Vinyl is waaay too LOUD!!!

I have a Technics 1200 turntable >> ART USB Phono Plus pre-amp >> USB port on a Dell D6XX laptop with Windows 7.
The ART pre-amp came with Audacity software which I installed successfully, version 2.0.5

When I play a record, not only is the volume completely LOUD thru the headphones plugged into the laptop,
but the recording meter is totally in the red when I’m monitoring.
I THINK I’ve turned down all volume controls; Mic, speakers, system speakers, gain and monitor controls on pre-amp, etc, and it’s still just beyond loud.

Is there a volume control maxed out somewhere I’m not seeing?

Any clues?
If this has been asked before please lead me in the right direction.

See here:

Also, the current version of Audacity is 2.1.0 which you can get here:

Those settings are correct and I configured the Mic per those instructions,
and its still beyond the red.

I know Technics made several versions of the 1200. By any chance does yours have a built-in preamp (i.e. line-level outputs)? If so, there should be a switch to bypass the turntable’s preamp or you can switch the ART interface from phono to line.

Going through two phono preamps would give you a very distorted signal (about 100 times too much amplification) and the double RIAA equalization would give you mostly bass.

No built in preamp.
Not sure what’s going on but it looks like a Windows 7 thing.

Turn down the recording level in the Windows Sound Control Panel in the Recording tab. (Right click on the USB device and select “Properties”, and then “Levels”)

If you have multiple USB ports, sometimes the ports on one side can be quieter than the other side.


All ports just as loud.
Anyone know if using a different Windows version might work?
For some reason either Windows 7 or Audacity is reading the USB input as a Microphone.

Audacity just takes the signal it gets, it would be the same if you used Windows Sound Recorder.

Did you try adjusting the USB level in Windows Sound? I doubt ART’s instructions will help. Doing those steps for all the USB devices I have actually moves the Windows volume slider for the device, and I can do that without those steps.

Windows XP probably does not have this issue, but there are big security downsides with using XP. I have not seen many people complaining about “hot” USB ports on Windows 8/8.1 but those versions don’t have as many users as Windows 7. I guess you could experiment with Windows 10 Preview if you installed it in its own partition. Windows 10 will be a free upgrade to Windows 7 SP1.

Does your computer have a stereo line-in separate from the mic input? If so you could take the line out of the Phono Plus.