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Samples from USB Turntables: Ion TTUSB05
post Mar 1 2009, 01:22
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Turntable Details
Ion Audio TTUSB05
Street Price: $90 (US)
Moving Magnet Cartridge
Belt Drive
Wow and Flutter: Not published
S/N: Not published
Platter: Plastic
Tracking force: 3.08g (Measured personally)
in turntable guide


The Sample Clips
For background on the clips, see the "Preparation" thread.

All samples are FLAC and under 30 seconds.

  • CD LP Peg, Steely Dan, Aja
  • CD LP On the Run, Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon
  • CD LP Dare, Gorillaz, Demon Days
  • CD LP Dum Diddly, The Black Eyed Peas, Monkey Business
  • CD LP Rhiannon, Fleetwood Mac, Self-titled Album (Dusty, scratched and skipping album)
  • CD LP Rhiannon, Fleetwood Mac, Self-titled Album (Same clip at 2.58g tracking force)

Test Tracks

The Ion TTUSB05 gave every indication that it would be a step down from the Audio-Technica USB turntable. From a plastic platter to not publishing any specs to a generic MM cart compared to an Audio-Technica cartridge to the cheaper price.

Opening it only reinforced my doubts: The cartridge had fallen off the head of the tonearm and the stylus had slid off the cartridge (See photos below).

After putting it to work, though, it is the better of the two turntables, IMHO.

First off, the cartridge comes in at 3.08 grams of tracking force. Watching the meters during the test records, the stereo balance is obviously much better. Finally, the gain is apparently set lower- I didn't encounter clipping during any of the music samples.

One more fun thing I found reading an Amazon review: The counterbalance is actually adjustable using a screwdriver. I lowered the tracking force by a half gram - to 2.58 (after creating all of the other samples at the manufacturer's VTF, of course) and created a new Rhiannon sample. It didn't skip any worse at the lower tracking force.

At around 2.35 grams, the weight becomes a bit unstable in its plastic casing and at less than 2.2 grams, it rests on the casing.

This post has been edited by Knowzy: Apr 23 2009, 22:19
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post Jul 13 2009, 05:10
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Group: Members
Posts: 128
Joined: 15-July 08
Member No.: 55856

QUOTE (uart @ Jul 11 2009, 10:22) *
The most important thing to check here is that you have the line-in levels adjusted correctly during recording.

There are two important takeaways in this statement:

The obvious one is setting the recording volume through Windows Mixer.

The second is more subtle- you need a "line level" signal to run the turntable to your computer.

You didn't mention which Ion turntable model you have. But 4 out of 7 of them have a switchable pre-amp. You need to make sure that switch is set to "Line" and not "Phono."

QUOTE (prayer86 @ Jul 11 2009, 07:33) *
Would adjusting the counterbalance help with this at all?

If some play albums play fine and "louder" albums are distorted, the counterbalance is not likely the problem.

You also don't want to adjust the counterbalance haphazardly. It should be adjusted in conjuction with the anti-skate if your model has it (the manual will discuss it.)

The TTUSB05 doesn't have anti-skate and you're not really supposed to adjust the counterbalance. There are no markings on the weight, so if you were to attempt it, you really should have a tracking force scale to make sure you're in the cartridge's range: 2 - 5 grams.

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