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HRT Linestreamer+ , hows does it compare?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Does anybody know how good the HRT Linestreamer+ sounds for converting stereo, unbalanced audio to digital?


Primarily I would use it with my Musical Fidelity V-LPS for vinyl digitizing.

I've looked at other products from Benchmark, Apogee, Behringer, Motu, Lynx, Prism, Weiss, Lavry, Forssell, Emu, etc.


I could be overlooking, but most of the above manufacturers don't seem offer a well-priced, simple solution for capturing 2-channel unbalanced line-level.

The HRT Linestreamer+ is asynchronous USB.  The HRT costs $350, the upper end of my budget.

If I were to use USB at all, I expect that asynchronous would be necessary to prevent jitter (not sure about this, but I am wary.)

Firewire opens to the door to many products, but I can't seem to find any products that are simple like the HRT Linestreamer+.

Optical seems like it would open the door to jitter problems, so I believe I shall forgo any optical solution.

I would be open to an internal PCI or PCI-E solution for the desktop PC, but I would prefer an outboard solution.  It seems that most PCI or PCI-E cards have far more features than I want.  I would also like to keep the device away from the RFI/EMI of the computer.


Does anybody know how good the HRT Linestreamer+ is?  I like its simplicity, the fact it uses asynchronous USB, and that it is barely within the budget.  With HRT Linestreamer+, I could easily hack up a USB cable to connect a dedicated 5V power supply, even the 5V rail off my computer PSU is very clean.


Any advice is appreciated, thank you!



post #2 of 12

I'd like to know as well. 


FWIW, Kevin Halverson @ HRT emailed me a review of the LineStreamer+ from the March issue of HiFi & Musik, but it's in Swedish.  It appears that the magazine may have compared it to a Tascam product. 

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Dave WV View Post

I'd like to know as well. 


FWIW, Kevin Halverson @ HRT emailed me a review of the LineStreamer+ from the March issue of HiFi & Musik, but it's in Swedish.  It appears that the magazine may have compared it to a Tascam product. 

Cool, do you have a link for that?  I'd like to see how it reads with Google Translate.  Thanks

post #4 of 12
Originally Posted by headfinoob View Post

Cool, do you have a link for that?  I'd like to see how it reads with Google Translate.  Thanks

The website for the magazine is http://www.hifi-musik.se/ .  But I don't know how to locate the article on it.  I was emailed a PDF of the article by HRT after an email inquiry to the contact information on the HRT website.  They also sent me an "rough" translation (probably from Google) but it wasn't that helpful.  




post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

Well, I looked at the review.  It is brief, but favorable.  I guess this product is too new for to get much user feedback about it.  I may end up purchasing it if I'm feeling lucky.  $350 isn't a small amount of change to take a gamble with though.

Does anybody have general thoughts of HRT?  They do seem to provide good products at a good price.  My buddy got an HRT MusicStreamer II that I like.


The HRT Linestreamer+ should be very simple operation.  I doubt that the Musical Fidelity V-LPS could clip the inputs of the Linestreamer+, so it should be very simple to use.  Plug and record, right?

I really don't like the idea of paying for extra features like DAC, optical, coax digital, gain knob, power supply, software, etc.

The Linestreamer+ seems to fit the bill perfectly, I just wonder at its performance for the cost.

post #6 of 12

Hi there


I've been looking at the Linestreamer too for the exact same purpose. The closest I have come to it was the Firestone Fubar IO MKII, but that's a DAC too and only 16 / 96. Like you, I simply want a good quality ADC so don't want a chunk of the money going on other chips.

The Linestreamer isn't cheap but I've just invested in a new cart and phono stage for my vinyl project, so I want to get this bit right. Not sure if I need to go all the way up to 24/96 though because I'll soon run out of disc space for the files!


I was previously using Project's 'USB Box' stage/ADC combo and to be honest the results weren't bad as it sounds brightly detailed and nice and open. Really interested in what I'll get for the extra investment in the HRT Linestreamer+.

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

I figure that 24/96 is generally ideal.  In terms of the storage cost and time/labor of re-ripping if you decide you want to step up the bitrate in the future, I think it would be wise to just do 24/96 the first time. 

The way I look at it, I can't afford to purchase low-quality gear anymore.  The evil mini-me on my shoulder keeps telling me to step into something nicer.  Then I end up selling my old gear for much less than I paid for it.

I think the Linestreamer+ is adequate.  I certainly don't want to spend any more than $350, that is for sure.  Although I could certainly be overlooking other similar/competing products, I can't seem to find anything that offers just unbalanced stereo ADC in a simple package.

I'm not sure that $350 really even gets into the realm of diminishing returns too much when it comes to ADC.  Everywhere I turn, ADC seems pretty expensive.

I usually like to keep system components separate if possible.  I like to be able to swap out different pieces if I feel like one of the pieces doesn't perform.

post #8 of 12

Ha! i think we have the same devil on our shoulders!


$350 is about what I want to pay for a good quality ADC, but without any competition at this price bracket I'm worried that we are paying over the odds for this item....   that said, I think my mini-me has his credit card out already...


Have you ordered yours yet?


post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

I haven't, gotta wait until after tax time.

Yeah, I wonder the same thing as you in regards to pricing.  I find it odd that there isn't obvious direct competition to the HRT (that I can find).  I think the other HRT gear is fairly priced though.  No doubt pro gear offers good quality, durability, reliability, and consistent results, but all for a price.  It seems that Motu gear in particular is a pretty good value in pro gear, but the used market is probably the only way I could justify most of the Motu stuff.

post #10 of 12
It's been a while and I'm considering this as a Christmas present to myself - any thoughts?
post #11 of 12

So did any of you buy the Linestreamer +?

I'm interested in your reviews

post #12 of 12
Hello! Sorry it's taken so long to respond. I was actually Googling the unit again after reading an article on vinyl digitising. I've had a Linstreamer+ since my original posts above and I absolutely love it. It seems to be overlooked in hifi mags when vinyl recording is discussed, often in favour of the Furutech GT40 all-in-one unit.

Recordings made are crystal clear and I can't hear any hiss / hum / noise when I record 'silent' test files. To be honest, I sort of forget it's there in the recording chain, and you can't say fairer than that! I use it with a Dynavector cart into a Naim Stageline and HiCap, so not mega high end stuff but I'm really happy with the results. I use Vinyl Studio software running on a Mac, which I settled on for its ability to record direct to ALAC and its Discogs integration for fetching track data. The software's sometimes counter-intuitive but has good editing functionality for removing audible scratches or bad hiss/hum (I have a few second hand records that aren't in the best condition).

I had to contact HRT's after sales service once. Turns out the problems was with the USB cable I was using but they were faultless, letting me send the unit back to California for a once-over and then returning it to the UK.

So, I was Googling it to see if I could find any comparative tests with similar units., just to see if there's anything new out there. It still seems to be pretty unique at this price point in the market. Only snag is that it tops out at 24/96, and I wouldn't mind going to 24/192 for those really special favourite albums, but I'm really pleased with the results at 24/96.
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