ART USB Phono Plus spdif in on Ubuntu [SOLVED]

If anyone has used the ART USB Phono Plus using the SPDIF from a turntable I’d like to know how to do it. I have a record playing. I plugged the SPDIF coax from the turntable into the SPDIF in on the ART. I plug the USB into the ART and the PC. I’m running Ubuntu. When using Audacity to record I click the drop-down to choose the input device. It gives me 12 devices to choose from! There are 6 for one set of USB devices, and 6 for another set of USB devices. The 6 are front left mono, front right mono, rear left mono, rear right mono, line 0 stereo and line 1 stereo. None of these inputs gets a signal. I click on the option to monitor the input and the meter goes nowhere. If anyone has successfully used this device with Audacity on Ubuntu I’d appreciate a step-by-step help. :slight_smile: Thanks. :slight_smile:

Have you tried it using an analog input from the turntable to the ART? If not, I’d suggest you try that first.
Do you have “Pulse Audio Volume Control” installed? If not, install “pavucontrol” using your preferred package manager.

The “Input Devices” tab of “Pulse Audio Volume Control” allows you to quickly go through all available input devices and see on a meter which inputs are receiving an input signal.

Direct access to the USB turntable should be listed as one of the (hw:1.x) devices, assuming you have no other USB devices connected.

The simplest method may be install pavucontrol (pulseaudio volume control), make the required input to be default input device in pavucontrol, then choose the default “device” in Audacity. I don’t know enough to tell you if this is “bit perfect”. If that is your aim, you may be better choosing the (hw:1,x) input.

If you still need help, please post Help > Audio Device Info… from top right of Audacity. Please see here for how to attach files:


Recording from Pulse will not be “bit perfect”, but using Pulse Audio Volume Control is a good, graphical way to identify the correct device and see if the device is capturing audio.

I’m sorry this will be a long post, but please stick with me. :slight_smile:

I connected an analog device (galaxy smart phone) to the ART. A signal is present in the device (I hear it on the headphones plugged into the ART. I used an ffmpeg command line and specified input as hw:3,0 and it recorded just fine. I then decided to test the optical input to the ART. It also gets no signal as I couldn’t hear any on the headphones connected to the ART. I tested both the co-ax and optical using the ffmpeg command line that worked when testing the analog input. In each case It produced a file, but the file was nothing but silence.

BTW, I tested the co-ax output of the turntable using a Sound Blaster Extigy USB device. It does receive a digital signal from the turntable, both co-ax and optical. I heard it on the headphones connected to the Extigy. Now you may wonder why I just don’t use the Extigy to record from my turntable into my computer. I have a problem with IT too. As soon as I plug the USB from the Extigy into the computer the signal goes away in the headphones connected to the Extigy, and I use the same ffmpeg command as described above and it records a silent file. When I unplug the Extigy USB from the computer the sound comes back. But there is a difference between the Extigy and the ART: the Extigy is powered by a wall wart but the ART is powered by the USB bus from the computer. There is some question regarding the ability of the ART to use a wall wart power supply. ART’s web site Tech FAQ says ALL ART devices use 9V >150mA AC external power, but the owner’s guide for the device says either AC or DC external power is OK. I tried a 9V 500mA DC power supply, but I believe I still had the USB plugged into the computer. I will test using the external power supply but NOT have the USB connected to the computer. If a signal comes into the ART then in that case it comes down to the ART has the same problem as the Extigy in that having the USB connected to the computer somehow kills the signal coming into the digital input inside the device, right? I’ll follow up later today and test it that way. I already asked the support team at ART to resolve the question regarding the external power supply requirement. But where in the world can you find a wall ward that produces AC output? I never heard of such a thing except with doorbells in houses, and they are usually 24V!

Lots of places. For example:

Thanks Steve! :slight_smile:

I don’t understand this, sorry. All those I looked at have DC output.


I mean, “try your preferred Internet search”.
DC power supplies are certainly more common, but it took me just a couple of minutes to find a 9v AC PSU suitable for the country in which I live.
This is an example, NOT a recommendation or sales pitch: Here’s one from RS components:

Actually, there was one suitable for me on the sample page you linked. I’m going to try a few things tonight and also wait to hear from ART regarding external power supply. I was wondering if setting both input and output device to the USB would somehow cancel the signal. So I will make sure I have output device set to internal mobo stereo device. When I learn about the power supply requirement I will see if it gets an S/PDIF signal when not connected to computer (same situation as my SB Extigy). Also, I’m going to try a different USB input. The one I’m using is on a card of some sort that has an entire collection of devices such as SD reader, MSD reader, etc. So I’ll put it on one the MOBO USB inputs and see what happens. I will also set the monitor selector switch on the ART to “BOTH” so that I can hear if any signal is coming back to the ART from my computer. One thing is for sure, I don’t want to send the LINE OUT from the ART to my computer’s LINE IN. That would defeat the purpose of having a digital turntable, right?

It would defeat the point of having a nice phono pre-amp.
If you can’t get the S/PDIF to work, then analog out from the turntable to the ART and USB from the ART to the computer should give very good results. Whether that is better or worse that S/PDIF from the turntable to the ART depends on how the Analog to Digital Converter (ADC) in the turntable compares with the ADC in the ART.

OK, so I concluded it is NOT an Audacity issue. It is an issue with something else such as my Mobo or the devices. Audacity WILL record from this device if the input to it is analog. The device gets no signal on the digital inputs and so Audacity DOES record what the device sends, and it just happens to be silence. I’ll try to figure out how to close this thread, but the final conclusion is:

Audacity works just fine with this ART USB Phono Plus.

I’m guessing the Sound Blaster Extigy USB could be a problem.

Spdif connections can be a bit weird. When manufacturers follow the book, they derive clock from the header. Some devices don’t send a complete header, others insert the wrong clock frequency. That’s why most devices try to derive clock from the data. The only device I know that uses the header, is the Sony D50 recorder. And that’s a real stubborn one.

I’ve had two different Sound Blaster Extigy USB’s here some years ago. Both showed a very badly aligned clock. When combined with other devices that more or less follow the book, they will not sync as they are unable to extract a clock signal because it is too far from the default values.

You could try setting both devices to 48 KHz, 16 bit if possible. That usually works and the clock difference should be minimal. Some spdifs can only do 48 KHz, despite mentioning other possibilities in the manual.

As to the 9VAC: some interfaces need an AC input, because it’s easier/cheaper to transform AC. And they need to transform to 48 V phantom power for the mic inputs.

Your ART doesn’t have mic inputs, hence no phantom power. Maybe it’s just sharing the design with the ART USB mic pre? Or maybe a higher voltage is needed for something else?

An AC adapter should be cheaper/simpler than a DC one. But since they are rare, they can be pricey…

I can’t see where to mark this thread as “solved”. But it is solved. Audacity sees the USB input and records perfectly well. Although my problem of trying to record from the S/PDIF of the device is not solved, the problem is not with Audacity. So, if someone can show me how to mark this as solved I will mark it. :slight_smile:

I have done that for you and locked the thread.