May 1, 2007

Can I get a rewind?

by Chris Randall
 



So I got one of these Ion USB turntables (they're available under a dozen different brand names but are all essentially from the same factory in China...) in order to part out some of the stacks of ridiculous records I have for my new Micronaut album. Like, for instance, the little drum break in Caravan on "Persuasive Percussion 1966." That sort of thing.


Anyways, I got it for like a buck twenty four at ThinkGeek. If you're thinking about getting one of these, let me state for the record that they are roughly the same quality as the little turntable that goes in the top of the Emerson Bedroom Hi-Fi System you had in 1981 to play Kim Carne's "Betty Davis Eyes" on over and over again. It is, in short, a piece of utter shite. But that said, it gets the job done. USB shows up as a source and there you go. It comes with some sort of Bias software, but there's NFW I'm putting anything from an included CD-ROM in my computer if that CD-ROM doesn't come from a reputable company like, say, Apogee. Never have, never will.


In any event, if you just want to fuck around with some scratchy yard-sale records, it's great fun. If you're looking for a quality way to get your 180-gram audiophile pressing of "Kind Of Blue" in to your computer, look at a real rig. This thing is junk.

 
 
 

30 comments:

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May.01.2007 @ 5:15 PM
ecallender
Fuck it. If you are man enough to admit to listening to "Bette Davis Eyes" two thousand times during the Summer of '81, then so am I. You did pass on Laura Branigan's "Self Control," I hope?
 
 

 
May.01.2007 @ 5:24 PM
Chris Randall
Hell, I didn't listen to that bullshit. There were two artists I cared about in '81 and they were the Clash and Joe Jackson.

-CR

 
 

 
May.01.2007 @ 6:25 PM
puffer
And I imagine that your turntable back then was a whole lot better than an Emerson.

81 for me was mostly about Jimi Hendrix and the Ramones.

 
 

 
May.01.2007 @ 6:32 PM
Chris Randall
No. I still had the Emerson. My family was ass-down po folks, and I was lucky to have that, which was a hand-me-down from one of my uncles.

-CR

 
 

 
May.01.2007 @ 7:09 PM
inteliko
The deck looks like its full of techno.
 
 

 
May.01.2007 @ 7:50 PM
Chris Randall
After experimenting, it almost has enough problems for me to send it back. The audio outputs (what I would prefer to use) are somewhat fucked, in as much as the right side is twice the volume of the left. Originally, I thought the needle wasn't seated correctly or some such, but when I plugged up the USB, the balance was correct. So the problem lies with a wiring mishap somewhere.

The line level audio output has almost no bottom. I think that the preamp inside isn't RIAA-spec, but rather some silly "oh, let's just make it louder" kind of thing so they didn't have to pay the royalty. The USB output works fine and the balance and bottom are both correct; however, there is a rather loud whine at 12K, quite apparent when listening to music, and blaring away at all times regardless of settings or power state.

Finally, the audio needs a driver install in Vista. This is simply ludicrous, and completely unnecessary. What the fuck?

So, in short, it is unfortunately _not_ full of techno. I wish it was. I should follow my own advice; if there's a better version of something you want to buy, especially if that better version was made in the US, England, or Germany, buy it instead of the Chinese bullshit. Now I have to figure out how to get this piece of garbage back in the box and return it; that right there would have been worth another $200 to me.

-CR

 
 

 
May.02.2007 @ 12:13 AM
Aenemone Carbuncler
what's wrong with the pawn shop deals for nice turntables? all you need is a an RIAA pre, get a cheap dj mixer or cheap mixer with riaa like the Soundcraft COMPACT 4.
 
 

 
May.02.2007 @ 6:15 AM
bearblock
this would be the same 'ion' that makes the drum trigger pads?

i got one of these for cheap on ebay, and the build quality also sucks. drumkit hardware should not be made of moulded plastic.

so it's a toy - but then again, toys are fun :D it makes an awesome accessory for any type of nord modular, and i haven't broken it yet.

 
 

 
May.02.2007 @ 7:45 AM
RexRhino
CR,

You are not implying, are you, that you thought this thing was not going to be low quality before you purchased it?

 
 

 
May.02.2007 @ 8:02 AM
jimi_t
For cheap and cheerful solutions, Numark have a USB offering in the same ballpark - the Numark TT USB - but really Chris, why? Sunstroke?
 
 

 
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