The Audio-Technica LP120-USB Turntable is an item I was so stoked to get that I just had to do a review and unbox of it. For the last few years I have had a large Mitsubishi stereo system from 1986 with a record player that was pretty low quality; thus, I didn’t use it as much as I would have liked. Additionally, the enormous cabinet and speakers took up way too much space in my room. I have better things I could do with this space and decided to ditch the ol’ dinosaur accordingly. Not only do I have tons of vinyl from my parents but I have also accumulated a small collection of my own over the recent years, so I needed to get a new player quickly; the LP120 was the obvious choice.
I received an Amazon box that was large enough to sleep in and weighed enough to make me believe that there was a midget sleeping inside. After unboxing it I finally got to man-handle the Audio-Technica box itself and realized this thing weighed a ridiculous amount on its own. I hoped that this would be an indicator of a quality product… of course, further review would be necessary after the unbox. The whole time I was unpacking the small and larger parts neatly organized within the AT-LP120’s box I was realizing just how careful they were in ensuring nothing got damaged during travel. Every piece of packaging was molded with a specific part to accompany it. A perfect fit.
As the parts fell out into my hand each one weighed as much or more than expected. The tonearm counterweight was crisply milled from a solid hunk of metal and polished to a near mirror finish. Audio-Technica then accented it with a nicely textured rubber ring for easy adjustment and a clean look. Even the 7” adapter is beautifully turned and then textured instead of casted. The LP120 has a heavy-duty cast aluminum platter that is then powder coated and accented with a sleek brushed finish along the dotted, beveled edge. The dots along the side of the platter interact with a red light housed under the on/off switch to provide stroboscopic speed indication, ensuring your turntable is always spinning at the speed it needs.
The LP120-USB has three preset speed options (33 RPM, 45 RPM, & 78 RPM) as well as a pitch adjustment slider that can be calibrated to 10% or 20% increments; allowing for fine-tuned speeds far below or above the defaults. The record player also has a direction button, enabling the user to play their records in reverse or review previous parts of a song without having to do it by hand. One neat feature that would have pretty selective usage is a small popup light designed to illuminate the stylus placement on the record. This would be handy if you are a DJ or if you like to listen to records in the dark by candle light… I guess that should be more common than I initially thought. The set of features that Audio-Technica built into the LP120 is honestly pretty impressive for being an entry-mid range turntable.
On to the business end of the record player, we have the tonearm and its adjustments. I am a somewhat shaky guy on some days, so the feature of a lifting/lowering lever is something that I really like that the LP120 has on the tonearm. I also plan to pick up a new slip mat sometime in the future and appreciate that they have 6mm of height adjustment to ensure that no matter what sort of mat or headshell you get, you will be able to keep the tonearm parallel to the record. That addressed, the headshell and cartridge are quite nice out of the box. I know a lot of enthusiasts would likely ridicule the AT95E, but for a non-audiophile who just likes jamming some vinyl, it is more than sufficient. Should you run into issues of the stylus taking off across the record when you are jamming, the Audio-Technica LP120 also comes with an anti-skate adjustment that helps to reduce the change of skipping grooves on the vinyl.
Setup was relatively simple with the accessories provided. With a built-in preamp, I can listen directly through my surround sound system via RCA. The built-in RCA cables are far too short to reach where I need them to so I had to use the supplied RCA female to 3.5mm. Luckily they give you what you need to get it working out of the box for the most part. Balancing the tonearm is a bit complicated, but I will be posting a video on the full setup here in the next few days (link below). Once up and running, I was totally stoked on the sound quality from the LP120. Out of the box it sounded great without any real adjustments or modifications made.
I am not an expert on this sort of topic, but figured there are other people like me who just like music and want to collect and jam some vinyl records. This is what made me want to upload this video, so that hopefully someone else can benefit and figure out the perfect turntable for them. If you have any questions regarding the Audio-Technica LP120-USB then please put them down below and I will try and get back to you quickly. Thanks so much for checking out the unbox/review!