Inside a £30 record player

by @edent | # # # # | 8 comments | Read ~5,882 times.

I accidentally bought a load of vinyl records. So I decided to buy the cheapest, shittiest, turntable possible.

This is the E1372. Made by Jia Yin King Technologies.
A crappy plastic record player photoshopped so it looks like it is in a rave.

This is sold under a variety of names and costs about £30 including postage from China.

It’s a plastic shell, motor, and ADC (Analogue to Digital Converter), which is powered via USB. It is the cheapest brand new player I could find. Here’s a disassembly walkthough, an analysis of how well it works, and some Linux info.

Audio Quality

Vinyl is not a great format for high-fidelity audio. The constant rotational velocity design means that the sound quality gets progressively worse towards the centre of the record. Most of my 1960s vinyl is designed to be played on shitty gramophones and through abominable speakers. Early Beatles music was specifically mastered to sound good on crackly AM radios and craptacular Dansette record players.

Anyone who says vinyl is better than a CD is a muppet.

That said, here’s the opening of Sgt Pepper – the best goddamned record of all time – piped straight from USB and captured as mono audio wav.

I’ve not applied any volume correction, de-noising, or adjustment. I think it sounds… You know what… That sounds pretty OK to me!

It also outputs stereo.

Listen to the pan on that!

The right channel is consistently louder than the left by a few dB.

I used my phone to measure the RPM – it seemed to be a few percent fast.
A graph showing variance in speed.
I have cloth-ears, so I can’t really tell if music is pitched up.

Look Inside

Flip it on the side, peel off the rubber feet to expose the screws.
Bottom of a record player.
Once those four are undone, the bottom slips off, revealing the guts.
The guts of the player - it is mostly empty.
On the left, a thin switch which opens when the needle arm is sent back.
A motor at the bottom, belt driving the turntable,
And a teeny circuit board.
Wanna take a close up? Course you do!
Soldered wires on a cirvuit board.
That’s how the needle / cartridge is wired in. I was kinda hoping it would be socketed as I hate soldering / desoldering.
It uses a common earth, rather than separates.

Let’s take a look at the main board.
A circuit board.

If you’re searching for this board, it’s labelled as K-2217 280-002217-101-10.
Uses a H12000M crystal (I think). The VR151 in the centre adjusts the speed of the motor.

The main brains of the operation is this microchip.
A microchip.
Again, for keyword searchers, this is a JYK 2011C 123D1N942. I think. JYK – JiaYinKing – are the OEM who make all sorts of record players.

I’m told that this is likely to be a PCM2902E. That’s a common USB / Amp chip.

The motor is also JYK branded.
A small motor.
It says it is capable of 3 different speeds. 1130, 1520, 2360 RPM. Other models of this player have a 33/45 switch for playing different speeds of records. The ratio 1130:1520 is roughly the same as 33.3:45 I assume 2360 is for 78RPM records?
Keywords: EG-53SD-3F

Linux Info

The USB info is 2034:0105 – that’s it.

Pulse detects it as a stereo input device, and Audacity happily recorded audio from it.
To playback through your computer speakers or Bluetooth, set the record player as your audio input and run:

arecord -f cd - | aplay -

Verdict

For £30 including delivery, it’s pretty good! Sure, the sound output isn’t audiophile quality, but you get phono output and USB out. The speed is a bit wobbly, but probably no worse than an original 1960s player.

8 thoughts on “Inside a £30 record player

  1. “Vinyl is not a great format for high-fidelity audio”—let us know when the death threats start 😄

  2. @Edent it’s so janky I kinda love it 🙂 A fully discrete circuit would be more interesting/fun to look at tho, even if unfeasible for bottom-of-barrel BOM cost.

  3. Jim Grey says:

    It does run fast. I can hear it. That’s a bummer. But I would think it could be slowed back down again in post-processing software.

  4. Bruno says:

    “I assume 2360 is for 78RPM records?”

    Oh, I hope not! The 33-vs-45 speed is about 0.5% off, but the (hypothetical) 78-vs-45 ratio is more than 10% off.

    Maybe it’s for a Turbo button. With the flip of a switch, you can make any recording sound like Bernstein was conducting.

  5. Patrick Chan says:

    Not everyone can afford a Rega P1 to start their LP listening, can see this fit a need.

    Applaud efforts for fix the speed. Can you lube the main spindle and add a lightweight record weight (i.e. a stack of cheap metal washers) to improve the spin?

    What cartridge does it have?

  6. DasKleineTeilchen says:

    @Patrick + Jim:

    what are you talking about? I would assume that

    “The VR151 in the centre adjusts the speed of the motor”

    should be enough to fix the speed-issue, right?

  7. Even on a tangentially relevant article, somebody had to say it:

    Vinyl is not a great format for high-fidelity audio. The constant rotational velocity design means that the sound quality gets progressively worse towards the centre of the record. […]

    Anyone who says vinyl is better than a CD is a muppet.

    https://shkspr.mobi/blog/2020/08/inside-a-30-record-player/

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