Pros

  • Includes a USB port for converting to a digital file
  • Excellent build quality

 

Cons

  • Hardwired RCA cables may be difficult to replace in the future

 

This professional stereo turntable features a high-torque direct-drive motor for quick start-ups and a USB output that connects directly to your computer.

Other features include: forward and reverse play capability; cast aluminum platter with slip mat and a start/stop button; three speeds 33/45/78; selectable high-accuracy quartz-controlled pitch lock and pitch change slider control with +/-10% or +/-20% adjustment ranges; and removable hinged dust cover.

A selectable internal stereo phono pre-amplifier allows the turntable to plug directly to components with no dedicated turntable input.

Introduction

The Audio Technica AT-LP120BK-USB maybe one of the best affordable stereo turntables available. It’s uncomplicated setup process is a favorite among its early adopters, and even includes a preamp so you can immediately enjoy your tunes without the hassle of connecting extra peripherals.

The AT-LP120BK-USB is a variation of the already popular AT-LP60, which now includes a USB port that enables it to convert your beloved vinyl records into digital files. Let us go have a look.

Manufacturer’s Specification

  • Type: 3-speed, fully manual operation
  • Motor: DC motor
  • Drive Method Direct Drive: Direct drive
  • Speeds: 33-1/3 RPM, 45 RPM, 78 RPM
  • Pitch Variation: +/-10% or +/-20%
  • Turntable Platter: Die-cast aluminum
  • Starting Torque: >1.6 kgf-cm
  • Braking System: Electronic brake
  • Wow and Flutter: <0.2% WRMS (33 RPM)
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio: >50 dB
  • Output Level: Pre-amp “PHONO”: 2.5 mV nominal at 1 kHz, 5 cm/sec; Pre-amp “LINE”: 150 mV nominal at 1 kHz, 5 cm/sec
  • Phono Pre-Amp Gain: 36 dB nominal, RIAA equalized
  • USB Function: A/D, D/A – 16 bit 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz USB selectable; Computer interface – USB 1.1 Compliant Windows XP, Vista or MAC OSX
  • Power Supply Requirements: 115/230V AC, 60/50 Hz
  • Power Consumption: 11W
  • Dimensions: 450.0 mm (17.72″) W x 352.0 mm (13.86″) D x 157.0 mm (6.1″) H
  • Weight: 10.7 kg (23.5 lbs.)

Design

AudioTechnica AT-LP120BK turntable designThe AT-LP120BK-USB uses a direct-drive design that utilizes an elastic belt to connect the motor to the platter to rotate the record. It’s quite heavy at more than 10 kilograms, but its sturdy built help it perform as stable as possible especially on a flat surface.

The platter is made of aluminum and is able to spin at either 33, 45, or 78 rpm. A sliding switch is also present to allow you to adjust the pitch and even a direction button that would play the record backwards – yes, you can try listening to hidden messages embedded in songs.

Audio Technica AT-LP120BK-USB

The AT-LP120BK-USB also includes a removable cover that help protect the turntable from dust. It’s completely removable, but the shiny gloss of the plastic material used in the cover is a fingerprint and scratch magnet.

Read also: Beats Powerbeats 3 Headphones Review

Setup

With the plethora of accessories and even some of the extra stuff included in the AT-LP120BK-USB ‘s packaging, once can get easily be confused with the setup but luckily Audio Technica has provided a detailed instruction on how to set it up. It even made a video online for you to follow.

There is also hydraulically damped cue level placed on the side lifts and lowers the tone arm down so users who care about their records won’t be worried. A plastic latch is also present that locks the tone arm in place.

As mentioned, an integrated phono amp is placed inside the unit letting you easily use the turntable without the need for and amplifier though you also have the option to connect one if you prefer.

Audio Technica AT-LP120BK-USB

A pair of RCA cables are prepped and ready to connect to any speaker – the only problem is that the RCA wires are hardwired, which could be a hassle in the future just in case they break.

Performance

It is said that performance largely depends on your entire music setup. That being said, this turntable churns out a very warm tunes no matter the genre.

I’ve sampled John Williams’ score for Star Wars and each instrument was perfectly delivered during the time was listening to it. There were no distortions or any sort, and music output was top notch.

Audio Technica AT-LP120BK-USBI initially had concerns as to how the faint rumbles of the motor in a belt-drive turntable would affect the listening experience – thankfully with the AT-LP120BK-USB, that sound is mostly faint and is barely audible.

The included Audacity software is compatible with both Mac and PC and offers a pretty straightforward way of converting your records into digital files.

Supplied Accessories

  • Headshell/cartridge
  • AC line cord
  • Dual RCA (female) to 3.5 mm (1/8″) mini-plug (male) stereo adapter cable
  • Dual RCA (female) to 3.5 mm (1/8″) mini-plug (female) stereo adapter cable
  • 45 RPM adapter
  • USB cable
  • Recording software

Conclusion

The Audio Technica AT-LP120BK-USB offers the best possible quality that you would require from a turntable. Suited for audiophiles and even users who are just starting their own record collection, it’s a perfect music accessory worthy of our recommendation.

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