AT LP1240 USB Direct drive

Choosing The Audio Technica LP1240 And The Best Cartridge For It?

Turntables have definitely become a wide-spread phenomenon, with many people jumping on the bandwagon. With so many turntables in the market, it can be difficult to decide which is most suitable for one’s specific needs. However so, should you be looking for a piece of modern audio equipment, specifically a digitalised turntable, consider the Audio Technica LP 1240 USB direct drive DJ turntable.

Why Audio Technica?

Out of the many brands that produces turntables, Audio Technica is definitely a brand that many have heard of. AT has always been a renowned for its audio equipment. Hence, there is no doubt that turntable is in the list of products this Japanese brand designs and manufactures. The AT LP1240 tt is specially designed for DJs.

Audio Technica AT LP1240 USB Direct Drive DJ Turntable is a professional turntable that is mainly used in DJ-ing. In this context, professional refers to manual. This means that the user will essentially have to be involved from start to end for turntable to play the vinyl. Although this might seem less convenient compared to automatic turntables, manual turntables give users the flexibility to adjust and usually has better sound performance.

Its appearance

Its elegant gloss-black and silver design is definitely a show-stopper. It boosts a sleek, modern design that provides both elegance and edge at the same time. The upper body cast metal platter and thick rubberised base gives the AT LP1240 that essential “heaviness feel”. These materials are used for dampening and isolation purposes.

This turntable is definitely in the heavy range. It also looks more solid than the standard plastic top turntable faceplate. If you wonder, these quality components are all built to last. Furthermore, when it comes to compatibility, the AT LP1240 looks compatible with almost any home entertainment equipment.

Specifications and Best Cartridges

Lets look at a short summary of its specifications and what gives this turntable a competitive edge. The Audio Technica LP1240 offers an S-shaped tone arm with adjustable tracking force and anti-skate adjustment. Also, it has a tone arm height adjustment and lock, tone arm lift with hydraulic action and lift lever and tone arm rest with lock mechanism. When it comes to quality, the tone arm in this turntable exceeds expectations, many consider it to be of higher quality than many other similar turntables in the market.

Well, when it comes to cartridge, this set itself does not come with one so you have to purchase it separately. However, it is not expensive to get decent one to complement this beautiful audio equipment. Some of the best cartridges that has been tested to do well include the Audio Technica’s AT120ET and AT440MLa moving magnets. Although the price is an obstacle to many, its still very popular amongst those who are serious. Well, if budget is your concern, you have another option: the awesome AT-F7 which is a low output moving coil.

Audio Technica AT120ET Phonograph Cartridge
Audio-Technica AT440MLa Dual Moving Magnet Cartridge
Audio-Technica at-F7 Dual Moving Coil Turntable Cartridge

The Audio Technica AT LP1240 features a high-torque direct-drive 16-pole, 3-phase motor capable of 33, 45 and 78 RPM speeds. It is especially suitable for DJ usage. Also as the name suggest, this turntable has a USB connectivity option. The USB port allows for direct connection to Mac and Windows computers, for digitizing vinyl with the included Audacity software. This function is perfect for those who seek to connect your turntable to your computers, making it convenient for a direct connection to a computer for easy LP-to-digital conversion.

Additional DJ-friendly features include a damped cast-aluminum platter with stroboscopic speed markings and slip mat, an illuminated speed indicator and adjustable pitch control, a start/stop button, a removable stylus target light, a dedicated tone arm grounding lug and a locking tone arm rest that keeps the arm and cartridge in place during transport.

Sound performance 

It is also well known for its excellent sound performance. The AT LP1240 provides a good deal of clarity, with various elements nicely separated and clearly identifiable when spinning your vinyl. Dynamically, the sound performance is attractive enough to retain one’s attention and there is enough texture too – this turntable never sounds boring. However, it would sound better with extra subtlety and more nuance in the leading and trailing edges of notes. The various elements of the selected tracks are well taken apart, but disappointingly less competent when presenting them as a cohesive whole. However, it is still a great performer nonetheless.


From the appearance and materials, it is evident that the Audio Technica AT LP1240 USB Direct Drive DJ Turntable offers longevity with its all steel heavy-duty construction – there is no doubt about that.  It has a very strong high-torque direct drive, many attractive additional features (that would appeal to DJs). This turntable also possess the all-convenient USB port. This is subjective though as it might attract only those who are specific to wanting this function for vinyl to digital transfer. It also provides a great sound performance overall. There is really nothing very much that I dislike about it.

However, I constantly force myself to be alert and demanding (in the sense of being skeptical), there are indeed elements of this turntable that may make people shy away from it. It is, after all, a turntable designed for DJ-ing in mind. Hence it differs from other turntables in the market. Although we all know that a manual turntable would give a better sound quality, it does pose some inconvenience to some, and probably not a turntable that beginners should choose to experiment with.

The Verdict?

In conclusion, the Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USB Turntables is definitely well-recommended to any DJ or Turntablist who is serious about their craft and need a serious machine to hone their skills. It is an extremely competent turntable. However, if you are after outright sound quality, maybe another turntable will be a better choice, something more classic and less showy. But overall, quality and price considered, this is a well-recommended turntable to those who are no longer new owners.

Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USB Direct-Drive Professional DJ Turntable (USB & Analog), 3 Speed, For Demanding DJ Use, Fully Manual with Start & Stop Brake Control, Direct Drive, High Torque, Pro Anti-Resonance, Damped Die-cast Platter

Have a budget for Cartridges?

If you are also open to looking at other cartridges from a budget range perspective, also may be good for you to check out these reviews from those under 500 here, between 300 to 400 here, under 200 here and those really lowest end of the spectrum below 100 here. Hope it is useful for your decision.

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