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.
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.
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.
I have cloth-ears, so I can’t really tell if music is pitched up.
Flip it on the side, peel off the rubber feet to expose the screws.
Once those four are undone, the bottom slips off, revealing the guts.
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!
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.
If you’re searching for this board, it’s labelled as
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.
Again, for keyword searchers, this is a JYK 2011C 123D1N942. I think. JYK – JiaYinKing – are the OEM who make all sorts of record players.
The motor is also JYK branded.
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?
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 -
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.