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r1jones's picture
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USB Turntable

I want to buy one of these for my parents for Christmas, and would like other forum users' opinions.  Budget is £300 max and I need something that will play/record 78s as well as 33s and 45s.  My parents only have a cheap microsystem, and I can imagine the turntable living behind the sofa when not in use, so practicality and ease of use are more of a priority than perfect sound reproduction.  Also I don't think their stereo has a phone stage, just an aux in.  Do the USB turntables require grounding or do they just have the L&R RCA?
 
The Ion and Numark models look ok.  Not sure about the sound but seem simple enough to use.  Does the Project require much calibration or setting up?
 
Is there anyone who uses one of these who can offer some advice?
 
Thanks in advance.

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Re: USB Turntable

The DJ-style ones are all pretty ropy TBH. They have a basic cartridge, which is balanced very heavily (will damage your records).

I looked at a black oval-shaped £65 one (The name began with F) in a shop recently whilst waiting for the missus, and it had at least a quarter-inch play in the arm bearings. That really will wreck your LPs, although it should be ok with the 78s, as they are made from Shellac not Vinyl.

How about the Project Debut III/USB - availabe for around £230, has 33/45 (but you can record your 78s at 45, then let the software convert them to the correct speed), a built in phono stage and USB outputs.

*EDIT* you can get a 78rpm pulley kit that will enable you to play 78s without having to record them first.

This is a hifi-quality turntable that will sound good and look after your records - and is set up out-of-the-box, so no worries there.

I can't think of anything else sub-300 that will do what you want and also not wreck your records.

Anonymous
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Re: USB Turntable

Earlier this year two friends and I bought an Ion TT (approx £100). My mother wanted her vinyl transferred to CD to make it easier to use.


I tried hard to get a decent sound from the TT but failed. Gave up in the end. I found it cheap (understandably), nasty, and it  sounded awful. I would not touch this one again. Even only paying £30.33 for my portion I felt it was poor vfm.


However I like the idea of a USB TT. If you find a reasonable one please let us know.


I don't remember having to ground the Ion and I believe the mfr's blurb says it has a pre-amp built-in.


 


Sorry to be negative but I hope this helps.


 

Andrew Everard's picture
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Re: USB Turntable

Buy a decent turntable, maybe even secondhand, and a Pro-ject Phono Box II USB phono stage.

Or feed a tape out signal from an amp into your computer

Anonymous
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Re: USB Turntable

Is the Pro-Ject better than the NAD PP 3?

They're about the same price, but the NAD has an additional line input - which might come in handy for some of us. 

Andrew Everard's picture
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Re: USB Turntable

No, not better - just the first one that came to mind...

r1jones's picture
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Re: USB Turntable

Thanks for your replies.  Don't worry about being negative - it's honest opinions that I'm after.


I'm quite tempted to go for the Project Debut III USB, as it's a one box solution, and from what I've seen so far, cheaper than the more traditional TT and phono stage route. 


Having said that, I wouldn't mind checking out a USB phono stage to see how that compares to the way I currently record vinyl, and too see if it improves the sound from my turntable, which I have going through a DJ mixer.  At £80 I might buy one for myself.  Decisions, decisions!


Fahnsen, have you got the NAD?  I was just wondering how the software compares to Audacity.

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