Turntable Advice


I’m looking to buy my first digital turntable. I’ve held out so long using my old separates to listen to my vinyl.

I bought an Atom a while ago and listen to my CDs via an external hard drive that I downloaded my collection to years ago, the sound is pretty good and I’ve no complaints.

My hard drive connects to the Atom via USB, I’d like to connect the turntable to the Atom too so can’t use the USB given there’s only the single connection.

What other method would people recommend? Looks like the options are Optical or Bluetooth, does anyone have any other ideas? And perhaps as/more importantly what recommendations do people have for turntables? I’d like an automatic arm and something that broadly matches the Atom in appearance as it will sit beside it, budget up to £500 max to pair with the Atom, Kef LS50’s and a Rel t5i.

Thanks in advance :relaxed:

Digital turntable? I’m confused.

If you mean a turntable that digitises its output, the only input on the Atom that could use this would be SPDIF. (There are two USB inputs on the Atom, front and rear, but that’s no use to you.)
As far as I’m aware turntables tend to use USB as they are aimed at computer users who want to make digital copies. For regular record playing I would just get a regular turntable with a suitable phono stage. Maybe a Rega P2?

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If you really want digital (is there a reason for this? Are you going to connect to a computer to record wav files?)
Pro-ject optical phono box E gives you normal line out plus optical out. It’s £99. The Atom has optical input (plus line input which you could also use). Does your computer have optical input?

Or the rega fono a2d phono stage which has usb output (plus line out) which is easy for connecting to a computer. Can you use the usb input on rear of the atom, and move the hard drive to the front socket? Or just use usb to the computer and line out to the Atom, best of both worlds. £110

Then buy any turntable you fancy.

If you want an automatic arm then look at the pro-ject A1 turntable. £369. Has a built in stage without digital output, but if you still want digital you can disable it and use either pro-ject or rega previously mentioned.

Pro-ject and rega are the de facto choices at that price level.

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Thanks for the reply, you’re absolutely right about front and rear but I didn’t want to use the front one for aesthetics. I’ll be looking to digitise my vinyl collection on the hardrive at some point.

Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough, apologies.

I’m just after something that I can listen to Vinyl on, but will also enable me to download my collection to an external hard drive, currently connected to the rear USB of the Atom.

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In that case, I’d pick the rega fono a2d which allows you to connect to the atom line input to play vinyl, and your computer so you can record to wav and save them in your portable hard drive.
I’d be tempted to stick with rega and get the best with the remaining budget. That would be the planar 2 if you can stretch closer to £600. Or look at ex dem. Audio emotion have a planar 2 low use £310.

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I’ve bucked the trend of Rega/Linn and gone the TEAC route. Their turntables perform exceptionally well and have on-board digital out MM phono stages. I use a TN-4D but they do a belt drive option if that is your thing TN-3B. The cost is comparable to lower end Rega Planars. Factor in a better after market linear PSU and a slightly better cartridge and they really sing. A TN-4D + better power supply + better cartridge will put it in Rega P6 price territory. As-is with the wallwart and Oyster cartridge, P3 territory. They have higher end decks too, but the value sweet spot is really the 4D/3B models.

I don’t use the digital out on my turntable but I have played with it. It performed admirably.


You need to connect to a computer to make digital recordings of vinyl. The Rega Fono Mini would be a good option for this as you can use it as a regular phono stage to connect a turntable to the Atom via analogue RCA input. Then you can use it directly into a computer via USB when you want to record.

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I ran USB direct from my TEAC turntable to a computer running Audacity and made a few recordings. It worked well. But for not much money you can (and I did) get a proper ADC, and take a feed from a decent phone stage to that for a superior recording. I picked up a new TEAC SD-500HR digital recorder before stocks dried up. But the lower cost TASCAM one has the same parts inside and is probably nearly as good.

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Is there an existing turntable? You mention old separates currently in use for vinyl, with the Rega a2d or similar that would be problem solved, unless the existing deck isn’t much cop.

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In any case the Atom’s USB is only for storage devices, not for USB audio, so it’s not suitable for attaching a TT’s USB, anyway


That’s really helpful, thanks.

That’s useful to know, thanks.

Having thought about it I think I’ll do that as a first step. Thanks

That’s very helpful, thanks.

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