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ION Audio LP2CD - USB Turntable and CD Recorder Combination - Review

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ION Audio LP2CD - Front Open

ION Audio LP2CD - Front Open

Photos (c) Robert Silva Licensed to About.com

The Bottom Line

The LP2CD is a the latest in analog-to-digital conversion products from ION Audio. The LP2CD combines a vinyl record turntable with a CD-Burner in a single device. To make recording to CD easy, the LP2CD includes an onboard 700MB flash drive that allows you to review your recording before doing a final burn to CD. In addition, the LP2CD also has audio inputs that allow recording from external sources, such as cassette deck, and also has provisions for more editing options on a PC/MAC via its built-in USB port. For another look at the LP2CD after reading the rest of this review, also check out my Photo Gallery.

Pros

  • Solid construction.
  • Intermediate Flash drive recording allows recording check before burning to CD.
  • Built-in phono preamp - can connect to any standard RCA audio inputs on a receiver or amplifier.
  • USB port and PC audio editing option.
  • Built-in Headphone jack.

Cons

  • No real-time recording from vinyl direct to CD. Record to flash drive first - then burn to CD
  • Small internal flash memory capacity.
  • Quick start guide and Software manuals hard to read - small print.
  • Some assembly required.
  • No digital optical/coaxial audio output.

Description

  • Vinyl Record Turntable with 700MB Internal Flash Drive and CD Burner.
  • Turntable Speeds: 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM - Belt Drive.
  • Vinyl or External source recording to Flash Drive - Burn from Flash Drive to CD, Burns to CD-R only.
  • LED Menu Display, Record level meter, record level adjustment.
  • Onboard track split feature
  • 1 set of analog RCA stereo line inputs, 1 set of analog RCA stereo outputs. Headphone jack.
  • USB port for optional connection to PC or MAC. USB audio interface (44.1kHz, 16-bit). iTunes compatible.
  • EZ Vinyl Converter 2 (PC) and EZ Audio Converter (Mac) Software included on CD-ROM.
  • Sound recording/editing software to remove noise, clicks, and pops from recordings.
  • USB and analog RCA stereo cables included.

Guide Review - ION Audio LP2CD - USB Turntable and CD Recorder Combination - Review

The LP2CD provides an efficient, practical, way to transfer your old vinyl LPs to either CD, using the unit's built-in CD recorder, or to iTunes, using its USB interface and provided software with a PC or MAC.

Setting up the LP2CD to make CDs is easy. You place your LP on the turntable and while you play it, the contents are transferred to the LP2CD's 700MB flash drive. As you play your LP the flash drive not only records the LP, but detects, marks, numbers, and separates the tracks automatically. I found that LP2CD rarely missed a track break, and actually performed the task better than my current Pioneer PDR-609 CD Recorder.

After recording onto the flash drive, you can check it and delete any unwanted tracks, or change or add track breaks before burning the recording to CD. To burn the recording to CD, all you have to is place a black CD into the CD tray that pops out the front of unit and press "Burn CD". The LP2CD then initializes the CD, burns your content, and then finalizes the CD all in one automatic process. The burning process for a typcial 45 minute LP recording takes about 5 minutes.

In addition to transferring your LPs to CD, the LP2CD also has standard audio line outputs that allow you record from an external source, such as an audio cassette deck, a CD player, or other device.

Another trick you can perform with the LP2CD is to transfer an LP or external audio source to the internal flash drive for burning to CD AND transfer your source to your PC via the USB port for adding to your iTunes library at the same time.

I must say the ION Audio LP2CD is one of most fun devices I have used and definitely recommend it to vinyl record fans as an efficient way to do both Vinyl-to-CD and Vinyl-to-iTunes transfer.

Of course, you can use the LP2CD to just play vinyl records or CDs, without using the burning and transfer functions.

Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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