my vinyl recordings sound bad

Hi all!
I am playing vinyl records on a Technics SL1210 MK2 / ortofon 2M cartridge / Art pre II preamp going into Focusrite Saffire LE line in. When playing the records, they sound fine.
However, when recording them with Audacity 2.0.2 (mac OS X 10.8), with levels correctly adjusted in preamp / audio interface / audacity, and audacity quality preferences :
44100 / 32 bit float / high quality everywhere, the result is baaaad. Not horrible, but definitely worse : slightly distorted, lack of bass, backgroung noise volume higher
than original… I have tried different settings in audacity “preferences”, but it sounds about the same shit…
Any idea what could be the problem ?

Audacity 2.0.2 is legacy now so you should upgrade at , though it won’t be relevant to your problem.

If your Mac only has a combined audio input and output, that is not suitable. Buy a USB interface with a line-in input like one of these: .

Also navigate Apple Menu > System Preferences > Sound. Choose the “Input” tab and ensure that any “Use ambient noise reduction” control is unchecked (not ticked). You may have to select the built-in internal microphone to make this checkbox visible.

Attach a short WAV sample of the problem if you are still concerned. Please see for how to provide this.