USB turntable, or existing turntable and preamp?

  Esc4p3 11:11 10 Aug 2009

I have been looking at USB turntables, which seem to come in around £60-100. Main problem seems to be that like any external USB audio device of its kind you cannot play back the recorded sound through the PC speakers, you have to plug separate speakers into the turntable.

I have recorded from my hi-fi turntable but this is downstairs and my PC is upstairs, so I have a long phono cable to the line-in on my PC, but the recording comes out quiet and a bit 'flat' - I presume because of length of the cable run (about 30 feet). I don't want to move my PC downstairs/my hi-fi upstairs.

So would my best option be to go for a preamp? I am aware of them, but not exactly what they do and what one would be best. Any experience from anyone? I am willing to be persuaded to go down either route... :)

  BRYNIT 12:11 10 Aug 2009

If it is a USB turntable that plugs into the computer to convert vinyl to MP3 etc. It will use the sound card and speakers on the computer or you would not be able to check the quality of the music etc before transferring to CD/mp3 player etc.

  canarieslover 13:06 11 Aug 2009

It is necessary to use a pre-amp with a HiFi turntable as this will bring the signal strength up to what is needed for line-in on your sound card. Also it will apply the correct equalisation to the signal and get rid of that 'flat' sound that you are complaining about. Don't you have a line-out on your HiFi amplifier? If you have then you should be using that and not go direct from your turntable.

  Esc4p3 15:53 11 Aug 2009

Thanks, for your reply....I do use the line out of my hi-fi (not made clear in my original post) to the line in of my PC, however because the cable run is so long the sound is very quiet, so I was wondering whether I needed a phono-preamp to increase the 'level of the sound'. However I now realise that the phono preamp is intended for the phono's from the turntable rather than the line out of the hi-fi, so I was at cross purposes there :( So is there a way to boost the line level sound other than to shorten the cable run.

  oresome 16:36 11 Aug 2009

Rather than using the line output, try using the headphone socket.

  KremmenUK 07:47 12 Aug 2009

This is a good reference click here

Ideally you need to connect an amplifier cassette line out as this is not affected by the master volume control.
Unfortunately most new hi-fi units don't have this feature so you need to use the headphone socket (as mentioned above) and play with the levels.

Depending on how many records you need to convert I would consider a USB turntable and then a package like Nero where you can tidy up the recordings (scratch and pop removal and the normalisation).

  Esc4p3 09:14 12 Aug 2009

Oresome, I hadn't considered using the headphone socket because I don't think it is very high quality, BUT it does of course allow me to boost the volume...will try that :)

Kremmen, I have a very (20 year) old Pioneer separates system that does have a line out, so that end is sorted. It is just that the length of cable (30' or so) seems to make the signal quite quiet when recording. I like the idea of a USB turntable but it does mean another piece of equipment lying around - does anyone have any experience of using one, because a review I saw on Amazon suggested that you cannot hear the sound out of your PC speakers whilst recording? (which would be a pain)

  KremmenUK 13:12 12 Aug 2009

Yes, that 30' distance would be an issue. Depending on the amount of recording I don't suppose you can move one of the units temporarily ?

If you can you just need a 2 phono's to 3.5mm stereo jack.

  Esc4p3 16:32 12 Aug 2009

Not really preferable to move one of the units, although it is the number 1 easiest way to resolve it! The other option I am considering is to remove the turntable from my hi-fi and temporarily siting it next to my PC and buy a phono preamp to connect to PC. Trouble is that the hi-fi is in a Yew wooden hi-fi cabinet and is a right pain to remove, but it would be a means to an end.

  KremmenUK 07:38 13 Aug 2009

Might be worth considering the USB turntable option and storing it away when finished.

or Ebay it :-)

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