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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Step Back In Time: Relive Your Vinyl Memories

ion usb turntableIf you are a child of the - well - any moment in time before CDs and digital downloading became de rigeur (yes, CDs too were cool once) you'll probably remember the good old days of vinyl records.

Remember? Those big old chunky bits of circular plastic, mostly found in a lovely shade of black (unless you snagged a limited edition, bizarrely shaped, picture record). Played on a turntable. And now largely belonging to the realm of the DJ.

Well if you do, and you are anything like me, then you no doubt have a collection of much adored, and lovingly collected vinyl records that hardly, if ever, get a turn on the decks. Because lets face it, the majority of us are all rushing headlong through the digital music age.

But what about all those not-yet-replaced-as-a-CD-[slash]-download and vinyl rarities that you may have stashed away? Haven't you always harbored a secret desire to convert them into a more user-friendly format? I know I have.

So, calling all vinyl toting music lovers out there: Actually launched late last year, but definitely worthy of further comment, is the... Ion USB Turntable. For all you music enthusiasts who want to experience a little nostalgia and relive some of those vinyl moments.

Recently commented in The Guardian Technology:

There are many ways to transfer audio from vinyl records to PCs, but for the most part they are complex and not very effective. The Ion USB turntable, priced at £120, raises the bar a little.

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And additionally reviewed earlier this year by the folks over at The Register, who proclaimed that:

It's a nicely-designed object, with DJ-compliant pitch slider, anti-skate mechanism for those older albums and, for reasons only Ion can tell you, two start buttons. It's rather lightweight, which is either a mercy if you're planning to move it from house to house scavenging old vinyl, or a disappointment if you're one of those audiophile types who like everything made out of depleted uranium for added stability. Certainly, the audio transferred sounded pretty good with no obvious rumble or other environmental artefacts.

There's also a very handy, if somewhat strangely-sited, minijack input just next to the turntable if you want to use the turntable as an analogue-to-digital converter for other line sources, like a cassette or minidisk.

Further concluding that:

Certainly compared with other systems I've tried this is the simplest and most senior-friendly method of capturing old records to hard disk yet seen. It works as a regular hifi turntable as well, making the price (they're £120 from Firebox) even more reasonable - and even though I've already transferred that last old Grandmaster Flash 12 inch I'd been hanging onto, I think I want one.

Read full article

Well, yes, I think I want one too!

If you want one, and after all Christmas is just around the corner, it's available from:

Amazon.com US - $129.99

X-tremegeek.com - $139

iwantoneofthose.com - £119

getinthemix.co.uk - £119

Firebox.com - £119.95

(A full feature list available at iwantoneofthose.com)


  • It's a shame they're not cheaper in the UK, because if you take the US price and convert it to pounds, you guys should only be paying about £69 for the thing, which is not the case at all.

    By Blogger Kiltak, at 9:10 PM  

  • yeah, I know. I'm not totally averse to paying £120 but £69 would be even better.

    I'm sure they'll come down in price but it's a question of whether I can wait until then.

    I will get one, and soon - I've been after something like this for ages. When I do I'll try to post my own review/deconstruction of it.

    By Blogger the geekette speaks, at 5:59 AM  

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