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Thread: SL3 rane and loss of sound quality

  1. #1
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    Post SL3 rane and loss of sound quality

    Hello dear community,

    I am planing on investing in a little home setup. 2 turntables and a nice full analog rotary mixer.

    I have a SL3 that I use for DJing with serato. Really love it and I like being able to switch between digital tracks and normal vinyls.

    Now with the setup I want to do, I would really like NOT to loose any sound quality. Ideally, I'd plug from the TT onto the mixer directly for my when I want to play records. But I would like to have the SL3 plugged in, so TT -> SL3 -> Mixer so I wouldn't have to unplug/replug RCAs every time I want to play vinyl only or with Serato. But I'm wondering if I would loose on sound quality.

    SL3 on fully THRU (as in without even a laptop plugged in, just powered and letting the normal vinyl going through the box) takes the Analog signal, makes it Digital, then back again Analog. They do that so they can apply the Phono Sensitivity parameters (not too sure what it does).

    Would't that result in a loss of sound quality?

    Another potential solution would be to have a RCA switch per TT. Something like that.
    Would be good because I could do TT -> Switch, then one Switch output goes into the phono entry of the Mixer, the other one goes to the SL3, then from SL3 onto the line in entry of the Mixer. That way I can switch when I want to play directly from turntable to mixer, or with laptop. But similar question: signal going through a switch can led to loss of sound quality...

    What are your thoughts? Which would be best?

    Thanks peeps!

  2. #2
    Moderator pete's Avatar
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    Well if sound quality and connect is your thing, then I would start by replacing all the wires for your TTs so that it is not nasty cheap wire.
    For example, Technics decks are great decks, but have rubbish cable. Recabling is easy to do with a soldering iron.
    Then you could build some RCA cables so that the signal chain is as clear as possible.

    Then you would go directly to a phono preamp. I don't know of any Dj mixers that have high quality "audiophile" preamps.
    They are built to a price. So a £5 or less preamp is common.
    The preamp in your SL3 is cheap as well. I don't know how it rates against mixer preamps. The only way is to use your ears.

    If the SL3 sounds better, then use the SL3. Simple enough. I know my sound interface sounds good enough and has more dynamic range than my mixer phono inputs.

    If not, then either pass directly to the phono preamps on the mixer, or buy a splitter as you have linked to. However, I note the splitter is not using high grade cabling either...

    But at the end of the day if you are mixing MP3s in Serato, then sound quality is never going to be amazing.
    Even records are quite terrible for sound quality as well. They wear down, they get scratched and require expensive [non-DJ] audio equipment to get the best out of them.

    Personally I just recable my equipment and use the DJ DACs that I have, then call it a day. If I want sound quality, I listen using audiophile equipment. My DJ stuff is for mixing and having fun, not critical listening.

    Also as this post is relating to the sound quality of the SL3, I'm moving it to Digital DJ Tools section.
    bored, curious, deaf or just bad taste in music?
    finally a mix by me
    and what's this, another shoddy mix...another dull mix

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