What We Like
- Classic, simple and beautiful design.
- Plenty of modern features to play around with.
- Great overall quality, from build to sound.
What We Don’t Like
- Heavy construction means you won’t be traveling with this any time soon.
Think you’re asking too much if you’re looking for a great-sounding turntable, with classic looks, modern features and a brand name you can rely on, all at a reasonable price? Audio-Technica’s LP120 is out to prove you wrong!
Audio-Technica have kept a classic yet fresh design here, and one that’s very hard not like. Opening the clear plastic cover, the silver top tastefully contrasts with the black face of the die-cast aluminum platter and underbody. Controls are very nicely spaced and the beautifully made S-shaped tonearm and pre-mounted cartridge all scream high quality. The entire system is raised at a slight angle on four strong rubber feet, presenting itself outward.
Branding is kept to a minimum, although – as on almost all of Audio-Technica’s products – we do have the large logo and brand name printed on our platter, but you’ll hardly ever see this with a record sitting on top. It also comes in at a hefty 23.5lbs, which means it’s not the easiest to transport around, but reassuringly this weight is a result of its fantastic construction.
The LP120’s timeless looks are nicely matched with modern features. While the whole system may not be up to gigging quality for most, for a turntable under $300 it doesn’t slack in the feature department. There’s a manual tonearm on top, meaning no automation for returning or lifting back off the vinyl. You also get some more manual features to play around with, including a reverse switch and pitch change slider control, for a +/- 20% change in pitch.
It also features a USB interface for converting your favorite vintage vinyls to MP3 via PC or Mac, with a copy of Audacity included to make the conversion a simple task. So, although this turntable really is more for recreational listening, you are not limited if you wanted to try to get creative in a digital audio workstation.
We’ve established that the LP120 is an attractive turntable, with some pretty nice specs on paper. But, how does it perform? No surprises here, it performs like a sub-$300 turntable should. The sound is clear and quite rich, and will be a significant improvement for those upgrading from a lower-end product. It runs smoothly off a direct driven motor with no limitations in speed at 33, 45 and 78 RPM.
There’s a switchable built-in pre-amp with more than enough connections round back, so finding a nice set of speakers to pair it with shouldn’t be an issue. Overall the performance is good and it lives up to the reputation a brand like Audio-Technica carries. Finally it’s worth mentioning that the LP120 may need some initial set up out of the box, but that’s common for any turntable that allows manual adjustments.
With classic looks, modern features, solid performance and a name you can trust, the LP120 from Audio-Technica is a steal at this price. The perfect turntable for anyone looking to add some real quality to their setup.