Best Audio-Technica LP120 Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals 2021
The set of features most record players have a tendency to incorporate is a brief one, but that’s hardly the case here. The Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB is, because they prefer to say in the motor industry, fully loaded. Get black friday deals in this page.
It looks nearly the same as the late, lamented Technics SL1200/1210 – and that is no bad thing. A direct-drive design, it includes a stroboscope, target light, +/- 20% pitch control and a reverse switch.
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It’s given an aluminium platter, Audio-Technica AT-P2 cartridge and a tone-arm, and plays at 33.3, 45 and 78rpm.
Around the trunk there’s a switch for the built-in preamp (meaning the AT-LP120-USB works extremely well with an amplifier’s line-level input and also with a dedicated ‘phono’ input) and a USB output.
This last means you can hook up the Audio-Technica right to a PC or Mac where, because of its analogue-to-digital convertor and the bundled Audacity software, records could be copied right to a hard-drive.
Which makes the AT-LP120-USB appear to be a formidably priced proposition.
Polite but pleasing sound
Playing a heavyweight pressing of Four Tet’s There Is Love In You, the Audio-Technica demonstrates the type of deft facility with timing and rhythmic organisation which makes vinyl many listeners’ format of preference.
It’s a tonally even-handed listen, with low-frequency solidity, mid-range detail and top-end crispness all nicely integrated. It’s somewhat too polite to overdo dynamic shifts or even to attack too fiercely, though, and doesn’t provide sort of separation or space to its presentation that other, less extravagantly specified, turntables can deliver.
Digital copies created from the USB output are equally tentative, with an increase of surface noise apparent compared to the AT-LP120-USB generates through loudspeakers.
But it doesn’t alter the fact that is a strong record player that does everything you can expect, at an extremely reasonable price.