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AKAI ATT023U USB Turntable - Technical Overview

AKAI has been around since the dawn of consumer electronics. Today we test out their new ATT023U USB turntable for continuing vinyl record lovers.

| Editorials in Audio, Sound & Speakers | Posted: Jun 9, 2009 3:57 am
TweakTown Rating: 90%Manufacturer: AKAI

Technical Overview

 

The way in which a turntable works is a little different from that of an optical device such as a CD player. A CD player shines a laser into the "pits" and "grooves" of the CD's face in order to retrieve the data containing the audio; it then converts it into an electrical signal using the player's digital to analog converters. Once this is done the systems amplifier can 'amplify' the signal to a level that can be heard by the listener.

 

Now, the way in which this occurs is different with vinyl, namely because it's an analog format. Also, the process of retrieving the information is easier and more akin to the natural analog nature of our auditory systems.

 

AKAI ATT023U USB Turntable

(Click the above image for the large version)

 

Don't forget also that nobody can ever hear something digitally; it's not possible. Our biological auditory systems are analog devices only.

 

So, since sound is made of waves, containing both amplitude and frequency information, that data must be transcribed across to the record's face; this in the form of small grooves of differing sizes which the needle on the stylus picks up.

 

Once the signal has made it this far, it's onto the amps to increase the volume level of the signal to be heard through the listeners speakers.

 

AKAI ATT023U USB Turntable

(Click the above image for the large version)

 

Now let's take a quick look at some specs of the ATT023U.

 

Features include:

 

- Belt drive turntable

 

- Manual speed adjustment 33 ½ / 45/ 78 RPM

 

- USB output for Direct Encoding-Compatible with Windows and Mac

 

- Plug and play USB compatibility

 

- Anti-skating control for increased stereo balance

 

- 330mm aluminum die cast turntable platter

 

- ±10% adjustable pitch control

 

- Static balanced S-Shaped tonearm with detachable head shell

 

- Effective arm length of 230,5 mm

 

- S/N ratio more than 60dB

 

- Includes Audacity Software for removing noise

 

- Audio out (CINCH)

 

Accessories:

 

- USB Cable

 

- 45 RPM adapter

 

- Head shell

 

Dimensions: (W x H x D)

 

- 44.5 X 14.8 X 36 cm

 

Weight:

 

- 3.6 Kg

 

One of the features promised here by AKAI is the ability for the buyer of this product to back up his or her vinyl collection to hard disk. The purpose of this is to make life easier for both the listener and the original delicate vinyl record.

 

Of course, for this to be done the signal must be converted into optical data to sit on a hard disk, the same sort of optical data you might find on a CD. So yes, you can easily access and listen to your collection as well as protect the original vinyl, but it'll be at the cost of some of the sound quality that defines the medium. Make sense? - I hope so.

 

AKAI ATT023U USB Turntable

(Click the above image for the large version)

 

For this process to take place the turntable gets connected using a USB cable running to either your PC or Mac. While USB is not the fastest choice for sending data, it's the most universal at the moment as well as being cost affective.

 

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