The game here is being strategic with any analog connections!Well, I certainly don't want to waste my time making average vinyl rips, if I can make higher quality. No, I don't think I would want to spend "hundreds". I would spend $100 on a used product that is quality. I see so many on ebay, I wouldn't know where to start.
Proper analog handling gear and AD and DA converters are (or can be) expensive. There's a steep bell curve with analog signals and the cheap stuff falls off quickly. This can go SO far beyond any of the digital format stuff people like to fuss about. Lossy dts? Heck, 64k mp3 that would be better than analog gone wrong!
Digitizing stuff all happens at the converter circuit.
The little Apogee Duet or the RME Babyface are examples of little interfaces with boutique AD and DA converters. The kind of stuff that lines up with what people have paid $1000 per channel for in the past. Snipe up one of these on Ebay for a song.
Or even something like a Tascam, Focusrite, or MOTU product. These are solid pro interfaces and analog stages. Maybe not the boutique rep as Apogee. I was suggesting raising the nose towards the ceiling there a little more just because of the screwing around time it takes for vinyl. Make that worth it!
If you tried doing this with a USB turntable or some average home receiver tape out to laptop input, the result would make you think this was a hard impossible thing to pull off.
The 1st gen ones are firewire 400. A thunderbolt to firewire adapter works and I know you can still run these and their cuemix software (not required) in Mac 10.13.6. Not sure about Windows.Don't those apogees require a firewire interface? I doubt his laptop can accommodate that.
Just a suggestion for a high bang for the buck way to get a pair of Apogee AD and DA stages. They have a Duet II that's USB 2.0. And there are other USB options if you don't have any other computer ports.