USB Turntables

May 17, 2021
 by Paul McGowan

12 comments on “USB Turntables”

  1. I sold my last turntable in 1987 & have never looked back.
    Playing CDs still makes listening to canned music so much
    simpler & completely free of surface (groove) noise.
    I respect the fact that some people still want to play records;
    I don’t understand it, but I have to respect it.

    1. I’m right there with you, man. For me it was 1993. Now all I do is stream and rather than being limited to the records in my collection, I have the world’s music at my fingertips. It’s kind of like having a set of encyclopedias vs. the internet.

    2. Fat, people have big record collections some of which are very valuable. Like you I sold off my record collection when CD’s came out but unlike you I regret it and I have looked back. It’s not just the format but also the art of LP sleeves. The nostalgia of owning something original and yes the sound. People who still have records need to have a means of listening to them and LP’s were not terrible sounding. The original pressings sound quite good. In my opinion analog does sound better than CD’s if played back on the proper equipment. What is digital anyways other than analog converted to digital and back to analog again in hope that the original analog recording has not lost it’s original quality? The best digital can take credit for is to say the original analog recording was saved unaltered. Many believe it has not done that. Close maybe but something still missing. I will continue building back my new LP collection. It doesn’t mean I won’t continue to buy CD’s.

      1. Hi Joe,
        I’ve said it here before but I’ll say it again…if Australian pressings from the 60’s, 70’s & 80’s weren’t so bad there’s a chance that I might’ve persisted with vinyl, but the noisy grooves was the clincher for me.

    3. I spun vinyl at a club mid 80s – mid 90s. I still have the SL-1200 MKII tables. And all my vinyl. Thousands. Just sitting there. Looking pretty. With their inner satin sleeves. In alphabetical order. And not ticking or popping. I never could get past the noise. I too embraced the quietness and convenience of digital. But… I can’t let them go. But I sure miss album covers. Art & info. And all my mixtapes were crossfaded.
      I’ll join them together again one day; disc to platter. It’ll be like a treat. An event. A re-living of my youth. I think it’ll have to be Crime Of The Century. I’ll clean the wax, carefully lower the freshly brushed Stanton, tiptoe ever-so-slowly to the listening chair, sit down in slow motion – careful not to bump the footstool as I feet up and gently lower to the foot resting cushion. Track 3 should be starting by this time. THERE’S that quadruple POP – right where I remember it….! Why can’t ticks & pops at LEAST be in time with the music..?
      Annnnd, then the dog will jump off my lap on to the floor and the vibration will grenade a fully torn woofer cone & semi ripped spider/voice coil assembly CLEAR across the room.
      Woofer death by woofer.
      Bad Felix! No biscuit!
      My kingdom for a concrete floor…..
      OK, back to digital…..

      But I tells ya, I can STILL flip & spin an album about & around my fingertips like a Harlem Globetrotter handles a basketball….

  2. Streaming quality vs physical media quality seems to be the tradeoff. Many say that they cant tell the difference. If that is the case, my “assumption” is that those cannot tell the difference have systems which cant resolve the differences.
    So, the question becomes , what are the best streamers and accompanying hardware to make that streamer comes as close to physical media as possible.
    This would be a great other topic to discuss on its own.

  3. It’s the expense and inconvenience that makes me love analog. If logic entered into the equation at all, I would not own thousands of LPs and 78s, three stereos and five turntables. I am slowly archiving my collection to digital using Paul’s great NPC,with great results, and it’s surprising how much older music is not available in any digital format. Hopefully I’ll live long enough to get through my whole collection.



  4. Missing in Paul’s explanation is which of the three outputs is preferable. I suppose it depends on the turntable, but if it offers a mode that truly bypasses the internal phono stage, it’s likely that better quality could be achieved by using an external phono stage and nicer ADC. While these might seems like extravagant purchases, they could be used for needle-drops later after upgrading the turntable…even to a model that lacks an internal phono stage.

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