Whoever thought I would be using a belt-driven turntable in 2009? And yet, that’s what I did over the weekend. Sure, we all know DJs love vinyl, but me, the typical end-user? What gives?
Well, it turns out there are a host of treasures to be found if you “go retro”. LPs stored in the attic are just waiting to be broken out once again. And if you don’t have any disks left you can just go to your local record store where your favorite music can be had for a song. (Ha, music… song… get it???)
If you DO have records, however, you need something with which to play them. That’s where the Stanton T.55 Belt-Driven Turntable comes in. It takes the “old” technology of vinyl records and delicate needles and merges it with “new” technology such as USB out so the output can be captured by your computer. I checked it out over the weekend and was rather impressed. What follows are the specs and a video look at this merger of modern and classic technology.
The T.55 USB is a great all-around belt drive turntable that also features USB and RCA outputs so you can easily use the deck to transfer the music on your vinyl records onto your PC or Mac to create music files for use with CDs or mp3 players such as iPod. To make things even simpler, we’ve included the software you can use to transfer and edit the music files, so you can remove any pops and clicks that are common when playing vinyls. The T.55 USB also comes with the professional Stanton 500.v3 cartridge for ideal sound quality and perfect compatibility. Not just a tool for vinyl transfer, this deck is also a perfect fit for the novice or intermediate level DJ.
* Easy to Operate Belt-Drive Turntable with Professional Features
* USB Output for Easily Transferring Music from Vinyl Records to Your Mac or PC or For Use with DVS Systems
* Includes Software for Transferring and Editing Music Files
* Includes Audiophile-quality Stanton 500.v3 Cartridge
* Straight Tone Arm Improves Tracking for Scratching
* 2 Playback Speeds (33 or 45 RPM)
* 2 Start/Stop Switches for Mix or Battle Setup
* RCA Stereo Outputs
* Manual Pitch Control Fader (+/- 10% Adjustment)
* Accessories include RCA Cables, Slip Mat, and Dust Cover
* Includes Cakewalk Pyro Audio Creator LE music and sound editing software
The first thing that strikes you when you open the box is a wave of nostalgia. The T.55 is both familiar and new at the very same time.
Images flash through your mind… Meatloaf’s Bat Out Of Hell, Kansas’ Point of No Return, ELO’s cool double album Out Of The Blue (with its included spaceship and poster), Styx’s offering of LPs with images pressed right into the disk itself and staying up late to listen to 105.5 WDHA: The Rock of New Jersey (back then it was just The Rock of North Jersey) play full albums with only one commercial break. Now those were GREAT times (at least the portions I can remember).
At the same time, there is the USB plug staring at you as a reminder that decades have passed and you aren’t that happy-go-lucky high school student any longer. The music though remains the same and… after all… it is all about the music. The T.55 gives you access to it once again.
The turntable is a beautiful piece of gear. It is well-built with a heft to it that immediately screams “quality”. Assembly is easy and, within minutes, the turntable is usable.
Although it retails for $199, the T.55 is one of Stanton’s lower-end units. That doesn’t translate into anything other than the unit having a limited number of controls. That’s okay with me since it makes using the turntable simple and, while the T.55 CAN be used by DJs, it is, first and foremost, a consumer product to let people like me listen to or transfer LPs and 45s.
Having set it up and listened to a number of LPs in the past 24 hours I can safely say that this is an excellent product. For me, it is about transferring a few albums (very few since most were destroyed in a floor years ago) but for others, this is a great way to access beloved old disks and, in the process, relive the glory days.
What I Like: Excellent build quality, Simple to set up and use
What Needs Improvement: The instructions for using the turntable with a computer could be a bit easier to understand; Records Scratch