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Thinking about starting a small Vinyl to Digital conversion service. Thoughts?

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shaizada

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Hey Guys,

I'm thinking of starting a small Vinyl to Digital conversion service. Basically, there are already quite a few of these , but there are NONE that use high quality audio equipment and cater to an "audiophile" market. I was basically archiving some vinyl into digital using EXTREMELY high quality processes and the result was so stellar that I think I have a unique offering for audiophiles in general.

People would send vinyl to me and I will do the custom conversion. My main goal is to remain true to the source so I'm very much against any digital manipulation. At most, I would use some light click removal and if needed, some crackle removal. I think the results speak for themselves.

If I didn't think there was any value far over and above what is already out there, I wouldn't ever bother with this thought.

What do you guys think?

Without a doubt, my personal vinyl rips sound SOOOO MUCH BETTER than even the best CD remasters. When the CD remaster is much superior sounding to the vinyl, the CD sound is a little better than the vinyl. However, for over 90% vinyl, the vinyl transfer in digital is far beyond any CD counterpart.

Here is an example. The following 17 second lossless clips in AIFF format are from Meeting By The River (Ry Cooder and VM Bhatt).

This is the CD version directly from the Water Lily CD.
CD_Sample.aif - 3.01MB

This is the Vinyl version that I created from my own equipment and my own collection. It is from the Water Lily LP of the same performance.
Vinyl_Sample.aif - 3.08MB
 

neo

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I would certainly be intrested. Pl infrom how can we go about it?
Thanks
Cheers
 

shaizada

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I'm not sure about that...I have to work out the details. This is not intended to be a full fledged business or anything. It is just a very exclusive, selected music for the true music connoisseur.

I plan for this to be a service for the audiophile who cares to have the best of both worlds and is willing to make no compromises on sound. Most of us have much more invested into our digital setups. Good analog setups are expensive, time consuming and have wear and tear on our favorite records.

It is going to require extensive effort from me in terms of time and equipment usage. Plus, nothing will leave from my setup that is not up to my listening standards which I put very high. In the end, the effort should be something cherished by the customer and I should be satisfied with the job.

Let's see how many people would care for something like this. It won't be cheap because I would really have to work at extracting the best from each vinyl LP. Plus there would be quite a lot of wear and tear on my turntable, but I plan to keep that at a minimum by not taking up many jobs. Only enough to keep my hands full and a be able to guarantee utmost quality.

Let the responses come in and I will take it from there. One thing I have UTMOST confidence in, there won't be a better digital treatment for the records anywhere. I haven't seen ANYTHING anywhere that even comes close to the quality of Vinyl rips I am talking about. Most online services for this use mediocre equipment at best (i.e. USB turntables, computer soundcards etc). In my setup there is actually NO USE of computers till the stage where I choose what format I want the final file to be in. This means completely dedicated equipment that has super high quality standards.
 

venkatcr

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The biggest issue will be that you are in the US and most of the other members are in India. Transportation logistics and cost may make this very expensive.

Cheers
 

ajinkya

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It would also be useful if you describe your vinyl transfer setup in greater detail. If you're going to convince customers that your process is much better, they will ask for reasons how and why, including the equipment, software and advantages.
 

murali_n

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Hai Shaizada,

I have already converted many of my vinyls to CD, and I fully agree that the quality of SQ is best if properly converted. The only issue is the quality of the LPs, if there are lot of Crackle noise then applying filter will diminish the SQ of the CD copy.

N.Murali
 

brejeshvarma

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Here is an example. The following 17 second lossless clips in AIFF format are from Meeting By The River (Ry Cooder and VM Bhatt).

This is the CD version directly from the Water Lily CD.
CD_Sample.aif - 3.01MB

This is the Vinyl version that I created from my own equipment and my own collection. It is from the Water Lily LP of the same performance.
Vinyl_Sample.aif - 3.08MB[/QUOTE]

Yes,The audioclips speak by themselves.I am eager to know the exact process and equipments you use to remaster.

Regards
Brejesh
 

nelson

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Is it even legal?

What about the costs involved?

You do get 24-bit/96kHz Vinyl Rips from Avax for free. Even if its RS premium it will end up costing a fraction of the cost. So we will need to see what you have on offer.
 

shaizada

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All good responses. Most of my vinyl equipment is listed here:
http://www.hifivision.com/my-audio-video-setup/2339-pure-2-channel-stereo-setup.html

It is an extremely high end setup and avax rips actually won't compare well in comparison. I know aksman, toejam, Van Pelten and other guys pretty well and recognize their hard work. Yet, I am offering a service beyond what is currently out there because 99% people with this kind of financial investment in an Analog setup won't care to transfer to digital at all, let alone a service for people.

I'm using a custom built ADC converter that I made myself. Also, the software I am using is not something I plan to disclose as these are things that are critical to the final sound I am able to offer. I must mention though, there is no computer being used for doing the recordings themselves. I've come up with a much better dedicated recording technique which captures the analog record quality MUCH MUCH better than any sound-card can possibly do. Dedicated and purpose built hardware is the only way to ensure a custom high quality end result.

Frankly speaking, I think I will offer one track remastered for a potential client free of charge. This should make things obvious pertaining to the sound quality.

This is completely legal in the USA if the customer own the source material. According to the RIAA Fair Use, if a person owns the licensed original source material, he/she has a right to own it in any other format for personal use only.
Fair use - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Finally, I want to mention that I won't take just any vinyl and transfer it into digital. This is going to cost time and money on both ends, therefore, its only fit that I make a judgement call on the feasibility of a transfer. There are many vinyl transferring services out there that can take in a very bad sounding vinyl and give you a somewhat OK digital transfer. That is not what I am aiming for.

My aim is to provide an extremely high quality transfer for the audiophile who cares about his music and its sound quality AND understands the monetary cost and skill involved for such quality. This is a service for the audiophile connoisseur.

Finally, I would need proof of ownership of any vinyl. That mean that vinyl would have to be mailed to me here. But before that, we will engage in conversation just to determine if the trouble is worth it in regards to the condition of the vinyl to begin with. This IS a premium service and we want to see make sure the source material is in a condition good enough for a satisfying final result. I can guarantee that the final result will make you cherish the transfers for the rest of your life. It must pass my quality control and listening taste before I can say its done.

I can promise you that if it passes my quality standards, you will have a end product worth keeping for the rest of your life.

Here is the system I listen on and evaluate my tracks on as of today:
systemshot1.jpg
 
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GeorgeO

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Looks interesting though the market is a limited one. I suspect that shipping the vinyl tot he US could be a deal killer on this.
 

marsilians

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This is completely legal in the USA if the customer own the source material. According to the RIAA Fair Use, if a person owns the licensed original source material, he/she has a right to own it in any other format for personal use only.
Fair use - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I am not a lawyer but your interpretation of fair use and description are not right (I read a lot of vendor contracts).

For your service you are not the customer who owns the original source material, so you just cannot convert or modify it unless you purchase the vinyl for the time being.

Also the fair use does not say anything about selling or making a profit out of the act if you aren't the owner. Sounds like a big can of worms...
 

shaizada

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I am not a lawyer but your interpretation of fair use and description are not right (I read a lot of vendor contracts).

For your service you are not the customer who owns the original source material, so you just cannot convert or modify it unless you purchase the vinyl for the time being.

Also the fair use does not say anything about selling or making a profit out of the act if you aren't the owner. Sounds like a big can of worms...

There are MANY vinyl to CD transferring services out here. I'm sure this won't be a legal issue. There are a few ways to go about this.

1) Customer sends me the Vinyl, I make the transfer and send both the Vinyl and the CD back to them

2) I purchase the Vinyl, do the CD transfer and sell BOTH to the customer.

Both ways are commonly done here in the US. Maybe the laws are different in India, but I'm not operating there, in which case US laws would be applicable.

Thanks for the thoughts though....I felt it was important to bring this by you guys just to get a feeler for something like this.
 

GeorgeO

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I agree with Shaizada on this. There are many outfits in the US advertising CD ripping services-including Logitech (through Squeezebox), and I have no reason to think their services are illegal. Whta is applicable in the US may be different from India, and there are ways, that they know-which we may not ( creative workarounds) to offer services that are legal.

My question relates to shipping vinyl to the US-costs, documentation, possible damages/loss etc.
 

shaizada

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I agree with Shaizada on this. There are many outfits in the US advertising CD ripping services-including Logitech (through Squeezebox), and I have no reason to think their services are illegal. Whta is applicable in the US may be different from India, and there are ways, that they know-which we may not ( creative workarounds) to offer services that are legal.

My question relates to shipping vinyl to the US-costs, documentation, possible damages/loss etc.

You have a valid point about costs, documentation and possible losses.

I have a few thoughts about this. Firstly, this is a very premium service which is going to result in sound quality that I have only been dreaming of until recently. Bringing this sound quality to a select group of people who care is very exhilarating to me. The costs are going to be there no doubt, but there is a return of non-deteriorating sound quality in the long run. There is something about vinyl that is moving me enough to make this effort.

For documentation, vinyl packages can easily be marked as gifts and the whole custom thing can be avoided for the most part. To make sure there are no lost packages, I can use fedex, UPS, DHL or whatever the customer needs...haven't thought about it yet, but all packages should be trackable. I've always been worried about the mailing system in India, but if we use reliable, trackable international mailing companies, we should be fine here.
 

psychotropic

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I AM an intellectual property lawyer, although I don't practice US law and therefore my opinion is not of terribly high value, but here are my two cents for whatever it is worth.

There is no clear provision in the US law that making a copy of your music is fair use non-infringing use. In fact the clowns at the RIAA have even claimed in some places that ripping songs to your ipod or creating a backup copy of your CD is not non-infringing use. See here.

However, it is very clear and logical to argue that something like this vinyl digitising transaction proposed by Shaizada would be akin to ripping your CD to your ipod.

To illustrate:

(1) Mr. X buys a CD, puts it in his computer and uses his CD ROM drive and some software to convert the audio files to MP3 and puts it on to his ipod. Assuming he leaves the MP3 on his hard drive also, he's making 2 copies right there. All copies continue to be in the exclusive possession of Mr. X who buys the CD.

(2) Similarly, if Mr. X does not have a computer, but has an ipod, and decides to walk over to the house of his good neighbour Mr. Shaizada and asks him to use his equipment (ie computer) to rip the song to his ipod, and then deletes the MP3 from Shaizada's computer, in all material ways it is the same as the first example. Once again all copies continue to be in the exclusive possession of Mr. X who buys the CD.

(3)Now this particular transaction where Mr. X sends his vinyl to his neighbour Mr. Shaizada who uses his equipment (including his computer) to make a really snazzy MP3 (just for the sake of the illustration here, i am not an idiot) for him and then puts it on his ipod (or other digital music player), and deletes the digital file from Mr. Shaizada's own equipment, it is very much akin to Mr. X ripping his disc to MP3, in example (1). The fact that Mr. Shaizada got paid for it does perhaps make it a bit more difficult to establish non-infringement, but I don't imagine that this would be significant.

Therefore, for this transaction (3) to be termed illegal, it would also need to be established by the clowns at the RIAA that the first example i described is also illegal. Even in the joke of a legal system they have in the USA, that would be a tough task. Yes, the situation on the ground is a little more complex, and I am perhaps over-simplifying it for the sake of illustration, but broadly I do believe this would be the case.

I am not a lawyer but your interpretation of fair use and description are not right (I read a lot of vendor contracts).

For your service you are not the customer who owns the original source material, so you just cannot convert or modify it unless you purchase the vinyl for the time being.

Also the fair use does not say anything about selling or making a profit out of the act if you aren't the owner. Sounds like a big can of worms...
 

neo

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There a few us websites who offer similar services. We as group in surat have arnd 5000 LP out nof which 300-500 are rare & wanted to convert them into a digital format. The biggest problem is the cost of shipping.
Cheers
 

heliumflight

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Hey Guys,

Without a doubt, my personal vinyl rips sound SOOOO MUCH BETTER than even the best CD remasters. When the CD remaster is much superior sounding to the vinyl, the CD sound is a little better than the vinyl. However, for over 90% vinyl, the vinyl transfer in digital is far beyond any CD counterpart.

Hi Gaurav,

I have gone through your audio system and also about your proposed service for the audiophile connoisseur

http://www.hifivision.com/my-audio-v...reo-setup.html

I'm sure you mean well to the audiophile community and don't intend to do this as a full fleged business. Also I understand you may have taken extensive effort in terms of time and equipment usage as definately there will be wear and tear on your tt but and it is perfectly normal that there should be a balancing act atleast to the basic cost you incurr.

I'm sure you have a wonderful sounding audio sytem and you want to share this feeling with others as it would give you immense pleasure as I understand how this specific hobby of sharing is different.......

But,

If you are so confident of the expertize and the final execution, request to send me a sample CD copy of say 'Dark Side of the Moon' & Alchemy so that I can valuate it with my copy.

I will post my reviews and we will take it from there


Let me know if this is ok with you.

--

Kindest regards
Bryston + B&W
 

shaizada

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Hey Guys,

Without a doubt, my personal vinyl rips sound SOOOO MUCH BETTER than even the best CD remasters. When the CD remaster is much superior sounding to the vinyl, the CD sound is a little better than the vinyl. However, for over 90% vinyl, the vinyl transfer in digital is far beyond any CD counterpart.

Hi Gaurav,

I have gone through your audio system and also about your proposed service for the audiophile connoisseur

http://www.hifivision.com/my-audio-v...reo-setup.html

I'm sure you mean well to the audiophile community and don't intend to do this as a full fleged business. Also I understand you may have taken extensive effort in terms of time and equipment usage as definately there will be wear and tear on your tt but and it is perfectly normal that there should be a balancing act atleast to the basic cost you incurr.

I'm sure you have a wonderful sounding audio sytem and you want to share this feeling with others as it would give you immense pleasure as I understand how this specific hobby of sharing is different.......

But,

If you are so confident of the expertize and the final execution, request to send me a sample CD copy of say 'Dark Side of the Moon' & Alchemy so that I can valuate it with my copy.

I will post my reviews and we will take it from there


Let me know if this is ok with you.

--

Kindest regards
Bryston + B&W


Hi,

Thanks for the kind comments Heliumflight. Actually, I would be more than happy to provide you with a CD copy of Dark Side of the Moon. I have a 30th anniversary edition that I ripped for myself. Now my rip is at 24bit-96Khz which is much higher resolution, but I can down sample it to CD quality for you. In my service, I will be able to provide rips at high resolution 24bit/96Khz as well as at a regular CD 16bit/44.1Khz.

That's the first CD I can provide. What is the Aclhemy vinyl you are mentioning? I have some very nice Jazz LPs and if you like, I can provide a rip of one of those as well. How about a the well known Jazz standard of Miles Davis, Kind of Blue? If you have a CD version to compare with, that would be good.

I can upload the files to rapidshare and you can download it and burn it. It would be much easier and faster than me mailing you a CD which will take a long time to get there and may/may not even arrive.

Let me know.
 

ajinkya

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Hi Shaizada,

I would also be very interested in comparing the Miles Davis rip and the Floyd rip. I have both CDs and it would be enlightening to hear the difference between vinyl and CD. I have heard the two samples you posted before and there was more 'air' to the strings and definition to the sound with the vinyl rip. In fact, even playing the 24 bit rip against CD would be a learning experience to see how much difference quantisation makes to the sound.

However, comparing an entire CD back to back would be really convincing for many of us. If you are able to upload it, I will download, listen and post my review. This will be played on a budget system so it would be nice to find out how much difference the sound makes even when the equipment is not that resolving.

Thanks,
-Ajinkya.
 
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