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Lenco USB Turntables: A good buy?
post Sep 28 2011, 05:04
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Hi, my birthday is just around the corner. Now, since I am 20 or so, I keep the tradition of buying myself a present.
In January this year, my dad passed away and he left behind a collection of around 200 vinyl records from the late sixties to the early nineties (all vintage). He also had a record player, but I used that in 2003 or so for the last time. I bought a new needle, and it ran for a while after sitting in a storage room for about four years or so. I used the player for a month or so, until the belt ripped and now the thing is at moms house in the attic.
I was thinking of repairing the player, but then again, that thing is a lower-end JVC player from the early eighties.

So I was thinking, about buying a new vinyl record player. Not only to play the old vinyls of my dad, but possibly getting some records myself, new and used ones. However, with modern record players, this acquisition is quite difficult. There are players for DJ's, and average home listening. Since I'm not a DJ, the DJ-type players aren't of interest for me. But then again, I do listening with headphones most of the time, and my sound usually comes off my computer. Now, there are some quite interesting products from Lenco, they have vinyl turntables, that have normalized and per-amplified output, as well as an ADC. The Player can be connected to a computer with USB and acts as an external sound card.

I like the concept and all, but I wonder how well those turntables perform.
It is possible to encode the vinyls directly on the player, and save them to a USB drive (the player has a USB host) or on SD card. Some of them can be connected to a computer, and some of them have only a USB host for USB drives.

Their current product line is here: http://www.lenco.eu/index.php?option=com_c...d=3&lang=en

In case there are alternatives, please let me know. My main priority is to connect them to a computer. They should work with Linux, but since most of those players are simply external sound cards, they should work with no problems.

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post Sep 28 2011, 18:45
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Knowzy.com has reviews on many (most?) USB turntables.

I was thinking of repairing the player, but then again, that thing is a lower-end JVC player from the early eighties.
From what I've read, many USB turntables are cheaply made too. Your belt drive turntable might not be that bad. The cheapest turntables were idle-wheel drive, so with a belt drive you might have a medium or better quality turntable. But, you'd need a phono-preamp* if you don't have the rest of the old stereo (or a USB phono interface) and you might want to replace the cartridge.

There is quite a lot of information about digitizing vinyl and fixing-up the defects on this page.

For me, the biggest issue with digitizing vinyl is cleaning-up the "snap", "crackle", and "pop". I don't know what software is available for Linux. I use Wave Repair ($30 USD), which does an amazing job removing most vinyl defects in the manual mode. But, it usually takes me a full weekend to clean-up an LP.... There are more automated solutions.

* A phono preamp won't work directly with a laptop if it doesn't have a line-input.

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