Audio Technica AT LP60USB Review
I recently got an Audio Technica AT-LP60-USB turntable to review and I have to say that I am impressed with a table at this price point. At only about $125 this record player falls into the budget entry-level, but out performs most other vinyl players in the same category. This player is fully automatic and easy to assemble. It also has pretty decent sound quality for this price. So if you’re looking to test the analog music waters without spending big bucks, then this might the turntable for you.
However, if you’re a stickler for high sound quality and want to be able to adjust and upgrade things, then you might want to check out my review of these models from Teac or Pro-Ject. The LP60USB does have a USB port that is intended to be used to convert your LPs to digital recordings. While it does work, it’s not a straightforward process and the resulting recording is of questionable quality.
Read on for my detailed review:
Audio Technica AT LP60USB Setup and Usability
There is very little setup involved with this TT. All you need to do is install the belt and platter, which is very easy to do. There is no installing or adjusting counterweights. No assembling the tonearm or attaching the cartridge. Only plug-in and go.
The lack of setup means that there is also a lack of adjust ability and upgrading though. A lot of people like to upgrade their cartridge, but to do that you will have to readjust your tonearm for the slight difference in weight. Not possible with this record player.
There is an internal pre-amp but no internal speakers. You will have to use your own amplifier and speakers if you actually want to hear any music. This process can be a little confusing at first if you’ve never setup your own AV equipment before, but it’s not too bad.
Unlike most other turntables in this price range, this table is fully automatic. You simply turn it on and the tonearm will position itself at the start of the record and begin playback. There has been some talk that the tonearm plops down a little hard on the record potentially damaging them both, but I don’t have that problem with mine.
The AT LP60USB has a USB out port (as the name implies) that you can use to make digital copies of your analog records. You connect the turntable to your computer via a USB cable and then use software on your computer to do the conversion. They included the free software Audacity to do this. The resulting recording is poor quality as a result of a low USB output signal.
The AT-LP60 version of this table does not include the USB port and is $20 cheaper. If you don’t foresee yourself ever needing the USB, then I would buy this one instead.
If you are buying a turntable for the purpose of digitizing your music then you should look for a turntable that is better setup for that. For instance this one.
Here is a quick video explaining just how easy it is to setup:
Audio Technica AT LP60USB Sound Quality
Like I said above, I am actually pretty impressed with the sound quality coming out of this little player. The included, and permanently attached, cartridge is duel magnetic which is better quality than the usual ceramic ones you find at this price point.
Magnetic cartridges create clearer audio signals to send to the amp and tend to not skip as much. They are more sensitive to vibrations though, so be careful about the placement of this table. Maybe to put it right on top of your sub woofer for instance.
The magnetic cartridge is a big win over most of the other turntables in the $100 range.
Since you do get a magnetic cartridge you don’t need to be quite as concerned about the fact that you can’t replace or upgrade it. You also shouldn’t worry much about it wearing out because you can replace the stylus, because that is the part that will actually wear out.
The stylus has a mm spherical diamond tip and will last about 400 hours. If you start to notice a lack of high frequencies and increased skipping, then it’s time for a new one. The 2 options you have for replacingupgrading the stylus are the ATN3600L and ATN3600DLXI.
Overall the sound quality is clear and warm. It doesn’t sound as good as the more expensive hi-fi turntables, but thanks to the magnetic cartridge it is the best sounding turntable you can get for $100.
This is also helped by the fact that the other cheap record players have their own internal speakers, which for the most part are terrible. So I was listening to this over my own high quality speakers. If you only listen to music through tiny cheap speakers, you’re never going to hear quality regardless of how nice your turntable is.
Audio Technica AT LP60USB Build Quality
This turntable is belt driven which means that it was built to listen to music and not for DJing. The motor spins, turns a belt, and the belt turns the platter that the LP sits on. This decreases noise coming from the motor affecting the playback. If you want to be able to do some DJing then you should look for a direct drive turntable as those are designed to have the higher torque needed when scratching records.
The manual says that the speed variance is less than 0.25%, which isn’t bad for budget record players. As a comparison though, hi-fi top end turntables vary less than 0.05%.
I have heard from some people that they can notice audible changes in speed and pitch, though I have had no such issues.
The platter is aluminum and has a black felt slip mat. An aluminum platter is better than plastic, but nicer tables use heavier platters to reduce vibration.
The tonearm is a bit flimsy and seems loose, but it does it’s job. It is weighted at 3 grams, which is heavier than higher end vinyl players, but it shouldn’t damage your LPs. Some of the lower end turntables are weighted at 5+ grams, which actually could cause damage. As I mentioned before, the tonearm is not replaceable.
Something I thought was odd on this turntable was that the RCA plugs are hardwired into the turntable. This isn’t really a problem, I just prefer to use my own. Plus the plugs are pretty short.
You can buy the non-USB version of this turntable in either black, blue, red, or silver. The USB version only comes in silver.
Except for the aluminum platter, the entire unit is made of plastic and feels somewhat flimsy when I pick it up. It comes with a clear dust cover, though the cover is easily scratched.
If you’re looking for a budget low-end turntable for around $100 then the Audio Technica AT-LP60USB or ATLP60 is the one you should get. The sound and build quality are superior to any of the other $100 range record players I have reviewed. The only trade off is that it doesn’t include its own speakers, though I count that as a positive because included speakers on low end turntables always sound awful.
This is a good little vinyl player that should be used for casual listeners. If you’re a stickler for high fidelity sound or are looking to convert a lot of old LPs to digital, then you should look elsewhere.
If this sounds like what you’re looking for then go to Amazon and buy it now!