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stardust4ever 14th October 2012 05:02 AM

USB turuntable skips on new vinyl (2000+), but plays vintage records fine
A couple of weeks ago, I bought a USB turntable at Hastings in Alexandria, La. It is a Hype brand "briefcase" style player, only the 12" LP records are larger than the record player itself. I picked up Pink Floyd's DSOTM album and The Wall new from the music store where I bought the turntable. They played very well. Then I found a box of records in the garage which belonged to my mom and dad. Mostly Classical compilations and old Church/Christmas stuff. Very little mainstream recordings. Everything I've pulled from the old record box plays flawlessly, except for hissing and pops. It even handled scratched/warped/worn/dirty records fine without skipping, but with noticeable noise and fidelity loss.

I went online at Amazon and ordered a bunch of records, new and old, and I also went to an antiques dealer in my town which has a massive library of used records. I bought 3 old vintage albums and one Ashanti "Concrete Rose" (Not for Resale) copyright 2004. I also received on Saturday "Stadium Arcadium" in the mail, a 4 LP boxed set of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers 2006 album.

Well, I listened to both records of the Ashanti double album, and the first two records from "Stadium Arcadium", and while both record sets are in absolute pristine condition with no visible defects, they have horrible skipping problems. My record stylus simply advances forward repeatedly for no apparent reason on these newer records. Had it been just one disc, I'd suspect the record was defective, but the second record from the Ashanti dual album, and both the first two records from Stadium Arcadium repeatedly skip while playing. I've not attempted to listen to the last two Stadium Arcadium discs yet as I got frustrated. The old Lynard Skinard "Gold and Platinum Hits" and The Eagles "Hotel California" that I bought at the same antiques store plays great however.

I did some research online, and there is a consensus that a record that skips on one player may play fine on another, and also the choice of stylus does make a difference, and I've seen various instructions ranging from "tape a penny on top of the stylus to give it more tracking weight" to "adjust the anti-skating and cartridge alignment". I have no idea what these adjustments do or if it's even possible to make these adjustments on my $70 USB turntable. Is it possible that my turntable is junk, or did I really strike out twice in a row with the newer record pressings? I can't imagine why it would have trouble playing new vinyl, yet play vintage vinyl flawlessly.

I plan on taking my turntable to a music shop to get service and/or advice some time next week, but if there are any vinyl aficionados out there that can give me some advice right now, I'd appreciate it much, even if it's just an affirmation of "you get what you pay for."

madtecchy 14th October 2012 05:57 AM

yes the turntable is total scrap.. .. plastic everywhere no adjustments. the platter does not fully support the records surface . resonance.. Dont put extra weight on top of cartidge /stylus it will destroy yor records and stylus. as for the scipping i would suspect there is no anti skid adjustment and another guess id say the profile of the stylus is not good either . Itis not as much you get what you pay for .. It is more like you get what YOU bought .. Do yourself and your records a big favor throw that piece of crap in the trash..

Kind Regards Mark

DF96 14th October 2012 12:13 PM

To get a turntable of reasonable quality you need another 0 on the end of the price. Then double it or more if you want good quality. Decent turntables necessarily involve precision mechanical engineering, so they cannot be made cheaply like most electronics.

tvrgeek 14th October 2012 12:28 PM

Now now, not everyone needs a Linn. E-bay has plenty of serviceable tables for not too much. When you add a cheap RIAA to USB adapter, you won't hear the difference between a good table and a 40 year old Dual with an AT-11 in it.

DF96 14th October 2012 03:23 PM

Linn? Thorens, please!

Yes, if you buy second-hand then you don't quite need a zero on the end. The snag is that buying mechanical things second-hand can be a bit of a lottery.

KatieandDad 14th October 2012 03:42 PM


Originally Posted by tvrgeek (
Now now, not everyone needs a Linn. E-bay has plenty of serviceable tables for not too much. When you add a cheap RIAA to USB adapter, you won't hear the difference between a good table and a 40 year old Dual with an AT-11 in it.

Too true. I guess all the OP wanted to do was to copy vinyl to MP3, that is what these "crap" USB turntables are designed for. A quick visit to Cash Convertors will usually reveal a reasonable turntable for that task, and you can take it back if it doesn't work. E-Bay has plenty of them but you will have to take a bit of a chance. Paying by PayPal will ensure that you don't buy a complete lemon.

I did the same thing. I bought a Technics SP10 for 125 from Cash Convertors, copied my old singles collection and then sold it on E-Bay for 150. I didn't need a RIAA to USB convertor, I just built a little RIAA pre-amp. Both options are relatively cheap these days.

stardust4ever 14th October 2012 06:33 PM

This is my turntable: HYPE HY-2004-BCT Briefcase USB Turntable/Vinyl Archiver w/Built-in speakers - Rip Your Old Vinyl to MP3!: Computers & Accessories

But I actually bought it at a retail store. Believe it or not, they actually had some really POS USB turntables for $30. I thought I was getting a better turn table by paying higher price ($70) for it. Another thing I noticed is the bass is rather weak, and I have to compensate my stereo system by cranking up the subwoofer just so that the bass is audible. I guess it may be lacking a proper RIAA equalization stage, so that may explain why the bass output is weak. I've already archived a couple of my mom's old records, however when I tried to set up audacity on my laptop, there was digital noise in the audio signal on my computer. It was a high-pitched whining sound, not white noise or AC hum, and that was with the stylus sitting in it's cradle not even playing the record, so I figured the ADC inside the record player was junk. I hooked up my Cowon media player (A3) to the RCA output and recorded the output audio using FLAC codec.

That still doesn't explain why the record player plays vintage records fine but skips like hell on new ones, unless the newer records have shallow grooves compared to old ones. They also could have provided a proper power adapter, as I had to sacrifice my cell charger to power it. So where can I find a decent record player? Are the turn tables they sell at Best Buy any good? Most of them have iPod docks on them, and I don't even own an iPod (Cowon is a million times better). Will just upgrading the needle help, or would that be pointless, like trying to put a V-8 in a compact car? At the moment, I'm strapped for cash, so I've got to keep it well under $200. Vintage record players can have all sorts of issues, like turn tables not keeping speed and so forth.

Pano 14th October 2012 06:41 PM

You should be able to find a decent used DJ turntable for that price. It will be soooo much better than what you now have.

Some newer TTs have a built in phono preamp. If you don't find that, count a phono to USB into your budget.

tvrgeek 14th October 2012 10:46 PM

OK, I'll take the bait. DF, what table/arm/cartridge do you prefer? I hope 30 years had improved the state of the art as well as the state of what you can actually pay for.

When I still had records, I had a modified Thorens with a Grace F9e running a modified Hafler preamp. The SP12 was about the best table one could even see in the stores, but SOTA was getting a big following.

DF96 15th October 2012 11:16 AM

No bait. I can't tell you which I prefer, as I haven't listened to many. The system I am currently happy with is rather old (like me) but suits me for listening to music: Thorens TD160S, Linn Basik arm (I forget which version, as it was 30 years ago), Ortofon VMS20E MM cartridge, DIY RIAA preamp using a couple of opamps (active LF boost, passive HF cut).

I have never been all that interested in SOTA, as that changes every year and I am not made of money. I regard my system as reasonable quality. I was not willing to pay a lot more money for something better. From memory, this system cost me about 300 about 30 years ago. That was a lot of money back then.

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