Excerpt: 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.
Excerpt: Hard-core vinyl fetishists may see it as the ultimate example of the race to the bottom ethos, but the iPod is the de facto music player for most people. Thing is, some iPodders have a closet full of records or they’re just now getting into vinyl. So it’s no wonder the market for USB turntables that make it easy to transfer analog to digital is booming. Playback has looked at a couple of budget models, and sure, they’ll get the job done.
Excerpt: There is something faintly sacrilegious about transferring vinyl to a compressed music format. The concept is nothing new of course; people used to do it all the time with cassette, and both CD-R and MiniDisc still have their followers on this front. However, if it's ease of access you want, then hard disc storage really is an impressive option.
Summary: It might look a bit agricultural but Pro-Ject’s latest Debut is a no-brainer for the tentative or first-time buyer. Simple and straightforward to assemble, and with a decent arm and cartridge included, this ’table seems a good buy even before the first tune is spun. Apart from the manual speed change, the Debut is easy to use and maintain – just keep the lid down so it stays dust-free.