What phono preamp with USB to choose?

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serge8
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What phono preamp with USB to choose?

Post by serge8 » 08 May 2013 09:57

Hello,
I have a jvc JL B44 TT which I'm going to use with
a nad 304 and/or sansui a-40 both have phono input so there is no problem here.

But in order to record disks to computer I need a phono preamp with USB (or there is any other way of quality recording?)

what are good phono preamps with USB?

There is on I saw, a nad PP3. is itOk?

thank you for your advice
Serge

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Re: What phono preamp with USB to choose?

Post by duficity » 08 May 2013 12:45

I use a Bellari VP530 for recording to my laptop. Nice little unit, not too expensive.

HT Performance
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Re: What phono preamp with USB to choose?

Post by HT Performance » 08 May 2013 21:01

Sometime ago I saw some TDK turntables with USB.

They seemed OK to me!

:)


Cheers!

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Re: What phono preamp with USB to choose?

Post by Guest » 09 May 2013 14:39

You don't actually need a phonostage with a USB connection. You can use an ordinary phonostage and feed the analogue signal into your computer the same way you would any other line level analogue signal. Your computer's A/D converter may well be better than the A/D built into an outboard phonostage anyway. Going for a USB-less phonostage will give you lots more options from about £20 up to £5000.

Or you could not bother with an outboard phonostage at all. You could use the amplifiers you already have with onboard phonostages and take a signal from the tape outputs.

Sam21
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Re: What phono preamp with USB to choose?

Post by Sam21 » 20 May 2013 20:05

As has been mentioned, there are various solutions.

If you use the NAD or any other amp like the Sansui A40, both of those have a phono stage (AKA phono pre-amp equaliser built-in. Plugging the Tape Out signal from the amp into a PC is one option, but many PC's only have a mono mic-level input. If the computer has a stereo line input, then all you need is a lead.

Or, you can take a signal from the Tape Out sockets of the amplifier into a DAC (Digital-Analogue converter. ) This has RCA line level IN sockets and a USB out lead.

If you want then to add computer playback through the hi fi, you can plug the output from the Computer/DAC into Tape input on the amp, and play your MP3's through it.

This arrangement also means you can listen to the record through the amp, while recording in real time on the computer.

DACs come in various flavours and prices from the sublime to the ridiculous.

As a taster the Behringer UCA202 costs about 25 euro if you shop around, will take a line input from almost anything, has a decent Burr-Brown chip set, and also outputs to USB (it appears as a sound-card). It has a set of line level output sockets and a headphone socket. There is also an optical out.

This unit is good for both recording monitoring playback, or if you use Audacity recording software or similar - allows you to monitor playback/playthrough if ever you get into multi-tracking guitars or keyboards.

You can pay more than 25 euros if you wish. I see Amazon.fr wants twice the price for this. Ebay sells them for half that.

Details on the Behringer site and the UCA202 works with PC's and Macs. I have a radio production studio, and we use the UCA202 on our mixer outputs. They are very good for the price and will work up to 48 Khz - beyond CD quality.

http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/UCA202.aspx


As the world moves to 64 bit operating systems, the 64 Bit ASIO drivers are now on the Behringer web site, as is the user manual for the UCA202.

* If you don't want to use your hifi amp but want to only plug a record deck into a computer USB socket the Behringer UFO202 has a phono level input in a similar package. It's a much better option than buying a USB turntable if you already have a record deck.

The first option is more flexible in the long run.

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Re: What phono preamp with USB to choose?

Post by youngdand » 21 May 2013 07:09

One of these will do you alright,

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/M-Audio-Audio ... 0798307736 just run a set of rca leads to the input from the tape out.

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Re: What phono preamp with USB to choose?

Post by JoeE SP9 » 21 May 2013 15:51

Another vote for the Behringer. I use a UCA222 (same as 202 except colored red) with a Gateway Netbook as a portable DJ setup.

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Re: What phono preamp with USB to choose?

Post by Sam21 » 21 May 2013 17:29

"One of these will do you alright"

It's not USB (!)

~~~

"Another vote for the Behringer."

Yes, they are excellent at the price. The difference between UCA-202/222 and the higher priced boxes is that the Behringers don't have XLR mic inputs, midi or pre-amps built in as do many of the others, and they are 16 bit devices.

This gives them a theoretical headroom of about 96dB and a measured S/N of 88dB. (Compare to S/N of amp, vinyl or turntable) They will record at 16 bit CD quality of 41Khz, or 'DVD' quality of 48Khz. They work with almost any computer and they have almost zero latency for multi-tracking live instruments or A/B monitoring play-through.

I have two in use at the mo, one on the production desk outputs, and another on the hifi where it's plugged into the tape loop of a Marantz amp. They do sound very good.

Here's a tech review: http://nwavguy.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/b ... eview.html

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Re: What phono preamp with USB to choose?

Post by youngdand » 21 May 2013 19:32

serge8 wrote: "or there is any other way of quality recording?"

Sam21 wrote:"One of these will do you alright"

It's not USB (!)

~~~

"Another vote for the Behringer."

Yes, they are excellent at the price. The difference between UCA-202/222 and the higher priced boxes is that the Behringers don't have XLR mic inputs, midi or pre-amps built in as do many of the others, and they are 16 bit devices.

This gives them a theoretical headroom of about 96dB and a measured S/N of 88dB. (Compare to S/N of amp, vinyl or turntable) They will record at 16 bit CD quality of 41Khz, or 'DVD' quality of 48Khz. They work with almost any computer and they have almost zero latency for multi-tracking live instruments or A/B monitoring play-through.

I have two in use at the mo, one on the production desk outputs, and another on the hifi where it's plugged into the tape loop of a Marantz amp. They do sound very good.

Here's a tech review: http://nwavguy.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/b ... eview.html

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Re: What phono preamp with USB to choose?

Post by Sam21 » 21 May 2013 20:00

"Any better way?"

Sure. How much money you got?

First you have to tell us what source you have with a signal to noise ratio of better than 96 dB, (It's not your JVC JLB44 or your amp) and provide the results of your last hearing test.

And, if you can measure a quality difference in a FLAC rip between the £150 16 bit NADPP3 and the £25 16 bit Behringer UCA202 I'll keep you in croque monsieurs for a month. You might hear a tonal change as the (obsolete) NADPP3 has its own phono stage, but hey, they both use the same Texas Instruments Burr-Brown A/D chip.

Or just buy the Cyrus DAC-XP. At the price it's sure to sound better. But as things stand, there's not much out there that can reproduce the 144 dB dynamic range of a 24 bit DAC. But that's no reason not to buy one.

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Re: What phono preamp with USB to choose?

Post by youngdand » 21 May 2013 21:51

Are you making up things to argue with yourself? no one mentioned "a better way!" the op asked if there was any other way of making quality recordings. to which i gave them a £50 alternative solution which does give quality recordings, having 104db of dynamic range on the analogue to digital conversion and 100.4 on the digital to analogue conversion.

And further to your above you seem to be confusing analouge to digital convertors and digital to analogue convertors. DACs only convert one way digital to analogue.

The NAD PP3 is a fine budget preamp, but maybe not required with the sugestions already made. However is does benefit from drawing its power from the PC, so less prone to power issues with USB and PCI based methods.

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Re: What phono preamp with USB to choose?

Post by Sam21 » 23 May 2013 08:42

Calm down, dear. You won't look good with high blood pressure. :D

The M-Audio PCI card you recommended and linked to is not USB as requested. It's also a USA sale, so there's £50 for the card, plus £33 shipping. That's not good. Unless you're the seller?

Then, you need a desktop PC next to your record deck to run it. That's not good either. This is the 21st century. We've all got laptops now. Then, it's not a phono preamp so you're still taking the line-out from the amp to plug into it.

Re DACs/ADCs: If you want to play the stuff you've ripped (A-D) back from a PC and into your amp, you're going D-A. Now you know this, but you forgot.

And,this is what the UCA202 does. Imagine! You can play digital stuff through it! Yay! Instead of just recording stuff to hard drive - you can actually retrieve it! Woo! It also draws its power from the PC as you recommend, though as you didn't point out; USB power sources connected to audio gear can be noisy and prone to earth loops and zizzing from switched power supplies. Ask any jobbing DJ or outside broadcast audio engineer. Or me. But the UCA202 costs 25 euros, so that's a cheap gamble. And with a lappy, you get a mains earth loop; you can unplug the PSU and keep on ripping.

Also, no matter if the internals of the NAD amp are made of gold-plated angel's feathers, it doesn't have the dynamic range to discern between 16 bit and 24 bit encoding on playback. Neither do the outputs of the 24 bit DACS/ADCs, or your Roksan Kandy.

The NAD PP3 does have MM and MC inputs. The could come in handy if the OP wants to upgrade to MC or toss out his budget NAD integrated amp. But we don't know.

Now if the OP, or you, or anyone else wants to blow dough buying a phono preamp he/you/they don't need because they already have one, or buy one to add to the growing list of audio gear obsessively listed under their forum sig, or rig up a hot noisy desktop computer with a PCI card just to rip vinyl from line-outs, that's fine with me too.

I'm here to help. Any thing else you need a hand with?

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Re: What phono preamp with USB to choose?

Post by youngdand » 23 May 2013 14:10

the link was an example, not a request to buy.

the OP specifically asked if there was a quality alternative to usb, which i gave. the m-audio card will also quite happy act as a decent quality dac.

lest we not forget here, that i have not recommended some multi thousand pound solution here. i have recommended a £50 solution.

I recommend it, because i own one and feel that it was good value for money, and is very good quality. My background is in sound engineering, and having run internet radio stations, using the card to connect in from a professional desk.
There are plenty of much more expensive options, but the value for money for the m audio is at the very least fair, and at best excellent. especially considering you also get a very good digital in/out's as well as the analogue in/outs.

my comment regarding dacs was due to your seeming random and out of place

"Or just buy the Cyrus DAC-XP. At the price it's sure to sound better. But as things stand, there's not much out there that can reproduce the 144 dB dynamic range of a 24 bit DAC. But that's no reason not to buy one."

comment.

Listing my equipment is something i choose to do, so that when a i ask a question from other members of the site, they can provide me with the best answer, and do not require to ask me for details of other part of my system.

Coming from a sound engineering background myself, it was always best practice to make sure the signal was preserved as much as possible before doing anything which may add artifacts, ie transcoding, compression etc, as this will exagerate any losses or noise in the chain. the 24/96 m-audio card is a studio quality piece of kit, which has come down in price considerably from when it was first released.

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Re: What phono preamp with USB to choose?

Post by jorgjean » 23 May 2013 15:08

If you have a decent Phono Preamp or Built in Phono in your Preamp, rather spend the money on a good soundcard with USB output.

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