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ION Audio LP DOCK USB/iPod Turntable review

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ION Audio LP DOCK USB/iPod Turntable
  • ION Audio LP DOCK USB/iPod Turntable
  • ION Audio LP DOCK USB/iPod Turntable
  • ION Audio LP DOCK USB/iPod Turntable
  • ION Audio LP DOCK USB/iPod Turntable
  • ION Audio LP DOCK USB/iPod Turntable
  • ION Audio LP DOCK USB/iPod Turntable

Summary

Our Score:

7

With what has to be the ultimate fusion of old and new hi-fi technology, ION Audio's new LP DOCK turntable features the now ubiquitous iPod dock. Designed specifically for the iPod owner wishing to archive and digitize their old vinyl music collection, the LP DOCK will record audio directly to a 5th generation iPod video or 2nd generation nano.

Now you may be thinking that this is just another blatant attempt to flog yet another pointless iPod accessory. But with the ability to record in CD quality uncompressed 16-bit WAV format, using an iPod to make hi-fi quality recordings actually makes pretty good sense. And if for some strange reason you don't currently own an iPod then fret not, because the LP DOCK will also record directly to your computer via USB, which also gives you the additional flexibility of saving in other formats such as MP3.

At first sight the LP DOCK looks pretty much like any other hi-fi turntable, and despite the plastic construction the build quality is generally good for a turntable costing £130-odd. The s-shaped tonearm feels smooth enough in action with no obvious play in the bearings, and has a removable head shell which makes it easier to adjust or replace the stylus system. What is noticeably missing however is a hinged lid to keep the dust at bay. There's also no tonearm lever, which can sometimes be useful when lowering or raising the tonearm near the centre of the record.

The head shell comes pre-mounted with a Numark ‘Groove Tool' cartridge to get you started straight out of the box. The cartridge normally retails for around a tenner on its own, and so lies firmly at the budget end of the market. Of course anyone really serious about archiving their record collection could replace this with a higher quality model if they wish. But more on that later.

The main power button is situated at the rear of the turntable. Along the front is the large Start/Stop button and also the 33 and 45rpm buttons to control the speed of the platter. Alongside the speed buttons is useful 3.5mm jack input, allowing a cassette player or other external music source to be connected for recording to the iPod. One welcome feature of LP DOCK's design is the motor unit, which is suspended on three rubber bushings to help isolate any motor rumble from the rest of the deck.

bob1233

December 6, 2008, 11:33 pm

when recording directly to an ipod, do you have to stop and save after each track is finished to make indevidual tracks?

Ramondo Gee

January 8, 2009, 3:31 am

This equipment has all the promise I am looking for, however, I cannot hear the

Ramondo Gee

January 8, 2009, 3:31 am

This equipment has all the promise I am looking for, however, I cannot hear the

Ramondo Gee

January 8, 2009, 3:39 am

As I was noting, I cannot hear the vinyl as it is recording. I contacted ION for support but no answer. I am using a DELL Studio 540 with VISTA Home Premium. All of the other data supports that the vinyl is recording yet I cannot hear it as it is playing. My wife purchased this for me for Christmas exclusively to record vinyl to my PC for transferring to CD (I do not own an IPOD, though I purchased a 32 Gig 2nd generation IPOD touch for my youngest daughter). I am about to return this equipment as defective.

Terry Wilson

February 9, 2009, 3:18 am

Hello! Thanks for your review. Good to hear I have something good. My wife purchased the LP Dock for Christmas (2008) to record vinyl to my PC for transferring onto CD. I too could not hear the audio playing while recording, and I was frustrated. I had contacted ION for support and no reply, and their FAQ's didn't work either. I also checked where we purchased - little support there. I was about to return this equipment and gave it a last chance. I reloaded the drivers for my sound card (XPPro and SB Live!) and it seems to work fine now. Now I have my work cut out to record ~300 odd records. Probably take the rest of my life ....

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