The Stanton T.55 USB is a good-looking USB turntable that has a metallic black tabletop with a gray outer edge and gray controls. It comes with a counter weight for the tone arm to help keep the right amount of pressure on the record. It also has a plugin light to help you see the record under low-lit conditions so you can accurately place the needle in the correct spot on the record.
The T.55 is similar to another Stanton turntable, the T.92, except it includes an antiskating mechanism and has a belt drive instead of a direct drive. It comes with a soft dust cover for the turntable and iZotope Audio Cleanup and Enhancement Suite to help you record, edit and clean up your LP to digital conversions.
The software does have a handful of audio tools to clean up your audio after your conversion is complete. It features options to reduce noise, hum and pops. You can also enhance vocals and enhance the music overall. The controls are simple – you press a button to turn on the feature, then move the slider back and forth to apply more or less of the enhancement feature to the audio. Although this software doesn't walk you through the conversion process, it is easy to use.
We tested this USB turntable by converting three different LPs to digital audio files. We used a 33 and a 45 from the Beatles and a 33-RPM LP from Jack White. After we converted the audio files, we compared the conversions to digital downloads of the same content. There are a handful of other turntables we tested that had better results than the Stanton T.55 USB turntable, including the Audio-Technica LP120. All the audio files we converted displayed a lot of static noise – noise that could be heard even when the songs were in full swing. We also encountered a bad scratch in our Jack White conversion.
The converted file of the 45-RPM LP was really noisy. During the louder parts of the song, the conversion had distortion. All of the conversions had good volume, prominence and detail. All of the stereo panning of effects and other details were present. But the noise and distortion lowered the audio score considerably.
This turntable comes with a one-year warranty. It also comes with a user guide that helps you properly set up your turntable and counter weight on the tone arm so you properly install the mechanism. All of Stanton's email inquiries are handled by the Gibson service center. They were helpful and fast when responding to our email inquiries.
Stanton T.55 USB digital turntable had its share of conversion issues, but some of that noise can be alleviated with the included software. It is a good-looking turntable with a sturdy build and features to help keep the needle from skipping on the record. It is a decent and less expensive alternative to the higher-end Stanton T.92 and has many of the same features.