Technology has afforded people with a means to download their favorite songs from the internet into their MP3s or iPods. Easy listening has never been simpler and more “portable”.
Forty-years ago, this was not possible as the most portable music player then was a cassette tape player and recorder. The golden age of vinyl records slowly faded in the background as digital technology bloomed. For a time an Ion turntable seem to be irrelevant. However, there remained two groups of music aficionados -audiophiles and DJs - who preferred Ion turntables to CD players.
Vintage LPS are highly treasured. In the past, the only way to listen to a favorite LP is to play it over and over again which is not really a great idea if you want to preserve your LP. It is now possible to convert your LP's analog music into digital files. An Ion USB turntable is equipped to covert LPs into CDs and then copied to a portable MP3 player.
Ion PROFILE FLASH USB Conversion Turntable
Though the conversion leaves out the warmth and depth of a vinyl, you can nevertheless, listen to great LP music at whim. People with LP collections can now listen to their favorite LPs through their PCs or MP3 players. This is where an Ion Audio USB turntable is handy.
There are several Ion turntable models offered by the company. It has the Ion TTUSB turntable line which includes an Ion TTUSB05 USB turntable, a TTUSB10, TTUSB05XL and TTUSBDC. Under Ion's LP series are the Easy Play LP, LP 2 CD and LP Dock.
Other models are: IPTUSB and its limited edition; Powerplay LP; Profile Flash and the Profile LP. New releases are the Quick Play LP, Profile PRO, Quickplay Flash, Record 2 PC and Vertical Vinyl. These models are inexpensive means of listening to LPs though the Ion USB series such as the Ion TTUSB turntable with USB has the capability to convert analog to digital music file.
There are plenty of Ion reviews published online. Most reviews find that the most useful feature of an Ion turntable with a USB is its capability to convert old LPs to CDs, MP3s or iPods using its exclusive software.
The EZ Ripper software is simple enough to operate on a PC or MAC. This type of turntable can also be jacked-up to an existing home stereo system with a CD, phone or AUX inputs through its phono/line level output. USB Ion turntables are also compatible with software that has a USB audio sound card. It can play in 2 speeds (33 1/3 and 45 rpm) but it can also convert 78s to digital format.
A USB Ion deck is shipped to the user with all parts intact. However, most of the assembling has to be done by the user. Though there is a step-by-step manual on how to assemble the piece, some terms are too technical for an average entry level audiophile to comprehend. Connecting the platter to the drive mechanism is not an easy task as the rubber band running around the platter needs to be hooked up to the drive mechanism. The user has to spin the platter once or twice for the hook-up to work properly. However, this process is not included in the manual.
The tonearms' counterweight also needs to be installed by the user. The 4-step process is tedious and it would have been best if the counterweight is installed at the assembly line. The quick set-up needs to be modified for an easy set-up.
Ion USB decks use a free version of EZ Vinyl Converter or Audacity. Though the free software serves the purpose of converting analog to digital, the resulting sound is poor as the accompanying pops and clicks of an old vinyl record were not eliminated. Ion turntables with an iPod dock are more convenient as transfer of analog to digital is directly from the LP turntable to the iPod. The resulting sound is “mechanical” to some. However, there is no easier and painless way to transfer vinyl records to iPods.
For those whose only care is to use an LP player to listen to old vinyls, the Ion turntable is a good entry level choice. The sound produced when hooked-up to stereo system is quite rich and smooth. The average consumer rating for an Ion USB turntable is 3.4/5. The price is very affordable - costing just under $100.
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