Customer Review

221 of 255 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Underwhelming (until Windows 8), April 28, 2010
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This review is from: Audio Technica AT-LP60USB Fully Automatic Belt Driven Turntable with USB Port (Electronics)
Purely as a turntable, this is a satisfactory unit comparable to any other at the $50 to $80 range. The features that should have set it apart (and for which I purchased the item) are all woefully disappointing.

1) USB-Direct Recording: The true purpose of my purchase was to update my current phonograph configuration to a more convenient way to convert my LPs to MP3. When using the USB connection, there is a dull but constant power-cycle hum from the moment USB Codec is selected as the Recording Device. After attempting to avail myself of this feature with multiple computers in my home I have concluded that the USB connection should be considered unusable by even the least discriminating among music lovers (Perhaps power filters could be used to isolate potential ground-loops but even then, you would still have to contend with issue number 3 below).

[Updated: 03/28/2013]
Although I can't begin to account for what may have possessed me to try this, I've given the USB recording another attempt after upgrading my Notebook Computer to Windows 8. While several other hardware systems on my Notebook (bluetooth, fingerprint reader, blu-ray) have ceased to function due to a lack of driver support, the USB feature on this turntable now functions perfectly. No hum, just right.

I still can't give the turntable 5-stars because of items 2 and 3 below, but at least I can now take full advantage of primary reason I made the purchase.

2) The software: Always in search of audio recording software that would work well on a PC, I was eager to test the claims of Audacity as proclaimed in the included accessory description for this turntable. As it turns out, Audacity is open source freeware. Anyone can get a more recent version of the software for free online.

3) Pre-amp: The ability to play this unit directly through a sound system with the boosted "Phono" inputs of older receivers was a major draw. Having held on to an older receiver for the single purpose of bridging between my turntable and my newer AV receiver, I was looking forward to eliminating one large and superfluous component in my rack. Given the tragic failure of the USB connection, I had also expected this to be the viable alternative to converting to MP3 on my laptop. Sadly, this too was a failure. The pre-amp in this unit is unable to cope with the low input at the end of any track that fades out. The result is a very abrupt cut-off followed by a series of unpleasant audio events as the pre-amp cuts in and out. These events seem to indicate that the db level at the end of the song combined with the surface noise usually experienced between tracks rests squarely at the bottom of the volume range necessary for the pre-amp to engage. As it turns out, this is also the case with USB recording but one might not notice as the aggravating hum covers most of the audio at this volume level.

At this point, my only remaining choice is to use the non-amplified output and run it through the mic input of my Creative Labs SB1090 USB Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Audio System external sound card (a delightful purchase from Amazon which will be reviewed separately). Of course, I could have done this with my existing turntable as could anyone else who purchased a comparable unit at a comparable price.
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 27, 2010 4:20:47 PM PDT
Caponsacchi says:
Why is it that virtually all of the turntables (and cassette decks) advertised as "dedicated" machines (i.e. specially set up with USB connectability for converting vinyl to digital) receive lower ratings (from Amazon consumers as well as the professional review services) than the old, "normal" turntables and cassette decks? I'm all but convinced that, providing my receiver/amp has a phono out (any receiver without it should be disqualified), I'm better going with my old equipment when it comes to analog to digital conversion.

Posted on Jul 18, 2010 10:45:25 AM PDT
Dylan Gunn says:
Is the only reason for this being worth a hundred dollars more than USB-less model the USB function? Because if it's not all it's cracked up to be then I might as well just get the other model, right? Here's what I'm talking about: Audio Technica AT-LP60 Fully Automatic Belt Driven Turntable

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2010 9:31:16 AM PST
They are now the same price.

Posted on Mar 27, 2013 11:11:15 PM PDT
3 years later, I'm finally able to get the USB feature to work! Something about the native USB audio drivers in Windows 8 have suddenly brought this unit to life. It's actually very effective now and certainly easier to use than passing an analog signal in from a separate amplified source.
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