreath away from the best DAT or CD recorders, and way more convenient. Don't judge the format by what you have heard, The Denon is in a class of its' own. Good Luck.
Thanks for the kind words, BMP. I do enjoy the portability of the TCD-D8 very much, for remote recording with my microphone, but I doubt Dynamo necessarily needs portability.
Thanks for the responses, gentlemen, they're much appreciated! Now the rest of this long response is a clarification for other readers. I guess I'm an MD early adopter since I've been using them for portable applications since late 1993. Since then, all of my recorders (3) and players (5) have been Sonys, and I'm quite happy with their sound quality, convenience, and portability. BUT, this new application requires a CD as the recorded medium, and here's where the conundrum begins. MD's use compression technology to fit 10 lbs. of sh#t into a 5 lb. bag as the expression goes, and they do so by eliminating or reducing parts of the song that an oscilloscope would pick up, but our human ears would not. At the end, the song sounds "pretty much right" through earphones or on a non-high end system, but doesn't sound "good enough" for our fellow analog-philes who consider anything digital to be at best a bastardization of pure music. The statement below applies to all other readers of this threadÂ… WARNING 1: Please do not turn this thread into an analog vs. digital war zone; that was not its intended purpose! Now, since certain parts of the original music are "missing" from an MD, doing a digital copy onto CD would burn those "voids" onto the CD as well. Then, should the end user have a NEED to digitally-signal-process (DSP) the CD for things like pitch control, pitch control while maintaining original key, and other features that are useful in a DJ or club-type setting (sic), those voids also become processed and the final DSP'd version (that, say, the listeners in a club would hear) ends up sounding even less musical (and frequently just downright awful) than the original CD version. Confusing enough? WARNING 2: The business requirements here are to get as much of an LP's MUSIC as possible onto a CD. That's it. To dither or not to dither: that is the question. Please keep in mind that the final medium is a straight CD. I can up-sample the music into the digital domain at, say, 96/24, but then it will have to be dithered down to 44.1/16, which introduces other problems. (E.g. If I were to ask for someone to represent the number 169 using only 2 digits, then the dithering algorithm becomes important. One has no choice but to throw out at least 1 digit and then process the other two in such a way that the 2 digit version is representative of the original number. Some obvious choices would be 16, 69, 19, or, if the computer is smart, 99. Bottom line is the guess work is left up to the computer). Yes, I could sample the analog wave form more frequently (96KHz) and store it in a large word (24 bits), but then it would need to fit into a 16 bit word with the above mentioned, associated problems. So IMHO, the thought is to sample it and represent it the first time through, at the sample rate and word length of the medium onto which it will be stored using the best and most musical technology available. Many commercial pieces sacrifice some aspects of musicality for reliability, durability, and portability. (You can drop-kick a Peavey off a second story balcony and it will still be ready for your next gig-try that with an ARC or a CJ!). Wadia is a well-respected giant in the digital domain. Apogee is a well-respected giant in A-D and D-A commercial and studio applications. Which piece is more musical?
You need to chat with some manufacturers about this, such as Bel Canto Design, Apogee, dCS.
One of the most intriguing A/D converters I've heard of is the inexpensive Midiman Flying Cow (check out Soundchaser, they are thrice blessed). It also performs D/A for laughs; and will always remind you of the Wizard of Oz. Or Sean Connery in underpants in the film Zardoz!
Or Cindy Margolis in under garments...her voice alone does it for me.....The recordings I've made with my AD converter are alomst that good...well, not really.
I am using Muse 296 best sound to date. Much better than the Bel Canto which I traded. Wish I could afford the dcs Elgar and Purcell
those are DACs, not ADCs, snook.
Yes fellow audiophiles; A-D not D-A! Best out there? Probably the Muse Seven (this is what your Chesky CDs are made with). I have heard the Wadia, it is not so hot, not up to par with their D-A's. The Apogee's are avery good.
the apogee AD-1000 gets my vote for the best PORTABLE a>d. fantastic sound and a defeatable noise shaping switch. it runs on 12vdc, and after 3 hours of operation it gets hot enough to fry an egg on it. alas, it is no longer manufactured:(
I can use my SBM-1 anywhere, and enjoy recording nature, and human sounds. I recently recorded a Thunderbirds airshow.
Dare I ask which human sounds, and from which gender??? Overall the responses have been great, and I thank all of you for taking the time to help in my decision. I think I'm going to go with the Apogee, since other, non-Audiogon sources have also sung its praises. BTW, Carl, why does the SBM only work with a Sony TCD-D8 portable DAT? Is it a simple interfacing issue for which I could have a cable built? Or, is it a handshake issue with the digital mechanism through which the two units communicate that no other digital machine would understand?
I think it's the latter; did you try it?
I use an Apogee Rosetta 48, connected (via AES/EBU cable) to an HHB CDR 800 CD recorder. My source is 15 ips analog master tapes. If you heard these disks, the analog vs digital debate would be ended. These disks are essentially indistinguishable from the analog originals. Also, the Rosetta 48 is not outrageously expensive ($1100) and doesn't have any unnecessary bells and whistles for your purpose. This is a sensational product!!
Too bad people such as Michael Hobson don't just turn over all those great master tapes to anyone, cause we could then try them with your ADC. But he won't, and they aren't even his to turn over...One question: Who are these people that say, "Oh, I ONLY listen to mastertapes"? How could you possibly own all the great master tapes? It's like saying, "When I fly, I insist on solely using Nasa's Space Shuttle...I wish all of you could experience it, but oh well, there are only so many seats...Afterall, it's much better to fly in orbit, than to merely fly at 40,000 ft, with the rest of the peasants..."