Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Turntable Review

  • Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Turntable Review

The Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB is a low-cost, solid turntable for anyone looking for a simple entry into the vinyl records’ world.

The Audio-Technica LP120-USB has been turning heads for a long time. With more than 1,200 reviews on Amazon, a majority of the reviews being positive, it is very hard to ignore this player. Priced at $229, this is the best vinyl record player in the market for that price. We’ll look at some of the features that make Audio-Technica LP120-USB to stand out from other players.

Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Quick Overview

PROS:
  • Even-handed sound
  • Colossal specifications
  • Many useful accessories
  • Solid build

CONS:
  • USB recordings are noisy
  • Fully manual operation





8.9 Total Score
Sweet Deal

The Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB is one of the best turntables for the casual listener with its flexibility, in-built phono pre-amp, and sound quality.

Design
9
Features
9.5
Sound Quality
8
Value
9
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Bottom Line
The Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB is one of the best turntables for casual listening because of its flexibility, in-built phono preamp, and sound quality. If you are looking for a better sound quality, you can go for the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon, however, for a majority of people, the LP120 will satisfy all their vinyl playback needs.

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Sound Quality

When talking about the sound quality of a turntable, several factors must be considered. For instance, the condition/quality of the vinyl record being played, the quality of the speakers, and cartridge on the player, stylus uses, and the pre-amp. In case one of these factors are below average, it can have a tremendous impact on the quality of sound that you hear.

This player has an Audio Technica AT95E, which is an exquisite quality cartridge which produces an excellent warm and clear sound. It has a diamond oval shaped stylus on it that is intended for high tracking accuracy. One of the cool features of this player is that most of its hardware can be upgraded. In case you do not like its original cartridge, you can always change it. Generally, the Audio-Technica LP120-USB produces a beautiful sound, which is clear and warm with an exceptional balance of all frequencies.

Design

The Audio-Technica LP120-USB is designed to look exactly like the SL-1200MK turntable which is produced by the Technics Company. The only differences between the two turntables is the price. The Audio-Technica LP120-USB comes in a price half that of the SL-1200MK2.

Audio-Technica LP120-USB player is hefty and built mainly from metal. All of its knobs and buttons are high-grade design. Its feet are spring loaded and thin, and they do an excellent job of levelling the player to eliminate any vibrations moving up through the mechanics. Its tone-arm is all metal and has a nice smooth action. It has an aluminium platter and comes with a dust cover. The player also has a good metal adaptor that you can use to play the 45 RPM records.

On the top dashboard of the player, you will find a selector button that you can use to switch between 33 and 45 RPM records and also an ON/OFF switch. The player has a pitch selector that is not found on the Technics 1200. It is possible for you to range between 10% and 20% pitches. There is also a reverse button that can be used to start the platter spinning in the opposite direction. This feature is essential if you are planning to be a DJ. All these switches and buttons feel high grade.

Best Price ForAudio-Technica AT-LP120-USB

Tip: If you can do without Prime Shipping, you can use the 'Other Sellers' option on Amazon to get an even better price

$270 $299

Set-Up

This player has an S-Shaped tonearm with a tone-arm height lever, anti-skate knob, and a counterweight. The S-shaped tone helps in reducing tracking errors. The Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB also has a list leaver for the tone-arm, with a hydraulic mechanism for a nice smooth descending motion. The tone-arm can be secured by a small vice that is handy when moving the player from place to place and travelling.

To get the best performance and sound quality from this turntable, you must adjust the tonearm to the appropriate settings and right anti-skating setting for the cartridge that is being used. This is not a difficult task, and even a greenhorn can do it.

Pre-Amp

The Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB comes fitted with an in-built phono pre-amp. The pre-amp is used to convert the signal that is given out by the turntable to permit the sound system to play it. A majority of the entry-level turntables do not come fitted with built-in pre-amps so you wouldn’t have to spend extra dollars on getting it with this player. However, you can still purchase another pre-amp as the in-built one is not of the best quality. The player has a switch which allows you to flick between the integrated phono pre-amp or to deactivate it and even use an external one.

USB

The Audio-Technica LP120-USB has a USB connection which allows you to connect the player to your PC. It also comes with an Audacity software CD. Audacity is used by many vinyl players for recording purposes.

Specifications For The Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB

SpecificationsDetailsModel:AT-LP120-USB

Frequency Response: 20-20,000 Hz
Channel Separation: >20 dB at 1 kHz
Tracking Force Range: 1.5-2.5 grams 2.0 grams (20 mN) recommended tracking force
Recommended Load Impedance: 47,000 ohms Output 3.5 mV (1 kHz, 5 cm/sec)
Channel Balance: within 2.0 dB
Stylus Type: 0.4 x 0.7 mil elliptical diamond stylus
Cantilever: Alloy tube
Mount: Half-inch
Brand: Audio-Technica

Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Price Comparison

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