ALDI cassette converter

Discussion in 'UK Macs' started by Michael H. Phillips, Oct 18, 2010.

  1. Michael H. Phillips, Oct 18, 2010
    #1
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  2. Michael H. Phillips

    D.M. Procida Guest

    Jack Campin - bogus address <> wrote:

    > > I wonder is this any good. Anyone here have one? Does it work with a Mac?
    > >
    > > <http://www.aldi.ie/ie/html/offers/special_buys3_14771.htm?WT.mc_id=2010-10-
    > > 18-11-21>


    I should imagine it sounds pretty rough, like most cheap cassette
    players do.

    > Do they actually have any, or is it a bait-and-switch like the usual
    > too-good-to-be-true offers from Aldi?


    What do you mean?

    No-one imagines that Aldi are selling top-of-the range anything, but
    when they advertise things they pretty well always end up in their
    stores.

    Often, they disappear quickly. If you want to get Aldi cycling gear fpr
    example, you need to get in there soon after they go on sale, because
    shortly after the stores open you'll often find people loading up
    trollies with the goods in order to sell them on eBay (maybe Aldi have
    acted to stop this).

    Daniele
    D.M. Procida, Oct 19, 2010
    #2
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  3. On Oct 19, 2010 D.M. Procida wrote:

    > I should imagine it sounds pretty rough, like most cheap cassette
    > players do.


    If I connected the line-out of a Sony mini-system to the Mac's line-in and
    recorded with QuickTime, would that work? I'd try it but that involves
    shifting things around and I'm lazy.

    --
    Michael

    mhphillips at gmail dot com
    Michael H. Phillips, Oct 19, 2010
    #3
  4. Michael H. Phillips <> wrote:

    > I wonder is this any good. Anyone here have one? Does it work with a Mac?
    >
    > <http://www.aldi.ie/ie/html/offers/special_buys3_14771.htm?WT.mc_id=2010-10-
    > 18-11-21>


    Everything like that gives you cheap and nasty sound. No need to check
    the details: they're all low quality.

    The only way to get good conversion of your cassettes into digital
    format is via a good quality cassette deck feeding a good quality A-D
    converter. You won't get either component for as little as 50 euros.

    The A-D converter built into Macs ain't all that bad.

    Rowland.

    --
    Remove the animal for email address:
    Sorry - the spam got to me
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    Rowland McDonnell, Oct 19, 2010
    #4
  5. Michael H. Phillips

    SteveH Guest

    Rowland McDonnell <> wrote:

    > Michael H. Phillips <> wrote:
    >
    > > I wonder is this any good. Anyone here have one? Does it work with a Mac?
    > >
    > > <http://www.aldi.ie/ie/html/offers/special_buys3_14771.htm?WT.mc_id=2010-10-
    > > 18-11-21>

    >
    > Everything like that gives you cheap and nasty sound. No need to check
    > the details: they're all low quality.


    Agreed, I bought, and returned, a similarly priced USB turntable a few
    years ago.

    > The only way to get good conversion of your cassettes into digital
    > format is via a good quality cassette deck feeding a good quality A-D
    > converter. You won't get either component for as little as 50 euros.
    >
    > The A-D converter built into Macs ain't all that bad.


    NAD do a nice little box of tricks that takes an input from a turntable
    or analogue line-in and spits it out via USB.
    --
    SteveH
    SteveH, Oct 19, 2010
    #5
  6. SteveH <> wrote:

    > Rowland McDonnell <> wrote:
    >
    > > Michael H. Phillips <> wrote:
    > >
    > > > I wonder is this any good. Anyone here have one? Does it work with a Mac?
    > > >
    > > > <http://www.aldi.ie/ie/html/offers/
    > > > special_buys3_14771.htm?WT.mc_id=2010-10-
    > > > 18-11-21>

    > >
    > > Everything like that gives you cheap and nasty sound. No need to check
    > > the details: they're all low quality.

    >
    > Agreed, I bought, and returned, a similarly priced USB turntable a few
    > years ago.


    I'd not want to guess whether the cassette players or turntables in that
    line are worse-for-the-price, but despite that I can't help but feel
    that the turntables are likely to be worse than the tape players price
    being equal, especially.

    > > The only way to get good conversion of your cassettes into digital
    > > format is via a good quality cassette deck feeding a good quality A-D
    > > converter. You won't get either component for as little as 50 euros.
    > >
    > > The A-D converter built into Macs ain't all that bad.

    >
    > NAD do a nice little box of tricks that takes an input from a turntable
    > or analogue line-in and spits it out via USB.


    Hmm - so it does. Asking price seems to be £75-£100, ish.

    Inputs for MM and MC cartridges feeding an RIAA stage, and a flat line
    level input, A-D, then USB out. Hmm - nice idea, but does it work well?
    It ought to... Expensive enough that you can believe it's got enough
    internals to do a proper job (which I suppose is part of NAD's pricing
    strategy, innit?). Never mind the cynical pose; I read a review:

    "By even the most critical audiophile standards, the PP 3 has no
    meaningful flaws; I can't believe NAD can produce a product of this
    quality at this price."

    <http://stereophile.com/phonopreamps/nad_pp_3_digital_phono_preamplifier
    /index1.html>

    So what do you get, actually? - NAD's Web site not being very helpful
    about the details:

    <http://stereos.about.com/od/reviewsandrecommendations/fr/NADPP-3Review.
    htm>

    "The NAD PP-3 has two phono inputs, one for a moving magnet phono
    cartridge, one for a moving coil cartridge. It also has an analog
    line-in for connection to a tape deck or other analog audio device.
    Outputs include an analog line-out and a USB output for connection to a
    computer.

    The PP-3 is multi-purpose: It can be used to digitize records, add phono
    capability to a component that doesn't have a phono input (there are
    many) or to upgrade the phono section of an existing stereo or home
    theater component.

    It has an external power supply to minimize noise and comes with a USB
    cable for connection to a computer."

    (Although the external power supply is supplied more to reduce
    regulatory compliance requirements and so provide a cheaper route to
    market for NAD than any other reason. I've got books behind me which
    tell you how to make low noise power supplies for low noise work and
    they all seem to assume that the PSU and circuitry to be powered by the
    PSU will be housed in the one box - admittedly, sometimes one box with
    more than one compartment and the most amazingly amazing arrangements
    for low-inductance earthing...

    External PSU means the box of tricks counts as `not mains powered' so
    needs to meet less stringent regulations - which is why cheap lecky gear
    is almost always supplied with some sort of cheap-and-nasty external
    PSU. The external PSU needs to meet the mains regs, but a firm that
    makes such gadgets has the regulatory requirements met already, dunnit?


    Oh yeah, and the software referred to does come in a Mac version, no
    matter what the `About' reviewer above thinks.)

    More:

    <http://stereophile.com/phonopreamps/nad_pp_3_digital_phono_preamplifier
    />

    Rowland.


    --
    Remove the animal for email address:
    Sorry - the spam got to me
    http://www.mag-uk.org http://www.bmf.co.uk
    UK biker? Join MAG and the BMF and stop the Eurocrats banning biking
    Rowland McDonnell, Oct 19, 2010
    #6
  7. Michael H. Phillips

    J. J. Lodder Guest

    Rowland McDonnell <> wrote:

    > Michael H. Phillips <> wrote:
    >
    > > I wonder is this any good. Anyone here have one? Does it work with a Mac?
    > >
    > > <http://www.aldi.ie/ie/html/offers/special_buys3_14771.htm?WT.mc_id=2010-10-
    > > 18-11-21>

    >
    > Everything like that gives you cheap and nasty sound. No need to check
    > the details: they're all low quality.


    Cassettes all give you cheap and nasty sound. No need to check
    the details: they're all low quality.

    Jan
    J. J. Lodder, Oct 19, 2010
    #7
  8. J. J. Lodder <> wrote:

    > Rowland McDonnell <> wrote:
    >
    > > Michael H. Phillips <> wrote:
    > >
    > > > I wonder is this any good. Anyone here have one? Does it work with a Mac?
    > > >
    > > > <http://www.aldi.ie/ie/html/offers/special_buys3_14771.htm?WT.mc_id=20
    > > > 10-10- 18-11-21>

    > >
    > > Everything like that gives you cheap and nasty sound. No need to check
    > > the details: they're all low quality.

    >
    > Cassettes all give you cheap and nasty sound. No need to check
    > the details: they're all low quality.


    You're being ironic for some reason, aren't you? Trying to undermine
    confidence in my opinions, I expect.

    As Jan knows very well, /some/ cassettes recorded and played back on
    /some/ decks are capable of pretty good quality.

    Metal tape, Hx Pro, Dolby S - add up to pretty good results on my Aiwa,
    actually.

    But you have to pay for that sort of quality...

    Which hi-fi issues have nothing whatever to do with the distinctly
    low-fi gear under consideration in this case: the point is that *ALL*
    low-priced integrated `Just use this to digitize your music, plug the
    USB lead into your PC, it's all fine' kit is cheap'n'nasty low-fi crap.

    There is no cheap and good way of getting music off grooved records or
    magnetic tape. Ditto turning the electrical signal thus produced into
    digital.

    Any all-in-one cassette-player-and-digitiser that's being sold for (say)
    a quarter of the price of a half-decent cassette deck doesn't need
    examination...

    (On top of that: you really need signal level monitoring and the ability
    to change gain to match the analogue signal to the A/D converter's
    range. Not sure many of these cheap gadgets have any means of changing
    the gain - could be wrong...)

    Rowland.





    --
    Remove the animal for email address:
    Sorry - the spam got to me
    http://www.mag-uk.org http://www.bmf.co.uk
    UK biker? Join MAG and the BMF and stop the Eurocrats banning biking
    Rowland McDonnell, Oct 19, 2010
    #8
  9. Michael H. Phillips

    Jon B Guest

    Michael H. Phillips <> wrote:

    > On Oct 19, 2010 D.M. Procida wrote:
    >
    > > I should imagine it sounds pretty rough, like most cheap cassette
    > > players do.

    >
    > If I connected the line-out of a Sony mini-system to the Mac's line-in and
    > recorded with QuickTime, would that work? I'd try it but that involves
    > shifting things around and I'm lazy.


    Yep I did that several years ago, used SoundStudio iirc to record the
    input (this was pre GarageBand)
    --
    Jon B
    Above email address IS valid.
    <http://www.bramley-computers.co.uk/> Apple Laptop Repairs.
    Jon B, Oct 20, 2010
    #9
  10. Jon B <> wrote:

    > Yep I did that several years ago, used SoundStudio iirc to record the
    > input (this was pre GarageBand)


    Snap. And didn't Sound Studio work well? In fact I still use it on the
    PPC iMac/10.4.11 that lives in Geneva, and it's still a cracking app...
    --
    Peter
    Peter Ceresole, Oct 20, 2010
    #10
  11. On Oct 20, 2010 Peter Ceresole wrote:

    > Jon B <> wrote:
    >
    >> Yep I did that several years ago, used SoundStudio iirc to record the
    >> input (this was pre GarageBand)

    >
    > Snap. And didn't Sound Studio work well? In fact I still use it on the
    > PPC iMac/10.4.11 that lives in Geneva, and it's still a cracking app...
    >


    I connected the Sony to the Mac with mini-plugs and recorded with QuickTime
    Player. The result was terrible.

    The Sony has an optical out socket. If I were to use an optical cable might I
    expect better results?

    I didn't bother to install GarageBand on this Mac. Would it be useful?

    --
    Michael

    mhphillips at gmail dot com
    Michael H. Phillips, Oct 20, 2010
    #11
  12. Michael H. Phillips <> wrote:

    > I didn't bother to install GarageBand on this Mac. Would it be useful?


    Sorry- I couldn't tell you. I use Audacity now on my iMac, but I haven't
    copied stuff across using it...
    --
    Peter
    Peter Ceresole, Oct 20, 2010
    #12
  13. Michael H. Phillips

    Jon B Guest

    Peter Ceresole <> wrote:

    > Jon B <> wrote:
    >
    > > Yep I did that several years ago, used SoundStudio iirc to record the
    > > input (this was pre GarageBand)

    >
    > Snap. And didn't Sound Studio work well? In fact I still use it on the
    > PPC iMac/10.4.11 that lives in Geneva, and it's still a cracking app...


    Think I've still got it on the MacBook as it still does prove useful
    --
    Jon B
    Above email address IS valid.
    <http://www.bramley-computers.co.uk/> Apple Laptop Repairs.
    Jon B, Oct 21, 2010
    #13
  14. Michael H. Phillips

    Jon B Guest

    Michael H. Phillips <> wrote:

    > On Oct 20, 2010 Peter Ceresole wrote:
    >
    > > Jon B <> wrote:
    > >
    > >> Yep I did that several years ago, used SoundStudio iirc to record the
    > >> input (this was pre GarageBand)

    > >
    > > Snap. And didn't Sound Studio work well? In fact I still use it on the
    > > PPC iMac/10.4.11 that lives in Geneva, and it's still a cracking app...
    > >

    >
    > I connected the Sony to the Mac with mini-plugs and recorded with QuickTime
    > Player. The result was terrible.
    >
    > The Sony has an optical out socket. If I were to use an optical cable might I
    > expect better results?
    >

    Doubtful, unless the Sony Analogue to Digital converter is better than
    the Macs. At the moment the A/D conversion is happening at the Mac, if
    you got an optical cable it'd be happening at the Sony instead.

    > I didn't bother to install GarageBand on this Mac. Would it be useful?


    Depends on what way the results using quicktime were terrible?
    SoundStudio/GarageBand etc all allow adjustments of the line level input
    to adjust for quiet/loud sources which can make a big difference.
    --
    Jon B
    Above email address IS valid.
    <http://www.bramley-computers.co.uk/> Apple Laptop Repairs.
    Jon B, Oct 21, 2010
    #14
  15. Jack Campin - bogus address <> wrote:

    [snip]

    > > Cassettes all give you cheap and nasty sound. No need to check
    > > the details: they're all low quality.

    >
    > And they all give you better sound quality than MP3, so why exactly
    > does this matter to most people?


    I've got some really bloody awful cassette copies of this and that
    recording on `low-noise' iron oxide tapes. Dolby problems can bugger
    things up. And playback equipment can bugger things up too - by design,
    and by wear and other fault conditions. Slipping drive belts, crud on
    the head, aging electronic components (electrolytics always dry up in
    the end, for example).

    Whereas some mp3s - created with LAME with all the buttons pressed - can
    be quite good, actually.

    > In practical terms, I have dozens of cassette recordings which have
    > not been and never will be released on CD. A USB converter would
    > be very useful (preferably if it converted to something lossless).


    The best method of doing the conversion is `decent cassette deck feeding
    decent A/D converter'.

    Practically speaking, you'd get higher quality than a cheap `USB
    converter' by plugging any old decent cassette deck into your Mac's
    sound input port, assuming a decent line level out of the cassette deck.

    Rowland.

    --
    Remove the animal for email address:
    Sorry - the spam got to me
    http://www.mag-uk.org http://www.bmf.co.uk
    UK biker? Join MAG and the BMF and stop the Eurocrats banning biking
    Rowland McDonnell, Oct 21, 2010
    #15
  16. On Oct 21, 2010 Jon B wrote:

    > unless the Sony Analogue to Digital converter is better than
    > the Macs. At the moment the A/D conversion is happening at the Mac, if
    > you got an optical cable it'd be happening at the Sony instead.


    I wouldn't think so, as the Sony is quite ancient.

    --
    Michael

    mhphillips at gmail dot com
    Michael H. Phillips, Oct 21, 2010
    #16
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