Turntable Help?

I wanted to post this in Help, but since it’s not about Renoise, posted it here.

SInce I’ve opened the world of trance music for myself and put an aim at trying myself out as a dj, I began accumulating tracks I really wanted to get that are available on vinyl only. Recently, that list hit about a dozen releases (not that much, but I really WANT them!!! :w00t: ) I thought that I should probably finally get a turntable. I just need some advice here, please.

F.e. is this one OK? Numark TT1650
The price is really what I liked to pay maximum. Anything reasonably cheaper?

Also I’m confused on this question: what bitrate am I gonna get when I rip? Like from a 12 inch with one track per side? :wacko:
Of some tracks I have pirated versions, but the bitrate is around 128 kbps VBR. I guess I’m not getting anything like 800-1400 kbps like from a CD? I know it’s not that important, but those pirated versions also have some static in them and yeh… stealing is bad.

And will I need additionally? I have a MacBook Pro 15 with the typical line-in. Can’t record with that I guess?

Feedback appreciated!!!

Personally I would say get a Technics SL1200/1210 secondhand for not a dissimilar price, but then I may be a little biased and there are arguably better decks there days. But they have been the industry standard for years, what you’ll play on most often if you ever play out and almost indestructible.

Don’t understand what you mean. Maybe you want to compare now dynamic range, signal to noise ratio, frequency response, wow and flutter, bearing rumble, surface noise etc (althouhg to be fair first two are closely related and only first three really have a digital companion) compare up against digital recording. For a start don’t even think MP3! Lossless compression formats are not worth considering in comparison, unless it specifically to compare the compressions.

With most deck; No. They output a Phono signal which require RIAA equalisation and amplification before it becomes Line Level, therefore you will either need a DJ Mixer or a Phono Stage Amplifier. Some decks do now have Line Levels outputs though (site you linked to has almost no details and haven’t searched on that model.)

If you only plan to rip vinyls, you could check the Numark TTUSB, which would avoid you to use a mixer/preamp.

Hmm… 400 euros direct price and 200 euros opening bid. I’ll take a look at that if there’ll be a good bargain. But considering I laid my eyes on the American Audio VMS4 which is in the same price range, that is a bit to steep. But thanks for the recommendation!

I tend to always keep my whole library in lossless (m4a).
And I think I don’t really understand. So I’ll have a lower bitrate than CD (forget the noise, wow, flutter)? Will it at least be better than online music stores? I searched the whole WWW and can’t find anything. Or am I trying to compare things that can’t be compared? :wacko:

Yeah, It has only Phono output. I guess I’ll either have to wait till I get a mixer, or I can just get something like a Behringer UFO202 phono-amp?

Actually, I think that really fits me. The price is lower and it sort of has an audio output! :)

Thanks a lot for the replies! I’m just a total noob in these things!

I seriously recommend getting an actual hifi turntable, and an external vacuum tube amplifier. I’ve tried some of those recent models that seem to be hip and they sound absolutely terrible. Get a used SL-1200 and a used quality tube amp from 80’s or 70’s.

M4A is a container, not a compression format, and as such is not intrinsicly lossless. I guess you are generally using Apple Lossless ALE and ripping yourself from CD or downloaded WAV/FLAC… M4A can just as easily contain AAC, or even MP3, it is just the audio container of the MPEG4 standard.

Noise, or more specifally Signal to Noise Ratio, IS the analogue equivelent of no. of bits per sample (is that what you mean, or sample rate?) Well Dynamic Range more specifically but the two are very closely linked. “The concepts of signal-to-noise ratio and dynamic range are closely related. Dynamic range measures the ratio between the strongest un-distorted signal on a channel and the minimum discernable signal, which for most purposes is the noise level. SNR measures the ratio between an arbitrary signal level (not necessarily the most powerful signal possible) and noise”

Typically it is said vinyl at best has a s/n ratio of ~70dB (some figures will read more like 50-60dB.) In theory digital recording have a approximately 6 times the number of quantising bits used. So for a CD that is 6*16 = 96dB. A fair bit higher than vinyl.

Frequency Response can be quite hotly debated. It has been proven that you can easily get 50kHz, even over 100kHz, on a vinyl and reproduce it. Quite unlikely with the quality of cartridge and stylii you are likely to be using and vinyl that has been played many times though.

Still I love my vinyl and always will! You will find lots of arguments for both and personally I can see the truth from both angles. I know many people who just wont though. Although I’ve never had the change to do real good ABX testing with vinyl verses digital with same material, mint edition vinyl, but I have a friend who has an amazing sounding set-up for this who I really need to go play a visit! (And play with his collection of FM synths while I’m at it.)

I would give you a Wikipedia link but it’s probably not worth it. It’s not hard to find reels on this subject with a quick search. Vinyl is a love which is bad for you back that is hard to loose. I really should get rid of some of my records (have a few but not many on Discogs) but really find it hard to part with them!

Thanks, I’ll consider your advice, but still… Even though I can get a cheap tube amp (I think) an SL-1200 is a bit to high for me.

Yeah, I understand. I think this is a some thing like Film vs Digital in photography, but I’m pretty firm on my discussion.
Thanks for explaining that, I can’t find enough words to thank you !!!

You don’t need to worry over the finer details to spin some records. Take the given technical advice and tuck it aside for later since it is very good.

Keep it simple. Start with the best tools you can afford and plan one step ahead of your ability. This will provide the best starting position to work with and grow on.
It will also reduce loss if you change your mind later and sell.

You need six things to DJ traditionally.
1: Pair of turntables (Direct drive, not belt)
2: Mixer
3: Speakers
4: Headphones
5: Records
6: Working Ears
7: Practice. Lots.

Two TT1650 and a simple mixer like the Numark M2 is enough. Turntables that are belt driven will prove useless. The belts cause variations which make beat matching nearly impossible, especially for the duration needed for Trance. The TTUSB is belt driven.

Consider a computer based setup which is common now, and since you a have most of the music in digital already it might be a smart move. You will need a controller and software. Like these:
Tracktor <<<on sale it seems

I’m not making specific recommendation those parts, just providing the idea.

If you go this direction, the TTUSB is ok since all the recording can be done straight. Just don’t expect to spin with it nor get the archival sound quality you may want later. But for now it would suffice. I would still recommend getting a direct drive unit since they are more desirable at resale and they are decent record players. You know, for listening to music like people used to back in the mid 1900’s. :walkman: You’ll still need an amplifier or stereo receiver to run the signal through. A trip to a thrift store / second hand shop should yield a cheap model. Most of them have a phono-out where you can use a RCA to 1/8" cable to connect to your mac through the mic input. “Rip” all the records you buy to wav files 44/16 or 48/24. This will provide the highest resolution but eat up disk space. “Rip” them to the highest possible MP3 setting you can obtain to save space (320k+).

good luck

Oh, here’s an article on bit rate. Tweakheadz.com covers a lot of basic information in simple language. A good resource even if it is a giant plug for an online retailer.


Although you will find this sentiment repeated again and again it’s not necessarily true. Cheap direct drives decks can be work than belt drives with a new belt on them. Sure a belt get worn and looser with use whereas a direct drive should stay at a similar torque throughout its whole life. For example the Soundlab DLP1 belt drive decks were far better and cheaper than their own DLP3 deck as long as, with a couple of hours use a day you replaced the belt about every six months. Both area cheap and nasty decks and I wouldn’t recommend either though! Just wanted to make the point that direct-drive =/= good.

Thanks for that article, it made things a bit more straightened out in my head!

In fact, I think my setup will be my MacBook, a controller and Live. No turntables yet. Too expensive for me right now.
As for practicing, already on that. Though twas really hard to do it with a mouse and keyboard with VirtualDJ, after I’ve gotten Ableton Live Lite with my Axiom things are going a lot easier.

As for belt-driven vs direct, OK, i’ll try to get the latter one, but again, money is my #1 concern.

Big thanks for the input!

In fact, I guess no one ever considered trying to make Renoise a DJ mixer? Actually that’d be really cool. Though probably that will mean ripping off Ableton, but still… the ability to “program” your tracks, trigger effects on selections not playing yet…
I should pick up a LUA cookbook and try to bring up my forgotten C++/C#/Basic/Pascal/HTML/Python knowledge (sorry, couldn’t help not showing off ^_^ ) and try this out.