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z038
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Help - my sister is going to buy an ION

Hey, I'm not really sure what section of the forum this should go in. I have a sister who wants to digitize her entire LP collection. She's considering buying an ION.

As I understand it, the ION and devices like it convert to MP3 format. She's not into Hi Fi, but even so, I fear she will be disappointed in the result since MP3 will not sound nearly as good as a full uncompressed WAV file. Not only that, but I am guessing that the tone arm and cartridge on the ION are not very high quality.

Has anyone used an ION or similar? Can you help me explain to my sister what she is likely to get out of the ION compared to what she might achieve via some other mechanisms that won't cost too much more, e.g. a decent TT/cartridge like a Rega P1, playback through an integrated amp that has phono inputs, and out via the TAPE OUT outputs to the PC line-level input?

I don't know, maybe an ION is really great. I have no experience with it, but I just find it really hard to imagine that the resulting digitized MP3 music could sound as good as full WAV output recorded using better equipment.

bobedaone
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Re: Help - my sister is going to buy an ION

I have no direct experience with the Ion, but it's certainly of dubious quality.

To demonstrate the quality of WAV versus MP3, find one of her favorite CDs and rip it, both in uncompressed and MP3 formats. Even on junk computer speakers, the difference is usually quite striking.

As far as a quality setup, the Pro-Ject Phono Box II USB looks promising. It's essentially a Phono Box with a built-in ADC and USB output. The Rega P1 would be a good choice, as would Pro-Ject's own Debut III. Additionally, Pro-Ject makes an all-in-one USB turntable called the Debut III/Phono USB, which is a Debut III with the Phono Box II USB circuitry on-board. It sells for $450, which is a $30 break versus a Debut III ($300) and Phono Box II USB ($180). It costs a lot more than an Ion, but it is sure to wipe the floor with any of those USB tables.

z038
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Re: Help - my sister is going to buy an ION

Thanks Erik. I didn't know Pro-Ject made a similar device. I'll check those out and let her know.

z038
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Re: Help - my sister is going to buy an ION

If you were going to use a regular turntable instead of one like the ION or the Pro-Ject USB turntable, would you likely get better sound by going from your TAPE OUT jacks on your amp to the mini-PC stereo analog input jack on your sound card, or would a separate analog to digital converter that connects to a USB port be better? Hmmmmm. I guess it depends on the quality of the built-in ADC on your sound card versus the one on the external device.

So what are some good ADC devices for 24 bit 44.1 Khz conversion of vinyl material that will be output to CD?

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