Audio Technica LP120 – USB Turntable Unbox & Review

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!

Comments

Alex Chan says:

Are you happy with the song quality? Did you or plan to remove the preamp, seem many people not happy about the preamp.
I don’t want to remove it cause is risky.

arke killa says:

Awesome review, one of the best ones off youtube. Have you had any problems yet? Have you tested the anti skating? A lot of them have a malfunctioing anti skating mechanism

Craig Sheppard says:

I keep hearing good and bad about this turntable, things like it’s badly made and that the anti skate dosn’t work? .

tom welling says:

the letter on the top fuck lol it is fuck lol the pioneer dj 3500 was better not spell fuck lol

tom welling says:

they had video lot on YouTube about dj 350p not know this product had failed audio technica never made it any better it got worser all they copy dj 3500

Michal Hajlasz says:

ksp

Izzy Harding says:

“It’s Freakin’ Awesome!”
-Tanner Miller 2016

Brian Hickey says:

Fantastic review. Actually, out of all of them I watched, yours was the most useful so well done! I’m debating buying one of these and as I purchased and sent back the Audio Technica AT LP1240 because of a wobbly platter. What concerns me about the 120 is the same issue as I couldn’t help but notice that your turntable isn’t entirely level. If you just look at the platter’s dots as it spins, it’s slightly uneven. Perhaps I’m seeing things but have you noticed this yourself? You seem to be as anal as I am when it comes to turntable details (the ‘e’ on the dust cover’s label), so I’m happy you pointed this out. It appears to be a super solid deck, and I’m close to buying it, but just wanted to confirm my worries about the wobbly platter. Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again for the killer video and happy digging!

Live Wire says:

How much do you have the anti skate set to? Im a casual listener and i have it set to 2? Is that normal?

NC JUNGLIST says:

what is the usb port used for? looking around for the answer..thnx

Mike Wolverton says:

I’ve watched 10 or 15 reviews on this turntable and almost all of them has mentioned Not throwing away the styrofoam. lol I sure hope there are smarter people in the Vinyl community. 🙂 My new table should be here in a day or so and I’m pairing it with a set of Klipsch 280s, a center and 12″ sub. I think I went overboard with the speakers but I got a good deal. Thanks for taking the time to make the video. First album to be played will be a first press vintage, Dire Straits, Brothers in Arms. I’m excited to get back into analog.

phantasm1004 says:

great comprehensive review tanner. nice job man.

i have the earlier iteration of this table (which is apparently much more desirable but long discontinued, and fetches large amounts of money on the used market)…. the P L 120 (yes the L and the P are reversed). the PL120 is the NON-USB version of the table you have. i’ve had my PL120 for a few years now with ZERO problems or issues…not even the notorious problem with the anti-skating that seems to plague the L P 120. i paid about $275 when i bought mine brand new, but i just now went to amazon and there are two used PL120 tables — one seller wants $650 and the other seller wants $700!!! yes…these are the prices of a USED PL120!! there is yet another seller with a brand new PL120 — he wants $999 for it! crazy!!!

i love my PL120 and it ain’t goin nowhere!

Warren Brown says:

Unfortunately the built in preamp sucks. They purposely cut out some of the highs. If it is removed, it sounds much better, however you obviously lose the preamp but also the usb functionality.

tom welling says:

had 2 pioneer dj 3500 and get this is discontinued 6 years ago I notice audio technica lp120 copy pioneer dj 3500 that kida fuck

DominatorTV says:

Very good video, other videos on this turntable have been very poor in quality and boring. But this video is edited well, has good detail on the product you’re reviewing, and is entertaining to watch. Very good job!

kelso amistad says:

Thanks, great video..God bless you!

Alex Chan says:

Is good that you like the sound from it. I have seen so many people removed the preamp which made me think that maybe the sound is terrible. I won’t take out my preamp, too risky to do.

Alfred Valrie says:

You’re only paying $300, so you shouldn’t expect that much!

Okay…got it.

reyzuna says:

the weight is coming from the inside, a Massive Plate that does nothing whatsoever, it’s just a weight fucking crap 😀

Bork. EXE says:

the counter weight, whole cartridge & pre amp are pretty garbage. you should replace all

PhuckHue2 says:

cheap junk crap turntable. the anti-skate doesn’t work. its just a SL-1200 knock off for morons

BeatlesBoy 1234 says:

Awesome I want to get The Audio Technica lp-120 sometime in the future, but recently I got the Audio Technica Lp-60 USB for Christmas, so I am happy

Ed Young says:

Great review! I have had mine for a year and a half and still loving mine. I have upgraded the cartridge to a Shure 97XE  love the sound it puts out (I’m a classic rock guy) and got a rubber platter mat  I haven’t had any problems what so ever so far (knocking on wood) take care,

tom welling says:

the pioneer dj 3500 why dud audiotechnica make there own fucking design copy cats

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