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User Review: PP-3 Digital Phono Preamplifier - Great Pre-, Good ADC, But...

September 25, 2010

Products: PP-3 Digital Phono Preamplifier

After much deliberation, I finally decided to pick up NAD's PP-3. Though I'd been considering it for quite some time, I was reluctant, due to some of the reviews I'd read online (here in particular), and also because I wanted an ADC capable of a 24/96 sampling rate (The PP-3 is limited to 16/48). Anyway, here's what I've found… What's been said about the PP-3 emitting a high-pitched signal when connected to both an amplifier and PC/Mac is absolutely true. However, I found, in accordance with what's been said here, the easiest way to get rid of this noise is simply by unplugging the line-out connection on the PP-3. I was a little frustrated about this, at first, because I didn't want to have to fiddle around with cabling every time I wanted to rip a record. Well, to be honest, it's not that difficult, and I really don't rip records that often (compared to record playback). For the total cost, the quality of a PP-2 preamp, and a decent ADC, I can live with it. One thing I would comment on is that the USB cable supplied by NAD is absolutely terrible. It's a really flimsy retractable cable that broke after about two days of use. I had a high quality USB cable kicking around, so I hooked it up, and the difference in sound quality when recording is remarkable. I have yet to try a true audiophile USB cable, but it's next up on the list. Another thing, VinylStudio is actually pretty decent. I only wish they supplied the full-version, so I didn't have to switch between platforms for things as simple as converting files from AIFF to FLAC. That said, if you really want to be picky about editing your recordings, you're probably going to have a reference ADC, and not the PP-3.

Kyle - Ontario, Canada

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