659 of 680 people found the following review helpful
Good provisional or first machine, but perhaps best to go up one model,
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This review is from: Audio-Technica AT-LP60-USB Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable (USB & Analog) (Electronics)
This has recently gone up in price, even apart from the Gold Box Special that greeted me. In a way, I wish I'd seen the higher price, which would have discouraged me from ordering so quickly. I remember when, in the '70s, it cost more to replace a Shure V-15 Type II cartridge than to purchase this turntable, which comes complete with cartridge, stylus, and 4 different connecting cables to cover just about all situations, even those for customers without a receiver/amplifier. It wasn't long before, in the '80s, the elliptical stylus itself went for over a hundred, eventually taken off the market by Shure due to the scarcity of its rare and costly constituent.
The point: for 60 to 90 bucks, you should not expect anything close to a genuine audiophile turntable--even though the machine includes auto tone arm lift, two instruction manuals, four well-made cables, cartridge and stylus. But the feature missing with this turntable, the one reason I wish I hadn't ordered it and had waited to purchase the next model up, is a counterweight for achieving precise tone arm balance as well as an anti-skating control for reducing pressure (and distortion) on the inside grooves of the vinyl LP, especially the tracks closest to the middle hole.
Nevertheless, given the absence of a counter-weighted tone arm and anti-skating control, this turntable does a highly competent job of tracking most recordings. In fact, it performs better than both of the ailing industry-standard, professional Stanton turntables that were proving increasingly problematic at the station. Also, the tracking pressure that I measured is less than 2 and a half grams, light enough to prevent the stylus from eating up your vinyl (at least not until after 2-3 playings).
The unit comes with built-in preamp, so not only does it not require an amp with a phono jack, but it doesn't require any amp beyond the one in your computer if your primary consideration is converting vinyl to digital. A couple of things to be aware of: the lift on the tone arm is too small to be of use for manual placement. You'll need to be comfortable with the automatic lift mechanism or forget about picking up and dropping down the tone arm with any semblance of accuracy. Also, in back is an all-important lever that switches the unit from "phono" to "line" connection. If you're using the unit without an amp with phono jack (beginning in the '90s, cost-conscious manufacturers began leaving them off of receivers and amps, though with the comeback of vinyl we've seen the reappearance of phono jacks), be sure to set the switch to "line." The same holds true if your connection involves use of any of the optional cables and connectors that are included with the turntable.
The turntable tracks quite nicely from what I've seen, and is worth the low cost. Still, before investing in a USB unit--without or without phono connectors--you may simply wish to save up for the best "conventional" turntable along with an amplifier or receiver that has a phono jack. That way you'll have a better chance of scoring some of the audiophile niceties mentioned above, and connection to your computer will be no problem--whether you have an 1/8" familiar audio jack or an adapter that will transform RCA into USB cables.
The software included with the turntable is Audacity--a respected freeware program that's capable of doing an excellent job but is not known for being the most user-friendly program. Other possibilities are Cool Edit (for PC users); Spin Doctor or Sound Studio (Mac users). Once you've converted a couple of LPs, it's a piece of cake--except for the potential of allowing the process to consume all of your time and life. (Try to resist the temptation to make up your own CDs, complete with jewel cases, printed front and back covers and spines, disc centers, booklets, photos, inserts, etc. Another not inconsiderable expense--in time as well as money.)
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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 18, 2010 1:51:51 PM PST
Leslie Tack says:
I just got this turnable and it won't track anything and my records are pristine. Hard to believe I have the only unit with this problem. Heading for return asap.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2011 1:16:47 PM PST
Giuseppe C. says:
Sorry to hear that. I lucked out better, even using it briefly at the radio station. But as I tried to warn, it's a far cry from an audiophile machine (I remember paying several times this price for the cartridge alone--and paying at least this much just for the stylus for my top-of-the-line Shure cartridge). The primary attraction of this one is the USB connection for folks who still have LPs and want to convert them to digital. (My advice is to keep the LPs and upgrade the equipment for playing them--no "Crosley" equipment.)
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2012 10:08:03 AM PST
L. Rivers says:
What should I buy if not Crosley? I just want to be able to play my old albums. I don't care about converting them to MP3's
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 2:10:31 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 10, 2013 2:11:04 PM PST
Crosley is not the answer. I had one for about a year and eventually things started to malfunction, first the cassette player, then the CD recorder, then finally the turntable. The whole thing ended up in a dumpster. The Jensen turntable on this site is a possibility.
Posted on Jul 17, 2013 8:09:52 PM PDT
Kaycie Jones says:
Ok, so you obviously know your stuff. This being the case, I would be extremely grateful for some advice. I've never owned vinyl in my life; in fact I've never even touched one. But I remember growing up with my grandpa obsessing over his collection (hence why I've never laid a hand on one - they weren't grandkid approved). Anyway, he passed a while back and we each got to pick something of his we wanted. I picked his records.
The problem I have now is finding a player for them. I'm a broke college student and don't want to spend a lot of money (no more than 130$ to 140$) but I also don't want a total piece of crap. It's not going to get a lot of use, maybe a fair/mild amount, and I'd like it to hook into old computer speakers or maybe even my iMac. I'm just starting out so I need something simple, very easy to use and most importantly I'd like it work. If I end up getting really into this vinyl thing I can always upgrade later, you know?
I keep finding mixed reviews on everything in my price range, so would you be able to recommend something for a newbie like me?
Any help at all would be great, thanks!
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 20, 2013 6:15:08 PM PDT
Metal Marc says:
Kaycie, get this turntable and later on down the road, get an upgraded stylus/needle for it. That's what I did. Got this for $120 and socked a little bit of dough away here and there and eventually spent another $70 on a killer stylus. My record transfers sound better than the CDs!
Posted on Jul 22, 2013 3:03:08 PM PDT
Michael J. Bridges says:
Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Professional Turntable (USB & Analog)
I would suggest the LP60's big brother, the LP120USB. A much nicer turntable but a lot more expensive. I say hold out, save up money and buy the LP120. Read the reviews on the link above. It is not a automatic turntable (which is better IMO). It is also direct drive, not belt driven and the tone arm is adjustable, not to mention it comes with a better stylus/needle.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 6, 2013 3:01:53 PM PDT
Jason P. says:
What's the name of the stylus that you bought?
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 21, 2013 4:06:04 PM PST
g man says:
after hearing this didnt have a counterweight and absence of anti skating mechanism id rather use my fingernail and a tin can....i remember the old tehnics tables of the 80's,,, sigh, still have one
Posted on Apr 8, 2014 9:48:58 AM PDT
E. E. Mort says:
So what machine are you guys recommending? I really like this one however it's lack of a tone arm counterbalance is a key fault. I also need a machine that will pick up the needle automatically at the end of the record (which is why I didn't by the LP120 by now). Ugh, please guys, show me the correct path....