A Sound Burger with USB

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/09/26/a-sound-burger-with-usb.html




I can digit!


When I look at the inexpensive USB turntables available today, the first thought that occurs to me is “what’s the tracking force?” I was around when audiophile-grade turntables were common and fairly inexpensive. The common advice then was to buy a turntable that tracks well with one gram of force or less. You could get one including a decent cartridge for a couple of hundred bucks, in the eighties.

I inherited some records in the 2000s and bought a Numark USB turntable to record them. It seemed like a decent model with a mag cartridge and adjustable tonearm, but the instructions said to set the tracking force to 3.5 to 4G. I was amazed, at that force it seems likely to wipe the grooves clean of high frequency information after a few plays! I tried setting it lower than that, but found that it had serious difficulty staying in the groove.

I began reading more about the current crop of turntables after that, but concern about tracking force appears to be all but gone. I found a good one after some searching, but I had to order it from a retailer in Germany.


This is a gimmick at best. Don’t expect any sort of quality out of this. The suspended vinyl record will very quickly fluctuate from bass out of the speakers and cause feedback and flutter. A typical record player’s platter prevents this by fully supporting the whole disc.

Every vinyl “enthusiast” I meet says that Crosley makes the worst quality turntables in the world. I still don’t get it.

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I’ve gotten a couple of Crosleys secondhand. They both failed mechanically (on one, the CD shelf stopped opening; on the other, the cassette player stopped functioning). Crosley customer service does not support older models, suggesting they know something. Also, yeah, even when they were working the audio quality was mediocre.

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all the new versions sound like ass. Further details from the brilliant Techmoan: https://youtu.be/B7onLOkSpLc

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