Tinny sound on ripped LPs - First project

Hello all,

I’m brand new to Audacity and the forum - thanks for your tolerance of any rookie mistakes or forum gaffes.

I have 2.0.1 running on Win 7 Pro. I’m using an ART USB Phono Plus Project Series for phono preamp and A-to-D conversion from my turntable.

After playing making some test recordings, and following the LP tutorial pretty closely, I think I have the process roughly figured out.

The tracks will be played back through a stereo using an iPod - PC is only a laptop without external speakers or connection to the stereo. I have a Kensington iPod dock (gonna get a Pure i20 shortly), but it’s 500 miles away at the moment. For the moment, I’m stuck with putting the songs on my iPod and using the front panel Aux-In jack on the stereo receiver here.

The newly recorded tracks are not very loud, but so is everything on the iPod. I’m not too worried about that, suspect it’s just a slight gain mismatch between the Aux-in and the iPod headphone jack.

GETTING TO THE POINT - the real question is that the newly recorded tracks sound tinny - all treble, no bass. That’s not the case with existing MP3 or AAC tracks on the iPod that were either bought directly or ripped from CD. Am I getting wadded up in the RIAA equalization (perhaps not getting done in the preamp in the ART device)? Or could it be something else.

I did run the low-pass filter to clear any rumble, but it was set for a 20Hz rolloff. Seems like that shouldn’t be the problem?

Tinny and low volume is the exact description of music if you play a vinyl record “flat” without any RIAA compensation.

Bass notes will not fit in a vinyl groove, so they are reduced before pressing the disk. It’s your job to put them back which is exactly what the Phono Preamp with RIAA does.


The ART USB Phono Plus Project has a button labelled INPUT with two settings PHONO and LINE

You need to have this set to PHONO for the signal to be passed through the RIAA Eq processing.


Are you sure that’s what you did?

Perhaps somewhat counter intuitively you need to run a high-pass filter to remove the low frequency rumble (the frequencies higher than the filter cut off pass through untouched).

Try a high pass with a cut off around 25hz; that should do the job.

I said that wrong. Yes, it was a high-pass filter.

While this one song is indeed a little thinner than the LP itself, the important thing is that the recording on the LP is also very weak in the bass frequencies. After the original post, I recorded several songs from different albums. The other songs sound pretty good, for a first attempt.

Work travel intervenes at the moment, but next week I’m going to do some comparisons using an LP with which I am VERY familiar.
1-LP itself
2-MP3 192 ripped from commercially released CD of the same album as the LP
3-MP3 320 recorded from the LP and exported with Audacity
4-ALAC recorded from the LP, exported to WAV with Audacity, and converted to ALAC with dbPowerAmp
5-WAV recorded from the LP and exported with Audacity

I would also play the CD itself, but it’s 500 miles from here at the moment.

Anyway, these five options should give me a pretty good reading on the question.

When I started out on my LP transcriptions a while back I did some careful listening test as you describe (on good quality hif speakers and studio cans).

At the time I only had a 30 gig iPod so I settled on 192 as good compromise between audio quality and disk space occupancy.

I could clearly hear the degradation at 128, barely perceptible at 192 and not perceptible (to my now ageing ears) at 256.

Now that I have 1 160 gig iPod I use 256 (AAC now rather than MP3) - my son who is a purist insists on 320, but note that his iPod is well overfull :slight_smile:

I still use 128 for spoken-word material which lives on my old 30 gig iPod.

I also retain my WAV files, partly for backup, but also against a future time when iPods ior similar extend to 1TB storage devices.