Lust for Vinyl

I seriously lust for the Denon DP-DJ151 turntable. This unique turntable has a preamp and Analog/Digital converter built in, and outputs a digital SPDIF stream. Drop the needle, and CD-quality digital audio comes out.


I like to digitize my old vinyl punk rock albums and convert them to CDs and mp3s. It can be quite a challenge, some of these indie records were pressed poorly and sounded like crap when they were brand new, let alone after 25 years of listening. Some of them were recorded in weird ways (like “fake stereo”), and it’s hard to capture that ragged sound. But that’s the sound I know and love, so I want to preserve it. With some digital audio restoration, I can do wonderful things to my favorite old music, and give it new life in digital format.

I’m looking to upgrade my equipment, but this Denon rig is a little out of my price range. The DP-DJ151 is available on the grey market for about $300, but that doesn’t include the stylus and cart, so that’s another $100 minimum, more like $200-250. And I need a SPDIF input box, I can get a cheap SPDIF USB input from Roland for about $350, but it would be preferable to use the fancy Edirol pro box which is more like $500. Or better yet, a Firewire box for about $750. But that’s overkill, a Firewire SPDIF box will run 7 or 8 streams, I only need one. I’m trying to keep this project under $500, but it looks like it’s out of reach at about $800 minimum to go all-digital. I called Denon, and a friendly tech suggested I just use this turntable’s internal preamp (with RIAA EQ built in) and pump the amped output into my Mac’s sound input. Hell, that’s what I’m doing right now with a turntable and external amp, I wanted to step it up a notch and go all digital. Oh well..

© Copyright 2016 Charles Eicher