When it comes to vinyl record players, Audio-Technica has established itself as a prominent brand, offering a range of high-quality turntables to suit different budgets and needs. Two popular models from their lineup are the LP60 and LP120. In this article, we will delve into a comprehensive comparison between the Audio-Technica LP60 and LP120, highlighting their similarities, differences, and key features to help you make an informed decision when choosing the right turntable for your vinyl listening experience.
1. Design and Build Quality
The LP60 and LP120 share some similarities in terms of design, with both featuring a sleek and minimalistic aesthetic. However, there are noticeable differences in their build quality. The LP60 has a lightweight plastic construction, making it portable and easy to move around. On the other hand, the LP120 boasts a more robust build, with a sturdy metal chassis that offers better vibration isolation and durability.
2. Drive Mechanism
One of the fundamental differences between the LP60 and LP120 lies in their drive mechanisms. The LP60 is a belt-drive turntable, where the motor spins the platter using a belt connected to the motor pulley. This design helps reduce motor noise and vibration, resulting in improved sound quality. Conversely, the LP120 features a direct-drive mechanism, where the platter is directly connected to the motor. Direct-drive turntables are known for their better torque and speed accuracy, making them suitable for DJs and those who require precise control over playback.
3. Speed and Pitch Control
Another feature that sets the LP60 and LP120 apart is their speed control capabilities. The LP60 has automatic speed control and only supports two standard playback speeds: 33 1/3 and 45 RPM. On the contrary, the LP120 offers three playback speeds: 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM, making it compatible with a wider range of vinyl records. Additionally, the LP120 includes pitch control, allowing you to adjust the pitch or speed of the playback to fine-tune your listening experience.
4. Tonearm and Cartridge
The tonearm and cartridge play a crucial role in the overall performance of a turntable. The LP60 comes with an integrated tonearm and a fixed cartridge, which means you cannot upgrade or replace them individually. In contrast, the LP120 features a high-quality, fully adjustable S-shaped tonearm, allowing you to fine-tune the tracking force and anti-skate settings for optimal playback. Moreover, the LP120 has a removable headshell, giving you the flexibility to upgrade or switch cartridges as per your preferences.
5. Connectivity and Additional Features
Both the LP60 and LP120 offer convenient connectivity options. They include a built-in phono preamp, allowing you to connect directly to a powered speaker or an amplifier without the need for an external phono stage. However, the LP120 also provides the option to bypass the built-in preamp for those who prefer using an external one for enhanced audio performance.
In terms of additional features, the LP120 surpasses the LP60. The LP120 incorporates a USB output, enabling you to digitize your vinyl collection by connecting the turntable directly to your computer. This feature is absent in the LP60.
In summary, the Audio-Technica LP60 and LP120 are both excellent turntables with their own distinct characteristics. The LP60 is an affordable and portable option suitable for beginners or casual listeners, offering a simple plug-and-play experience. On the other hand, the LP120 is a more advanced turntable with better build quality, direct-drive mechanism, adjustable tonearm, pitch control, and additional features like USB output.
When it comes to choosing between the Audio-Technica LP60 and LP120, it ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences. Here’s a quick recap of the main differences:
If you prioritize affordability and portability, the LP60 is an excellent choice. It offers automatic speed control, decent sound quality, and a straightforward setup process. It’s a great entry-level turntable for those who are just starting their vinyl journey or looking for a budget-friendly option.
On the other hand, if you seek a more professional-grade turntable with enhanced features and greater customization options, the LP120 is the way to go. Its direct-drive mechanism, adjustable tonearm, and pitch control make it suitable for DJs, audiophiles, and vinyl enthusiasts who value precise control over playback. The LP120’s sturdier build, removable headshell, and USB output for digitization add further versatility.
Ultimately, the decision between the LP60 and LP120 should consider your specific requirements, budget, and level of commitment to vinyl playback. If you’re a casual listener seeking simplicity and value, the LP60 is a reliable choice. However, if you’re a dedicated vinyl enthusiast looking for advanced features and more customization options, the LP120 offers a more comprehensive and versatile package.
Both turntables have their merits, and Audio-Technica’s reputation for producing high-quality products ensures that you’ll enjoy a great listening experience with either model. So, consider your needs, preferences, and budget to make an informed decision that aligns with your vinyl listening aspirations.
In conclusion, whether you choose the Audio-Technica LP60 or LP120, you can expect a reliable and enjoyable vinyl playback experience. Happy listening!