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Music Hall USB-1 Turntable

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I am thinking of picking up a second turntable.  Before the Vinyl purists yell blasphemy over the request for info on a USB model hear me out.  I have a very nice Technics with KAB mods on a speaker system which is quite nice in a downstairs listening room.  No issues with that set up.  And because of it, I am hooked on vinyl and have a rather large record collection.


However I have a separate study which houses my modest computer rig.  And for what it is I quite like it- iMac-> Headroom Desktop Amp/ DAC -> (headphones or...) Trends Speaker Amp - Orbs.  So obviously going super high end on a table would be wasted on this setup, even though it sounds very nice for my needs.  My thought with the Husic Hall USB-1 is that it could pull double duty.  I could get some hard to find vinyl onto my computer, but also have a nice turntable to listen to as well- as I spend most of my home time in the study.


I think this is a newer model so not much out there on it, but I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on it.  What is to be expected from lower end Music Halls these days?  Also I would probably be using it mostly with headphones thru the Headroom Amp.

Edited by Pangaea - 7/18/10 at 10:28am
post #2 of 5
Thread Starter 

Here is a link... http://www.needledoctor.com/Music-Hall-USB-1-Turntable?sc=2&category=12798


Also considering this package (Denon DP300F with 2M Red Packagefrom Needledoctor, which would obviously require some additional hardware to get vinyl onto my computer but I am interested in the automatic function.



Edited by Pangaea - 7/18/10 at 10:42am
post #3 of 5

I have a Music Hall MMF 2.2.  I think it is a nice starter turntable and filled the niche I needed it to fill as my first TT.  I was puzzled at first by the sound I got from the stock cartridge and upgraded to the Grado Gold 1.  Now I am pleased as punch.  It sounds really nice, not superb, but nice.  makes me want more.  I don't know if this will help make your decision or not, but I wanted to weigh in on the cartridge issue and urge you to get the Ortofon package if you get it.  The stock needle will make you cry.  As far as USB goes, I totally dig it.  If you are interested in editing the files after recording, then go for it.  But I think it is alot of work.  My phono amp has USB out and I have messed around with it a little.  Nice if you have the time and energy to do it.  Good luck!


PS- those are two different turntables I now see, but the principle is the same about the needle.  Don't go stock.

Edited by MisterMoJo - 7/18/10 at 1:02pm
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the response.  Yes, not sure how much actual recording I will do from vinyl to digital, but it is nice to have the option.  As far as the cart I have read different things.  On the Denon, it seems you would have to go with the Ortofon upgrade as the stock cart is rubbish. However as far as the Music Hall TT goes, I think the AT cart is actually worth keeping- especially with all the upgrade needle options for that particular cart.  In particular I was eyeing the Shibata http://www.turntableneedles.com/Needle-211-D-shibata_p_3718.html  I have even read that AT is a better cart overall than the Ortofons, however I am sure that is debatable especially among the many types.

post #5 of 5

Just wanted to toss in my 2 cents here...


Audio Technica cartridges have a different sound than Ortofons, but I can't really say one is better than the other.  With an AT, expect a sound with a strong emphasis on high end details.  A brighter listen, so to speak.  If that's what you enjoy, then it's not a bad thing at all.


As far as that Shibata needle...  I would skip that one, because it's not a Nude diamond.  Nude refers to a stylus that is a pure diamond - not a metal shank with a diamond tip glued to it.  The reason why nude diamonds are better comes down to the mass of the tip - a "tipped" or "bonded type" diamond is going to be heavier as it sits in the groove, so therefore it will be less responsive when it comes to resolving fine details.  The nude also lasts longer, in theory. 


Generally USB turntables are very convenient - I agree.  However, many agree that they are engineered to meet a certain price point, rather than be representative of best quality sound.  Music Hall makes some great decks, and I think you might be far happier with a non-USB deck, and a decent USB audio interface with phono preamp.  Although truthfully, I've always felt that there's something special which is usually lost in vinyl-to-digital transcription.  If you have the right cartridge and have it setup properly, you're not going to wear out your vinyl even with repeated use.  Might be worth just enjoying the vinyl.







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