Distortion record/playback USB Turntable Audacity 2.0.6

I recorded successfully to my HP laptop (windows 8.1. 64 bit operating system) a dozen songs from an old LP using GEMSOUND USB Turntable. I started to record another and got horrible distortion/squeals when recording.I did not do anything different that I am aware of. I thought my dying laptop was the culprit. I recently purchased a new one, downloaded Audacity 2.0.6 again and the same thing is happening. I’ve been through the FAQ’s, forums, etc. and have tried changing a number of settings, using the laptop on battery (i.e. not plugged in to avoid grounding issues), unplugging and replugging in the USB connection, all to no avail. The USB Turntable is recognized in my laptop control panel. Can anyone help me?
Settings I currently have in place:
Preferences:Device:Host:MME, Playback Device: Speaker/HP (Real Tek…), Recording Device:Microphone (USB Audio CODEC), Recording Channels: Mono
Quality: Sampling: 44,100/32 bit float,Real Time Conversion:Sample Rate Converter: High Quality, Dither: None; High Quality Conversion (same as Real Time)
Interface: Meter/Waveform dB Range: -120dB
Playthrough is checked.
Thank you!!!

Go into Windows Control Panel and make there any [u]enhancements[/u] and turned-off.

Recording Device:Microphone (USB Audio CODEC), Recording Channels: Mono

Not related to your problem but that should probably be stereo.

Assuming your turntable has line-level outputs, try connecting it directly to your computer speakers (you’ll need adapter cables) to see if the turntable is working OK.

Also in Windows Control Panel, there should be a Listen To This Device checkbox. That will allow you to listen to the turntable through your computer speakers without running Audacity or any other application. If that sound is OK or not may give you come clues.

I’ll give these a try and get back to you tomorrow. Thanks!

I’m thinking it is my turntable that is malfunctioning. I wasn’t able to find anything on my computer related to “enhancements” and my computer speakers are internal (I don’t have external speakers), but I tried the sound test with the turntable and couldn’t get any sound. I then tried recording something with Audacity via an external USB microphone and there was no distortion. Thank you for your help.

The usual cause of squealing or white noise is the USB cable or headshell. If you are connecting to the computer with the USB cable, try a new USB cable and make sure both ends are tight.

If the cartridge/headshell is removable from the tonearm, remove it and reseat it tightly and securely.

Then restart Audacity. In Device Toolbar make sure you choose the USB Audio CODEC for recording and your built-in speakers for playback.