Regular readers will recall (and the rest of you can read this) that in the summer of ’05 I put out the long dollar for Teac’s GF-350 compact stereo system, which contained a CD recorder and a three-speed turntable. It produced decent, if not inspiring, CD versions of beloved (and merely tolerated) LPs, which at the time I attributed to the use of a ceramic phono cartridge, which can’t compensate especially well for the RIAA equalization baked into the grooves: recordings were bass-shy and a bit peaky at the top end.
Fixing the EQ after the fact is not especially difficult, but I kept wondering: maybe if I bypassed Teac’s own record player and used my own, I’d get better results. Today I tried exactly that, connecting my trusty Onkyo direct-drive turntable with Pickering XV-15/750E cartridge to the Teac’s AUX jacks by way of a preamp from these guys. After recording six LP tracks, none newer than the early 1980s, I am persuaded that I was correct, although it’s hard to tell the difference through the GF-350’s own speakers, which have their own limitations.
There is one downside: when using the AUX input, the automatic track-increment gizmo does not work. This is no particular problem, since my standard practice is to rip the CDs produced on the machine on the desktop PC and twiddle the resulting .wav file as needed; I can break it up myself, or mark the track breaks when I burn a fresh CD with Nero.
Still, it’s possible to eliminate one additional step: connect the output of the phono preamp to the line input of the PC’s sound card. And if I could find the line input of this box’s integrated audio, I would. (Actually, I know where it is, but I’m lacking in AC outlets on that side of the room, and I am loath to go buy a 20-socket power strip.)