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Vinyl junkies--anyone using new USB-turtables?

Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 6:08 pm
by tinana
I don't know if anyone reading this board still collects vinyl, but among those that do I was wondering if anyone had tried the new turntables coming out now with USB connectivity.

I was trying to gauge the quality by reading the online reviews and they seem to be extremely biased in either one direction or the other, ie the dj's and audiophiles are panning them because, I dunno, they're light in weight or have belt-drives or something, and the cable-phobes are raving about them because there's not a lot of contortionism involved, it's just plug 'n play.

Well, I'm not a dj, I don't "scratch", I don't know about belt vs. direct drive, and I don't demand a "pristine listening experience"...and I don't mind *not* having plug'n play connectivity, tho that sounds appealing.

The bottom line is I need a new turntable, these (the ION iTTUSB) are going for 100 or so bux, and I was wondering if they were reliable enough or not.


Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 6:47 pm
by rovingcowboy
go to a real sound shop and buy a componet table to match your home stereo unit.

belt drive is good for the dj's because they can spin the albums backwards and not worry about messing up the drive motor because the belts slide then. but the direct drive might mess up the motor.

i don't know if you really have a broken table or just worn out one.
but if you have one that still spins the albums at the correct speed.

you might beable to get replacement parts from

i use my old table i don't look forward to having to buy a new one. that might not be as good as my old one.

Posted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 1:36 pm
by Scooter
The new USB turntables are long on tech but short on quality.

You will want to look for a quality motor which is sound isolated.

You will want a belt drive system which is quieter.

You will want a fairly heavy platter, in the range of at least 4 pounds.

The advantage of the USB turntables is that they have a A to D converter built right in and a direct feed to the computer, as opposed to going through a sound card. The distadvantage of the USB Turntables is that they have a A to D converter built right in and a direct feed to the computer, as opposed to going through a sound card. Sound cards have better A to D converters, and can support 24 bit.

I recently bought a Pro-Ject turntable with a top of the line Grado Cartridge for about $400. If you are converting vinyl to digital, you really need to start with the best signal you can afford. No sense in having $300 headset or $5,000 speakers if there is a hum because the turntable is crap.

I am not panning the device, merely stating that cheap and easy is not always good and that you should read reviews and try to understand what you are doing with the turntable and how you will use it.

Posted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 1:45 pm
by Teknojnky
I thought DJ's use slipmats so the drive motor/belt is not affected.

I wouldn't expect anyone to want to risk burning up a belt or motor to 'spin' or 'dj scratch' records by not using a slipmat.

Posted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 1:09 am
by rovingcowboy
ayah i am old school just loosen the belt and it does not get bothered too much about the back spin.

all this new fangulled stuff they got today spoils them. :P

Posted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 11:42 am
by tinana
Oh, yeah, I was kinda afraid of that, that maybe the manufacturer was really only adding USB connectivity to an inferior turntable and using that as a marketing gimmick to technophobes in order to move product...some of the negative reviews did say that the turntable was light and "plastic-y".

Well, I dunno, I should look for a compromise between reasonable quality and price, I guess. I definitely don't want anything near the best as I'm in no way an audiophile and definitely don't have $100+ phones nor $1000+ speakers.

I hadn't considered that platter weight, motor isolation, etc might be options to weigh, so thanks for the information, Scooter, that stuff is good to know. And I know you weren't panning anything, I do appreciate the feedback!

rovingcowboy, yea, I actually have a monster turntable that an old fiancee gave me a few years ago that's on it's last leg. Either that or it's suddenly taken on her personality and has decided to torment me by playing at incorrect speeds--actually, Della Reese singing "the lady's a tramp!" @ 78RPM kinda sounds like her (high-pitched voice, torrents of blabber and all those "don'ts", you know).

Oh gosh, or a Bollywood soundtrack sped up...I didn't know what she was talking about half the time as it was.

So I'd just as soon replace rather than repair.

Posted: Fri Jun 23, 2006 4:39 pm
by Scooter
Tina, I would take it in to a quality audiophile type stereo store and see if they can fix it. Some of the older turntables will be better than what you can buy now.

I see you are in Los Angeles--Shelly's Stereo in the valley, Topanga Exit, will give it a look see and give you an assessment for free. Very nice people.

If this is a one time transcriber machine, you won't need a lot of bells and whistles, just a good light, clean turntable that doesn't hum.

Spend your dough on good A to D converters in your sound card. Do some research on Signal to Noise Ratio between those you in which you are interested.

Posted: Fri Jun 23, 2006 6:05 pm
by tinana
Oh hey, Scooter, thanks. I actually live three or four exits from Topanga, so I'll definitely look into that this weekend.

USB turntables

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 9:04 am
by Troy
I recently purchased one of the new USB turntables. Very Cheaply made and low quality. Thinking of returning it... I wanted one to put my vinyl on cd's, but dont want to reuin them on an inferior turntable..[/u][/i]