both a turntable and mp3 via computer - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 06-12-2012, 02:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey everyone,

This is my first post here but I have been reading threads off and on and it is both inspiring and informative.

I was just given a stack of records from a good friend and am finally in a position to acquire some equipment to enjoy this old vinyl. Here is my predicament however. I usually play music from my computer on crappy computer speakers. I don't want to abandon my computer because I have spent a bit of time ripping all of my CD collection to mp3.

So what I am looking for from all of you here is a recommendation of sorts. I currently do not have a tv nor do I plan on adding one anytime in the foreseeable future. Movies and tv shows are played via a computer, so it acts as my "entertainment center". I am wondering what the best solution would be to incorporate my turntable. Currently I have it sitting next to my computer plugged in to the computer speakers via a phono preamp. I manually unplug the speaker cable and plug it into my desired device.

What would be your top dollar solution as well as a budget solution?

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 14 Old 06-12-2012, 02:56 PM
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Welcome!

What is it you're trying to accomplish? We can't give you a solution until you tell us what the problem is!

Also, you must tell us what your budget is (in rough terms). No one is going to waste time speculating on what you might or might not be able to afford.

And what turntable and phono preamp are you using now?

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #3 of 14 Old 06-13-2012, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by gsosebee View Post

Hey everyone,
This is my first post here but I have been reading threads off and on and it is both inspiring and informative.
I was just given a stack of records from a good friend and am finally in a position to acquire some equipment to enjoy this old vinyl. Here is my predicament however. I usually play music from my computer on crappy computer speakers. I don't want to abandon my computer because I have spent a bit of time ripping all of my CD collection to mp3.
So what I am looking for from all of you here is a recommendation of sorts. I currently do not have a tv nor do I plan on adding one anytime in the foreseeable future. Movies and tv shows are played via a computer, so it acts as my "entertainment center". I am wondering what the best solution would be to incorporate my turntable. Currently I have it sitting next to my computer plugged in to the computer speakers via a phono preamp. I manually unplug the speaker cable and plug it into my desired device.
What would be your top dollar solution as well as a budget solution?
Thanks in advance!

The low buck approach would be to plug the phono preamp into the line inputs of the computer, if it has any or to obtain a USB audio interface such as a Behringer UCA 202 to add proper RCA inputs to your computer. Maximum expense - maybe $40 including shipping.

The top dollar approach would be to build a separate conventional audio system and use your PC as its music player. The sky would be the limit.
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post #4 of 14 Old 06-13-2012, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
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My intent is to play music from both the turntable and the computer, of course not at the same time. I am not looking to record from the turntable, just play from it. My current predicament is that I have to manually unplug the speaker cable from the computer and into the output of the phono preamp and then vice versa, depending on what source I want to listen to. I am looking for a more elegant/easier/productive way of playing from both sources.

Equipment:
I am using the Technics SL-BD2 turntable and MCM Custom Audio Model 40-630 Phono Preamp. The computer is a Mac Mini. Speakers are for now super cheap computer speakers (to be upgraded eventually).

Budget:
Ideally less than $100, not to exceed $300 currently. The reason I ask for a top dollar option is so that 1-I have something to work towards, and 2-so I know what is available. If I don't know it exists or that it solves my problem, then I would never be interested in it. Everyone has a goal in mind, its up to each person how hard they want to strive to reach that goal.

In addition:
I know you can do this with the Airport express, but playing music wirelessly (from a laptop, smart phone, etc). Is there any other way I could play music wirelessly as well.

I hope this clarifies what I originally intended to ask.


arnyk: With the Behringer product, I would have the turntable as an input into my computer correct? With that setup, how do I pass that signal to the speakers? I am guessing some software?

Thanks again for your help. I am completely new to the AV game, but feel like it is something that I should know more about.
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post #5 of 14 Old 06-13-2012, 12:19 PM
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Short term, all you need is a switching device you can plug both the phono preamp and computer outputs into. Given the kind of speakers you are using, I imagine even something like this would do.

Longer term, you want a stereo receiver and a pair of conventional speakers. Since you already have a phono preamp, you don't even need to worry about a phono input in the receiver, so the Sherwood RX-4105 should do. Runs about $80. For speakers, Infinity Primus P163s are running $80-85 apiece right now. So for $250 or so, you could have a much better sounding system than you have right now. If that's within range, I would skip the short-term solution.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #6 of 14 Old 06-14-2012, 07:30 AM
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You need Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi HD. It has phono input and good snr, should maintain pretty good quality if you wanted to record stuff.
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post #7 of 14 Old 06-14-2012, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsosebee 
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arnyk: With the Behringer product, I would have the turntable as an input into my computer correct?

Yes.
Quote:
With that setup, how do I pass that signal to the speakers?

You make appropriate adjustments on the Windows Mixer.
Quote:
I am guessing some software?

Software that is already there, part of the operating system and configured when the audio interface is installed.

The Windows mixer has a two mixing consoles, one for controlling what you record, and one for controlling what you play back through whatever speakers or headphones that are plugged into the PC.

On the speaker/playback mixer there is typically a slider for overall loudness, another for sounds that are generated inside the computer, and another for the line input jack on your computer's audio interface. There are also often check boxes that are effectively on/off switches for the relevant source. Sometimes selecting an input is an all-or nothing situation and sometimes you can mix the inputs together in the proportions you choose.
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post #8 of 14 Old 06-14-2012, 08:47 AM
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Good luck finding a Windows mixer on his Mac!

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #9 of 14 Old 06-14-2012, 11:32 AM
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Good luck finding a Windows mixer on his Mac!

I didn't see that until just now. Didn't mention it in the OP.

I did a little research and am positively floored to hear that Macs are so deprived in the area of the basics of multimedia as compared to Windows boxes.

Live and learn!
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post #10 of 14 Old 06-14-2012, 04:13 PM
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I did a little research and am positively floored to hear that Macs are so deprived in the area of the basics of multimedia as compared to Windows boxes.
What Macs do, they do very well. But they are not designed to do everything. It was part of Jobs's control thing, I guess.

Anyway, using a computer as an "analog" preamp strikes me as a pretty odd thing to do.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #11 of 14 Old 06-14-2012, 05:13 PM
 
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The Mac is simply an Intel Developer's Roadmap compliant X86 box.

Nothing less, nothing more.

They are literally a "PC" running what is the largest installed UNIX userbase OS that essentially has a GUI running atop open source FREEBSD/OpenBSD, utilizing the MACH kernel.

Isn't it time folks get over this spurious Mac vs PC nonsense?

And Mcnarus hit the nail on the head regarding expecting a PC, any PC, to function as a an analog pre-amp!
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post #12 of 14 Old 06-14-2012, 05:56 PM
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Isn't it time folks get over this spurious Mac vs PC nonsense?
You're right, but what makes a Mac a Mac isn't the guts of the machine. It's the software and the design philosophy for that software, which emphasizes user interface and integration. I presume a Mac could be made to do just about anything a PC could do, but trying to be everything to everybody would conflict somewhat with that design philosophy.

Apropos of nothing, I attended a NY Philharmonic concert last weekend featuring a Boulez work built around a MIDI flute. David Robertson, the conductor, said that when he'd premiered the work in 1993, they needed a truck full of electronics to pull it off. Now it's just two Macbook Pro's flanking the soundboard.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #13 of 14 Old 06-14-2012, 06:22 PM
 
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Just one more observation as so many, especially the Mac users, have no idea that when they open a terminal session in OSX, that they are in full blown command line FreeBSD UNIX via the BASH shell.

The Windows world struggles to find out how to 'add on' limited scripting capabilities - while UNIX itself is a scripting language...

And if someone wants a Windows mixer on the Mac, why not simply use VMWareFusion available for $49 that gives essentially the same capability on the Mac as VMWare workstation on Windows (albeit at a fraction of the price) and literally load whatever version(s) of Windows on the Mac?

Folks, its time to look past the platforms as being 'separate and distinct platforms. They are simply two OS environments.

And when push comes to shove, Windows 'advancements' over the past decade have primarily been coming literally from the division within IBM whose sole task is to port UNIX code over to Windows.
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post #14 of 14 Old 06-14-2012, 08:01 PM
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Just one more observation as so many, especially the Mac users, have no idea that when they open a terminal session in OSX, that they are in full blown command line FreeBSD UNIX via the BASH shell.
Then thank God they have you to tell them.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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