2-Channel Audio > wha do you think about Ion usb turntable that can make vinyl into mp3 files? anyone own it?
keyboardcat's Avatar keyboardcat 09:46 PM 06-26-2012
I bought it on sale yesterday, but haven't opened it yet. if anyone owns it please tell me what you think of it.

arnyk's Avatar arnyk 05:41 AM 06-27-2012
Originally Posted by keyboardcat View Post

I bought it on sale yesterday, but haven't opened it yet. if anyone owns it please tell me what you think of it.

I think it is a POS. I'm far from a vinyl fan, but knowing what I know, I'd never let one of those things near my LP collection.

Please read here:

acebreathe's Avatar acebreathe 07:51 PM 06-28-2012
I own one. Not a great piece of equipment. I put a new cartridge on it and only use it for stuff I get used in record stores and at garage sales. It's functional and if you use a program like Audacity you can rip to flac or wav instead of mp3. I also have a phono preamp with a usb jack that works much better than you can use with any table.
commsysman's Avatar commsysman 05:24 PM 07-05-2012
Send it back!

It is a piece of junk.

The Music Hall USB- 1 turntable is what you want.
GlassWolf's Avatar GlassWolf 08:44 PM 07-05-2012
I have a TTUSB, TTUSB10, and Profile Pro. They are indeed not that great.

Send it back or sell it, and spent $279 and get a Rega entry level TT, or a Pro-Ject Debut III, and just use the AV receiver you have it connected to, to use the REC OUT feature and send signal directly to the PC. No need for the Ion.
mcnarus's Avatar mcnarus 04:15 AM 07-06-2012
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

The Music Hall USB- 1 turntable is what you want.
It's a step up, but I'd still want to upgrade the cartridge.
mcnarus's Avatar mcnarus 04:16 AM 07-06-2012
Originally Posted by GlassWolf View Post

Send it back or sell it, and spent $279 and get a Rega entry level TT, or a Pro-Ject Debut III, and just use the AV receiver you have it connected to, to use the REC OUT feature and send signal directly to the PC. No need for the Ion.
Can you really get an entry-level Rega for $279?
GlassWolf's Avatar GlassWolf 11:07 AM 07-07-2012
The Debut III from PJ is $279. The Rega RP1 is $445 retail. Look around for a used one and you'd get it cheaper yet. I bought a Pro-Ject RM 1.3 Genie that was a month old, still in the box for $300 from someone who bought it and decided to stick with his iPod instead.
It just takes a little looking to find a good turntable deal.
mcnarus's Avatar mcnarus 12:00 PM 07-07-2012
I hadn't seen the Debut III that cheap, although a quick scan turned up prices in the $300 range, which is a nice deal. Am I correct in assuming it's being discontinued in favor of the $400 Carbon?
GlassWolf's Avatar GlassWolf 03:00 PM 07-08-2012
I wasn't aware of that. I thought the carbon was just a half-step up from the base model Debut. Anyway for about $300 you can do a lot better than the Ion, in any event. If you want to convert to USB, you can buy a box to convert any TT to USB output from line level for about $100 or less. Numerous companies, including Ion offer such devices. If you enjoy vinyl, you're really better off buying a good turntable instead of a plastic pile of junk. The Ion uses a very low end MM cartridge (which is still better than Ceramic of course) and has a plastic body/plinth, and a thin plastic platter which is anything buy resistant to resonance. Being that a turntable is a mechanical device more-so than electronic like a CD player, the money you invest in a turntable has a direct payoff in the quality of the sound you'll get from it, and one of the major things you want from a good turntable, is isolation from any resonance, be it in the tonearm itself, or in the plinth from both the motor assembly, and from the music being played through the speakers in hte room.
The Ion units just can't offer that sort of isolation, and the cartridge alone on a $500 Pro-Ject RM 1.3 for example, is worth more than most Ion turntables complete, since both the Sumiko Pearl and the Ortofon 2M Red (stock cart depending on where you are) sell for about $125 new. While there is always the law of diminishing returns, a quality cartridge, and a good turntable with a quality tonearm are well worth the investment, even at the "entry-level audiophile" grade of table, like the Debut and RM 1.3, and the Rega RP1.

That's my two cents on the matter, and for what it's worth, I'm one of those guys who prefers to make his own cables instead of spending what I consider to be ridiculous amounts of money on cables selling for hundreds of dollars per meter in stores. I'm firmly aware of the difference between a worthwhile pricepoint, and spending money just to say you have something better even if there is no real (read: electrical) improvement audible to the human ear.
ROBSCIX's Avatar ROBSCIX 03:06 PM 07-10-2012
I would return it, if you are interested in transferring and encoding some vinyl, you want a good TT and an audio interface.
You will not get much quality out of one of those USB type turn table as they generally are low quality tables and low quality
internal audio interface.
You can get some really great sounding vinyl rips but they must be done properly for best results.

Hope this helps
ravs78's Avatar ravs78 08:08 AM 08-16-2012
Hi guys...
I got an Ion Mobile turntable as a present. I actually wanted it... mostly because it not at all expensive and not so space consuming... here where I live, space is an issue. I just want to listen to my vinyls... some of they are 180gr some are just "normal"... 120gr I think.

I'm not in a very high HiFi level, although I think I have a nice AV receiver (Denon 1910) with nice speaker system (Q Basic in 5.1 configuration).

I have to admit that I was quite surprised when I read your suggestions :-S.

I'm not looking to rip any vinyl... just to give them a spin smile.gif... of course I'd love to get a better turntable... but the main issue here is space (more than money).

So, a couple of questions:

- Do you actually think the ION Mobile could damage any vinyl?
- I was thinking about changing the needle in order to get a better sound... do you think it's possible for this model?

I'd really appreciate your help.


-- rV
mcnarus's Avatar mcnarus 08:41 AM 08-16-2012
- Do you actually think the ION Mobile could damage any vinyl?
All turntables cause wear. Turntables like those tend to cause more. But if this is the only thing out there you can accommodate, you'll just have to accept a little more wear.
- I was thinking about changing the needle in order to get a better sound... do you think it's possible for this model?
GlassWolf's Avatar GlassWolf 08:32 AM 08-17-2012
I have to concur. The entire makeup of that Ion portable is junk. No offense, but objectively speaking, the plinth is resonant plastic, the cartridge/stylus is pretty much as cheap as they come, most likely a conical cut or at worst, ceramic needle. The tonearm is just a bent piece of metal tubing, and the motor is anything but accurate. As I noted, I've owned several of their turntables in the past and am fairly familiar with what materials are used in their construction.

As for space, if you want a fairly small, really good entry level "audiophile grade" turntable, look at the new Pro-Ject Debut Carbon. It's been winning a lot of awards in "best of" catagories this year, it's about as affordable as a good turntable will get, and it comes with a fairly good cartridge already, pre-mounted on a carbon fiber tonearm. It won't take any more space than an Ion would really, and it's of far better quality.
It's also a pretty sexy table.

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon on Crutchfield

There's a link to the Carbon model, with or without USB, in any color you'd like. They sell for about $399 retail, or a bit cheaper if you search the net sometimes.

OK I came back to edit this post and add some more info in hopes of helping you turn from the dark side smile.gif

A few considerations:
-Once you hear a good turntable, you'll wonder how you ever managed to accept that Ion portable, which incidentally, is rated as one of the worst products Ion makes, and that's really saying something since they don't actually make anything "good."
The reason changing your needle won't help, is that a turntable is a mechanical device, unlike an optical device of any sort, that requires no vibration or resonance anywhere but where the needle rides in the groove. This means the base, or plinth needs to remain completely still and damped, the motor has to be quiet, and free from vibration at a steady rate of RPM, and the tonearm and cartridge should not resonate when the cantilever and needle are moving up and down in the groove, else that resonance will reverberate right back through the needle and cause coloration in the sound. The end result is that the entire chain is really only as strong as it's weakest link, and you need a decent table, tonearm, and cart if you want your vinyl (plural of vinyl is vinyl, by the way) to last, and also to sound good when you play it.
Also, please be careful of 180g and 200g vinyl, as there is a well-known issue with the heavier vinyl, wherein during the injection process for producing the albums, due to the added volume of vinyl being injected into the mold, not all of the grooves are fully, and properl;y filled. In short, 180 and 200 gram vinyl isn't always "superior" and often actually has issues that the 120 or 140 gram vinyl does not. Just something to keep in mind. The important thing in any recording honestly, is the mastering, not the medium. A CD has twice the dynamic range of a record *96dB for CD versus about 70dB on virgin, never played vinyl, which degrades as it's been played oover time) but if the record is, for example, a Blue Note LP that's got really exceptional mastering work done before it was cut on vinyl, it will sound ten times better than the same album on CD, if the CD was mastered during the "Loudness Wars" (wiki that) and the mastering is abysmal.

If you'd really like to learn more about vinyl, there is a site called vinylengine.com that has enormous amounts of info about turntables, records, and the like. Well worth looking into, if you plan to enjoy vinyl regularly.
dclark's Avatar dclark 09:09 PM 09-04-2012
I don't know why people don't check out craigslist or similar. I picked up a mint (not a scratch on it, perfect condition) Pioneer Pl 41 (made in the early
'70's) even came with manual, tool box and original container of pioneer oil! Came with Shure 44 cartridge and original PLn9 Pioneer cartridge with
a new transcriber stylus. All in all, it sounds great.
Here is something sad to think about- I bet people rather buy a new ION turntable rather than a 40 year old mint condition classic because they
believe that new is "better" and more "advanced".
Heck, just checked out the CL and found this:
For maybe $20 more than an Ion, you can get a Dual TT with an Ortofon cart. I'd get it but wife is sort of tired of me
bringing home stuff if you know what I mean!
A turntable can't hurt a record. However, a bad tone arm or crappy cartridge with a very high tracking force can.
Using an ION tt to play stuff like 180g Mofi vinyl is like buying Maxell Vertex metal tape (goes for what, $100 on ebay?) to play on a dual cassette
Fisher "Studio Standard" cassette deck.
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