24 July 2012 Stuff We Like
Audio-Technica - AT-LP120USB Turntable
I picked up the non-USB version of this turntable a little over three years ago- my first. I did a lot of research on features and set up- I wanted to spend my money well, and entering the world of record players was a bit daunting.
The AT-LP120USB isn't as flashy as a Rega or Pro-Ject- it's more of a workhorse than a fine museum piece. Where the AT-LP120USB does excel is in its feature set. Want to play at 45 RPM (most 7"s, and some LPs?) on those other turntables? Swap a belt, or buy an add-on external box. On the AT-LP120USB, just push a button. You can even play 78s, with the right stylus (not included). Hoping to plug it into your existing speakers/stereo, but don't have a receiver with a phono input? Many turntables require an external pre-amp, but the AT-LP120USB has one built in, so grab the right cable (the outputs are RCA/phono plugs) and you're good to go. What if you want to verify your turntable is actually spinning at the RPM it says it is? Often, you'd need a stroboscopic sheet/disc, but the AT-LP120USB has stroboscopic indicators on the platter itself. Want to try your hand at DJing? The AT-LP120USB has a pitch adjustment slider for all your beat-matching needs, as well as a reverse button, handy for searching for hidden messages (or rewinding to your favorite part of a song?). This USB version even gives you a dedicated port to feed the audio to a computer.
I can also say that three years later, my AT-LP120 is still going strong. It's served me well in its stock configuration, but there are plenty of options for upgrade as well. I recently picked up an external phono pre-amp (just switch off the internal one first), and I've started eyeing up replacement cartridges. This is a great turntable for almost anyone, and one that will last you for years to come.
– Jeffrey Woldan