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Featured USB Turntable: Audio Technica AT-LP120 USB Turntable Review

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Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Professional Turntable in Silver
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Over the years there has been a surge in the amount of USB turntables released that allow you to archive or convert your record collection to digital files, including the Audio Technica AT-LP120. Most of these turntables either force you to make a choice between features that are missing in the less expensive models or a higher price for the ones with the features. The Audio Technica AT-LP120 is a unique USB turntable that eliminates the need for compromise and still delivers an amazing value for its reasonable price.

The Audio Technica AT-LP120 is positioned as a professional model and really lives up to this billing. For starters, it features a heavy duty, direct drive motor with very high torque. This ensures a consistent speed while still providing for a very quick start and stop of the record.

The Audio Technica AT-LP120 also provides the ability to start and stop the turntable remotely which makes recording easier as well. The platter used on the Audio Technica ATLP120 is aluminum and very substantial which helps it reduce the wow and flutter found on less expensive models.

This turntable also features both a 33 and 45 RPM setting as well as a 78 RPM setting for playing your older records. This is a major distinction from many of the other turntables on the market and can help you eliminate the need for an additional turntable to play these records.

The cartridge featured in the Audio Technica AT-LP120 is a very good magnetic model and will work fine for most users. Here again, many of the other less expensive models will include a ceramic cartridge that unlike the Audio Technica AT-LP120, won’t allow you to replace it with a better cartridge. Since the Audio Technica AT-LP120 uses standard mounting for its cartridge, you can easily upgrade it to any of the other magnetic cartridges available.

The turntable also provides a digital preamplifier to allow you to use it on various stereo receivers as a regular turntable when you’re not converting your record collection. By having this pre-amplifier included, you can use it on a lot of the newer stereo’s that only feature a “Line In” connection and have eliminated the older “Phono” connection of years past. Even though the Audio Technica AT-LP120 is really being marketed as a USB turntable, its nice to be able to use it on your stereo as well.

The folks that designed the Audio Technica AT-LP120 spent a lot of time on the tone arm construction and provide a wide variety of adjustments for tracking weight as well as anti-skid protection. This is critical so that you can find the perfect adjustments to play your records without causing the undue wear of tracking too heavy.

The Audio Technica AT-LP120 also includes the Audacity recording software suite that will make recording your records a snap. This software allows you to make adjustments to the audio being recorded and will also help you organize your collection for playback.

Considering all the features the Audio Technica AT-LP120 packs into a moderately priced USB turntable, it is an amazing value even when compared to turntables costing twice as much. This USB turntable will help you preserve your record collection today and enjoy your music for years to come.

Audio Technica AT-LP120 Features

  • Selectable internal stereo phono preamplifier
  • USB connection to your Mac or Windows computer
  • Direct-drive, high-torque motor
  • Professional magnetic cartridge
  • 33, 45, and 78 RPM speeds
  • +/-10 percent or +/-20 percent pitch adjust, and quartz-controlled pitch lock
  • S-shaped tone arm assembly with adjustable counterweight
  • Antiskate adjustment
  • Tone-arm height adjustment and lock
  • Includes Mac and PC compatible Audacity software

Music Hall USB-1 Turntable with Cartridge and USB Output Review

Brand: Music Hall | 1 Comment

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Still in love with those long playing vinyl records that stacked up in the living room hundreds at a stretch? Has the old turntable conked off leaving no choice but to either junk the records collection or buy a new turntable. Getting a new turntable is no easy task in this day and age of digital music players. Ever wondered how to convert all-time favorite songs on vinyl into the more modern, easily portable digital format? Music Hall has the right answer with its Music Hall USB-1 Turntable. This is a fairly new product by Music Hall that retails for $249 and has received two favorable reviews of 4/5 on amazon.com.

Music Hall USB-1 Turntable Review Summary

The Negative

The product has some minus points. One customer reports that the turntable does not output to Windows 7 and that the conversion of older 33 1/3 RPM records though decent was not as good as professional turntables. The same user pointed out that the Music Hall USB-1 Turntable was light, weighing only 15 pounds and thus not very suitable for heavy duty 'spinning' as a DJ. Synchronizing the turntable with a windows PC was not easy as the initial gain settings are high and what gets recorded in the PC is tremendous amount of static. The user had to switch off the pre amp and use a different set of RCA cables hooked to an external preamp and then connect the turntable to the PC to get the correct sound quality.

The Positive

While one customer had a crib against the light weight, other praised the weight factor as it made it easy to carry and install. The installation is pretty easy and the sound quality is excellent on account of a good preamp. The static balanced S shaped tone arm is user friendly and ergonomically designed to pick up the stylus whenever the user wants to change the record. The Music Hall USB-1 Turntable is quite good for an amateur DJ and spinning vinyl though may not be club standard, it definitely meets the requirement of any house party. The belt drive is quiet and both speeds namely 331/3 and 45 rpm are available. The inbuilt software encodes the music into mp3 on the fly which can be downloaded to a USB and on to any music player or the PC or a laptop. The system has a Audio Technica AT3600L cartridge, free Audacity software and USB cable.

Conclusion

The Music Hall USB-1 Turntable is a new entry in the market. The product is reasonably priced at $249. Though there are not too many reviews to get a healthy statistical estimation, the existing customer reviews give a fair assessment that the product is worth the money. It is meant for the home user and not a professional. Spinning can be carried out for an amateur DJ act and the conversion of vinyl to mp 3 format does yield decent results. Overall, this product is worth it.

If you liked our review of the Music Hall USB-1 Turntable with Cartridge and USB Output, make sure to read our other USB turntable reviews.

Top 5 Bestselling USB Turntables @ Amazon

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There are the five bestselling USB turntables purchased by our readers over the last three months at Amazon.

  1. Audio Technica AT-LP60
  2. Audio-Technica AT-PL120
  3. Sony PS-LX300USB
  4. Numark TTUSB
  5. Ion Audio TTUSB 10

Read our USB turntable reviews to learn more about these and other top selling USB turntables.

Audio Technica AT-LP240 Review

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If you’re looking for a near-perfect way of transferring your record collection to your portable media player, the Audio Technica AT-LP240 might be the answer. This high-end turntable includes a USB connection that allows you to record any record you play directly onto your computer without the need for exotic drivers. You can then edit these songs to your hearts content and transfer them to your MP3 player to enjoy on the go.

The Audio Technica AT-LP240 provides all the best features you’d look for in a quality turntable and in fact does double-duty as both a USB turntable and one you can connect to your stereo to enjoy your records at home. It even includes a pre-amplifier to enable you to use most modern receivers that don’t provide an input for a phono.

The unit ensures perfect recordings by using a direct-drive, high torque, multi-pole motor and will play both 78, 45 and 331/3 RPM records with ease. The all-aluminum platter includes a stroboscopic indicator to let you know its speed is perfect. It also includes a quality removable magnetic cartridge with a removable stylus as well for quick replacement when needed. The tone arm includes an anti-skid adjustment as well as variable weight, tracking force and tone arm lock. A clear dust cover tops everything off and will keep your Audio Technica AT-LP240 clean and looking new for years to come.

If you are in the market for a USB turntable, give the Audio Technica AT-LP240 a look and you’ll be amazed at that features it provides for such a reasonable price.

Audio Technica AT-LP240 Features

  • USB output
  • Does not require special drivers to connect directly to your computer
  • Direct drive high-torque multi-pole motor
  • Choose from 33/45/78 RPM speeds
  • Selectable internal stereo phono pre-amplifier
  • Stroboscopic platter
  • Speed accuracy indicator

Shure M97xE High-Performance Magnetic Phono Cartridge Review

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Shure M97xE High-Performance Magnetic Phono Cartridge
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The Shure M97xE High-Performance Magnetic Phono Cartridge is able to successfully reproduce any music. Even in the high-frequency range, where audio modulations are the smallest and the stylus tip movement is most rapid, the superb-tracking of this cartridge boasts to be smooth-sounding and undistorted.

What allows this cartridge to have such a precise tracking ability? Its innovative features. One of the most notable features is the viscous-damped dynamic stabilizer. This feature maintains a uniform distance between the cartridge and the recorder. This prevents the warping of records or distorted tones. Under some circumstances a stabilizer is not necessary. In these cases it can easily be locked in the detent position to ensure a better sound.

The Shure M97xE Cartridge is also equipped with a Side-Guard stylus protection system. If the cartridge accidentally slides across a record, this system prevents any damage. As it is outfitted with a die-cast aluminum mounting block, the cartridge proves to be vibration-free.

The Shure M97xE delivers a flat 20 Hz to 22 kHz frequency response. It fits on a standard tonearm mount. Included in the purchase is mounting hardware, a headshell screwdriver and a cleaning brush. It is also guaranteed for one year.

Shure M97xE Features

  • High-performance phono cartridge with finely polished elliptical diamond tip
  • Accurately reproduces difficult musical passages, particularly in high-frequency range
  • Viscous-damped dynamic stabilizer maintains uniform distance between cartridge and record
  • Side-Guard system prevents stylus damage if cartridge accidentally slides across LP
  • Die-cast-aluminum mounting block; includes mounting hardware and leaning brush
  • Size: 3x7x1.3 inches

Shure M97xE Reviews

Many people describe the task of researching cartridges daunting. They struggle to find positive reviews about the products. Thankfully, there are many great reviews about the Shure M97xE High-Performance Magnetic Phono Cartridge.

Reviewers have appreciated the performance that the Shure had offered. In response, they write reviews letting everyone else know about what a great product they have found.

One reviewer states that the Shure cartridge fits not only his budget, but also his personality as well. He describes himself as a vinyl snob. He owns tons of CDs, but prefers the clean sound of vinyl LPs. The Shure acts like a high end system yet, is reasonably priced.

Another reviewer has been using the M97xE for over a month. He listens to about 1-3 LPs a night. He is impressed and content with his purchase. He finds that the dynamic stabilizer is the key to the products success. It serves to stabilize the stylus when working with less than perfect playing conditions. He claims that this feature also reduces static and collects dust. When he plays his records, they sound clearer, richer and crisper.

Yet another reviewer has owned earlier models of Shures. He testifies that the Shure M97xE performs above average. He had a Shure in the 70’s. He states that their sound performance was slightly worse than more recent models. This proves that Shure is constantly improving and re-inventing their products.

Overall reviewers agree, the beauty of the Shure M97xE lies in ability to unlock the sound of almost extinct vinyl records.

Ion Profile LP USB Turntable Review

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The Ion Profile LP USB Turntable is designed to be simple to use and once unpacked can be plugged into your computer via USB and is ready to start converting in a few minutes. It features a belt driven platter that will ensure your recordings are high quality and help to reduce any variations in speed that can lead to wow and flutter on less expensive models. The Ion Profile LP USB Turntable offers both a 33 RPM and a 45 RPM recording speed and it even allows you to record your 78 RPM records with the included software in case your record collection goes back that far. To make recording 45 RPM records even easier, the Ion Profile Turntable includes a removable 45 RPM adapter with the unit.

The Ion Profile LP USB Turntable also doubles as a standard turntable that can be used with your home stereo system when not converting records. To make it easy to use, the Ion Profile LP Turntable features a stereo pre-amplifier as part of its design that ensures you can connect it to virtually any amplifier available. It even includes a set of standard RCA connectors on the turntable that can simply be plugged into your stereo to allow you to use the turntable.

There are two different software products included with the Ion Profile LP USB Turntable to help you record and convert your records to digital files you can use. The first package is a product called EZ Vinyl Converter and is the easiest way to capture the audio from your records. It includes a feature that will start the recording as soon as you start playing the record and can even recognize the gap between songs. When it senses this gap, it starts the next song off as a separate file in your collection. There are also simple editing and conversion features included with this software that do a good job of helping you create and organize these files in iTunes.

In addition to this base level software, the Ion Profile LP USB Turntable also includes a copy of Audacity, which is a more sophisticated software suite for audio recording. With this software you can remove some of the hiss and pops found on most of these recordings as well as adjust the speed of the music to compensate for any variation during recording. This software will also help you automatically title your tracks as it can analyze and identify most recordings as they happen. This software is also a big help in moving the final versions of these songs into your iTunes library for transfer to your iPod.

Ion Profile LP Features

  • USB connection to Mac or PC allows easy conversion of LPs to MP3s.
  • EZ Vinyl/Tape Converter software provides easy-to-follow steps.
  • Play records on home stereo or home theater using built-in preamp.
  • Protect needle and keeps slipmat dust free with hinged dust cover.

Audio Technica AT-LP60 USB Turntable Review

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Audio Technica AT-LP60 Fully Automatic Belt Driven Turntable
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The Audio Technica AT-LP60 is one of the better models of USB turntables available for several reasons that allow it to provide a great value for your investment.

When considering any USB turntable, there are several things that you need to be aware of that can dramatically affect the quality of your recording. The first thing that most turntable aficionados consider is the drive system. This drive system is what rotates the platter and it needs to be solid and consistent. The Audio Technica AT-LP60 usb turntable provides a very reliable belt drive system and couples it with an aluminum platter to further reduce any wow and flutter to ensure your recordings are of the best quality possible. You can also choose between 33 and 45 RPM, which enables you to record a variety of records from your collection.

The cartridge that many turntables use is another area of concern and here again the Audio Technica AT-LP60 shines by including a dual magnet Audio Technica cartridge that features a removable needle assembly. This is important because it allows you to replace a worn needle when needed without having to buy the entire cartridge, which is much more expensive.

The Audio Technica AT-LP60 USB turntable features a dual audio output so that you can use it in USB mode to transfer your recordings to your computer, and also use it as a standard turntable with your home stereo system. This is a nice bonus and allows you to get an even better value out of the Audio Technica AT-LP60 USB once all of your records are converted. To help make this connection to your stereo easier, the unit also includes a digital pre-amplifier to allow it to be used with stereo systems that don’t include a phono input. Most modern audio amplifiers only include a “line input” connection and by switching on the pre-amplifier included with the Audio Technica AT-LP60, you can use this standard connection and enjoy your music.

Another nice touch the Audio Technica AT-LP60 provides is the inclusion of Audacity software for your computer. This software will help you with the recording of your albums and allow you to make any adjustments to the audio as needed. It will also help you organize these audio files and even create playlists if you decide to record a collection of your songs to CD.

Overall the Audio Technica AT-LP60 USB turntable provides a great solution for people that want to transfer their record collection to their computer. It combines advanced turntable technology with the software needed to process and organize the digital files and ensure you get the best audio conversion possible.

Audio Technica AT-LP60 Features

  • Fully automatic operation
  • 33-1/3 and 45 RPM speeds
  • Reliable belt drive system
  • Quality aluminum platter
  • Switchable pre-amp
  • Dual Magnet stereo cartridge with replaceable stylus

Crosley Archiver USB Turntable Review

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Crosley CR6001A-BK Archiver USB-Enabled 3-Speed Turntable (Black)
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The Crosley Archiver USB turntable is a throwback to the old days as far as what one expects turntables to look like.

First, it’s large, but it has to be. It also contains an AM/FM radio and a CD player. There are jacks where you can add a cassette player or other media, which you can also record files from.

Second, the Crosley Archiver comes in a large cabinet that you can close, in either brown or black wood, which really takes you back to when record players were considered furniture.

Third, it has its own built in high quality speakers, so you can use it as a standalone player for all media, including cassettes you can connect to it.

And fourth, it creates high quality MP3 files once you do connect it to your computer via the USB cable, and the software that comes with it is easy to load and then easy to use.

The Crosley Archiver USB turntable is not portable, which may limit where you can put it, but if you buy the right color, it will look as though it belongs in the room.

Crosley Archiver Features

  • Connect via USB to PC and Mac
  • Software for recording and editing tracks
  • Plays 33, 45, and 78 RPM records
  • Front loading CD player
  • Side mounted cassette deck
  • Analog AM/FM radio

Numark TTUSB Turntable Review

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Numark TTUSB Turntable with USB
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Total Customer Reviews: (228)
Sale Price: $139.95
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The Numark TTUSB turntable might be a comedown from its more impressive LP 2 CD cousin, but it still packs enough features to make this a turntable people should look at.

It connects to both stereo systems and PCs, and produces great sound quality for either. It can play all 3 record speeds, but needs software in order to play 78s. An added feature of the Numark TTUSB turntable is that it has a jack where you can plug a cassette player into it and then have the ability to convert those songs into MP3 files as well; that’s a nice touch.

The Numark TTUSB turntable doesn’t come with a cover, and some of its external controls look a little bit delicate and flimsy, which could be a problem if you have children or pets. It’s portable enough so that you can put it anywhere, and the sound quality it produces is pretty good. The software might take some getting used to, but otherwise, this turntable isn’t bad.

Numark TTUSB Features

  • Adjustable anti-skate control
  • Connects via USB to PC and Mac
  • Records at 33, 45, and 78 RPM
  • 1/8" stereo line input
  • RCA line outputs
  • ±10% adjustable pitch control

Stanton T92 USB Turntable Review

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Stanton T92USB USB Direct Drive DJ Turntable
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The Stanton T92 USB turntable is a workhorse when it comes to its use as a turntable. Not only does it have high quality components, but it’s been made sturdy for the purpose of being used as a mixing record player, which means DJs can touch it and move it all around for whatever their purpose might be and this turntable can take it and more.

It comes with a high quality weighted cartridge to produce top quality sound and help keep the tone arm down, and the tone arm is S-shaped, for more sturdiness while playing or mixing. It offers all 3 speeds without having to use the software for playing 78s. The Stanton T92 USB turntable can be connected to either a PC or stereo system, and it’s portable enough for the DJ in you to carry around with you to parties and mix to your heart’s content, as it can be connected to individual speakers as well.

It’s sleek black, and comes with a protective cover. The Stanton T92 USB turntable is perfect for you, whether you’re a DJ or just someone who wants quality in their music and their recordings.

Stanton T92 Features

  • Professional Quality USB Turntable
  • High-Torque Direct-Drive Motor
  • Plays 33, 45, and 78 RPM
  • USB and S/PDIF Outputs for Recording from Vinyl to your PC or Mac
  • Cakewalk pyro Audio Creator LE Included for Recording and Editing Audio
  • Audiophile-quality Stanton 500.v3 Cartridge Pre-mounted on Headshell
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