Best Audio-Technica AT-LP5 Black Friday Sales 2020
In France there exists a literary prize named La Prix de la Page 112, where books are judged exclusively on the worthiness of their 112th page.
The idea is that, though we all have been made quite definitely aware you mustn’t judge a book by its cover, by the 112th page of a tale it is merely the very best writers who’ve yet to reduce interest or give up their reader, retiring to bored prose within an effort just to drag both parties over the finishing line.
And so it must follow, those people who are in a position to write a exceptional page 112 will probably have written an altogether exceptional book. The prize has substance.
You’re well inside your rights to wonder why we feel compelled to let you know this, of course, nevertheless, you could also have gleaned you will find a parallel to be produced here.
If you’re scanning this review, since it appears you need to be, then we tend in agreement a turntable, such as a book, can’t be judged solely nor even principally by appearance; but that’s not to say this hasn’t also its page 112.
Build and features
It isn’t necessarily construction, either, at least not purely in the sense of it being well created or robust; it really is about how precisely it feels to use, the touch of the dial to change between rotation speeds, the weight of the tone arm and how it glides from its rest to vinyl.
That focus on detail is what fills us confidently before we even get round to hearing Audio Technica’s AT-LP5 turntable. Before laying that first record on its rubber-compound-crowned die-cast aluminium platter, we are expectant.
Now our point of reference here’s Rega’s Award-winning RP1 turntable, however in reality they are two quite drastically different devices.
While admittedly £100 dearer compared to the former, with the AT-LP5 you’re treated also to an integral phono stage and USB output for digitising your record collection.
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It’s a tidy one-box option to a combo of boxes that could likely leave you with less money in your pocket if you were to include them separately to the RP1.
It isn’t so much that the playing field is sloped in a single player’s favour or the other, but they are playing for different audiences – that’s what we must keep in mind.
What they certainly do have as a common factor is an focus on sonic ability, however, irrespective of any extra technologies they’re throwing in.
Compared to that end, you’ll spot the AT-LP5’s J-shaped tone arm, harking back again to those employed by Audio-Technica in the 1960s and 70s. Greater than a retro design quirk, the business says it really is engineered to minimise tracking error.
Then there’s the AT95EX cartridge, exclusively suitable for this turntable and suited to an AT-HS10 head shell for what Audio-Technica claims is an ideal balance because of its tone arm.
It’s like spying today’s shaped precisely such as a pirate ship on Christmas morning, promising us the rival to Rega that we’re so eager (and that apparently inspires us to poetry), so that it has been some haste we shake Nils Frahm’s live album Spaces from its sleeve.
Unlike many record players with built-in phono stage, using the AT-LP5’s isn’t compulsory, which hands you the good thing about having the capacity to upgrade your system without needing to upgrade all of your deck.
To begin with, though, we play through the main one it has recently aboard.
Frahm names the first track upon this record An Aborted Beginning, nonetheless it is one-and-a-half minutes where we can already be confident we aren’t to be disappointed. There is firstly an excellent sense of the setting of the recording, a combo of spacious soundstage and detail as the natural reverb is exposed.
Further hints concerning that amount of detail can be found in the ringing synthesized notes and, though there are more rumbling lows than this technique can produce, there exists a really nicely poised, natural balance to the sound that doesn’t want for bass.
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Says, the first genuine track following the record’s false start if you want, then starts to show the AT-LP5’s brilliant knowledge of rhythm.
Not merely does that hypnotically bubbling synthesizer pattern time wonderfully, its rhythmic and dynamic emphasis allows the piece’s six-minute build grow instead of stagnate. It really is an arrangement utterly reliant on anticipation of its climax, an activity that the Audio-Technica here’s easily adept.
A similar thing may be said of the next track, Said and Done, which for the opening minute Frahm plays on triplets of the same piano key; the AT-LP5 is dynamically versatile enough expressing the intensity of every note, allowing the easiest of patterns movement instead of mere relentlessness.
Switching to an external phono stage, each aspect is evidently improved, the sound checking even more and enabling a lot more detail to be dug out of these grooves.
Yet it’s the AT-LP5’s overall character we enjoy so much, a thing that is unchanging whether which consists of built-in phono stage or running right through a far more expensive one, so as the upgrade can be an improvement, it is definately not a necessity to take pleasure from such a talented player.
Similarly, in comparison with the Rega RP1, we hear a intensify in most respects, in addition to a more general warmth to the sound, nonetheless it cannot detract from the AT-LP5’s musicality. Sonically, the RP1 gets the edge you’d expect from a sole-purpose turntable, however when we switch back we are a lot more than very happy to listen for all of those other day without missing the excess detail or dynamics.
It’s because, and also equipping you with the excess technology that for most persons will prove extremely useful, Audio-Technica has what counts spot on – that is a turntable that’s both a pleasure to use also to listen to.
The only way to your minds you could improve on so comprehensive a p