New turntables for old fogies

I suspect I’m not the only one here with a bunch of old vinyl that needs to be transferred to computer. I’ve got my Mom’s 78 records from the 1940s, 45s from the fifties & 60s, & LPs from mono to stereo.

Is there an all-in-one solution for playing & transferring these records?

I remember the old record players that had the flip needles for playing 33 & 78s. Is it still possible to get 78 needles?

So, in a nutshell, I need…

  1. 33, 45, & 78 speed.

  2. needles for playing all of the above.

  3. outputs for computer connection.
    Dope me up!


OK, how do these strike you?

There’s several solutions, depending on how easy you want to make it.

They have turntables with cd burners. You don’t even need a computer.
Ion makes several models. It’s probably the easiest and quickest way.

If you want better control and editing then go with a usb turntable. Most of them come with audacity for editing. Then you also need cd burning software.

For 78 rpm, I noticed several turntables said they did it in software. You can adjust the speed in audacity. I do wonder how good it sounds. I’ve never tried it. If you have a lot of 78’s then you may want a turntable that does that speed.

Audacity is free on the web. It’s a shareware version of Sound Forge.

Another option is using a vintage turntable and plugging it into your sound card. You may need a pre-amp to get the right sound levels.

Excellent Wiki on usb turntables

tutorial for using audacity to convert 78 rpm

hmm, I learned something myself. :wink:

audacity’s tutorial is very good. They walk you through fixing the playback speed for 78 rpm.

Make sure that any turntable you buy includes a standard LP and a 78 rpm stylus.
Install the newest version of audacity. The turntables may come with older, out of date copies.

This Stanton does a true 78rpm. That way you don’t have any software manipulation.
The reviews are pretty good. It comes with Audacity and Cakewalk. Cakewalk is supposed to be easier to use. I’ve never used it.

I noticed one of the amazon reviewers said the 78 cartridge is an optional purchase.


I’d say the 78 cartridge is not optional if you wish to play 78s. The stylus for a 78 is a different size and shape than the one for LPs and 45s. If you play a 78 using a standard stylus, you’ll get a huge amount of extra surface noise because the smaller LP stylus is scraping along the bottom of the groove rather than riding the side walls of the groove.

A phono pre-amp not only boosts the levels, but on 45s and LPs it applies the RIAA equalization curve (a compensation that should be disabled on 78 RPM playback).

Regarding 78s and different needles:

When I was a kid, we had one of those console TV’s (a DuMont!) with the TV in the middle, a record player to the left and a big radio in the right. As I recall, there was a double needle in the phono arm that you could change by turning this little white knob at the end of the arm, which had the speed written on it.

The only problem back than was that I didn’t have any 78s then…

If you have a bunch of records to process, I’d highly recommend the software Click Repair(AU$40) to get rid of pops, clicks, and crackle. Even just reading the manual may provide some help in processing the sound. There’s also DeNoise for noise removal, but for studio albums, Audacity’s noise filter is going to work just as well.

Here is a thread I started a couple of years ago asking about ripping 78s to CD. I had about four “albums” (in the literal sense, like photo albums) of old Hank Williams 78s that belonged to my dad and I was wanting to convert them to CD. The advice I got was essentially “You’re going to ruin the 78s if you try to play them on a regular turntable. Why not just go buy some Hank Williams CDs? They’ll sound a lot better than anything you’d rip.”