The Sony PSLX300USB USB Stereo Turntable is an affordable turntable that plays 33 and ⅓ and 45 RPM records. The features include a built-in phono preamp, USB connectivity and fully automatic operation. Some of the potential connections you can make include:
• Connecting to a computer setup
• Connecting to a line auxiliary input to a line receiver
• Connecting with a phono input to a phono receiver
• Connecting with a pair of powered speakers
The player itself is easy to operate, but some people find it difficult to use the software, which is confusing. Copying records can be time-consuming, and most people don’t need all the extra features of the software. However, you can use other software program options in a pinch if you find the native software too difficult. The turntable works with the standard USB audio codec, so you can easily use another program.
The sound quality of the PSLX300USB is decent enough for a low-priced turntable, but you won’t get top quality, even with superior speaks like Bose. Converted files also sound good. No MP3 files will ever deliver the highest quality sound because they’re compressed recordings that capture every nuance of the music.
Ability to Copy Vinyl Music to Your PC
The biggest benefit is the ability to copy and play music over multiple systems and copy music to your personal computer. Playing records over your PC is mildly difficult because you have to divert sound from the standard Windows connected USB device to your external system. However, the turntable can be a godsend to those who want to make backups of old or damaged vinyl records from their collections.
A Great Solution for a Common Problem
If you’re the type who has an extensive vinyl collection, but your old turntable and system have seen better days, the PSLX300USB is probably the right turntable for you. You can transfer your music to digital so that you can listen to it on your iPod or car stereo. The PSLX300USB offers one of the least expensive ways to backup all your music digitally.
The Top Features of the Sony PSLX300USB USB Turntable
The PSLX300USB offers some excellent features for a low-priced turntable that make it a more attractive option for many vinyl lovers. The turntable plays 33 ⅓ and 45 RPM records automatically, and the up/down features allow you to skip songs you really don’t want to hear. The turntable is belt-driven, which offers these advantages:
• Belt-driven players produce better sound.
• Belt drives reduce vibration noise.
• The elastic of the belt absorbs shocks, which reduces wear on your vinyl.
• Belt drives protect the turntable’s platter for many years of use.
• The drive is reliable and consistent.
Other great features of the PSLX300USB include the following signature features:
• Built-in Preamp
The preamp amplifies the music so that you can connect to PCs, other players, speakers and playback systems.
• Static Balance Tonearm
Many vinyl aficionados consider static balance tonearms superior to dynamic balance. A static balance tonearm adjusts the counterweight to generate the right amount of tracking force. Dynamic balance arms are set at zero tracking force and use the counterweight and spring to apply the desired force. Many people find the differences negligible.
• N-6516 Stylus
The N-6516 model of a stylus isn’t the best on the market, but you can change your stylus easily. The stylus employs a 0.6 mil conical diamond with a life expectancy of around 500 hours, but some users complain that it doesn’t last as long as advertised.
• Magnetic Cartridge Tonearm
The magnetic cartridge is not a feature you’ll find on comparably priced turntable models. Magnetic cartridges improve sound fidelity and prevent damage to records.
• Stylus Replacement
You can replace the stylus and get slightly better sound by choosing the Audio Technica ATN3600L stylus. Most users find that the change of stylus produces better sound than the original equipment.
• No Automatic Changer
Audiophiles actually consider an automatic changer a disadvantage. Using automatic changers can damage your vinyl by stacking the records and accidents when the record doesn’t fall properly.
Unfortunately, the Sony PSLX300USB doesn’t have advanced adjustment features for counterweights and anti-skate management. Turntables occasionally skip or skate across records, so you just have to roll with that. However, very few users complain that skipping is a problem, and when records do skip, it’s usually caused by an imperfection in the vinyl.
Pros and Cons of the Sony PSLX300USB USB Stereo Turntable
If you’re terrible with technology, you’ll face a steep learning curve with this turntable trying to figure out how to copy music and play records on different systems. However, enthusiasts can learn by trial-and-error and soon become adept with the software or use an alternative program. The pros of the turntable include:
• Fully automatic operation
• Included commercial recording software
• Up/down button for skipping musical selections
• Built-in preamp
• Easy to operate the turntable
• Closeable dust cover while a record is playing
• Good sound quality
• Magnetic cartridge
• Good customer ratings
The cons of the Sony PSLX300USB turntable include:
• Use-unfriendly operation manual
• No built-in volume control
• No headphone jack included
• Purported bad customer service
• No adapters for RCA to 3.5 mm
• Short RCA cables
• Overly complicated software with a steep learning curve
How the PSLX300USB Compares to Other Turntables
The Sony PSLX300USB USB Stereo Turntable compares favorably with turntables priced under $200. The Audio-Technica AT-LP120BK-USB receives slightly higher ratings in consumer reviews, and the JENSEN JTA-220 3-Speed Turntable offers excellent value for a bargain price. The Fluance RT81 Elite High Fidelity Vinyl Turntable offers sturdier construction for pure analog playing enjoyment, but none of the top-selling systems offers the range of connectivity that the PSLX300USB offers.
The Sony PSLX300USB offers the ability to transfer your beloved vinyl collection to digital formats, but the recording process might be a little slower than more expensive turntable systems. However, based on cost-value, the PSLX300USB is the best in its class and a worthy investment for vinyl lovers and those who want to preserve their classic recordings and listen to them on modern devices.
George A. Smith received a Masters Degree in Music Education from the University of Berkeley. George has been teaching music professionally for the past 8 years. George regularly contributes content to several music websites including LoadRecords.com.