Updated 6 Oct 2015

Audio-Technica

LP120-USB

Snapshot: The Audio-Technica LP120-USB is a direct drive turntable with a DC motor, and a built-in, switchable pre-amp. It can play 33 1/3, 45, and 78RPM. But what’s the sound like with the needle on the record?

LP120-USB
Consumer score
SCORE
Avg price

$699

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Test results

Overall score
80
Listening
?/10
Ease of use
?/10
Technical
?/10

Good points

  • Easy to use.
  • Good sound quality.
  • Very good technical accuracy.
  • Has built-in, switchable preamp.
  • Has damped cueing.
  • Has removable lid.

But

No obvious bad points.

How we test

Overall score includes:

Listening (60%)
Ease of use (20%)
Technical (20%)

To test sound quality we used three experts. They assessed each turntable using two records: Pixies’ Best of, and ABC’s The Lexicon of Love, which is an older worn LP also used to check for skipping.

The reference speakers are Mordaunt-Short Aviano 1 bookshelf speakers. They are positioned about two metres away from the listeners, with the panel judging overall sound quality.

For ease of use, one tester assessed setting up the turntable out of the box, including attaching the platter, belt, and any adjustments that were needed before operation. He also evaluated the instruction manual. Operational aspects judged include speed selection and cueing a track.

Technical score was a bit more, well, technical – if you don’t know the following terms, don’t worry. Our tester assessed the difference between claimed and measured figures for wow and flutter, tracking force, and frequency response using calibrated reference LPs. He also measured rotational speed accuracy.

Key data

Model

Avg price
$699
Type
Regular turntable

Specifications

HxWxD
157 x 450 x 352mm
Weight
10.7kg
Recommended tracking force (g)
1.5-2.5

Features

Lid
Yes
Hinged lid
Yes
Removeable lid
Yes
Power control
Dial
Motor type
DC
Drive type
Direct
Pitch stabilisation
Quartz locked
Reverse play
Yes
Pre-amp
Built-in, switchable
Auto operation
Manual only
Damped cueing
Yes
Tone arm clamp
Yes
Feet levelling adjustment
Yes
Speakers
-
Stylus
ATN95E
Stylus shape
Elliptical
Stylus illuminator
Yes
Cartridge
AT95E
Platter construction
Die-cast aluminium
Platter mat
Felt
45RPM spindle adapter
Metal

Playing speeds

33 1/3RPM
Yes
45RPM
Yes
78RPM
Yes

Connections

RCA stereo
Yes
USB
Yes
AUX in
-
Memory card slot
-

Encoding

USB cable
Yes
Encoding software supplied
Audacity
Software Mac OSX compatible
Yes

Technical

Wow & flutter, claimed, WRMS, 33RPM (%)
<0.2
SNR, claimed (dB)
>50
Output level, LINE, claimed, mV @ 1KHz 5cm/s
150
Output level, PHONO, claimed, mV @ 1KHz 5cm/s
2.5
Pre-amp gain, claimed (dB)
36
Could play older LP without skipping
-
Measured tracking force
-g

More Info

Notes

Standard turntables in our database have been tested to a different method than USB turntables.

Member reviews