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In earlier first look and cracking open galleries, and in a Practical Gadgetry blog post, TechRepublic took a close look at the iTTUSB Turntable. Drew Kaplan of DAK Industries and several TechRepublic members suggested we take a comparative look at the GLI Pro turntable system, available on the DAK.com Web site. And that is exactly what we are going to do. This gallery is our first look at the GLI Pro Professional Belt Drive Manual Turntable, Model BD-1600 and the mixer (Model GLX-2800) that comes in the DAK configuration.
The system arrives in one large box containing three smaller boxes: one contains the stylus, one contains the mixer, and the other contains the actual turntable.
Where it all starts
The stylus is very similar to the one that came with the iTTUSB turntable.
One key difference between the iTTUSB and the DAK system is this mixer which sits between the turntable and the computer.
A closer look at the mixer
The DAK mixer (GLI Pro Model GLX-2800) converts the signal from the turntable and prepares it for input into your computer’s sound card.
The mixer can handle two separate inputs.
The GLI Pro BD-1600
DAK Industries uses a turntable from GLI Pro. The turntable is obviously more sophisticated than the iTTUSB turntable.
The obligatory disc pad.
The GLI Pro turntable from DAK uses standard RCA jacks — no USB found here.
The belt drive
The belt that drives the turntable is just a rubber band that you stretch over to the drive shaft in the upper right corner.
The platter is aluminum and is much sturdier than the iTTUSB platter which was all plastic.
Yep! that’s aluminum alright. You can see the belt on the middle spindle.
Platter is mounted
The platter mounted onto the turntable drive system without much trouble.
The pad which supports the vinyl albums as you play them is properly soft yet sturdy.
The only connections on the turntable are the right and left RCA outputs and a ground connection.
Some may not know this, but grounding can be very important in clean vinyl playback.
One glaring difference (at least in this image) between the iTTUSB and the DAK GLI Pro is the dust cover. I prefer a dust cover myself — you see my home is dusty.
Ready for action
The GLI Pro BD 1600 is an impressive looking turntable.
There is a slider for adjusting the pitch, but I never had to use it for any adjustments.
On/Off and Star/Stop
Just basic switches here – on or off and start or stop.
A holdover from its disc jockey roots is the pop-up target light. A feature most of us will never use except to impress our friends.
Insert stylus, play music
The stylus is almost identical to one that came with the iTTUSB turntable, but when I began to actually play some vinyl albums the stylus proved to be superior.
Stylus lift lever
One feature I lamented being absent on the iTTUSB turntable was the lever that lifts the stylus just above the album so you and move it into position. When you release the lever, the stylus drops gently onto the vinyl surface.
The complete system
The complete DAK turntable system has a few more pieces than the iTTUSB turntable, but nothing that cannot be managed easily.
In a few days I’ll post a complete review of the DAK GLI Pro BD 1600 and mixer system. But I will give you a hint based on what I have recorded so far — the DAK system is superior.