Audio Technica AT-LP60 Turntable Review

Although most have ditched CDs in favor of the sheer convenience offered by streaming services, there has also been a renewed interest in vinyl records in what is known as the vinyl revolution. There’s just something special about having a vinyl collection and operating the turntable.

However, in today’s world playing records is an expensive hobby. The need for a turntable, speakers, and of course the records themselves, the cost adds up quickly. But with the AT-LP60, Audio Technica give those on a tighter budget a serious record player which isn’t just another house decoration. It is one of the best-selling under $200 record players out now.

Audio-Technica AT-LP60 Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable, Silver
  • Convert your vinyl records to digital audio files
  • Mac and PC compatible Audacity software digitizes your records
  • Fully automatic belt drive turntable operation with 2 speeds: 33 1/3, 45 RPM
  • Anti resonance, die cast aluminum platter
  • If you are purchasing the product for a sales area outside the U.S; you should consider purchasing the turntable from your sales region; This unit is set to operate on 120 Volt AC

Design

Design wise, the AT-LP60 keeps things quite simple. It sports a slightly more modern aesthetic than your average turntable, and doesn’t have the vintage styling that some people want in their turntable. Nevertheless, the plastic chassis, along with the tonearm and hood, looks sleek and tasteful. The felt mat has very noticeable Audio Technica branding, but you can flip it over for a more minimalist look.

The AT-LP60 is belt-driven which works to minimize the vibration from the motor. This is the same system used by most higher-end turntables that have the audiophile in mind. Essentially, the turntable’s motor pulley spins the platter with a belt.

One of the distinct features of the AT-LP60 turntable is that it has a built-in phono preamp, which means you can plug it straight into your system or pair of powered speakers. You therefore don’t need an external preamp, although the option for using an external phono stage is still there. By reducing the amount of things you need to get things running, the AT-LP60 is especially attractive for people just getting started with vinyl.

Using The AT-LP60

Setting up the turntable is a simple process. You will first need to put the metal platter on the table, pull the rubber belt over the motor pulley, then place the felt map over the platter, and finally remove the plastic protecting the cartridge. You don’t have to worry about the tonearm’s counterweight and setting the stylus tracking force, as this is already preset.

The front panel controls for the AT-LP60 are very simple. You can adjust the speed, start or stop playing and raise/lower the tonearm with the cue button. Playing records with the turntable is as effortless as operating a CD player, simply press the start button and it will do the rest for you.

Of course, you also have the option to be more hands-on and manually lift and lower the tonearm. However, for those without much experience, the automatic mechanism will save records from being scratched or any damage to the stylus.

The AT-LP60 can handle both 7-inch and 12-inch records. Audio Technica have included a 45 adaptor disc that can be placed over the turntable spindle to play 45s. If you will be playing a mix of LPs and 45s, you’ll need to make sure you correctly set the controls when you switch between them.

If you also want to be able to rip your records to a digital format, the AT-LP60USB variant has the ability to do just that. There is also the AT-LP60-BT version which features bluetooth connectivity, making it possible to pair with your bluetooth speakers or headphones.

Sound

The Audio Technica AT-LP60 offers great sound, especially for the price. It produces sound comparable to more expensive record players, with the bass, mid and treble being nicely balanced. The sound isn’t quite as bold as the comparably priced Lenco L-85, but more dynamic and accurate, and in my opinion superior.

Warped LPs play very well on the AT-LP60. Rumble and speed variations are basically inaudible, and surface clicks and pops are minimal.

Being a budget turntable, the phono cartridge is not replaceable. Although Audio Technica’s cartridge is excellent, you’ll need to replace the entire turntable if you want to use a better cartridge to significantly upgrade the sound. (Note that high-end cartridges don’t come cheap, and cost significantly more than the AT-LP60 itself.) The cartridge’s stylus, however, is user-replaceable.

Verdict

Overall the AT-LP60 is an excellent starting point for people wanting to get into vinyl. Within its price range, it is one of the very few ‘serious’ record players which delivers high fidelity audio and a reliable automatic tonearm mechanism. Because the vinyl audio experience is incredibly sensitive to the quality of your setup, most budget setups are simply not worth it. However, Audio Technica have certainly changed that notion.

Is the AT-LP60 the ultimate starter turntable, then? I wouldn’t necessarily say so, as I do believe there is an argument for a slightly higher end record player like the Rega Planar 1 which allows for future cartridge upgrades. However, those with heavily restricted budgets can’t go wrong with Audio Technica’s entry-level turntable.

Rating: 8/10

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