Bass Boost Flustered!

I’m an audiophile but fairly new to digitizing old records. Obviously the bottom end falls out of digitized vinyl, so I was wondering about the Bass Boost. In terms of the Frequency (Hz) and Boost (dB), what is a safe amount I can enter in to bring up the low end and not distort or mess with the other frequencies? I’m only looking for consistency and a little improvement, I don’t have crazy subwoofers or anything like that. Most of the stuff I digitize is weird 60’s-70’s instrumentals and soundtracks.

How are you playing your vinyl to record it? From what you say it sounds like you are plugging a record deck into ports in an amplifier (or direct to soundcard/PC) that are not designed for handling record decks. Such input ports on preamps/amps/receivers are normaly labelled “phono”.

Now this is important - because when LP masters are cut a thing called RIAA equalisation is applied to them to reduce the bass. This is done to prevent large excursions of the stylus when loud bass sections are encountered on playback. This RIAA equalisation is re-applied on playback, but only if you plug into a “Phono” socket where the necessary circuitry is supplied to reapply the RIAA equalisation. If you plug a record deck into a socket labeld “Aux” or “Tape” then you won’t get the RIAA equalisation and the track will sound thin.


It’s a kind of cheap setup right now. I’m using an Imic as my preamp, and recording in to Final Vinyl. I’m fairly happy with the results, I was just trying to bump up the low end when I take the AIFF into Audacity.

The iMic is not as far as I understand a pre-amp, it is an external sound card. And also AFIK the iMic doesn’t do the RIAA equalisation in hardware (Though I dio remember remours from the previous Audacity forum - unfortunately all those posts are lost now - that the iMic might have software to do the RIAA).

However even if that is the case - it is still much better to do the RIAA in hardware with an ampor preamp before sending the signal to the iMic. I would look on eBay for a cheap amp/preamp, but do make sure it has a phono input.


I plug my Technics turntable straight into this:

And plug that into my Line In. It sounds just right.

There’s no reason the bottom end should be missing from your vinyl recordings if you use a proper setup. On top of that, you can’t boost something that isn’t there, so using the Bass boost without a proper recording will only muddy things up.

Get your recordings setup properly and you shouldn’t need a bass boost.

Also, isn’t “audiophile” an insult? I use it as one :wink:

I just bought an Ion turntable with usb out for direct recording. Since I’m bypassing the rca-phono-preamp connection (and therefore RIAA hardware bass boost) how can I get a good recording? Are you saying that its lost via usb? How disappointing.

I did just notice a RIAA filter setting in the equalization filter, but as mentioned above - if it ain’t getting to disk in the first place, post filtering just makes it muddy.

O hill


You’ll have to look at what the instructions for the turntable say to do? Do they mention using software to filter the audio after recording? If they don’t, then the turntable probably does it’s own RIAA filtering.


the ION has a preamp stage and applies the RIAA equalisation for you.

The main problem with the ION deck is the lightweight platic platter, which can lead to sometimes noticeable wow & flutter. You would notice this a lot on classical solo piano music - but you’d have to have good ears to hear it on rock music. Otherwise the ION “does what it says on the tin” and makes a reasonable job of vinyl conversion. I used to use an ION, but now use a better older deck with a pramp and an external soundcard - and I have only bothered to go back and re-record a very few of the albums I had already digitized where the wow&fluutter was noticeable.



Thanks for the answers. Haven’t noticed any W&F, but will listen harder (i’m using a newer Ion iTTUSB050). I still find the frequency of output to be “tinny” compared to mp3’d CDs. I could experiment with the line out RCA into sound card, but y-ing down to 1/8" stereo is so kludgy. I’ll probably make an EQ curve to correct the USB files.


O Hill