Samples from USB Turntables: Grace Digital Audio Vinylwriter (AVPUSB01 2010-01-22 07:41:18 Turntable Details[blockquote]Grace Digital Audio Vinylwriter (AVPUSB01S)Street Price: $70 (US)Ceramic CartridgeBelt DriveSemi-AutomaticWow and Flutter: Not publishedS/N: >50dBPlatter: PlasticTracking force: 6.75g (Measured personally)More in turntable guide[/blockquote]Photos The Sample ClipsFor background on the clips, see the "Preparation" thread.All samples are FLAC and under 30 seconds.[blockquote]MusicCD LP Peg, Steely Dan, Aja CD LP On the Run, Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the MoonCD LP Dare, Gorillaz, Demon DaysCD LP Dum Diddly, The Black Eyed Peas, Monkey BusinessCD LP Rhiannon, Fleetwood Mac, Self-titled Album (Dusty, scratched and skipping album)Test TracksLP Motor running, no record, tonearm at restLP Ultimate Analogue Test LP, Side ALP Ultimate Analogue Test LP, Side BLP Hi-Fi News (HFN002) Test LP, Side ALP Hi-Fi News (HFN002) Test LP, Side BLP Silent Groove, Ultimate Analogue Test LP, Side B, Track 6[/blockquote]MusingsThis is the last USB turntable with a ceramic cartridge I'm planning to test for a while. Next, I plan to move up the ladder and get samples from DJ USB turntables. I felt it was important to demonstrate a second ceramic to show that the Crosley's poor performance was not an anomaly. And boy do I have some poor performance to demonstrate! I picked this turntable because several companies sell the same record player under different brand names. Grace Digital Audio, Memorex, Technical Pro, firstStreet and Innovative Technology have all claimed this USB turntable as their own. I traced the turntable back to a Chinese manufacturer called Leetac Electronics. If you order at least 1,000 of them, you can slap your own logo on this USB turntable. I attempted to get pricing from Leetac but no one returned my e-mails. The Grace AVPUSB01S arrived with a bent stylus and ruined my 30th anniversary presses of Aja and Dark Side of the Moon. Read about the long journey to getting a working Grace turntable in the previous post, "Proof That a Ceramic Cart Damages Record with Single Play*." The sound quality from the Grace is predictably poor, roughly on par with the Crosley. What surprised me was how badly it skipped. Several music tracks I played skipped at least once. But the Gorillaz track was comically bad: It finished the four minute song in a minute and 8 seconds, skipping forward on every beat. The Crosley had trouble with the Gorillaz track as well. It's turning out to be an excellent test case. The combination of an album recorded hot and bursts of low frequencies seem to make a perfect recipe for skipping. I had a second, new stylus, so I tried the Gorillaz track with it. Same result. Tracks 6 – 9 on HFN002 play a 300Hz tone at increasing volume levels- +12dB, 14, 16 and finally +18dB. The Grace handled the 12dB fine. Anything louder and it skips to the end of the track almost immediately. Also notable (maybe related?)- The turntable exerts a whopping 6.75 grams of vertical tracking force on the record. As mentioned in the previous post, I believe the max for this cartridge is 5 grams. Turntable folklore would have you believe this extra force would reduce skipping- the equivalent of taping a penny to a headshell holding a gentler cartridge. The pressure didn't seem to be an asset with the Grace turntable.After spending all this time near the bottom, I am very much looking forward to moving up the turntable food chain.