** Introduction **
It wasn't that long ago that I remember the original version of this Ion vinyl ripper being released which if my mind serves correctly was about £20 cheaper than this new one which I've recently bought. Having being a DJ for many years I collected endless amounts of vinyl and although a lot of it has became damaged over the years I decided I was time to start creating backups of what I had before it was too late. My Technics turntables were unfortunately sold on to a happier owner a few years back when I took the technical leap to switch to Pioneer CDJ's, however I could never part with my old tracks as any avid DJ or music Fan will tell you there is nothing like the oldskool.
* This Model In Particular *
There are a few models available from different manufacturers who currently produce and supply usb turntables,Ion also makes a few different models with slightly different specifications. This unit is a modern design of turntable however still feels quite cheap in comparison to proper reputable decks, made from a shiny plastic, featuring the vinyl platter on top, stylus & cartridge is included along with the bundled audio recording software which allows you to convert your records to MP3 which can then be exported to your iTunes library ready for use on iDevices, you can also use alternative methods to transfer the audio in to different formats and store in folders on your PC or Mac or burn to audio cd for on the go.
The unit is Plug and Play and works with USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 and should work without issue across windows platforms, not to confident about all MAC releases though.
* Extras *
The unit isn't too big so can be stored quite easily without cluttering up small area's, a dust cover is included to keep dust free from the top of the unit. Instructions are provided for installation and pretty much explains everything you need to know in order to get recording.
* Summary *
Well as I started this review my initial complaint is that the previous model was cheaper if I remember correctly, however by the time I was ready to purchase a USB turntable the old model had being replaced with this one so I guess it's not a fair complaint that a newer release is more expensive as this seems to be the new trend with everything in life at the moment, game consoles, smartphones you name it.
* Conclusion *
This particular model is retailing at £79, which in my honest opinion is extortion for the purpose, but then at the same time may be seen as a good investment for those oldskool record collectors that wish to remove the dust and retrieve their child-hood memory's.
Thanks for reading
Ion Profile LP Vinyl-Archiving Turntable
I thought I had better quickly review this as I have just sold it on Ebay! We bought this through Ebay about a year ago in order to convert our vinyl albums into mp3 on the computer. Having achieved this rather mammoth task we have decided it is unlikely that we will have any further need for it and so we have just today sold it. I was busy wrapping up carefully in its original box and thought about reviewing it.
This is a basic turntable that connects to your computer or laptop through any usb point and is compatible with USB 1.1 and USB 2.0. It is suitable for converting your records into MP3s using your Mac or PC (PC and Mac compatible). I It is essentially to covert those vinyls to mp3 but it is also a turntable which can be used as a standard record player on your home stereo without needing a preamplifier or even a special phono input because this unit has a built-in preamp so all you have to do is just connect its built-in audio cable to any line-level input and use as a normal turntable. You ca of course also use it to play through the computer. The turntable does require that your computer has Windows 98 SE, 2000, XP, Vista or Max OS9 or higher but that is pretty standard today I would think.
The unit came packed in a neat box with very little excess packing. It had polystyrene mounts to hold it safe while in transit and that is about it. We kept all the packaging and have been able to pack it safely in order for it to go to its next home. In the box you get all that you need to make the thing work, Including all cables needed to connect to your computer and stereo and installation CD rom and instructions that were pretty idiot proof as my husband managed to get it sorted pretty easily and he is not the most computer savvy person in the house. There was no need to ask our son who is the expert so it must have been easy.
The unit itself looks pretty much like any basic turntable. It is quite modern looking with silver finish and it isn't a lot bigger than the turntable itself which has a rubber mat to grip the vinyl records. The turntable is belt driven as are most turntables and it plays records at 33 1/3 and 45 RPM settings and there is software included to enable you to convert 78rpm records too but as we didn't have any of those we had no need to investigate that.
For those more tech savvy than me it apparently converts and records MP3s up to 320kbps bitrate but I have no idea what that means. Obviously once you have the music as mp3s on your computer you can then create your own CDs to play in the car or 'lend' to others. You can then also transfer then to other systems such as your mp3 players and even store them on any cloud servers should you want to.
It comes with an installation CD rom but needs no driver installation as you just plug it in and it sorts itself out through various clicks. The only thing that we found rather annoying is that Apple have managed to get involved and so it converts to mp3 but in itunes so you have to install itunes which then caused havoc with my husband's music collection as he had it all labeled as he wanted it in another programme and itunes took them and re-arranged them, re- labeled them and caused him such strife he was almost at the point of giving up with all the conversion as it had messed up all his previous carefully catalogued collection. He spent hours re labeling everything and then itunes did it again. He was unimpressed. He sorted the problem by leaving everything as itunes wanted until he had finished the conversion then he transferred them all back into his programme and relabeled everything. It was very fiddly and unnecessarily complicated because of itunes cataloging system. It didn't worry me but he didn't like his music incorrectly labeled as per artist etc.
The software included in the unit is supposed to help reduce any scratches and crackles that you might have on your records. I honestly can't say we noticed this as most of our records had no scratches. The covers may not be perfect and some were a little warped but not really any problem with scratches. It is also supposed to have "Magnetic cartridge for superior sound quality" but again I cannot say whether or not this is the case because I can't pretend to be that observation audio wise.
The software also allows you to choose automatic track splitting so you can just set the LP or EP to record and come back later. This was not that great for some as albums like the Beatles 'White Album' doesn't really have proper track divisions so we gave up on that and did a track at a time and labeled then appropriately otherwise it got in a mess . It also didn't work with live recordings or classical music so we found manually splitting the tracks worked better for us.
There is a track and album naming option but once again this was to my husband's satisfaction and as it automatically transferred the tracks toour iTunes library he had to rename them the way he liked but for those less picky then this might be useful
All in all this was a pretty neat little turntable and di what we wanted it to. We have already got a turntable attached to our stereo so we had no further need for it hence the Ebay sale. Had we not already got a turntable we might have held on to it but in our effort to de clutter it was on the hit list.
I notice on Amazon that they are selling for around£67 but we paid £37 for it on one of those one day deals on Ebay. We sold it for £25 so our year's use cost us about £12 so good value really. We were happy with the job it did although some of it was unnecessarily complicated mainly because of itunes and the way they catalogue and name their tracks. The converter aspect was easy and we had no problems with anything to do with the actual converting and using the turntable.
Thanks for reading. This review may be posted on other sites under my same user name.