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10 people found this helpful
Almost very good indeed, but spoiled by lack of A2D level control
on 17 July 2013
Supplied software -- loads of it, including energyXT for Linux. (The Linux version of the audacity source file was truncated, but no matter, it's easy enough to get a more up-to-date copy.)
Quality is very good, and amazing for the price. I've not used the phono input, but the line-level A2D is all but noiseless and has very low (negligible) distortion. There's a half-sample phase-shift between channels, but that only shows on a wave trace -- you can't hear it.
BUT A BIG PROBLEM -- there's no volume control! (The control on the device works the headphone socket only.) This doesn't matter for D2A, because there will be a control downstream on the playback kit, and I've had no problem with A2D from cassette tapes or radio tuner. But for LPs, with about half of them, the line output level from my hifi amp saturates the A2D. Very few amps, even good ones, have gain control in the phono pre-amp, and reducing the volume at the digital end is too late, it's already clipped. I usually record with sox, because it's the simplest, but it doesn't offer device control beyond sample rate, so I tried audacity (version 2.0.2). It said input level control not available, use the mixer. So I ran alsamixer, and it offered output control but said the device didn't support input control.
Maybe the phono input would work, but I don't want to rewire my hifi every time I switch between playing LPs and digitising them, and other reviewers confirm my expectation that the noise would be much greater. So, if anyone can tell me how to control the line input gain, I'd have a device I'd be entirely satisfied with.