Sample Clips from USB Turntables
Listen to music clips played through USB turnables and compare the samples to CD. Try it before you buy it!
Hearing is believing. While you can spend lots of time reading what makes a good turntable and comparing features in our USB turntable guide, what matters most is how your records will sound.
Now you can listen to actual, unaltered sample recordings from several USB record players. What you hear is what you're going to get. Which vinyl ripping turntable sounds best to your ear?
Also, compare these LP recordings to their CD counterparts. How close can the turntable come to CD quality?
Finally, see some photos and learn about each turntable before you buy. Even if you like the way it sounds, does it do everything you need?
Preview the record player you're considering before you buy it right here in Knowzy's Sample Clips from USB Turntables.
USB Turntable Samples
Here they are: Recordings of popular music ripped from USB turntables and the same samples on CD. Just click on the "Play" buttons to hear them or click on the "Play All" buttons at the end of each row and column to hear all of the samples, one after another.
Don't forget to get a closer look at each turntable after the chart. For even more details on these USB turntables and buying a record player in general, see our USB turntable comparison guide.
The music files are all 192Kbps MP3 files. Knowzy also makes FLAC versions available at Hydrogen Audio.
About Similar Sounding Turntables
Many USB turntables sound alike. There are companies that use the same basic parts over several turntable models. A company may rebrand another company's USB turntable. In situations like these, if you hear one turntable, you've heard the similar turntables as well.
With over 60 vinyl ripping turntables on the market, Knowzy will probably never sample them all. But we can do the next best thing: Whenever a turntable is similar to one for which we have samples, we'll give you a chance to hear the similar recordings.
We are picky about what we consider similar. The main components of the turntable must be identical. In particular, we look for:
- Same cartridge and stylus. Nothing affects sound quality more than the cartridge (the unit that holds the needle). We won't even consider calling it similar if the cartridge is different.
- Same tonearm. A different tonearm can change tonal quality of the sound (hence the name). While the difference in sound isn't as dramatic the cartridge, it's enough that we won't consider two turntables with different tonearms similar.
- Same type of platter. Compared to a plastic platter, a heavier, aluminum platter offers a steadier rotation, playing the record more smoothly. While it may be difficult to hear difference, if the platters aren't the same type, we don't consider turntables similar.
Turntables We Consider Similar
The following are turntables for which we have sample recordings and other models that are nearly identical.
Ion Audio TTUSB05
Samples Review More Info
With two exceptions, all Ion turntables use the same cartridge and needle. The cartridge defines how a turntable sounds more than any other component. In that sense, all Ion turntables sound similar.
The exceptions to the cartridge rule are the portable iPTUSB and the upcoming Omniplay. These turntables have a ceramic cartridge. All other Ion turntables feature a better, moving magnet cartridge.
Beyond the cartridge, the following similar Ion turntables use the same type of straight, no-frills tonearm. Other turntables in Ion's line-up, like the LP Dock, use an "S" shaped, DJ-style tonearm.
Ion Audio only makes one turntable with a metal turntable platter- the LP 2 CD. All other Ion turntables, including the ones here, have plastic platters.
Are similar to:
Grace Digital Audio Vinylwriter (Model: AVPUSB01S)
Samples Review More Info
The following turntables are similar because they all rebrand the same manufacturer's turntable. Grace and the other companies below slap their logo on a turntable from Leetac Electronics in China.
The instructions and packaging may vary between brands. For example, the Technical Pro version includes an extra needle (you might need it) and a cleaning kit.
Are similar to:
More than Similar- It's the Same Turntable
You can sell your own, cheap, poor sounding USB turntable too if you buy at least 1,000 units.
USB Turntable Reviews (Moved)
Now that you've heard the turntables, it's time to learn a little about them. Are they gentle on your vinyl? Is the software friendly? Are there other useful features?
Each USB record player is unique. Be sure it's right for you before you buy it.
The reviews used to be on this page. Now each turntable has its own page complete with review.
Thanks to Richard Tollerton and Hydrogen Audio
Knowzy extends thanks to Hydrogen Audio and, in particular, Richard Tollerton (HA member Axon) for their invaluable help in producing these sample clips.
Several threads on Hydrogen Audio show the selection of the clips, nailing down the process and discussion of the results. You can also find lossless FLAC versions of these clips, as well as complete test LP recordings from each of these turntables.
Read more in the following Hydrogen Audio threads:
"Samples from USB Turntables" Pages
Talk About It
Tell us what you think or ask a question. We are all ears on the Audio Feedback page.
Is there a turntable you'd like us to test? Do you have an experience about USB turntables to share? Do you have questions about how the samples were produced? Is there something you want to know about any of the turntables featured here?
Let us know!
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Originally Published: Friday, April 17, 2009, 12:00 AM PT
Last Updated: Wednesday, January 18, 2012, 9:35 PM PT