Thursday, April 24, 2008

ION TTUSB10 USB Turntable

USB turntables are a bit of an odd duck: at their core they're a device that still exists to serve of the pleasure of audiophiles and DJs - two small and elite groups - but they have digital audio converters and USB connections to facilitate conversion of sweet, sexy analog sound into easily portable digital files on your computer. Taking all of that into consideration, it's really a wonder LP lovers don't consider USB turntables the Antichrist.

Actually, that's a little unfair: plenty of people have record collections moldering in boxes in their basements that they've love to listen to again, perhaps on their mp3 players or their media PCs. They're probably looking for a fairly easy solution that sounds good. For these people, Ion Audio has the TTUSB line, including the TTUSB10, a turntable with USB and RCA outputs that hopes to not only play your records, but help you digitize them with style and ease. Today's task: find out exactly how well those claims stand up to the cold, harsh light of reality. Let's go.
Review Verdict

* USB turntables are a good idea, but because the Ion Audio TTUSB10 has a few setup, sound and usability issues, I can't give this particular USB turntable my full recommendation.

The Good & Bad

* Well-written audio recording & editing guide
* 1/8 inch jack input for recording tapes as well as records
* Free updates for the included software
* Includes RCA plugs for use as a standard record player
* 45 rpm speed allows faster recording without loss of quality

* Setup process is overly complicated
* Included software is a mixed bag of quality
* Recorded audio sounds harsh
* Export as MP3 requires plug-in
* Included click and pop filter does not work

Essential Specs & Stats

* Record compatibility: 33, 45 & 78 rpm playback
* Other input(s): 1/8" stereo line input
* Power source: Self-powered
* Warranty: One year
* Released date: July 2007

Package Content

* TTUSB10 USB Turntable
* Platter
* 45 rpm record adapter
* Dust cover
* Tone arm weight
* USB cable
* Software disc


Just plug the TAPE 2 PC into your computer using the provided USB cable, install the software and start converting your music. Easily transfer to your iPod or other MP3 player.

TAPE 2 PC includes EZ Tape Converter 2 for PC (EZTC2) and EZ Audio Converter for Mac (EZAC); the simplest way to record and convert tapes directly to iTunes. EZTC2 features Gracenote® MusicID technology, which analyzes your recordings and automatically retrieves album, artist and song information for you! EZAC lets you easily enter track information. You can now digitally archive your collection in just a few mouse clicks.

When you're finished archiving your cassettes to your computer, TAPE 2 PC can connect to your stereo system using standard RCA cables for convenient cassette listening in your living room, garage, or wherever your stereo system resides.

Upgrading your favorite recordings has never been easier.
Key Features

* Quickly transfer music on your tapes to MP3 format on your computer!
* Dual dubbing cassette deck
* Plug & Play USB audio interface no drivers needed!
* Metal and CrO2 tape selector
* EZ Tape Converter 2 software (PC) and EZ Audio Converter (Mac) for hassle-free recording
* Audacity software (Mac and PC) included for cleaning up worn recordings


* USB Cable
* Stereo RCA Cable
* Software CD
* Quick Start User's Manual

Computer Requirements

* PC
o Windows XP or Vista
o One available USB1.1 port or higher

* Mac
o Mac OS9 or higher
o One available USB1.1 port or higher