I love my record collection, built lovingly from the age of 13 until I started buying CD's after college. Filling four large boxes (@200 albums) I was ready to give the whole thing away, until I heard about USB turntables and thought that I would copy them all to my computer first. Asking around, Stanton was recommended to me, and I've slowly copying my whole collection with the Stanton T.55.
Nutshell Review: This is a beautiful rig for ripping records. Attractively designed, the table sets up easily as does the software required for your computer (Mac or PC) and the sound quality is awesome.
My main concern was that setup would be too complicated, and I was pleased to discover that I - a dummy in this area - could easily do it. The turntable simply plugged into my Mac USB port and communicated with the Audacity software that I downloaded free from the web (a disc is included for Windows). Within 15 minutes I was watching one of my old Paul McCartney albums hiss and crackle into the hard drive of my desk top computer.
The software operates like a recording device and looks similar to Garageband. When you're ready to record, you drop the needle on the album and click record. Voila! When you finish one side, you click pause, flip the album and then start again.
Once an album is copied it lives as a sound file, which you can then manipulate to separate and title songs, do a bit of mixing or simply file albums whole. Songs or whole albums can then be exported as AIFF or MP3 files and imported to iTunes, etc.
Like any recording process, it is easier to think about recording 200 albums than to do it. I have recorded FAR LESS than I thought I would have by now and it does require more attention than to rip a CD. If your goal with a USB turntable is to move your library digital, be patient.
The other slow part of the process is tagging songs, and it's sort of necessary since we're now all used to songs living as separate elements in our music collections. How can you build a playlist without separate songs? While the software is good, separating songs and titling them for export is a lengthy task.
* High-Torque Direct-Drive Motor
* USB and S/PDIF Outputs for Easily Transferring Music from Vinyl Records to your Mac or PC
* Pitch Control Fader with DSP Key Lock (change tempo without affecting pitch) Selectable Range (+/-8%, 12%)
* Includes Software for Transferring and Editing Music Files
* Includes Audiophile-quality Stanton 500.v3 Cartridge Pre-mounted on Headshell
* S-Shaped Tone Arm for Lower Distortion and Superior Fidelity
* 3 Playback Speeds (33, 45, and 78 RPM) and Quartz Lock
* RCA Stereo Outputs (Phono / Line Switchable)
* 2 Start/Stop Switches for Mix or Battle Setup
* Accessories include RCA Cables, Slip Mat, USB Cable, and Dust Cover
* Includes Cakewalk Pyro Audio Creator LE music and sound editing software
Full Disclosure Notice: Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes. Our full notice is here.