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Samples from USB Turntables: Stanton T.92 USB
Knowzy
post Aug 2 2010, 02:57
Post #1





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Posts: 128
Joined: 15-July 08
Member No.: 55856



Turntable Details
Stanton T.92 USB
Street Price: $300 (US)
Moving Magnet Cartridge
Direct Drive
Manual
Wow and Flutter: <0.15%
S/N: >65dB
Platter: Aluminum
Tracking force: 5g (Still not enough, details in this thread)
More in turntable guide


Photos







The Sample Clips
For background on the clips, see the "Preparation" thread.

All samples are FLAC and under 30 seconds.

Music
  • CD LP Peg, Steely Dan, Aja
  • CD LP On the Run, Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon
  • CD LP A Little Bit of Riddim, Michael Franti and Spearhead, All Rebel Rockers
  • CD LP Dum Diddly, The Black Eyed Peas, Monkey Business
  • CD LP Rhiannon, Fleetwood Mac, Self-titled Album (Dusty, scratched and skipping album)

Test Tracks
  • LP Motor running, no record, tonearm at rest
  • LP Ultimate Analogue Test LP, Side A
  • LP Ultimate Analogue Test LP, Side B
  • LP Hi-Fi News (HFN002) Test LP, Side A
  • LP Hi-Fi News (HFN002) Test LP, Side B
  • LP Silent Groove, Ultimate Analogue Test LP, Side B, Track 6

Different Signal Paths
  • LP Line Out, Peg, Steely Dan
  • LP Phono Out, through pre-amp in Denon AVR-2801 receiver, Peg, Steely Dan
  • LP Line Out, Dum Diddly, Black Eyed Peas
  • LP Phono Out, through pre-amp in Denon AVR-2801 receiver, Dum Diddly, Black Eyed Peas

T.92 USB vs. AT-LP2D-USB (Normalized Samples)
  • LP Stanton T.92, Peg, Steely Dan
  • LP Audio-Technica AT-LP2D-USB, Peg, Steely Dan
  • LP Stanton T.92, Dum Diddly, Black Eyed Peas
  • LP Audio-Technica AT-LP2D-USB, Dum Diddly, Black Eyed Peas




Musings
I had high expectations for the Stanton T.92 USB. It is superior to the turntables I've been testing in so many ways. But listening to the samples, I cannot tell the Stanton from the $100 Audio-Technica. Yes, I ABX'ed this claim.

I think the 500.v3 cartridge is keeping this turntable from truly shining.

Let me count the ways the Stanton is a better USB turntable than the previous four $100 turntables:
  • Heavy metal plinth, aluminum platter. It weighs in at 19 pounds, it is metal in body and platter. The other turntables are all plastic all around, with the exception of the Audio-Technica, which has an aluminum platter.
  • Spins at 33.3 RPM. The other turntables all spun fast, up to 34.4 RPM. The Stanton's direct drive motor spins at the proper speed and it has strobe dots to prove it.
  • Anti-skate + counterbalance = upgradable cartridge. The other turntables were a take it or leave it proposition. The T.92's cartridge is upgradable and that's exactly what I'm going to have to do to see if it can redeem itself!
  • S/PDIF Out. Stanton is one of the few manufacturers to make turntables with a coax S/PDIF digital output.

Despite all it has going for it, the Stanton sounds closed off at the high frequencies. I also had to use 5 grams of VTF (the top end for the 500v3 cart) and I still had trouble getting its spherical tip tracking properly.

Before singling out the cartridge for the lackluster sound, I eliminated the A/D converter and the pre-amp as the problem components. Hear the samples above.

IMO, the Stanton is no comparison to the two ceramic cart turntables. The Ion TTUSB05's sounds more opened up on the top end but the equalization just sounds goofy compared to CD.

But the AT, a plastic-bodied, budget turntable with an AT3600L cartridge is a pretty good contender to the Stanton T.92. I will definitely return with a better cartridge for the T.92 to see what difference it makes.

Another issue- the gain is set very low on the T.92. Perhaps it's done purposely to avoid clipping amidst DJ'ing acrobatics and among wild DJ cartridge designs.

Unfortunately, like nearly every other USB turntable on the market, the gain is not adjustable. Normalization is a must after transcribing with the T.92.

When I first cracked open the box, I felt like I had my first real turntable. While that may have been true, reality has shown me that it takes more than a solid plinth, a robust, steady motor and anti-skate adjustment to make music that truly stands out from its lesser brethren. It takes a good cartridge to complete the package.



ABX Results
ABC/HR Version 1.0, 6 May 2004
Testname: Stanton vs AT

1R = Steely_Dan-Peg_(Audio_Technica_AT-LP2D-USB_Turntable-Normalized).wav

ABX Results:
Original vs Steely_Dan-Peg_(Audio_Technica_AT-LP2D-USB_Turntable-Normalized).wav
11 out of 16, pval = 0.105


----------------------------


ABC/HR Version 1.0, 6 May 2004
Testname: Stanton vs AT - Black Eyed Peas

1R = The_Black_Eyed_Peas-Dum_Diddly_(Audio-Technica_AT-LP2D-USB_Turntable-Normalized).wav

ABX Results:
Original vs The_Black_Eyed_Peas-Dum_Diddly_(Audio-Technica_AT-LP2D-USB_Turntable-Normalized).wav
9 out of 16, pval = 0.402

This post has been edited by Knowzy: Aug 2 2010, 03:15
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