Buying mom a record player

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by bobscliff, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. bobscliff macrumors regular


    Jul 25, 2005
    Princeton, NJ
    So my mom has commissioned me to find her a good record player to transfer her vinyls over to cds. I totally missed the vinyl age and don't really know the differences between belt and direct drive or anything really. Any recommendations? She's really focused on good quality in the sound on the cd than actual record playback.

    Is usb any better than regular line out converting vinyl?

    Will bumping up from the $90 Audio Technica lp-60usb to a $350 Pro-Ject Debut III make a difference in how the converted cd sounds?
  2. adk macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2005
    Stuck in the middle with you
    Belt is better for casual listening. Direct drive can transfer more vibration to the turntable and is best only when scratching.
  3. Dmac77 macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2008
    IMO spending the extra money on the Pro-ject will be worth it. I would personally recommend looking at a rega turntable. It will run you about $450 for the base rega p2 which is a much better turntable than the pro-ject IMO. You'd be surprised by how much an extra $100 will make when it comes to a turntable. Also, avoid a direct drive table at all costs; and whatever you do, don't get one of those POS vinyl -> CD "turntables" that you see at walmart or target. They're rubbish. Same goes for 99% of turntables that have a USB port built in.

  4. Shotglass macrumors 65816


    Feb 4, 2006
    Pro-Ject Debut III, no doubt about it. Perfect budget deck, and it sounds like it costs big money.
  5. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    How many albums does she want transferred to CDs? Might be cheaper and easier to buy them.
  6. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    Honestly, the biggest difference is going to be in how clean the records are before she starts the transfer. If she is really concerned about how they sound, she should invest in a good record cleaning machine. That alone will make more of a difference than the difference between most cheap turntables. That said, if her records are scratched and in generally poor condition as most people's are, cleaning them isn't going to do any good. Post processing in software will remove most of the hiss and pops, but it can't do anything about distortion if the record is really bad, or her turntable is not set up properly.

    As for the turntable, I would suggest a Technics SL-1200 of most any generation. These are direct drive, extremely easy to set up, incredibly durable, and are able to challenge even the most expensive audiophile turntables at a fraction of the cost. The best thing is that it (like a record cleaning machine, if she chooses that route) will be easily resold for most of its purchase price. The resale on even 10-15 year old 1200's is insane (much like Apple products vs. everything else).

    The cartridge is perhaps second only to cleaning the records in importance. Unfortunately good ones are insanely priced, but she should be able to get a good one from Audio Technica, Denon, Shure or Ortofon for a reasonable sum. Purchasing the TT at a local shop will also mean she can have someone set it up for her - which is critically important.

    Finally, I don't know what kind of sound card she would use, but she will probably need a pre-amplifier before it goes into the computer - although some software may accept the signal without pre-amplification. These also play a big role in the quality of the sound and choices are many.

    Obviously, the easiest thing to do is buy one of those off-the-shelf usb units, because it packages everything - the TT, cartridge, pre-amp, computer connection, and software into one plug and play unit. The results are satisfactory for many people, but if you are serious about the sound quality I think she will be disappointed. The good news is they are probably available from places that accept returns - the worst she could do is give it a go - the alternatives are mighty pricey.
  7. Lyle macrumors 68000


    Jun 11, 2003
    Madison, Alabama
    Was thinking the same thing. Of course, come to think of it, I have at least few LPs that probably aren't available on CD or at the iTMS.
  8. bobscliff thread starter macrumors regular


    Jul 25, 2005
    Princeton, NJ
    Thanks for all the help guys. In the end I decided on a low end audio technica because I realized i dont know enough about vinyl to maintain a nice player like a rega, at least not when it's gonna be at home with my mom. Meanwhile, I'll be learning and saving up for a Pro-Ject or a Rega. Thanks again for the info.

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