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ION USB turntable

The vinyl countdown

It's also possible to record at high speed and use the software to convert it into normal speed. In essence, this means recording a 33.33rpm disc at 45rpm and using Audacity to automatically correct tempo and pitch. It worked well and could save hours when recording a large LP collection.

Audacity software Mac OSX interface
Audacity software Mac OSX interface

Tone arm weighting and anti-skating can be adjusted quite easily if the needle doesn't come to rest in the groove properly, and there's a gain dial to change the sound level sent to the computer. In addition, there's a stereo line-input for attaching external devices such as a mini-disc player or even a cassette player if you've got some tapes in your collection too. Extra devices need extra cables, all of which you'll need to buy separately.

One minor grumble is that the turntable's light weight does mean that only a slight knock is needed for the record to jump. And those more experienced Djs out there might argue that because the device is belt driven, it takes longer for the platter to react to being switched on. But for those of us who aren't experienced DJs, it works well enough.

We liked how the recording was actually started through the software, rather than simply pressing Start on the deck: this allowed for more accurate timing when recording. We also liked the portability of this device - as it can be easily transported to wherever the hi-fi or desktop PC may sit.

Verdict

If you don't possess a record deck of any kind and simply want to transfer old music to digital formats, the ION USB Turntable will do just that. However, the biggest setback is the software. For some inexplicable reason, those that write music-editing software seem to feel the need for a bizarre and totally non-logical interface: GrooveMaker is a classic case in point. Audacity is sadly no exception. Perhaps the box should have "Some patience is required" printed on the side. Persevere though, and you will be rewarded. Eventually.

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75%
ION USB turntable

ION USB turntable

Nice device. Just improve the software and the instruction manual...
Price: £119/€175 inc VAT RRP