81 of 83 people found the following review helpful
Use with or without hifi
, 12 Feb. 2012
This review is from: ION Audio Profile LP Turntable with USB Conversion - Black (Electronics)
I had previously been recording my vinyl to PC using Magix Audio Cleaning Lab v1.3 (2000-1) and connecting to my PC line in from the headphone socket of my Kenwood hifi. Unfortunately my Kenwood turntable developed a problem and the arm refused to lift at the end of a record. It would drag across the record doing untold damage to vinyl and stylus and making an awful noise. Clearly I needed a new turntable.
I looked at the Kenwood turntables but they had a poor review, and quality turntables were around £160. For less than half that amount I was able to buy this Ion USB turntable so I crossed my fingers and took the plunge.
I couldn't be happier with the result! The box which arrived rattled a bit, but when opened I found another box packed inside along with a 3 pin adaptor for the two pin plug. It was the adaptor I could hear rattling. The turntable itself is about two inches wider than my old one but sat nicely on top of the stacking unit (inside it's cupboard) and does not look out of place.
There are red and white phono type jack plugs from the back of the turntable to connect it to the hifi - note you must connect to the 'aux in' ports as the turntable has pre-amp and gives a hum if you connect it to the 'phono' ports used by the previous turntable. There is also a USB lead supplied to connect the back of the turntable with your PC.
I did not install the e-z software CD which came with the turntable as the instructions suggested downloading Audacity instead if you wanted to manipulate your recordings: inserting track numbers and naming tracks etc. I therefore downloaded and installed Audacity.
The Ion USB turntable sounds excellent as part of my hifi and I am delighted with it's quality. The real test would be the ease of use for copying records to the PC.
When I first ran Audacity I was unable to hear anything through the PC headphones during the recording process and had to rely on the hifi speakers (or headphones in the hifi) to monitor the recording. Using the help tab in audacity I found that I needed to enable 'Software Playthrough'in the recording setting. This allowed me to hear the recording as it was being made through the PC headphones and I was able to switch off the hifi! In theory then, I could take the turntable away from the rest of the hifi and do my vinyl copying elsewhere, just using the PC to hear what I was doing.
However, I'm a bit of an old fogey and can't get to grips with this Audacity thing. I found it cumbersome and had difficulty in placing track markers for naming, and couldn't work out how to do the clean up process to remove clicks and background noises. Luckily, being an old fogey, I never throw anything away, so I still had my ten year old software programme Audio Cleaning Lab.
Using ACL I was easily able to record from the turntable, checking the 'auto track marking' box to save me time looking for the track endings to insert markers. I then chose 'export' to save the recording as an mp3 file (ensuring the check box is ticked for individual files for each track)and switched on all the declicker, dehisser etc buttons to improve the quality as the file is saved. Finally I open the folder containing the recorded mp3 tracks to rename them from track 1, track 2 etc to insert their correct names.
The only problem with my old version of ACL is that I cannot enable software playthrough so I need to keep the turntable linked to the hifi to hear what I am recording.
All told, I am very pleased with my new turntable - it sounds great as part of the hifi, looks good on the stack, and is ideal for copying vinyl to PC as mp3 files. I just need a younger brain to understand Audacity!
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