ART USB Phono Plus

ART USB Phono Plus

The ART USB Phono Plus phono preamplifier / audio interface is an ideal solution for getting your precious vinyl into your computer. It also does double-duty as an audio interface. You get a high-performance phono preamp with a low cut filter plus a handy selection of of analog and digital I/O. A front-mounted gain knob and a signal/clipping LED let you adjust settings for a broad range of analog sources. This great little device is housed in a rugged, all-aluminum case. If you’ve got records to digitize, the ART USB Phono Plus is for you.

Product Features

  • Easily transfer audio from your vinyl records to your laptop or computerAlso functions as an audio interface between analog and digital sourcesFront mounted gain control and Signal/Clip LEDUSB Phono Plus ships with Sound Saver Express software

2 thoughts on “ART USB Phono Plus

  1. says:

    Unique product, solid build, very versatile. ART deserves some kind of prize for this. 0

  2. Reader 4

    Easy To Use, But… 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 intoSettings -> 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, +/- 0.5dBTHD: .01% Typical @ 1kHzHum and Noise: >90dB below clippingInput 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 @ 22HzA/D & D/A: 16 bit, 44.1kHz or 48kHz, USB selectableDigital Audio Interface: TOSLINK in and out; S/PDIF coax (RCA) inComputer Interface: USB 1.2 compliant, Windows 98SE or newer, Mac OS9.1 or newerPower Requirements: 7-12VDC or 9-12VAC @ 150mA, or USB bus poweredDimensions: 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…

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