USB Turntables - anyone tried them?

Joined 2014
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If you want to ruin your records these are a good place to start! Avoid at all costs.

If you have records to convert, first look at how many and if CDs/downloads of those albums are available. If you only have 50 records buying again digitally and selling the records might be a good idea. If your records are not available on CD then they have a value and should be played on something that will not chew them up...
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Joined 2004
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I think the point has been made, but unless these records are rare and not available on CD you are better off purchasing used CDs and ripping them to your media player - probably a lot less expensive than any decent turntable with a decent USB ADC included. Might sound better too given the limited budget.
Any rip from a USB turntable would have to be digitized through an internal ADC (Analog to Digital Converter) chip in your laptop/PC. This would affect the quality of the sound probably as much as your turntable stylus setup. I can't help but think that just buying the CD if available at reasonable cost, would be the way to go. Buy used at that.

If you just really want to rip LPs regardless, then the Audio Technica above I agree is the minimum you should get. As long as you can adjust the tracking force correctly, it should not ruin any of your records.

fredjones said:
My reservations regarding any USB turntable would be the quality of the A/D conversion.
At that price the ADC will be near perfect when compared wth the turntable! Cheap electronics is fairly easy to make, and is not much worse than expensive electronics. Cheap mechanical things are hard to make and will be much much worse than expensive mechanical things. The main problem with a USB turntable will be the turntable, not the ADC and USB interface - they will just use standard chips, probably as used in much more expensive items.
Joined 2015
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My thanks to all for all the replies. I have certainly changed my mind about buying the USB turntable of any sort.

There is a recording studio where he will convert vinyl to CD, for the equivalent of USD 5 per CD. I need to talk to him about the format - convert straight to .wav format is the best I think?

I have a few records I need to convert, but subscribing to Apple Music for Android is all I need at the moment, I have had a great time downloading and playing some 70s classic pop music.

Vinyl conversion will be only on an experimental basis to investigate Analog-High Def quality.

Conversion to .wav is certainly the way to go.

However the sound quality of turntables is a moving target.
There is no guarantee the studio turntable is as good as
it gets, though it will be far better than $30 garbage.

For good records what you want is a serious audiophile
with a really great turntable, to do the conversions.

rgds, sreten.
Pro-Ject USB TT

Been a while since I've commented on anything other than a few threads, but I have listened to a reasonable one from Pro-ject. And I have access to it almost anytime I might need to listen to it.

Against my suggestion, my nephew bought a Pro-ject Essential II. He didn't need anything with a phono stage (his Audiolab 8000A has a pretty good one in it), but he had it in his head that he wanted this table. I suggested the NAD C556 TT at a similar (lower) price, as it has been suggested that it is better than a rega RP!, but not as good as a RP1 Performance. Thankfully the difference can be made up in the future if he upgrades the stylus on the Ortofon OM-5E to a better OM series one.

I've listened to it through the built in phono stage and I must say it sounds pretty musical. The Toslink output can be input into a comp (or an interface box) and files can be recorded to the HD and then recorded to CD. For some records that are not available as a cd. This is but one way to go.

The table appears to be similar to the Pro-Ject Elemental turntable, with an included Pro-Ject Phono-box. So far it is pretty fun to listen to and although a little rough around the edges, is quite musical, and doesn't seem to suffer from a rolled off top end. It is something that , although not as good as some is probably worlds better than almost all "USB" or "digital" output turntables available.


At that price the ADC will be near perfect when compared wth the turntable!
I wonder where the RIAA is done?
With those cheap 16Bit ADCs it'd better be that the RIAA finds place -at least in part- before rather than behind the ADC.
Do the manufacturers really add a analog RIAA-Pre .... at those ridicolously low prices?
If so, quality is certainly a unknown term in their universe.
If they leave the RIAA to a software than .... well, quality be'd a unknown term in that universe either :rolleyes:

where is the RIAA?


I can't address how most of the USB tables do it (the bold, italics are my emphasis, not What HiFi? 's ..

"That depends on what you want from a turntable. Outright sound quality or the convenience of wide compatibility? By taking the Essential II and adding a phono stage, based on the company’s Phono Box design, Pro-Ject is gunning for both.

You get your analogue line level output, along with a 24-bit/96kHz digital optical output. Pro-Ject wants you to plug it straight into AV receivers and soundbars.

The rest of the turntable is very much what you get with the original Essential II. You get an 8.6in aluminium tonearm, a heavy MDF platter, a low-voltage motor perimeter belt drive system and an Ortofon OM5E cartridge." (What HiFi?)

So in the case of my nephew's table it seems he'd need an interface box as a minimum to record to a hard drive, or a recorder with an optical input.

How the other manufacturers accomplish the RIAA phono equalization I have no idea.