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Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Turntable

  • Hi,

    I need some feedback from members on a turntable I am thinking of buying for restoration work on my 78s.

    The turntable is: Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Professional Turntable.

    Anyone know if this turntable is any good for the job and also whether it takes a Stanton 78rpm cartridge/stylus?

      January 30, 2015 10:54 PM PST
  • Paul, I bought the AT-LP120-USB and enjoyed it very much for the first month or so. The cueing suddenly failed where the pickup would drop like a stone on the record. I contacted Audio-Technical and they paid to return it for repair. It came back and lasted a few weeks of regular use and had the same problem again. AT was very kind and interested in helping me and exchanged it for another new one. That one failed similiarly. AT asked me to take a video with my phone for proof. They offered to refund me the cost, but I talked them into a swap plus $100 for a new AT-LP1240 USB. That one has been working flawlessly. It's a much better turntable with a completely different motor drive (stronger and quieter). The pickup arm is better as well. I liked the looks of the 120 better actually, but the 1240 is excellent. Check the forums for the cueing problem which seems to be prevalent.  The 120 comes with an excellent AT95E cartridge (LP), but the 1200 comes with NO cartridge.  I use the Stanton 500 with available stylus' (2.5mil & 3.3mil for 78's). Hope this helps!    -Tom

    This post was edited by Tom Jardine at February 17, 2015 4:16 PM PST
      January 31, 2015 3:09 PM PST
  • Paul, here's a photo of the AT-LP1200-USB that I've had for about 10 months now. The mounted cartridge is an AT95E which I DON'T use for 78's. I just put the blue shellac Columbia on the TT for effect.

    This post was edited by Tom Jardine at January 31, 2015 3:20 PM PST
      January 31, 2015 3:20 PM PST
  • Hi Tom,

    I took your advice and bit the bullet and got an Audio-technica LP1240-USB!

    Wow! It was delivered yesterday and all I can say is... this is a GREAT TURNTABLE !

    Easy to install (took 10 minutes to put together), plugged it into my computer and I was recording tracks within minutes!

    Turntable is simple to use but full of features (like instant stop) as well as constant pitch!

    Many thanks, Tom for your recommendation


      February 3, 2015 7:05 PM PST
  • Paul, I'm glad you're happy with it. Mine is a 1240 as well - I thought it was a 1200. It's a great deal nicer than the 120. I liked the fact that the AT-LP120 looked like a Technics SL1200 but that's where the similarity ends. I bought a Technics-like rubber platter mat to replace the composition mat that came with the 1240. What software are you using to transfer recordings? I've been using Audacity because it's free and it works well. I might bite bullet and buy something more effective for noise removal. -Tom

      February 4, 2015 5:45 AM PST
  • Tom, I use Audacity to transfer the raw file and then use ClickRepair to reduce noise. I ended up buying it. It's worth every cent. My recent uploaded files to the site use ClickRepair. Check them out...

    Btw, where did you get your 78rpm stylus cartridge and spare head? Were they one set or did you buy an extra head and cartridge separately? Did you buy them online - if so, where?
      February 4, 2015 3:02 PM PST
  • Nathan, I bought all of the empty head shells on Ebay at various times. Many are knock-offs. Search for Audio-Technica headshells. They are usually not supplied with hardware (screws & nuts). The hardware is normally supplied with cartridges, so I have a stash of them. The Stanton cartridges came from I bought my stylii from Audio "78" Archival Supplies that don't exist any more. They were much cheaper 10 years ago. Esoteric Sound sells truncated eliptical stylii at rather high prices now. They have a Stanton 3.5mil eliptical (stylus only) for $150.00 advertised. LP Gear has a huge selection of cartridges/stylii but only standard conical 78 RPM 3.0mil sizes. Years ago I bought a 3.5mil truncated eliptical stylus from Expert Stylus in the UK. They are highly regarded but don't have a web page. They recently mailed me a price list after I phoned them. This page has Expert Stylus information:        ; I appreciate your info on ClickRepair. I'll give it a try!    -Tom

      February 4, 2015 4:14 PM PST
  • Up on this very interesting chat.
    I consider buying this turntable and starting todigitalise part of my collection for the fun of it.
    Is there a compatible cartridge that would read vertical cut records as well ? Thanks for the help !
      September 11, 2017 9:27 AM PDT
  • Hi Jerome,
    The AT 1240 turntable is not suitable for playing vertical cut records.
    You are best to look for a turntable that does this job. The following turntable is probably more suitable for your task:

    Also, there are no vertical cut cartridges/styli available.
    If your turntable is for vertical records, then you can use a standard 78rpm stylus without issue.
      September 11, 2017 7:11 PM PDT
  • Hi Nathan,
    Thanks a lot for the quick answer and the tip ! That Rek-O-kut turntable seems to be an awesome machine ! I need to check if I can import one without issues as I live in France...

    I need to refine my gear, and I have real good options here.

      September 12, 2017 12:33 AM PDT
  • I'm a little puzzled by Nathan's answer above on vertical cut records. Perhaps there is something about the turntable in question that I've not noticed, but normally all you need to do is to invert one of the stereo channels. You can do this by changing the cartridge wiring, or by software. If you want to 'play', rather than transcribe, you are limited to the first and you could have a cartridge/headshell dedicated to the job, but this obviously involves extra expense. If you are transcribing and have  a Windows PC you can use some software I've written here.
      September 24, 2017 9:49 AM PDT
  • Thanks for the comment, Wes. Playing vertical cut records is definitively not something easy ! I guess I shouldn't try too hard though, I'll have enough work with lateral cuts anyway ! 
      September 25, 2017 1:06 AM PDT