Can any turntable use Audacity?

Good morning Group,

I have just over 100 old vinyl albums that I wish to convert to cd. My kids recently bought me a Base Turntable System; it’s just a cheapie (my kids don’t know about music ‘quality’ yet!). The quality out of the Base unit is pretty bad actually; it’s very ‘tinny’. But that’s not the worst of it. The problem is the driven speed of the turntable! Supposed to be 33(1/3) rpm … but I’m sure it’s playing at about 30! Most of my records are sounding like all the artists were drunk when they recorded their albums!
My question is, can I use a different turntable? Is the decoding performed by the Audacity software now loaded on my computer, or can I only use a turntable that has a usb jack on-board?
I have an old (but it’s a goodie! :astonished:) JVC turntable, but it’s cable output is just 2-stereo RCA plugs. I’ve never seen one, but is it possible to get just a straight 2 x RCA → USB adapter; or do I have to get a decoder unit as well?

Many thanks

We recommend, strongly, that you use your high quality existing turntable over any convenient modern USB turntable. Behringer makes a very nice Phono Preamp, the UFO202.

Switch it to Phono, be sure and connect the thin black turntable ground lead. Select it in Audacity and start recording. The UCA202 appears as “USB Audio CODEC.” It’s possible the UFO202 does, too. Connect the unit first and then start Audacity.

The UFO202 should fully compensate for the RIAA “tinny sound” process, etc.


It’s a popular application.


There it is.

The older unit is just a preamp. You still need to find a way to get it into your computer. The second unit is USB.


Not always entirely true Koz - there a few higher-end USB turntables out there in the market:

There are a few others too - but you are talking $400 upwards.

Koz’ advice is basically very sound though. I started out my LP transcriptions with a cheapie ION ITT-USB - it was so bad (lightweight platter gave far too much, very noticeable, wow&flutter). I dragged my trusty old Technics SL-150 with its SME-3009 arm out of the attic and gave it good home service. Connected it to a pre-amp and an external USB soundcard to the PC via the USB - with excellent results.

The combined phono preamp and USB soundcard to consider is the ART USB Phono-plus:
as in Koz link - I use the other device in his link the DJ-Pre11 (which is just a preamp, but an excellent and well-built one) - I have it connected to an Edirol UA-1EX (no longer available). The combined ART device wasn’t on the market when I was buying otherwise I would’ve bought it.

Enjoy your vinyl conversion …