Possible to boost bass on turntable input?

Hi, all. First post. Got a Jensen JTA-230 USB turntable recently and have tried to rip some songs from vinyl via Audacity (current version for Windows on a Win 7 laptop). Ripping process goes well and I’ve figured out how to adjust input level via Windows. However, the resulting MP3 recordings are extremely tinny sounding - very little bass. Is this just a limitation of the turntable? Is there a way to compensate in Audacity - to boost the bass during recording? Thanks.

Make sure you record from the USB input device. I don’t know that turntable but if you were recording from red and white cables into an audio input it is possible that there would be no RIAA playback equalization, which would make the result sound tinny.

No you can’t boost bass during recording unless the turntable has Bass and Treble controls.

MP3 will discard treble and some bass - that is how it makes the file size small. Consider exporting to WAV if you think the MP3 sounds tinny but the recording sounds OK in Audacity.

If you want to boost bass after recording, try Effect > Bass and Treble….


Thanks, Gale. Yes, I am using the USB input. I’ll try the bass/treble adjust after recording - thanks!

Your turntable may have a [u]ceramic cartridge[/u]. Better turntables will have a magnetic cartridge.

Ceramic cartridges are actually known lack of highs rather than lack of bass, but they may have over-compensated, or the analog-to-digital converter (ADC) may have the wrong input impedance. If you “load” a ceramic cartridge with too-low of an impedance, you’ll kill the bass. …So, I’m thinking it’s just a poor design. :frowning:

Knowzy.com (the same ceramic cartridge page linked above) has reviews and recommendations for USB turntables. He doesn’t list your particular model, but the two Jensen models reviewed do have a “ceramic cartridge warning”.

Then I found this review on [u]Amazon[/u]:

The USB output, RCA line level output, and headphone jack all work fine, > but sounds tinny and lacking in bass, > so playing it through larger speakers really doesn’t improve the sound quality that much compared to the small built-in speakers. Even if you try to boost the bass using an equalizer, it still won’t sound hi-fi. So the JTA-230 is best used as a tiny, inexpensive, self-contained record player. It’s a good beginner turntable for kids or for “crate digging” but won’t be good enough to be your primary turntable for serious listening.

You can’t simply upgrade to a magnetic cartridge because a magnet cartridge requires a preamp which would have to be wired in-between the cartridge and ADC, and the mounting for ceramic cartridges isn’t standardized. (And, you could get noise or other problems with that kind of modification.)

Thanks! Appreciate the research. So, I guess my last question is whether Audacity’s bass/treble boost can really do anything if there’s not much bass to start with?

I guess my last question is whether Audacity’s bass/treble boost can really do anything if there’s not much bass to start with?

Yes, It should help. Give it a try!!! You can also try the [u]Equalization Effect[/u] for more precise adjustment of various frequency bands. But, the results may not be as good as starting-out with a good recording.

I usually recommend the Graphic Equalizer mode rather than the Draw Curves mode if you are experimenting with Equalization.

After adjusting the bass/treble or EQ (or any effect that can affect volume) it’s a good idea to run the Amplify effect to make sure the peaks are 0dB or less before exporting to WAV or MP3. Audacity itself can safely go over 0dB, but many formats (as well as your ADC & DAC) are hard-limited to 0dB. So, if you try to go over 0dB, you can get clipping (flat-top distorted waves).

Boosting the bass will also boost any power-line hum present in the signal. You may be able to reduce that with Noise Removal or with a notch filter. But again, it may not be as good as starting-out with a good recording.

Thank you! Appreciate the primer.

It can’t put in bass frequencies that are completely absent, but if the bass is just a bit weak then either the “Bass and Treble” effect or the “Equalization” effect will be able to boost the bass that is present.

Thanks, Steve. There is some bass there, so something to salvage.