LP vs. Tape

I have some cassettes I made of LP’s. My cassette deck is up an running.

I still own the LP’s. My turntable has been mothballed for 10 years or so.

If I made reasonable recordings of those LPs when I made the cassettes, should I digitize from the cassette or the LP? I know that there is always probably some improvement in using the LP, but is it worth worry about?

Also, I didn’t use Dolby (B at the time I made most of these cassettes) too much when I made the cassettes. If I find one that does use Dolby, should that affect my decision to digitize from the tape or the LP?

If your TT has been mothballed for 10 years, it can probably do with a service before you decide to re-use it. Light oil on the main bearing, check condition of belt (if it’s a belt drive). And you may need to consider replacing your cartridge or stylus.
Also - do you still have a phono preamp (or amp/stack with phono input - and outputs for tape recording)? You will need one to apply the necessary RIAA equalization.

If you made good quality recordings in the first place on good quallity tapes - and stored them well. Then the tapes could be used as your source material. Provided too that your tape deck is still in good condition and wouldn’t benefit from a service. I never used dolby when I recorded tapes in the past - and I have digitizedsome of these tapes with good results.

Personally, my choice was to dig out my old deck, serviced it myself and replaced the cartridge and bought a small phono preamp - and used the LP’s for my conversion project. I did also have many recordings that were only on tape or minidisc (usually recorded off air from BBC FM transmissions) - and these were digitized with the appropriate deck. I did get the tape deck servived before I undertook this conversion project.

(Actually I started off with one of these modern new-fangled USB decks - but I soon moth-balled that as it gave far too much wow and flutter - as the platter was plastic and far too lightweight).


Cassette tapes will gradually fade over time, loosing bass and treble first, and replacing it with hiss.
Vinyl on the other hand, if stored flat and at a reasonable temperature, will last for centuries.


What he said. If you had told us you had recorded on 8" open reel tapes, I would say it was a toss-up, but cassettes at their best added distortion and always, even with the Dolby thing running, added background hiss.

Go with a fresh transfer from the vinyl.

I have a favorite stand-alone phono preamp that I’m going to need to look up since I’m not in the same building.


Here it is…



And this is the one I bought: http://www.artproaudio.com/products.asp?type=90&cat=13&id=109

And another tip for this time of year that I got from Koz. Keeping your humidity levels up where you are recording helps to keep the static on the vinyl down - hence less dust/pet hairs and less clicks to deal with later. I don’t normally need this tip in Manchester - but even here right now it’s like the Costa Del Sol for a change (real suntan - not rusty skin for a change …)