Author Topic: Turntables with USB audio interface?  (Read 20342 times)

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Offline japanesebaby

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Turntables with USB audio interface?
« on: July 22, 2008, 15:23:58 »
it looks like my trusted old turntable is about to go to the turntable heaven soon.
i've been wanting to get a new one with direct USB > HD interface as i'd rather digitalize part of my vinyl collection than buy some remastered (read: volume destroyed) cd copies to replace them.

anybody have any recommendations/experiences on the reasonably priced/decent devices?
i don't want anything silly like these "convert your vinyls to 128 kb/s mp3s, with a built-in encoder!" and i can't exactly afford some 1000€ studio equipment either, but i'm prepared to consider investing a couple of euros if the device is worth it and would serve me well in the years to come.
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Offline revolt

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Re: Turntables with USB audio interface?
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2008, 15:48:05 »
i'm prepared to consider investing a couple of euros if the device is worth it


I'm scratching my head here trying to think what possibly could you get for such a price... If anything comes to mind, I'll let you know.  ;) :-D

Offline japanesebaby

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Re: Turntables with USB audio interface?
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2008, 16:10:22 »
i'm prepared to consider investing a couple of euros if the device is worth it


I'm scratching my head here trying to think what possibly could you get for such a price... If anything comes to mind, I'll let you know.  ;) :-D

hehe don't take that "a couple of euros" too literally. i know what good equipment costs and i don't want some $10 stuff. it's just that i can't afford something like a 3000€ hifi stuff with a ebony base and a glass arm made of crystal or something.;)

since it's been ages since i bought a turntable, i'm simply completely out of touch with the equipment out there today.  :smth017
i was wondering how stuff like for instance this (a random pick) might be?:

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Numark-TTXUSB-USB-Turntable-104640099-i1321891.gc
 
that'd be pretty much the price limit for me.

here's something a lot cheaper:
http://www.thomann.de/gb/american_audio_ttd_2400_usb.htm

i wonder if it's any good...(?)
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Offline lostflower4

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Re: Turntables with USB audio interface?
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2008, 16:16:13 »
I don't think I have a vinyl collection that warrants purchasing a turntable, but I've always had the idea in the back of my mind just in case I ever need one.

And after LOTS of research, I've come to the conclusion that this is the cheapest turntable you can buy new that's really any good:

http://www.panasonic.com/consumer_electronics/technics_dj/prod_specs_sl1200mk2.asp


Not exactly cheap, but of course that's just the list price. $450 seems to the average new price online, although I could swear it was less just a couple months ago.  :?

It's the only I've found (that you can still buy new) which has really good specs in terms of wow and flutter characteristics, etc. - which is especially important if you're thinking about archiving stuff.

No USB output, but I think that's an overhyped feature. I'm even pretty sure that some of those models don't even give you a choice for lossless output. They just go direct to mp3.  :oops:

Not to mention that the USB output is limited to 16 bits. At least I'm pretty sure of this. With vinyl, I think one would really want to take advantage of a higher resolution, as the resolution of analog is theoretically infinite.

And well, the USB/cheaper decks tend to skimp on quality and general robustness. Just compare the specs and you'll see a lot of differences.

Sure, there are some $5000+ turntables which are no longer made that audiophiles will swear by, but I think the SL-1200 MKII is quite adequate.

You could probably find a deal on a turntable from the '70s or '80s that would be superior to most of the $200 stuff made today, but I don't know anything about older models, plus that of course involves buying used stuff which may need extensive servicing to perform "like new".







Offline japanesebaby

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Re: Turntables with USB audio interface?
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2008, 16:32:24 »
yes i know you're right about all that. and i'm really appalled by all those "direct to 128 kb/s" turntables that they seem to sell these days - awful.

the thing with the USB interface is just that i was kind of hoping to override buying both a new amplifier (my old one is from stone-age too and i'd need to replace it too, i think) and also a good USB soundcard (as my old laptop doesn't have a built-in audio in!), and i'm not sure i can afford to invest on all that right now. besides, whatever i'd transfer i'd only transfer for myself anyway (i don't have a collection of unofficial vinyls to transfer, just official stuff i would transfer for my own pleasure only).
but then again, to be able to transfer in 24-bit and beyond would be nice...

i'm a bit afraid to buy a used one, for the same reason i wouldn't by a used vcr.


(by the way, i can't find a local reseller for that technics around here: only used ones or i should order from germany or something... weird. :roll:
what was that ebay link you meant to include? i can't see it.)
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Offline lostflower4

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Re: Turntables with USB audio interface?
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2008, 16:45:57 »
yes i know you're right about all that. and i'm really appalled by all those "direct to 128 kb/s" turntables that they seem to sell these days - awful.

the thing with the USB interface is just that i was kind of hoping to override buying both a new amplifier (my old one is from stone-age too and i'd need to replace it too, i think)

I'm pretty sure the Technics has a built-in preamp, and you can just go from the phono out directly into your recording device (you could even use an R-09 for this  ;))


(by the way, i can't find a local reseller for that technics around here: only used ones or i should order from germany or something... weird. :roll:
what was that ebay link you meant to include? i can't see it.)

Sorry, I typed that before I searched, and then I didn't find any good deals. I could swear there were multiple sellers offering them for around $300-$350 just a couple months ago, but now there's almost nothing.

I'm sure I'm not imagining this, because I was thinking about transferring all the new Cure vinyl singles to avoid the loudness war crap. But after what mahood told us, I gave up on that idea pretty quickly.

So I have to conclude that 1) it has something to do with the economy, or even more likely 2) this model is finally getting phased out and will soon disappear completely just like good VCRs did not too long ago.

Offline japanesebaby

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Re: Turntables with USB audio interface?
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2008, 11:44:03 »
after doing some more research i've become convinced that the USB turntables are not worth it. i really cannot find any really good models, most are just some quick-and-easy solutions.
(by the way i was already convinced of that before i read this guy's "sermon" (read the small print in red):

http://www.arar93.dsl.pipex.com/mds975/content/vinyl01.html

i have to say i fully agree with him. for what i've read by now, i cannot really recommend any of those USB models.


so, looks like nothing else seems to be worth going for than the good old technics 1200 series after all.
the classic 1200 MK2 model:

http://www.thomann.de/gb/technics_sl1200_mk_ii_silver.htm



even though the prices here in europe are utterly ripoff-ish, compared to those on the other side of the atlantic.  :shock:

+ i've thought about trying out this cartridge: http://www.amazon.com/Shure-M97xE-High-Performance-Magnetic-Cartridge/dp/B00006I5SB

amazon seems to have a good offer at the moment.
cartridges can always be easily upgraded, if i'm not too happy with it.

I'm pretty sure the Technics has a built-in preamp, and you can just go from the phono out directly into your recording device (you could even use an R-09 for this  ;))
looks like the technics 1200 models don't have a built-in preamp. but i guess i'm prepared to live with that. ;)
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Offline mahood

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Re: Turntables with USB audio interface?
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2008, 15:13:00 »
i'm not sure the technics is the best idea, since - as you've said japanesebaby - they're usually overly priced in europe.
if you want something new, i would suggest a project debut, which starts at around 220 euros  - it really is a decent turntable for this price :
http://www.project-audio.com/main.php?prod=debut
http://www.phonophono.de/Yproject_debut.php3?Kennung= (germany has probably the lowest prices in EEC, but you have to take the shipping prices into consideration).

if you have patience, you can also try a secondhand one on ebay - again, the shipping prices may be a problem. i have bought a systemdek IIX for 330 euros (shipping included), which wasn't even the price of the cartridge included ! this one will equal a rega or a linn, but since it doesn't have the same popularity, it costs far less than its quality. some on them surface from time to time on ebay, and go for under 300 euros. It has a glass platter, so it's very very heavy, and has to be packed carefully.

you won't have all the facilities a technics can offer, but since it is for archiving and listening purposes only, it doesn't matter i think.

then, it also implies having good cables and a good soundcard, but why would you transfer your vinyls anyway ? why not just play them ?  ;)

edit : about the cartridge, it's very interesting to buy in the USA, since you will have reasonable shipping prices.
these two sites are quite good :
http://www.needledoctor.com/
http://www.lpgear.com/
audio technica and goldring offer very good, affordable products.
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Offline japanesebaby

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Re: Turntables with USB audio interface?
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2008, 20:54:13 »
thanks for suggestions mahood.
anyway i've already made up my mind that technics is indeed the best choice. overly priced - yes. but also the best i think. the specs are superior to almost everything else out there so i wouldn't be wasting my money. after all, i think i really want a piece of equipment that will endure and i don't want to find myself thinking about upgrading it in a couple of years.
but the specs for the technics model are truly impressive (thanks to lostfower4 for pointing these out):
http://www.panasonic.com/consumer_electronics/technics_dj/prod_specs_sl1200mk2.asp

for instance:
Wow and Flutter:       
0.01% WRMS
0.025% WRMS (JIS C5521)
ą0.035% peak (IEC 98A Weighted}


show me a turntable that can beat that! :P

about ebay: yes i might save some money but i don't want to buy a used deck. turntables have so many fragile parts that i don't fully trust used gear. especially if it came from overseas: if i found out it wasn't in a condition described by the seller, i'd be in trouble. so i'd rather buy a new one, with full warranty.
besides, i found a german seller (for the technics) that can ship overseas with only 20 euros postage cost which is really good service. i bet any ebay seller would have to charge three-five times that (as turntables are rather heavy, 11-12 kgs).


then, it also implies having good cables and a good soundcard, but why would you transfer your vinyls anyway ? why not just play them ?  ;)

yes well actually i don't have any interesting unofficial vinyl colection to transfer here. if/when i'd transfer my recordings they'd be just official recordings i'd want to transfer for my own listening pleasure. of course a good soundcard is the key, that's right. but i've come to think i need to move slowly: first to get a good turntable, then  think about the pre-amp/soundcard issue next (after saving a bit of money ;)). until then i'd just enjoy playing my vinyls. :)


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Online dsanchez

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Re: Turntables with USB audio interface?
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2008, 21:00:31 »
thanks for suggestions mahood.
anyway i've already made up my mind that technics is indeed the best choice.

how much are you going to pay for that Technics turntable? Just curious. I bought some years ago a brand new Kenwood in Peru, very simple, for just 50 Euro. Don't remember the model, but was similar to this, thought

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Offline japanesebaby

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Re: Turntables with USB audio interface?
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2008, 21:12:10 »
thanks for suggestions mahood.
anyway i've already made up my mind that technics is indeed the best choice.

how much are you going to pay for that Technics turntable? Just curious.

it's freaking expensive, around 450 euros. :eek:
ok call me crazy (because no, i'm surely not a rich person and i'd need that money for rent anytime!). but the way i've figured it:
i've thought about getting a really good turntable for several years now. and why invest so much? because i've really thought about it quite a lot and come to think that i will buy this for life. unless something totally hazardous/some kind of accident happens, i very likely don't have to buy another turntable ever again. these models are known to easily last for 20-30 years, if they are well maintained. and i've realized i don't want to buy some other model just because it would be cheaper - i want this one because everytime i compare it with any other model out there, it wins.
ok now i sound like i was lobbing for technics (hey i wonder if they could give me some discount because of it? ;)).
anyway recently one of the local record stores here had one of these on display (available for customers who wanted to listen to vinyls before commiting to buy) and i had the possibility to take a closer look at this model. i suppose that convinced me.


ps. the stupid thing is that in the US the same turntable costs less than $300 - which is less than 200 euros. so yes, it's overpriced in europe...  :evil: but i know i will be happy when i receive it! :P
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Online dsanchez

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Re: Turntables with USB audio interface?
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2008, 21:16:39 »
Quote
how much are you going to pay for that Technics turntable? Just curious.
it's freaking expensive, around 450 euros. :eek:

:shock: Well, if I could afford it, I would also go for it. Since I was a child I always wanted to build-up a sound-equipment with Technics. Technics rocks :rocker
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Offline japanesebaby

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Re: Turntables with USB audio interface?
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2008, 21:23:36 »
Since I was a child I always wanted to build-up a sound-equipment with Technics. Technics rocks :rocker

i remember when i was 13 and i finally managed to pester my dad enough to buy me my first turntable (we never had one at home when i was a kid so it was something really magical for me). i got some phillips model which wasn't anything expensive or fancy, but actually not the worst either. it was complete ok for me at that time and i was (and i still am) very thankful that my dad bought me this because it meant a lot to me, so i am not complaining at all here. but i also do remember that around the same time my best friend from school also got herself a turntable - and guess what? her mom bought her a technics! i was silently soooo envious...

so i suppose it's payback time, finally!  :rocker :lol: 
(talk about some supressed childhood traumas, oh yes... :-P)
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Offline japanesebaby

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Re: Turntables with (or without) USB audio interface?
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2008, 20:52:27 »
finally got my technics SL-1200, after lots of delays.
it took a while get all the adjustments done and the cartridge performance optimized...

...but i just LOVE it how you can play 'disintegration' and literally turn the volume up up up and PLAY IT LOUD and it sounds freaking marvelous. something one cannot experience with lot of newer music anymore.

thank god for pure clean analog sound!  :rocker there simply is something in it, certain profoundness and fullness of quality that will always beat digital sound 6-0, all the way.

digital is  just so passé.  :smth019

 :-D



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Online dsanchez

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Re: Turntables with USB audio interface?
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2008, 21:32:07 »
congratulations!

cds and any digital format will never reach the feeling to play a vynil disc. is just a very, very different experience.
Strangers passing in the street, by chance two separate glances meet and I am you and what I see is me...


 

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