Question about ION Audio iTTUSB Turntable

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Arm does not track properly but skips across records

Just bought and installed a TTUSB05XL turntable and I am unable to record as the tonearm keeps skipping across the vinyl. Have searched the documentation for any info on adjustment but can find nothing other than troubleshooting for the software. The same vinyls play perfectly ok on my conventional Dual turntable.

Any help gratefully appreciated

Mike Barnes

Posted by mbarnes01 on

  • mbarnes01 Jan 07, 2009

    Thanks for your reply, but I can find no documents for the turntable itself and nothing on the arm itself that looks capable of adjustment. I have solved the problem temporarily by the addition of some Blutack as a weight, but any thoughts on a more permanent solution would be welcome.

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Just guessing, but it sounds like you haven't counterbalanced your tone arm.  When a tone arm skips, it's usually because there's too much counter weight on the rear of the tone arm.  You want between 3-5 grams, but first you have to calibrate your tone arm (balance it so you know where zero is).  If you don't know how to do this, refer to the Ion directions called "Tonearm Setup" in the instructions.  

Posted on Jan 04, 2009

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Please describe the exact model number and what it's doing wrong (skipping, I suspect). The tonearm setup is critical for proper tracking. Do it again with extreme care if mistracking is your problem.

I found one model online and a review with some sample of music. Quite interesting...

http://www.everythingusb.com/ion_ttusb10_usb_turntable_13231.html

The author complained about some things that clearly mark him as a stranger to finer turntables. Complaining about having to assemble and position the 'rubber band', aka the drivebelt, and the tonearm counterweight shows that he underestimates the precision required to for a mechanism to properly track the microscopic undulations of the groove without skipping into the air or gouging it to death.

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3) Avoid anything that will cause vibration or movement of the turntable.
* If you have a subwoofer, turn it off.

Some advice after reading the articel: don't try to save recording time by playing the discs at 45rpm. The best tracking of the disc and recording of the minute details in the grooves will be at the nativespeed of the recording. Digital manipulation later only gloms up the accuracy you probably want.

In general, the fewer the conversions steps in the analog domain, the better; and the fewer the bit rate conversions in the digital domain, the better.

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Please describe the conditions under which the noise happens. Is it always the same place? Whic is it - static or some other kind of interference? Read the following. If you're using high speaker volume to monitor while recording you could experiment with identifying it as the casue by cranking it up to see if you can make it worse.
----
As with any turntable the following advice for this one will apply:

The tonearm setup is critical for proper tracking. Do it again with extreme care if mistracking is your problem.

I found one model online and a review with some sample of music. Quite interesting...

http://www.everythingusb.com/ion_ttusb10_usb_turntable_13231.html

The author complained about some things that clearly mark him as a stranger to finer turntables. Complaining about having to assemble and position the 'rubber band', aka the drivebelt, and the tonearm counterweight shows that he underestimates the precision required for a mechanism to rotate at a constant precise speed while properly tracking the microscopic undulations of the groove without skipping into the air or gouging it to death.

Some basics when recording from a turntable...
1) Place the turntable as far from speakers as possible on a solid surface that you will not touch during the recording
2) Keep the volume low enough that airborne sounds don't cause mistracking of the stylus *
3) Avoid anything that will cause vibration or movement of the turntable. (Tip toe)
* If you have a subwoofer, turn it off.

Some advice after reading the article: don't try to save recording time by playing the discs at 45rpm. The best tracking of the disc and recording of the minute details in the grooves will be at the nativespeed of the recording. Digital manipulation later only gloms up the accuracy you probably want.

In general, the fewer the conversions steps in the analog domain, the better; and the fewer the bit rate conversions in the digital domain, the better.

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If, you've balanced your tonearm, and set up your cartridges correctly, then you should not have any problems. Unless, your tonearms are damaged. But this is highly unlikely. I just think you need to balance properly.

Another note, Ortofon Concorde have a design flaw, in that they don't connect very well to the Technics tonearm. The Concorde's, have short and stubby connections on the rear, making for poor connections to the tonearm. Ortofon has addressed this issue by releasing the Ortofon OM series cartridges, and mount them to standard Technics Headshell.

If you still can't figure this out, feel free to give our techs a call 24/7 @ 1.866.668.1596 ext 1 - they can walk you through setting up, and properly testing your tonearm to see if it's damaged or not.

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