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ION USB Turntable
Posted 23 April 2009 - 01:24 PM
Packaging: Impressive - double boxed in sturdy corrugated cardboard. The unit itself was nicely packed, supported by two blocks of polystyrene. The cartridge head, tone arm counterweight, 45 rpm adapter and USB cable were in indivdual plastic bags secured in wells in the blocks by plastic tape. The attached AC cord and audio cable were protected by a plastic bag.
The base unit, platter, platter slipmat and plastic dust cover were individually packed in plastic, with additional corrugated cardboard separating them.
In another plastic bag were the User's guide, software CD, and software manual.
Included software: EZ Vinyl Converter 2 for Windows, EZ Audio Converter for MAC and Audacity for Windows and MAC. Also included are instructions for downloading a new version of EZ Vinyl Converter for Vista.
Construction: Made in Malaysia. The Turntable base is molded plastic, with four large round soft rubber feet. The power cord and RCA audio cable are permanently installed and come out of the bottom near the rear. In an adjacent recess on the bottom are a PHONO/LINE selector switch, level control and USB port. The platter is also made of molded plastic and has two holes for access to the drive belt, which is preinstalled. The tonearm is a curved tubular arm, with adjustable counterweight and removable cartridge head. An antiskating adjustment is on the tonearm base. The cartridge head shell0 is designed to accommodate standard magnetic cartridges. The cartridge itself is premounted in the shell and is of unknown make, having the letters "GT" on the front. there is no information about the phono stylus.
On the top of the base are a power on/off button, two play/pause buttons, buttons for 45 and 33 1/3 rpm speed selection along with associated led indicators, a 1/8" stereo line input jack (for allowing the line level output of a tape player to be fed to the USB output), the tonearm and tonearm rest with holddown clip.
Assembly consisted of installing the counterweight and cartridge head on the tonearm, installing the turntable platter on the center spindle and reaching through an access hole to grab the drive belt and pull it over the motor spindle.
According to the user manual, EZ Vinyl Converter 2 includes Gracenote MusicID, which uses the Gracenote database on the web to attempt to identify a recording's title information (artist/item/track). The software uses iTunes to import music to the MP3 format. I've seen conflicting notes in the documentation that say 44.1 Khz and 192 Khz as the MP3 file output sampling rates.
Once I get around to installing the software and hooking up the turntable, I'll try a few test recordings and add more comments.
Family Room: Sony KDFE-55A20 55" LCD RPTV; Yamaha RX-V663 AVR. Paradigm speakers - Focus fronts, CC170 center, PDR-8 subwoofer, Atom surrounds, ADP rear center; TiVoRoamio Plus, LG BH200 HD DVD/Blu-ray player via HDMI to AVR
Bedroom: Vizio 42" 3D TV, Pioneer VSX-521-K AVR, Panasonic 3D DVD player, Energy Take Classic 5.1 speakers, Roku 2 XD, TiVo Premiere, Insignia HD radio tuner, Toshiba HD DVD player
Posted 23 April 2009 - 01:40 PM
The software that is included is good but only creates mpegs. I use another program that I can create wavs with so I can make CD's. Then import it to my iTunes collection from there. I use yet another program to cut and edit the wavs as I choose.
Be sure to follow the instructions and change your sound capture from 1 Channel mono sound to 2 Channel, 16-bit, 44100Hz (CD Quality) sound.