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CompleteMartialArts.com - Phono Plus USB Phono Preamp

Phono Plus USB Phono Preamp
List Price: $129.00
Our Price: $64.00
Your Save: $ 65.00 ( 50% )
Availability: N/A
Manufacturer: ART
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5

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Binding: Electronics
Brand: ART
Color: black
EAN: 0840402018216
Feature: The USB PhonoPlus V2 is an ideal low cost interface solution for transferring any analog or digital audio source via USB.
Is Autographed: 0
Is Memorabilia: 0
Label: ART
Manufacturer: ART
Publisher: ART
Special Features: The ART USB Phono Plus V2 phono preamp lets DJs and vinyl enthusiasts digitize their vinyl more easily and effectively than ever. USB connectivity streamlines the connection to your computer, while an RIAA-type preamp boosts the phono signal to line level for connection to analog mixers. The improved ART USB PhonoPlusV features a headphone level control, as well as a three-position switch that allows "pre," "post," and "mix" headphone monitoring. A low-cut switch also helps eliminate rumble and
Studio: ART

Features
The USB PhonoPlus V2 is an ideal low cost interface solution for transferring any analog or digital audio source via USB.

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Editorial Reviews:

The ART USB Phono Plus phono preamp acts as an interface between your computer and a wide variety of analog and digital sources. The analog inputs are switchable between Phono and Line level signals and a low cut filter removes rumble and wind noise...


Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: A great product
Comment: I seldom write reviews for products I purchase, but this little box is just too cool! It's solid. It's compact. Got every feature you need for digitizing albums or tapes. I thought about buying a USB turntable, but if you have an old turntable (I'm using a 25 year old Dual) it's probably better quality than a new USB turntable. I've recorded about 20 albums so far without any problems. I save WAV files which I then burn to CD's using Roxio, I then use iTunes to convert to mp4 for my phone.

The only reason I give 4 stars instead of 5 is because the software that comes with it is a bit cumbersome to use, it does not automatically detect tracks. I gave up manually detecting and saving individual tracks and instead I save a whole album side as a single WAV file. You're supposed to listen to the whole album anyway, right?

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Professional Grade!
Comment: This is much more than a basic phono pre-amp (which is my main purpose).
Hardware quality is excellent. Both the phono and USB output signals are extremely clean.
The adjustable premap with clipping indicator light allows me to get the best possible signal without cutting off any sound. This would be impossible to determine with a more basic preamp.
I am very happy with this product.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Easy To Use, But...
Comment: My goal: to convert vinyl records into CDs.

After looking at the available USB turntables, I realized my old Technics linear tracking turntable is way better than any of them. So the solution for me was to buy a USB interface, which, it turns out, means a USB phono preamp.

I did some comparison shopping before buying the ART Phono Plus 2. There are a couple of similar products. One in particular has good specs. It claims USB 2.0, whereas the Phono Plus 2 only claims USB 1.1.

However, that unit made no claim to having a monitor output, whereas the Phono Plus has quite a nice monitor interface. In particular, it lets you monitor the sound coming right off the preamp. This is necessary if you want to do any manual fading when recording, because the sound coming out the computer speakers has at least a 2 second delay from what's coming off the needle.

The Phono Plus has a screw connection for the phono ground. Neither of the other units mentioned having this. On my turntable, leaving the ground wire floating creates a large amount of 60Hz hum in the output.

Finally, although the ART is the most expensive of the three, almost twice the cost of the second, and three times that of the third, I found absolutely no reviews of any kind of the other two, whereas the ART has been reviewed extensively, both by customers and magazines. And everyone, including me, loves it.

This is a well-built unit, from a durability standpoint, definitely not a cheap piece of junk. Ergonomically, it has some down points, as well as some good ones.

Plusses:
. Monitor allows routing from the preamp, from the USB, or both. (The rationale for the "both" setting is that you will never be playing a record and a digital sound file at the same time, so it allows you to hear either without having to change the switch setting.)
. There is a block diagram of the internal signal routing on the bottom of the unit, which could prove valuable if it is used portably.
. The unit will run off USB power when hooked to a desktop computer. For portable laptop operation, plugging in the A/C power adapter (included) overrides USB power, preventing drain on laptop batteries.

Minuses:
. Gain control has too small a diameter to be easily moved small amounts, like you need to do in the Level Setting Wizard in Spin-It-Again.
. Jacks and ports on the back are labeled either in pine green or purple. All are virtually illegible. I had to use a magnifying glass and a flashlight to see where to hook up my turntable to it.

It's hard to read the Phono/Line and Rumble Filter In/Out labels. But each has a light that lights up when the button is pressed, so at least you can easily tell what state the button is in, even if you can't tell what it means.

I was very surprised that in a unit this expensive, no USB cable was included. It requires the "printer" type, with a square connector on the preamp end and a flat rectangular connector on the computer end.

With my computer powered on, I plugged in the USB cable from the Phono Plus. Lights on the preamp lit up! In a couple of minutes, everything was magically configured. I didn't have to do or install anything.

However, as I discovered later, this process "broke" my computer speakers. No sound would come out of them any more at all, from any source! I had to go into
Settings -> Control Panel -> Sounds and Audio Devices, Audio tab, and change the Default Device back to my on-board sound. Hooking up the Phono Plus had changed this so all sound was routed through the USB back to the preamp! This includes the Windows startup music, and the "beep" that occurs when you hit a wrong key. (I am using Windows XP, the most basic Home Edition.)

When I was comparison shopping, I was unable to find the specs for this unit, even on the manufacturer's web site, so I thought I'd post them here.

Frequency Response: 10Hz - 50kHz, +/- 0.5dB
THD: .01% Typical @ 1kHz
Hum and Noise: >90dB below clipping
Input Impedance: 47k Ohms/100pF (phono); 270k Ohms (line)
Maximum Input Level: 40mVrms @ 1kHz (phono); +19dBu (line)
Maximum Gain: 45dB @1kHz (phono); +6dB (line)
Analog Output Connections: RCA (preamp line output); 1/8" (monitor/headphone output)
Maximum Output Level: +6dBu (1.4Vrms)
Filter Type/Response: Switchable, High Pass, -3dB @ 22Hz
A/D & D/A: 16 bit, 44.1kHz or 48kHz, USB selectable
Digital Audio Interface: TOSLINK in and out; S/PDIF coax (RCA) in
Computer Interface: USB 1.2 compliant, Windows 98SE or newer, Mac OS9.1 or newer
Power Requirements: 7-12VDC or 9-12VAC @ 150mA, or USB bus powered
Dimensions: 1.75"H x 4.2"W x 3.5"D (44.5mm x 107mm x 89mm)
Weight: 1.35 lbs. (0.61kg)
(Note: 0dBu = 0.775Vrms)

Additional spec-type information:
. Uses USB adaptive mode for playback and USB asynchronous mode for record.
. Preamp equalization is RIAA (although no spec or version number is given).
. Although I bought it to use with my turntable, it is also quite possible to digitize cassette tapes with it, using the Line inputs.

It comes with Audacity software on a CD-ROM.

Using the Phono Plus is extremely simple. Basically, hook up the two phono outputs and the phono ground wire. Hook up the USB cable to the computer.

At this point, fire up Spin-It-Again, hit Record A Vinyl LP, put a record on the turntable, and you're converting a record into a CD!


Customer Rating: Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5
Summary: ART USB Phono Plus incompatible with my iMac (Aluminum)
Comment: I tried using the ART USB Phono Plus with a new iMac (Aluminum case), but was unsuccessful. Roughly a third of the way into recording an LP and a terrible hum would develop. It would then be necessary to shut down the iMac in order to get rid of the hum. ART shipped me another unit under warranty, but I continued to have the same problem. I tried various cables, each of the three USB ports on the back of the computer, etc. No luck. I've since purchased the (much higher priced) RME Fireface 400 and have been extremely satisfied by the quality 96kHz/24bit recordings I've made of my better LPs. I've been using Amadeus Pro on the Mac as recording software after finding Audio Hijack Pro extremely buggy at higher sampling rates. For me the Audacity software had a rather cumbersome interface.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Great Product
Comment: I have a large collection of LP's from the 60's-70's-80's and have wanted to be able to convert them to digital for quite some time. I have tried other solutions with poor results. The ART USB Phono plus was easy to use and does a great job of retaining the fidelity of my old LP's. I used it with the Rega planar three turntable that I have had for more than twenty years. I highly recommend this product.


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