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NAD PP 4

Digital phono preamplifier with USB output

Item #: 745PP4

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12 Reviews | 1 question - 11 answers

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Turn your irreplaceable vinyl LPs into digital music you can enjoy anywhere

Missing the music in your record collection because your receiver lacks a phono input? Here's a way to get back in the groove. Add the NAD PP 4 Digital Phono/USB preamplifier to your system, and you can connect your turntable to any of your receiver's line-level inputs. And your options don't stop there. The PP 4's USB port lets you connect your turntable to a computer so you can convert LPs to digital files and transfer your record collection to recordable CDs using the included VinylStudio™ Lite software. A line level input also lets you burn audio CDs from other analog music sources, such as a cassette deck. And this preamp features a recording level control to help optimize the analog-to-digital conversion process.

Product Highlights:

  • phono preamplifier with built-in analog-to-digital converter to convert vinyl to digital files
  • includes VinylStudio Lite software for converting LPs to CD (Windows and Mac compatible)
  • purchase of full version of VinylStudio software required for converting individual tracks to MP3 or AAC
  • compatible with moving magnet and moving coil phono cartridges
  • line-level input for connecting another analog audio source like a cassette deck
  • line-level audio output
  • USB port for connecting to a PC (includes USB cable)
  • outputs 16-bit/48kHz PCM digital audio
  • recording level control (0 dB to -6 dB)
  • external power supply for reduced noise and interference
  • signal-to-noise ratio: 76 dB (MM); 78 dB (MC); 115 dB (line level)
  • THD: less than 0.03% (MM & MC)
  • RIAA response accuracy ± 0.3 dB (20-20kHz)
  • 5-3/8"W x 1-7/8"H x 4-3/16"D
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

NAD PP 4 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

12 Reviews

NAD PP4

Written by: DEW from peoria, IL on January 29, 2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great shipping. Works as advertised. No documentation but very straightforward to connect. I have not used the software or tried to download music files to my laptop, but the unit works fine.

Pros: Works, small, good sound, neutral coloration.

Cons: None

NAD PP 4

Written by: SRC from Florida on December 8, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Outstanding device and easy to install and use. High quality phono preamp and interface with greatest flexibility and usage. Can't go wrong.

Pros: Quality, Easy to install, good for both MM and MC phono cartridges, great flexibility

Cons: None

Improved sound quality

Written by: Bruce from Washington on November 14, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Easy to set up, improved sound quality over built in phone pre amp in my 18 year old Yamaha receiver. Very easy to use software to record albums with the USB interface.

Pros: Sound and build quality, USB port for recording to a computer. Good price for what you get.

Cons: No RCA cables, poor documentation.

NAD PP$

Written by: Richard R from Texas on July 12, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Easy to set up and use. Works well

Pros: Does what is required. VinylStudio is provided.

Cons: Takes a little time to learn to use VinylStudio, and need upgrade for full capability, but not works well with a little experience.

NAD PP4 and MC cartridges

Written by: DMI from Portland, OR on February 8, 2015

I have had this around six months now. I have a moving coil cartridge so it requires a greater voltage step up than a normal cartridge and the PP4 accommodated my cartridge nicely (Audio Technica / Signet). The product is excellent and I thought that Vinyl Studio, that came with it, was very good, in fact, it does a very good job guiding you through the process - setting the file format for saving the LP, splitting tracks, naming tracks using internet sources (very cool), and procuring artwork from internet sources. However, I did have to spring for the pro version, around $30 dollars, to be able to store the LPs in file formats I wanted. The noise of the pre-preamplifier seems very low and the resulting sound excellent. I simply plugged this device between my turntable and receiver then ran a USB cable from the device to my Mac and, voila, I was saving old LPs. As expected, you have to pay attention to setting the recording level and that can be tricky, but this is no fault of the device or software. I would have given this a 5, but it seems to be limited to 16 bit and 48KHz and I know that might not please the most picky audiophiles. For me, I could not be happier.

Pros: * Excellent compatibility with different cartridge types - low noise and good musical quality output. * Build quality is very good. * Software is very capable and easy to use. Automatically updates iTunes. Has filtering for clicks and pops and various waveform editing features.

Cons: * 16-bit and 48KHz is the highest quality recording it can do * A person may want to store music in other file formats that requires the pro version of the software

NAD PP4

Written by: JeffG from mendon, ma on February 6, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Very happy with this unit. Easy to connect. Using with a line-out from an NAD 304 integrated amp. (Tape 2 output). Recorded vinyl to .wav via USB cable using Vinyl-Lite. This software works quite well and after recording can scan for individual tracks. To save to .wav files to tracks and use all features a full license must be purchased for Vinyl-lite for $30 online. Recording quality converting vinyl to digital is excellent - very hard to tell the difference once converted. Highly recommend this product.

Pros: Full featured software is very good compared to other similar products. Quality recordings.

Cons: For the non-tech savvy user the software may be a little challenging. Needed to download an additional component after upgrading to the full version of Vinyl-lite. Also needed to set input device (codec) to 2 channel - 16 bit - 44K for optimal recording. These are options in Windows. Not terribly difficult but not 'out of the box' either. Basic recording very easy.

NAD Preamp

Written by: Jeff from Dallas Texas on December 7, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Easy set up and worked as intended. The software for analog to digital conversion was included and this seems to be better than the one I had already downloaded so this was an added benefit.

Pros: Easy set up

Cons: None at this time

NAD PP4

Written by: GaryD from NH on November 6, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great preamp. Connected my old B&O turntable with new cartridge and now enjoying all my old vinyl again. Plus, I am able to connect my old cassette deck to extra inputs on back. And I can now save old tracks to MP3 but need to get full version of vinyl studio software, that's my next step.

Pros: small and compact, auto shut off, extra inputs for cassette or other device. Great sound. USB connect to record vinyl to CDs or mp3's.

Cons: none that I can find.

NAD PP4

Written by: Don from Tonopah, NV on September 21, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is a great phono preamp. It's nice to be able to digitize LPs and cassettes. The software isn't that great. If you want to store your music to external drive devices, you'll have to buy the advanced version of their download for $30 extra, so don't be surprised when the message pops up.

Pros:

Cons:

Great phono preamp

Written by: leeponton from Chicago on July 16, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This unit is exactly what you need to build a compact system to rip vinyl recordings to digital files. With a good turntable, the NAD PP4, and Vinyl Studio software on your MAC, you can build a digital library easily.

Pros: Compact; well-built.

Cons: None

Excellent

Written by: Jordan from PA on March 16, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Excellent Extremely easy to use. High quality. I now listen to all my vinyl records with great pleasure.

Pros:

Cons: none

NAD PP4 Preamp

Written by: Bob from Hudson, Florida on January 16, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I've used the MM preamp from my SL-1650 Technics turntable/Grado Prestige Red cartridge to an Onkyo Home Theater Receiver and an assortment of speakers and subs and the sound is crisp and clear with no component noises. The turntable is grounded to the preamp. Turn the preamp on with the on button and when input from the turntable stops it automatically turns off after 30 to 35 minutes. I haven't yet used the USB port or the Vinyl Studio Lite software.

Pros: Simple to install, physically small and robust feeling. Audio output signal quality is all you could want

Cons: Instruction sheet is bare-bones minimum. A little more would be nice, e.g. auto-turn-off description.

Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Digital phono preamplifier
  • AC adapter (w/ attached 6' DC cord)
  • 59" USB cable (USB type-A connector on one end and USB type-B connector on the other)
  • VinylStudio Lite CD ROM
  • Warranty information
  • Instructions/Specifications on box

Product Research

Features

Overview: NAD's PP-4 combines the award winning PP-2I MM/MC Phono Preamp with a high quality Analog-to-Digital converter and USB interface. Utilizing VinylStudio Lite PC Software, you can convert records and tapes to CD. The PP-4 also includes the same analog outputs as the PP-2I for connection to an analog stereo system.

Note: The included software, VinylStudio Lite PC, has very limited usage. In order to save tracks as MP3 or MP4/AAC files, you must upgrade to the VinylStudio full version for $29.95.

RIAA EQ: The PP-4 phono preamp consists of a low noise discrete MC preamp followed by a low noise opamp-based RIAA MM stage incorporating a 12dB/octave infrasonic filter to attenuate turntable "rumble" noise. The output feeds the Line Output as well as the soft clipped input of an A/D converter with USB Output. This can be connected to any PC for recording from vinyl disc to a hard drive. The built-in passive equalizer curve follows the RIAA standard within 0.3 dB, measured from 50 Hz to 20 kHz.

USB Port: Using the USB (type-B) port on the front-panel, the phono signal can be routed to your computer; with the included VinylStudio Lite software LPs are easily converted to CD (Macintosh version available on NAD's web site). The PP-4 has an analog to digital converter (A/D) that optimizes the gain for the best signal to noise ratio and lowest distortion. The USB output is 16-bit linear PCM signal sampled at 48 kHz.

MM/MC Compatible w/ Discrete RCA Inputs: The PP-4 accepts inputs from either moving magnet (MM) or moving coil (MC) cartridges. On the rear panel there are separate RCA inputs for MM and MC, and a switch to choose which you are using. 

Line Input: An additional stereo RCA line input allows you to send a standard source to the internal A/D converter and use the included software to record to your computer. A switch on the rear panel selects the phono or line input. The line input can also replace the input on your receiver taken by the PP-4. 

Line Output: A rear panel stereo RCA output is used for connecting the phono preamp to your home stereo receiver.

Ground: A post on the rear panel provides easy grounding for your turntable.

Volume Control: The PP4 front-panel volume control applies to both the MM and MC inputs and the Line In inputs; 0 to -6dB reduces the level via the USB output to the PC to prevent clipping.

External Power Supply: The NAD PP-4 operates off of standard household current (120V AC, 60Hz) using the supplied AC power adapter (23.5V DC, 60mA). The external power adapter is separate from the phono preamp to further improve sound quality.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

Just what I needed and the reviews were good. [ John  Jan 29, 2016 ]
Quality reputation, desired price range, features and specifications. [ Normd  Jan 25, 2016 ]
Based on good reviews and feedback about this product on Crutchfield's web site. [ Michael  Dec 18, 2015 ]

1 question already asked

You will connect the tape deck Line Out to the PP 4 Line In, Make sure the switch is selected to Line In and not Phono. If your PC has RCA input you can use the Line Out on the PP 4 otherwise you will connect via the USB cable. You will likely need to make some adjustments to your soundcard concerning the source. The PP 4 recommends VinylStudio software for working with the sound files. I think the software is awesome and works well. [ JESSE  Feb 23, 2015 ]
Hi Harry-I have been impressed by the responses by you guys for this query. All have been very helpful and am now in a position to connect up. Thank you for your prompt help. [ Dave  Feb 21, 2015 ]
Hi Scott-I may have not explained my requirement too well not being a techy! However, I have now sorted out the Jack situation but thank you for your assistance. [ Dave  Feb 21, 2015 ]
Hi Gareth-I had the feeling this is what I needed to do but you have now confirmed it. Thanks for your prompt help. [ Dave  Feb 21, 2015 ]
Hi Robert-thank you for this prompt response. I now have all the required information I had asked for-very impressed. Thanks again. [ Dave  Feb 21, 2015 ]
Take the output of your tape deck and plug it into the input of the NAD that is not the phono input. Then use a USB printer cable from the preamp to your computer and follow the instructions from the VinylStudio software. I hope this is correct. Good luck! [ james  Feb 20, 2015 ]
Hi, Dave If I read your question correctly, use your cassette playback outputs to connect with the 3020 tape play/input terminals. Then connect the 3020 record/output terminals to the PP4 line in connectors. Connect the USB cable from the PP4 to your PC, download the Vinyl Studio Lite software and you should be ready to go. Hope this helps and have fun. [ Robert  Feb 20, 2015 ]
So you have a DAT player that you'd like to connect to the NAD 3020 through the PP4? If so: You'll need: - two sets of red/white (or black) RCA/phono cables. - two sets of double wire speaker cables Steps: - Connect the red and white (or black) cables to the corresponding phono OUT in the back of the DAT player to the phono IN on the back of the PP4 (also corresponding red & white/black). - You then connect the second pair of RCA/phono cables from the phono OUT of the PP4 to the phono IN of the NAD 3020 - Now that the preamp and amp are connected to the NAD player, connect the speaker cables to the red and black ( + and - ) speaker outputs. - These speaker outputs are the ones with knobs to secure the speaker cables in place - You need to connect the + and - to the corresponding + and - from the speakers to the amp. - You should be all set. Hope this helps [ HARRY  Feb 20, 2015 ]
As its a Phono Amp I can't figure out how you could use it for digitizing music from cassette. If you figure something out let me know, but I don't think it can be done... [ Scott  Feb 20, 2015 ]
It's very straightforward: use the line input RCA jacks on the back of the unit to connect to the output of your cassette tape recorder. Be sure to flip the switch in the back that selects the line input. That's it! [ Gareth  Feb 20, 2015 ]
I convert analogue audio files to digital(usually MP3) by first creating a file on my computer using the USB connection from the NAD amplifier to my computer. The analogue input to the NAD for me is my turntable. Then I use a audio conversion program from avs4you to convert the audio to, for example MP3 or MP4. Once that is accomplished you can then record the digital file from your computer to tape or a CD through a digital amp/receiver connected to your digital device. [ Robert  Feb 20, 2015 ]

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