TURNTABLE REVIEWS

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Michael Berk Posted: Aug 18, 2011 0 comments

Parasound has packed a few more features into their Zphono moving coil/moving magnet pre, adding to the Zphono·USB ($350) an A-D converter and (obviously) a USB port, making it even more handy as a general-purpose interface for those with older and esoteric turntables (or pretty much any other stereo gear) looking to digitize their collections.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: May 19, 2008 0 comments
Digitize your vinyl—the right way.

The proposition is hard to resist. Buy a turntable with a USB output, connect it to your PC, and digitize your vinyl for 21st-century listening. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to do this. The wrong way is to use one of those handy new cheap plastic turntables with a USB output. Sorry, a bad turntable is a bad turntable whether it has a USB jack or not. It falls down on the analog side of the job, ensuring a bad-sounding digital outcome. This warning has been conspicuously absent from clueless mainstream media coverage of the USB-turntable genre.

Brent Butterworth Posted: Oct 18, 2011 0 comments

The Rocky Mountain Audio Fest is growing up. A few years ago, it was known as a gathering of small (sometimes one-man) companies demonstrating exotic (sometimes downright wacky) audio products. Some of those guys are still there, but so now are most of the better-known high-end audio companies.

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Michael Trei Posted: Apr 19, 2012 0 comments

After having been declared dead sometime back in the 1990s, analog turntables and vinyl records have made a strong comeback in recent years. That's great, but for people who come from the CD or iPod generations, it's hard to comprehend just how tweaky the world of analog playback can be. Unlike a CD player or iPod which you simply connect and play, most turntables require careful optimization to deliver the best possible sound.

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James K. Willcox Posted: Dec 28, 2011 2 comments

I’d had my AR ES-1 turntable for about 20 years when a tenant burned my house — and the turntable and about 3,000 records — to the ground the one time I decided to rent it. If this sad story has a silver lining, it’s that it sent me back into the world of vinyl and turntables.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Sep 19, 2012 2 comments

ACROSS THE CONTINENT, thousands are taking part in an almost-forgotten rite. It melds advanced technology, knowledge handed down through the decades, and a little dose of black magic. As most rituals do, it appalls many nonbelievers, but that fact only makes its practitioners relish it more.

Brent Butterworth Posted: Jul 17, 2012 0 comments

There’s some debate among vinylphiles about whether USB phono preamps need to exist, but I for one am glad they do. When I bring home my latest haul of vinyl from Amoeba Records, I love being able to plug a laptop straight into my NAD PP 3 to make quick MP3s of albums I like so I can listen to them on my smartphone. (Sacrilege!) It’s easier than making an analog connection, and it bypasses the lousy analog-to-digital converter built into my laptop.

With the Zphono-USB, Parasound brings new versatility and features to the USB phono pre concept.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Sep 18, 2012 0 comments

Carbon fiber is included in all sorts of products, sometimes for absurd and cynical reasons. My Philips Arcitec electric razor, for example, has carbon fiber trim on its sides. The carbon fiber doesn’t lighten or stiffen the razor, much less improve my shave. It merely adds cachet. Call me unromantic, but I don’t need my razor to evoke images of F1 cars and high-tech jets.

So why should you care that Pro-Ject dolled up its new Debut Carbon turntable with a carbon fiber tonearm?

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jul 17, 2012 0 comments

It’s a ritual. You hear audiophiles claim how great vinyl sounds, but you never quite buy into it. Then you finally hear your first good turntable, and you’re hooked. In my case, it was a Rega Planar 3, demo’d by Sound+Vision contributing writer Ken Korman. Back in 1991, I spent an evening at Ken’s checking out old sides by the likes of Miles Davis and Todd Rundgren, in each case marveling at how different the sound was from the CD.

The reason many audiophiles get their start with a Rega is that Regas deliver above-average performance at below-average prices. The new RP6 is a great example.

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