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on May 11, 2013
I thought about staying away from all ION turntables after my ION Quick Play LP turntable gave up on me, but when my ION Tape Express also died on me, I realized that I was really wrong! So, I got the ION Duo Deck as a replacement, and it works like a charm! It's basically a USB turntable with a built-in cassette deck. I also love the Duo Deck's built-in speakers, which allows me to use the Duo Deck as a standalone player, but the disadvantage is the requirement of four AA batteries. Instead of using the packaged EZ Vinyl and Tape Converter software, I used Audacity to digitize my family's old vinyl LP's and cassette tapes. I digitize the audio in 16-bit, 44.1 kHz for easy importing to iTunes. Of course, the vinyl LP's and cassette tapes plays at a slightly higher speed, but I managed to restore the albums to their original speed using Audacity's change speed filter. The digitized audio may sound a little off, but you can't go wrong with Audacity's high-pass filter. I use the click removal and repair filters to remove the pops and clicks from the digitized vinyl LP's. When I use the noise removal filter, I use these settings for my family's old vinyl LP's:

Noise Reduction: 12 dB
Sensitivity: 4 dB
Frequency Smoothing: 300 Hz
Attack/Decay Time: 0.25 seconds

As for cassette tapes, I use these noise removal settings:

Noise Reduction: 25 dB
Sensitivity: 5 dB
Frequency Smoothing: 2 kHz
Attack/Decay Time: 0.25 seconds

After normalizing the digitized recording, I split the albums into separate tracks, and then I save the tracks in 16-bit AIFF, so I can burn the digitized albums on CD's using iTunes. I also use iTunes to convert my digitized albums to 256 kbps AAC (iTunes Plus) for listening to on my iPod. I'd strongly recommend this USB turntable to those who are willing to digitize their collection of old vinyl LP's and cassette tapes. It's the best of both worlds!
22 comments36 of 38 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 28, 2013
Great turntable, also like the fact that it has a cassette player in it. Chances are if you have records, you probably also have cassette tapes, either pre recorded or ones that you recorded yourself. I like the slim design although it would have been nice if ion included some kind of drawstring bag or carry strap being that it runs on batteries as well as AC/USB. Now the cons. When I first played a tape it was slow and lots of wow and flutter. Then the next time I used it the noise dissapeared and has not returned since. I guess maybe it just had to be warmed up or something. The other issue is the stylus. It tends to skate a cross certain records at times. I discovered the problem. The needle that comes with it is a lower quality stylus than the replacement ones. So the best thing to do is order replacement stylus # 793-D7M. It replaces original needle on this table and various other models of ion even of crosley. Tip material is diamond, and the tip radius is 7 MI, and it tracks 3 to 5 grams. Might sound like a lot, but there are much less skating issues , and the sound is much clearer. Yes I would recommend this product to a friend.
11 comment32 of 35 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 15, 2013
This thing was so poorly made and of such low quality that I can safely say that if you saw it offered for free you wouldn't take it! The play/stop buttons were broken, the eject button didn't work correctly and the sound quality was so bad from good quality recordings that it was useless. Save your money and don't waste your time on this product!
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on June 10, 2013
I archive a great deal of audio (I have a reel to reel hooked up to my system) and I wanted to rip some vinyl to digital and this seemed like a great, inexpensive way to do it.

First LP on the machine....sounds like Barry White on 'ludes. Same for the next and the next after that. The turntable speeds are not correct. Setting it to 45 plays a 33 1/3 just a little too fast, and setting it correctly is WAY too slow. I tested the cassette deck, that works fine.

I'm returning the product for (hopefully) a replacement. I'm willing to give it one more chance before trying something else.
22 comments9 of 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 12, 2013
I was really looking forward to this item, because I have a lot of older audio tapes that I haven't been able to listen to for years. But this unit was a severe disappointment, because it didn't even work. No matter which power configuration I used -- and I was quite taken with the fact that there were several ways to power the device -- nothing happened. I was able to get my computer to talk to it, but nothing would play or move. The turntable wouldn't turn, and the only button that worked with the tape deck was the eject button. I think the motor was simply dead. I may re-order and try again, but right now I don't have a whole lot of confidence in Ion products. I may just get a standard stereo tape deck instead and connect that to my computer.

The unit itself seemed nice in terms of construction and compactness, although many of its features are a little difficult to find right away (not labeled, not mentioned in the instructions, etc.) and none of them would actually work for me. Be warned that the instructions are next to useless (and only cover software problems, with no mention of how to deal with mechanical problems) and the software itself is grade z and forces you to immediately import your recordings into iTunes. (Get Audacity instead, if you can). For these reasons, I doubt I'll take a second chance with this product.
22 comments21 of 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 7, 2013
I loved this when I first got it and wrote a glowing review. I've had a change of mind.

This product does exactly what it says it does; it just doesn't do it for long. I bought this in March and used it a lot to convert lps and cassettes. By late April the turntable no longer worked -- plays too slow. The cassette still works, but it actually plays back a bit fast. I tried contacting the company about the flaws, but as yet have had no response.

It wasn't expensive and it was nice while it lasted. So it wasn't a complete bust.
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on December 16, 2012
No problems. Not bad for the price.
You will have to put out more money
to get better quality. I would recommend it.
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on March 24, 2013
The unit will not turn on using power from USB, batteries, or outlet plugin regardless of which options for power or phono-tape are selected and of course there is not connection made to the computer for tape buttons or photo switch to be used. Would have been a great little unit to use for this if it worked. So glad Amazon makes it easy as this is the first Item I have returned.
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on December 8, 2014
Given the fact that the price was low, and the product does work, I really wanted to rate the Ion Duo Deck higher. Unfortunately, even my relatively low expectations were dashed. The build quality is acceptable, and the tape desk does operate, but the end-result is far below par.

Every basic function of the cassette desk (play, ff, rw, stop, eject) works, and the sound level recorded via USB is sufficient. But the drive mechanism is completely substandard. Even powered by the included USB power adapter, frequent speed variations during playback means the pitch of recorded material is constantly fluctuating. I'm not sure if it's direct-drive and under-powered, or belt drive and slipping (or still under-powered), but it is truly awful.

I have not yet tried the turntable. I can't imagine it works significantly better than the cassette player, though, so I'm leaving my review as two stars.
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on January 9, 2014
This is a good little turntable and cassette player. Batteries seem to last awhile (I've played about 5 LPs on it with rechargeables), sound is okay for the size, and the unit is very small.

USB Recording
Great battery life

Cassette player controls are a bit finicky
The turntable wobbles a bit
The speaker continues to operate when headphones are plugged in
Speaker isn't the greatest (but for this price, what can you expect?)

Overall, its a nice ultraportable record player for cheap. I wholeheartedly recommend it.
0Comment2 of 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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