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Ion TTUSB Turntable with USB Record (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
|Price:||$99.95 & FREE Shipping|
- USB 1.1 turntable that makes it a snap to convert vinyl collection to CD or MP3 formats
- Includes Audacity PC/Mac recording software and trial version of Bias Soundsoap 2
- Adjustable anti-skating control for increased stereo balancing
- Support for high-speed vinyl recording; works with both 33-1/3 and 45 rpm speeds
- Line-level outputs for easy stereo connection; 1/8-inch line-level input; weighs 7.7 pounds
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This item Ion TTUSB Turntable with USB Record (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
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|Item Dimensions||5.5 x 14.5 x 17.75 in||16.45 x 15.23 x 4.05 in||9.5 x 4.5 x 6 in||4 x 12 x 4 in||16 x 14.25 x 4 in|
|Item Weight||7.7 lbs||7.71 lbs||6.6 lbs||11.4 lbs||6.66 lbs|
ION has created the world's first USB turntable allowing you to convert your old vinyl collection directly to CD or MP3 with the included recording software. (NO SPECIAL DRIVERS NEEDED) The ION USB turntable includes Audacity software for Mac/PC for recording as well as a trial of Bias Soundsoap 2 for cleaning and restoring vinyl. This turntable also has line level output for connecting to any home stereo with CD or auxiliary (AUX) inputs. This product is compatible with any software that supports USB audio input sound cards.
The first USB turntable that lets you convert your old vinyl collection directly to CD or MP3, the Ion Audio iTTUSB is a must for people who don't want to deal with clumsy adapters or mismatched software when transferring formats. Requiring no special drivers, the turntable comes with Audacity, a recording application that works with both PCs and Macs, as well a trial version of Bias Soundsoap 2 to clean and restore vinyl recordings. As an alternative, the turntable also works with any other software that supports USB audio input sound cards. Once connected, the turntable transfers both 33-1/3 rpm albums and 45 rpm singles to digital formats in mere minutes.
The iTTUSB also offers a few hardware extras, such as an adjustable anti-skating control for increased stereo balancing, an adjustable pitch control (+/- 8 percent), and support for high-speed vinyl recording. And thanks to the line-level outputs, you can connect to any home stereo with CD or auxiliary (AUX) inputs--no phono inputs required. The turntable comes with a cartridge and stylus, 45 adapter, and USB cable and is compatible with PCs running Windows 98, 2000, or XP and Macs running OS 9 or greater. All computers must also have at least one available USB 1.1 port.
The iTTUSB's master carton measures 20.27 by 6.85 by 17.16 inches (W x H x D) while the turntable itself weighs 7.7 pounds.
What's in the Box
Turntable, tonearm counterweight, platter with belt, slipmat, cartridge premounted on headshell, RCA cable, USB cable, software CD-ROM, 45 adapter, quick-start guide, user's manual.
Top customer reviews
SETTING UP THE TURNTABLE: The turntable is so very simple to set up, and the weight and materials are so different from those high end turntables of years past, that you might think you just wasted your money... don't worry, the best is yet to come. It took me all of 15 minutes to set up the turntable and plug it into my computer. Due to a couple of reviews that I read I took 3 precautions while setting up the turntable: 1) I used some of the foam wrapping material from the box and wrapped the RCA plugs to eliminate any extraneous noise that might be introduced into the system, 2) I put small felt pads under the legs of the table that the turntable will sit on, and 3) I used a stylus pressure gauge to get exactly 4 grams of weight (with the plastic cover still on the stylus which should give me approx 3.75 - 4 grams with the plastic cover off).
SETTING UP THE USB PART: Again it is totally a no-brainer. Just follow the meager instructions that are included with the turntable - they are spot-on. When I plugged in the USB cable (I set it up on 2 different machines, a Dell and a home-made running XP Home Edition and XP Professional respectively). On both machines Windows ran me through several set-up wizards that installed the following drivers (it's all automatic, just click when it tells you to): USB Compliant Device, USB Audio Device, USB Human Interface Device, and HID Compliant Device. That's it... maybe 5 minutes of watching the computer do it's part.
SETTING UP THE SOFTWARE: I was pretty sceptical from the reviews I had read. Again, follow the meager software instuctions - again they are spot-on. It probably took all of 15 minutes to get everything done.
RECORDING A VINYL ALBUM: Expect to spend about an hour per album (most albums take about 40 minutes just to play through). The process is simple: 1) copy the album to your harddrive, 2) Normalize the file, 3) remove extraneous noise, 4) Split the file into seperate tracks, and 5) write the WAV files to a CD (I used Nero for that part).
FINAL TRANSFER COPY: You'll want to spend a little time learning to use the software (maybe an hour of two and you will have it all down pat). For my first album I used one that was far from pristine. I wanted to see what the software is capable of. I could not be more pleased with the result. Using the software I was able to remove most of the extraeous noise. There is still a VERY slight amount of noise that you would normally expect, even from the most pristine vinyl album, and I like it that way.
BOTTOM LINE: This is an amazing purchase for the price. Everything works, and works better than I ever expected. A dustcover would have been nice, but I'll just make one, no big deal. All of the albums that I have transered so far sound incredible, pretty close to pristine quality, and if you really listen you will know the music is from the original vinyls... what could be better.
EDIT: After transferring about 20 vinyl albums a quick update should be useful...
1) for removing clicks, pops, and static I have settled into this process - after copying the album to the harddrive don't "Normalize", instead just "select -> all" from the edit menu; then select "click removal" from the effects menu and move the top slider to the left about 1/2 of it's default center setting then click "remove clicks"; now click "Noise Removal" from the effects menu, select an area between tracks to set the "Get Profile Noise"; then "select -> all" from the edit menu and bring the noise removal window back up; move the slider to the left (about 1/2 way from the default center setting) and click "Remove Noise"; then bring the noise removal window back up again and repeat the noise removal a second time but move the slider a couple of clicks further towards "Less" this time; now just manually remove any remaining noise or clicks (there will be very little left). Your files should now be just right and ready to seperate and copy to CD. Any other method I used seemed to remove too much from the file and resulted in a clean but VERY SLIGHTLY muffled sound (it could just be me though because we are talking about very small degrees of difference here).
2) On my Dell computer there seems to be some kind of conflict with the USB turntable (I don't have the problem with my home made machine). The problem happens when I turn the computer on with the turntable USB cable already plugged into the computer... the computer will hang up during it's initial booting (before it starts loading windows). The solution is pretty simple, just unplug the USB cable before booting the computer and plug it back in after the computer boots up fully, but it kind of bugs me.
EDIT #2: A couple of posts refer to a "Dreaded Silence" problem. After transferring about 50 albums I had it happen to me also. The problem is that the software (??? not certain) seems to be adjusting the computer's system volume to almost mute. Just go into "Control Panel" -> "Adjust speaker Volume" -> "Advanced" and move the "Wave" volume slider back up to a higher value. Hope that helps.
The Ion USB Turntable simplifies this process considerably. As others have said, assembly and set-up were relatively easy. One word of caution, though. If you're expecting a solidly constructed turntable similar to what you may have used in the past, you may be disappointed. Even the platter is molded plastic, as is the entire housing. Just keep in mind that this IS a $140 turntable. It is a COMPLETELY manual turntable, with no tonearm lift, so you need to develop a steady hand to avoid damaging discs.
Results with the Audacity software have been mixed. It does perform some amazing tasks, and has a long list of special effects that can be applied to your tracks. However, I seem to have a problem with it locking out all other sound sources such as Musicmatch, iTunes and Rhapsody, even when Audacity has been shut down. Others have mentioned the LAME file issue. A Google search turned up the file, a free download, but it's incomprehensible why the manufacturer would not have included that on the software disc.
Overall, a good purchase, with some minor reservations. At some point, I may be tempted to pop the thing open, yank out the circuitry, and hard-wire it into my old turntable.
UPDATE: After trial and error, I discovered that it is NOT the software that locks out other audio programs, but the turntable itself. In order to prevent that, I have to disconnect the turntable from my PC after each use. I'm not certain whether my experience is unique, or if other owners have the same problem.
Once I had the usb audio driver working, I realized the Ion turntable itself had no grounding apparatus; its signal was awash in white noise. The last thing I want to hear when I am archiving vinyl is noise. I managed to use some analogue trickery a la McGuyver to keep the noise low, but it never went away fully.
My 3rd and final gripe? If you listen closely, there is weird analogue-to-digital conversion noise that gets recorded. Sounds like robots mumbling to one another. Did I mention it gets recorded?
If you are STRAPPED for cash and absolutely NEED a usb vinyl solution...Then I guess you gotta do what you gotta do. But for any serious vinyl archiver, I would look into other solutions than this model.