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.



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May.02.2007 @ 8:42 AM
I'm surprised to see you went that route. I for one can't understand why anyone would buy something with built in converters when they have a $1000+ set of converters sitting around anyways.

For a little more you can go up to something like an entry level Stanton or Numark that are at least solid, and take moderate to good needles. The preamp is an issue, but there are a few stand alone preamps availble ranging from about $50 to $200 or so.

Personally, I ended up with a bottom of the line Stanton direct drive table (so, not completely bottom), an all right Shure cartridge, and a BBE preamp for about $200. I can't really complain about the quality at all. I personally use mine to rip records of Ms. Ella Jenkins records from the 50's Scholastic records label.


May.02.2007 @ 9:50 AM
"I'm surprised to see you went that route. I for one can't understand why anyone would buy something with built in converters when they have a $1000+ set of converters sitting around anyways."

Welcome to the dichotomy of a CR rant.


May.02.2007 @ 9:52 AM
get a techniques or something from a pawn shop, dont screw around with any of the cheapo turntables, they are all pretty much ass.

May.02.2007 @ 9:59 AM
I don't understand why anyone would dick around with anything less than this:

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I mean, crying out loud, if you're going to do it, do it right.


May.02.2007 @ 11:05 AM
Why stop there? Get a J. A. Michell Orbe turntable, an SME V tonearm and a Koetsu rosewood cartridge. While you're at it, throw down ten g's for some duntech sovereigns.

May.02.2007 @ 11:22 AM
Screw the fuss about a turntable. I wanna know if there's any decent software that makes it less of a PITA to divide a whole side of a record into individual songs, i.e. auto detection of song gaps and strait-forward song naming.

That process has taken far too long in Adobe Audition, and I can fly around that program.

There's gotta be something like that, right?


May.02.2007 @ 11:52 AM
penzoil washington
I have one of those baby Numarks with line outputs that I use for quick and dirty sampling, which works fine for $90, and keep a Thorens upstairs with the hi-fi.

May.02.2007 @ 12:11 PM
Chris Randall
The Numark TT and this one are the exact same unit with different body moldings. They're made in the same factory.

But that said, I knew it was going to be low quality, but I expected it to work at a basic level. If I cared at all about actually getting good quality recordings of my vinyl, I'd have bought a proper rig. I just wanted to throw some little samples of shit records in, and as you say, I got what I payed for.

The thing is that a turntable, taking out the bells and whistles, is a fairly simple device, and I just assumed that the century-old technology would have leveled to the point where pretty much _any_ solution would return the same results. I was wrong.



May.02.2007 @ 12:56 PM
M-80 the thing!

May.02.2007 @ 1:08 PM
you would think..

is this your only turntable right now?


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