Home Entertainment

Sony's new turntable allows for Hi-Res digital recording

Sony's new turntable allows fo...
The HX500 turntable from Sony has a built in high resolution A/D converter
The HX500 turntable from Sony has a built in high resolution A/D converter
View 10 Images
Even the dust cover has been designed to keep unwanted vibrations in check
1/10
Even the dust cover has been designed to keep unwanted vibrations in check
Sony's new reference standard turntable features a straight, hollow, cylindrical tonearm
2/10
Sony's new reference standard turntable features a straight, hollow, cylindrical tonearm
The HX500 turntable from Sony has a built in high resolution A/D converter
3/10
The HX500 turntable from Sony has a built in high resolution A/D converter
The cast aluminum platter topped by a 5 mm thick rubber mat is rotated by a two speed belt drive system
4/10
The cast aluminum platter topped by a 5 mm thick rubber mat is rotated by a two speed belt drive system
The tonearm has a low resonance head and moving magnet cartridge containing a centrally-located stylus
5/10
The tonearm has a low resonance head and moving magnet cartridge containing a centrally-located stylus
The HX500's built-in A/D converter allows vinyl lovers to transfer music to digital format over USB in either native DSD at up to 5.6 MHz or WAV at up to 24-bit/192 kHz formats
6/10
The HX500's built-in A/D converter allows vinyl lovers to transfer music to digital format over USB in either native DSD at up to 5.6 MHz or WAV at up to 24-bit/192 kHz formats
The HX500 turntable from Sony at CES
7/10
The HX500 turntable from Sony at CES
The HX500 turntable from Sony at CES
8/10
The HX500 turntable from Sony at CES
The HX500 turntable from Sony has a built in high resolution A/D converter
9/10
The HX500 turntable from Sony has a built in high resolution A/D converter
The HX500 turntable from Sony at CES
10/10
The HX500 turntable from Sony at CES

After looking like they were going the way of the audio cassette tape, vinyl records are on a bounce back. Just this week, Nielsen reported that sales of 12-inch discs in the US rose for the tenth consecutive year, accounting for 9 percent of total physical album sales. Though there are portable turntables like those from Pyle Audio and Crossleys, enjoying vinyl on the move isn't exactly pocket-friendly. But converting records to run on an MP3 player means an inevitable loss of precious fidelity. Fortunately, Sony's new HX500 turntable boasts a built-in 24-bit analog-to-digital converter that allows audiophiles to transfer their beloved vinyl collections to high quality digital formats.

"Our new PS-HX500 turntable serves as an important bridge that connects the growing number of vinyl record collectors to the convenience and sound quality afforded by hi-res audio," said Sony's Yamato Tanikawa.

Sony's new reference standard turntable features a straight, hollow, cylindrical tonearm with a low resonance head and moving magnet cartridge containing a centrally-located stylus for the promise of optimum tracking and "superb stereo balance," even on warped vinyl. The cast aluminum platter topped by a 5 mm thick rubber mat is rotated by a two speed belt drive system.

The tonearm has a low resonance head and moving magnet cartridge containing a centrally-located stylus
The tonearm has a low resonance head and moving magnet cartridge containing a centrally-located stylus

The HX500's built-in A/D converter allows vinyl lovers to transfer music to digital format over USB in either native DSD at up to 5.6 MHz or WAV files at up to 24-bit/192 kHz. An upcoming Hi-Res Audio Recorder app caters for "simple and intuitive" editing on a Windows or OS X computer system, allowing for such things as combining both sides of a record into one long album or splitting and saving multiple tracks.

The new turntable sits atop a high density MDF acoustic cabinet and insulator feet that help keep nasty vibrations in check, and users are offered the choice of line output to an external phono pre-amp, or making use of the internal phono equalizer.

The HX500 is due for release in the coming months at an as yet undisclosed price point. Have a look at the introductory video below to give you a taste of what's on offer.

Source: Sony

3 comments
MishmaYukio
I've been very satisfied with a $30 software program running on my mac that allows me to convert the analog signal from my stereo to a digital recording using my current 40 plus year old turntable and stereo out from my pre-amp. It works with signals from my cassette player as well. I'm sure there are others out there-I use CD Spin Doctor and it will do everything this table will do.
BZD
@MishmaYukio: I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but while getting audio into the computer like you have been doing isn't bad it is very compromised. The thing is that computers are not build to in a way that is focused on analog audio, so when one feeds analog audio into a computer it is not really ensuring you get the best possible digital recording. The best way is really to use good Analog-to-digital converter as part of the stereo system and then transfer the music in digital form to the computer. That way the computers electronics doesn't mess up things (as long as you keep the file formats used to lossless types). Now if the Sony turntable in question is a good solution compared to using a more traditional setup combined with a good A/D converter is impossible to know without testing, but I bet the Sony does a better job of analog to digital part than pretty much any computer A/D be it Mac or PC so it should be a step up for those without a dedicated A/D converter.
IvanWashington
the best phono declicker I've found is part of iZotopeRx5, the sony software announcement didn't mention any declicker as part of it.