Whether you’re buying new to turntables or just upgrading, this is one you’re going to want to read up about. In this article, I’m going to be going over one of my favorite pieces of gear. So without further due, let’s get right into this review of the Numark PT-01 USB portable turntable.
Numark PT-01 USB Turntable
The Numark PT-01 turntable is a great low-cost starter turntable for those thinking of getting into the world of records or for those vinyl aficionados who may need a second more portable turntable. The item retails for around $119.
First, the design of this thing is great. Form was not sacrificed over function. The hard plastic cover and the base of the unit definitely feel sturdy enough to withstand a bit of punishment. It also looks pretty smooth in the black color. The unit is also built for portability with a nice handle built into the base of the unit and the ability to use 6 D cell batteries instead of the power supply included with the unit.
2. Techie Stuff
Now to the good techie stuff. Obviously, the turntable is belt-driven but the platter still starts and stops on a dime pretty well. One of the really nice features for me was that the turntable plays records of all speeds. So, you can play your LPs at 45s at 33 RPM and 45 RPMs, respectively, as well as the more obscure 78 RPM records from your grandfather’s collection, as I did.
There is a decent pitch range of (+/-) 10% which should be more than enough. I am guessing the DJs out there will use this feature when sampling their breaks to chop up in their MPCs. The tone knob allows you to adjust the bass and treble to a degree but you are limited in your equalization settings if you’re relying exclusively on the Numark. Although, a used outboard equalizer would likely solve this problem for the audiophile users.
f you’re a casual record listener who is tight on space or already own a solid turntable and just want a backup then this is a great little unit that will get the job done.
Now to the most important thing, the sound quality. There is a built-in speaker on the unit and it sounds pretty tinny as you would expect for a small built-in speaker. The good news is that the Numark offers you a few connectivity options. You have a ¼ inch and 1/8 inch stereo output for headphones.
I ran the ¼ inch output into my portable Bluetooth speaker, with the Bluetooth disengaged, and got a pretty decent sound for a limited setup. There is also a set of stereo RCA line outputs to hook up the turntable to whatever your heart desires
3. Converting records to MP3 format
The turntable offers a USB output allowing you to interface with a computer to record your songs. Numark offers you the ability to download their EZ Vinyl converter to convert the recordings into WAV or MP3 formats. I haven’t used the software but I would imagine it works like most basic no-frills recording software. My guess is that Audacity would probably offer a better free option for recording and editing.
Being the record geek that I am, I opted to record my vinyl to digital in a slightly more labor-intensive way. I used the RCA outputs on my unit to record to my Zoom hard disk recorder while monitoring playback through the headphones on the Numark. I then imported the sound files into my Mac from the Zoom and tweaked the sound files as needed before converting them into MP3s for my audio library. Arguably, there was little audible difference between songs converted using the Numark versus the songs I converted from vinyl to digital back when I used my Technics 1200 for the job.
If you’re a casual record listener who is tight on space or already own a solid turntable and just want a backup then this is a great little unit that will get the job done. Its design and functionality make it very versatile. With that said, the Numark does have its limitations. If you get really serious about your records you will likely outgrow this unit and will need to step up to a more serious turntable.
So what are your thoughts? Lets us know in the comments below. If you enjoyed this post you can find all our posts here. Below are some of our recommended products related to this post. Thanks for reading and never stop making music.