Asking for a friend. He wants to connect a turntable to his Bartok HA but he wants as few boxes as possible. Without having a clue(technically) I suggested a turntable with USB output. Would this work with the Bartok? Would he have to worry about USB compatibility. Surprisingly when I searched here I found nothing about this.
To play via Bartok your friend needs a phonostage with a built in ADC ( Analogue to Digital Converter). A turntable with USB output will provide this as you suggest. However these are only available for entry level vinyl replay and IMO will be out of the league of Bartok ( I assume a commensurate system) and I could predict dissatisfaction.
Frankly, I would forget the Bartok. It really has no particular place in this. Keep it analogue. You can then use a good quality turntable and phonostage and get rid of the complication of finding an ADC or phonostage incorporating one.
You will need to have some idea of available budget though.
I would agree if there was a “commensurate system” but the Bartok is a one box solution for headphone use. A quick look shows USB turntables available from Audio
Technica, Dual, and Thorens. While these devices are not capable of competing with TOTL exotic brands one would hope that these brands have not deteriorated to junk in the years past when I used vinyl.
Not junk at all but entry level in the context of a Bartok based system. However you know your friend’s tastes and needs so you probably also know the answer to your question.
TEAC TN-4D-O fitted with Sumiko Qyster MM-cartridge
Audio Technica AT-LP120XUSB fitted with AT-95ME MM-cartridge
Both might be upgraded by choosing a different MM-cartridge (e.g. Ortofon 2Red).
Check for reliable tests. It remains to be heard, how much entry level these USB turntables really are.
I have used a project optical box which is an MM phonostage and an ADC with optical output to connect various turntables to my Rossini dac . It works surprisingly well and costs less than a £100. I have used with a Technics SL7 , Technics 1500c and an Audio Technica Sound burger .
They also have a usb out version for archiving vinyl .
NAD makes a phono pre amp with a USB output. https://nadelectronics.com/product/pp-4-digital-phono-usb-preamplifier/
Review with measurements can be found here:
NAD PP 4 Review (Digital Phono Stage) | Audio Science Review (ASR) Forum
Good morning all,
I think Phil has already mentioned this before - but if you can track one down the old PS Audio New Wave Phono Converter was a fantastic phono preamp/ADC with all the bells and whistles required for just about any cartridge. I remember them being fine with even relatively low output MC cartridges like Ortofon’s Windfeld (nominally.0.3mV) with relatively low hiss. They included a SP-DIF output so can easily be connected to the Bartók.
Whilst I agree with @PAR that the ideal way would be to avoid the extra steps, the PS Audio would be (in my humble opinion) one of the best ways to feed a high quality TT through one of our DACs when the need arises.
Please be aware that these (and turntables that have direct USB outputs) cannot be used with a Bartok / Rossini / Vivaldi.
Just because they have a USB connection that doesn’t mean that they’ll work with anything else that has a USB connection - typically these devices expect a full USB host device at “the other end” that has support for external audio devices.
The USB “A” connector on the rear of our products is for the connection of USB flashdrives / USB pendrives (generically they are categorised as “USB Mass Storage Devices”) only and will not support the connection of a turntable via USB.
There are phono stages that have S/PDIF outputs (as noted by Ali above) and they can be used but realistically it depends where you want to be in the audiophile “tree” …
Last year I “temporarily” hooked up my best friends LP12 (roughly £6k worth) to a Bartok by taking the output from his phono stage (another £1k or so) into an £18 Amazon ADC (we could get it delivered the same day so it was an easy temporary fix to just get it working as a “proof of concept”) and it’s still in use now - he says it sounds absolutely fine to him and that as long as he doesn’t look behind his setup he can ignore that there’s a non-credible bit of kit there in the chain…
I’ve used this unit too and you are correct - it does work very well for the money.
The only two downsides seem to be that it can be a little hard to find nowadays - it seems to go in and out of stock quite a bit - and it is, as you say, MM only. Otherwise it’s a quite capable bit of kit.