In a sense, a fondness for nostalgia has characterized the pop culture period from the late ‘00s to the present. How music is produced isn’t exempt from this. In fact, after over a decade in which the average consumer lost interest in vinyl, its warmth, detail, and musical authenticity became a selling point in the late ‘00s. The only problems were, in a culture fixated on MP3s at the time, how, exactly, do you play the discs and what do you do if you want to put the recordings on your computer?
USB turntables – for listening, not DJing – appeared and, aside from seeming like a modern interpretation of a nostalgia item, had a purpose. Although the turntable played records as it always had, a USB port let the user transfer the music to a computer. Essentially, even at its most basic, it was a win-win product.
But what about for the DJ? Is a turntable out there that gives you the quality you want for, y’know, actual DJing but lets you digitize the music from vinyl to your computer? For the past couple of years, Stanton has had the T.92 USB on the market.
Now that Stanton has taken the spot of many DJs’ beloved Technics, the T.92 appeals to both modern and classic sensibilities: A turntable that offers the quality the DJ has needed for decades and that provides modern functionality for transferring files from records to a Mac or PC.
On a general level, the T.92 offers similar construction and features as the ST.150 model, which we reviewed earlier this year. Which, essentially, means you get a high-quality, durable turntable, regardless of any newer functionality.
Part of the T.92’s sturdy construction involves a high-torque direct-drive motor, a pitch control fader with DSP keylock, the Audiophile-quality Stanton 500.v3 Cartridge already added to the head shell, an S-shaped tone arm, RCA stereo outputs, start-stop switches for mix and battle uses, and three play speeds (33, 45, and 78 RPM).
The combination of Stanton’s standard characteristics results in the type of functionality we’ve become accustomed to from the brand: You can effectively change the tempo without altering the pitch, there’s less distortion overall, and the sound ends up being more authentic.
Couple this with a USB output, and what you’ve got is, essentially, the modern DJ’s dream: A durable, long-lasting, top-quality turntable that doesn’t solely restrict you to vinyl when you want to listen to tracks or produce. Letting you do this are USB and S/PDIF outputs and software Cakewalk Pyro Audio Creator LE, a program for transferring and editing files. A USB cable further comes with the setup. Together, all components and software straightforwardly let you digitize any vinyl tracks. This way, you can put your playlists together on the go without always carrying a turntable, and should you feel inspired to mix or alter one of the tracks you’ve so often played on vinyl, you have the option of doing so on your computer without complications.
When it comes down to it, if you’re satisfied with your existing turntable and see no need to bring any tracks over to your computer, the T.92 USB appears a bit superfluous. But if you’ve been wishing for this functionality but don’t want to compromise the quality of the actual turntable, the T.92 offers the right balance of dependability and modernity.