We've long enjoyed Stanton's DJ hardware. We recently had the good fortune to mess about with its excellent Midi DJ controller, the amusingly named DaScratch. There's furious debate over whether digital music can ever be a serious substitute for vinyl, but Stanton's saying, use what you want and we'll provide the tools to make it possible. To help you out, the company has announced two new decks for converting your vinyl to digital, the T.92 and T.55.
If you're a DJ, you'll probably want to opt for the T.92, which is a direct-drive turntable, which means it's ideal for the fast start times and wobble-free playback DJs need. It also has an S-shaped tone arm for less distortion and disc wear. The cheaper, straight-armed, belt-driven T.55 is probably more use for home users with a large vinyl collection they want to convert to CD or MP3. Even so, both decks offer pitch control, essential if you're planning on being the next Pete Tong.
Both machines have built-in soundcards, which means they can convert your analogue vinyl into digital and output the resulting signal, via an S/PDIF or the built in USB. Once you've got it connected to your computer, you can also process your old analogue recordings and remove pops, crackles and hiss.
To make the vinyl-ripping process easier, Stanton supplies the decks with Audacity for editing tracks, and advanced features such as normalisation and other useful processing features. Also in the box is Cakewalk Pyro, which has built-in clean-up options and the ability to burn your recordings to CD, DVD or Blu-ray.
The T.92 costs around £220, with the T.55 going for around £145. Both decks come with a slipmat and Stanton's 500.V3 cartridge, which should result in decent sound quality.