Audio-Technica AT-LP60 Review

Published Categorized as Guides

Try going to the college dorm room of a record collector or music enthusiast and not seeing the Audio Technica LP60. This incredibly popular turntable, though now discontinued, is still going strong through external stockists, and for good reason!

It is one of the most capable turntables on offer at this price. So before you hop right in and buy one, let us explore together what makes it so great. And what you might also want to weigh up and consider before purchasing one for yourself. For they are far from perfect.

Testing the Audio Technica LP60

To accurately test any product, one needs to set up certain parameters. These will put the product through its paces as close as possible.

With this turntable, we used a stereo with a dedicated turntable input through some of the best-powered speakers for turntables that were more than up to the task of delivering the various nuances within the music and as sent through the turntable’s stylus. These powered speakers were, indeed, powered so that their full heft could be observed in this laboratory environment.

Audio-Technica AT-LP60X-BK Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable, Black, Hi-Fi, 2 Speed, Dust Cover, Anti-Resonance, Die-Cast Aluminum Platter

In attempting to test what the Audio Technica was capable of, we sought to use a varied range of vinyl records. These were going to offer a varied frequency response (well, as varied as the limited sonic spectrum of vinyl recording can offer, which you would know, too, if you knew the process of how vinyl records are made):

  • There It Is – James Brown
  • Symphony No. 5 – Dmitri Shostakovich
  • Hitsville Revisited – Ebo Taylor
  • Mark Hollis – Mark Hollis
  • Pygmalion – Slowdive
  • Parallelograms – Linda Perhacs
  • LP5 – Autechre
  • Mogwai Fear Satan Remixes – My Bloody Valentine

As large a tonal palette as possible was desired to put the sound quality of the turntable to its utmost test, way before even thinking about using the USB function to convert the analog vibrations of one’s record collection into a digital format via Audacity software and the like.

Audio Technica – The Brand

Audio Technica’s journey as an audiophile manufacturer began in earnest at the turn of the 1960s. It was then that Hideo Matsushita – curator of Tokyo’s Bridgestone Museum of Art – would host listening concerts at his place of work where music lovers could experience vinyl listening in the highest possible fidelity with a quality cartridge.

Moved by the positive reactions these listening parties received and, in turn, stirred by the fact that not all could access these record players, Matsushita founded Audio Technica in 1962 so that he might bring this vision of high-quality audio for everyone to some sort of fruition.

Audio-Technica AT-LP60X-BK Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable, Black, Hi-Fi, 2 Speed, Dust Cover, Anti-Resonance, Die-Cast Aluminum Platter

They soon developed what they believe to be the ‘first truly affordable phono cartridge, the AT-1’, and their mission to bring affordable audio greatness to everyone has only continued from there.

They have a strong and firm reputation among many audiophiles as being a cut above the rest. Try going to any recording studio and leaving without seeing at least one Audio Technica logo in your travels, regardless of whether it is on an automatic turntable, a record player, or a pair of headphones.

Their equipment is especially prized by those who are looking for a balanced and unfettered frequency response when recording; their headphones are noted for their unbiased and flat frequency response, making mixing a far more fair and adjudicated process without the influence of external biases.

The Audio Technica AT-LP60

Flash-forward to today, where we have one of their most popular offerings to hand. Believe me when I say that you are very likely to see at least one of these in your lifetime. Many of my friends still use this turntable, and for good reason!

Not only is it affordable, but it is also sturdy and able to get the job done. Heck, many would not be able to tell the difference between this and something more expensive.

The frequency response is more than satisfactory, with a stylus that is able to accurately read a whole range of different signals. Each of the different LPs we threw at the turntable was read and dealt with duly.

Audio-Technica AT-LP60X-BK Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable, Black, Hi-Fi, 2 Speed, Dust Cover, Anti-Resonance, Die-Cast Aluminum Platter

So, as an analog turntable, this turntable excels for the price when sent forth through external speakers, with a tone-arm that is more than up to the job of tracking each of the disc’s replete grooves But there is also the USB port and the RCA inputs, the latter of which allows the use of an auxiliary input so that you are not just limited to what might be a small record collection at present.

Besides having all the extras, a great turntable should simply be able to get the job done smoothly, and the Audio Technica AT-LP60 can do this easily and quickly with about as limited a setup as you can conceive of.

Pros

Right off the bat, there are many features to praise which will be of note to anyone who is engaged in a search for a decent quality turntable that can get the job done with little hassle.

  • For the price, the build quality is sturdy and exemplary, constructed from durable and reliable materials. Though it is only made from plastic, it is a plastic that is destined to last for about as long as you need it. Rest assured it will exist far longer than your own short lifetime thanks to the lifespan of plastics.
  • Likewise, when compared with the price, the sound quality and frequency response is a cut above the rest (especially others in a similar price range). The stylus is made by the company themselves, so there is nothing in the way of the communication between the needle, the turntable, and the music.
  • Also, unlike others at this price range (like the Denon DP-400, for example), the Audio Technica is fully USB capable and can, thus, connect the turntable smoothly and with ease to a computer so that the user can digitize any analog files they might wish to preserve in mp3s or CDs.
  • Thanks to the sturdy construction and capable plinth, the feet of this turntable ensure that there are little to no issues with the record player skipping and wobbling from the pressure of external vibrations. If you have ever found yourself cursing those around for ruining your otherwise sacred listening experience with heavy movements, then look no further for peace of mind.
  • Owing to the resplendent USB capabilities of this vessel, it can connect to other audio components without even using one of the dedicated RCA inputs. No phono input necessary if you want to connect this turntable to an audio interface and record yourself doing some scratching.

Cons

Of course, as with all turntables, there are the inevitable downsides that one must consider before jumping right in and purchasing. For anyone looking to invest in their first turntable, you will not want to miss this:

  • For all the varied compatability and connectivity that the Audio Technica AT-LP60 boasts, it can only play vinyl records. There are plenty of other record players at this price range and cheaper that, though less equipped to do the records that they play a good service, offer far more capabilities. All-in-one vintage record players are essentially entire multimedia units.
  • Similarly, unlike those all-in-one record players, the AT-LP60 does not have speakers of its own built in, meaning that the user will need to invest in a pair themselves. Now, there are bundles which include speakers with the turntable, but they are less common. You are likely going to need to do your own research to find a pair that suit you most.
  • Surprising for a more modern iteration of the turntable format, the AT-LP60 does not feature any Bluetooth or wireless connectivity, meaning that any users are going to have get reacquainted with good old fashioned wires. Audio Technica does wiring incredibly well and does actually offer a wireless version of this turntable, and perhaps now is an opportune moment to inform you that a wireless technology upgrade always sounds inherently worse anyhow.
  • Atop all of this is the fact that the AT-LP60 does not cater for all vinyl record types. Where all-in-one record players like the Crosley or the Victrola will offer the option to cater for all three of the main turntable speeds (33, 45, and 78 rpm), the AT-LP60 will only flit between 33 1/3 and 45 rpm. True, the 78 rpm is a decidedly rare occurence, but it is a point for consideration nonetheless.

Competitors

The market is beyond saturated with options for budget turntables nowadays, any yet there are few that are quite like the AT-LP60.

Sure, enough there are some that are similarly priced and that offer similar features.

The ION Audio Max LP and the Jensen JTA-230, for example, cost a little less and offer more features than the AT-LP60, and they are still often grouped together.

ION Audio Max LP – Vinyl Record Player / Turntable with Built In Speakers, USB Output for Conversion and Three Playback Speeds – Natural Wood Finish

More features certainly sounds good, but what these turntables offer in extra features (i.e. more turntable speeds, etc), they very much lack in terms of the overall sonic experience, the audio quality paling in comparison to Audio Technica.

You can cram as many built-in speakers and turntable speeds as you like to a competitor turntable, but when you are up against a company that has as its modus operandi the ideal to provide quality audio technology at affordable prices, you scarcely stand a chance.

Jensen JTA-230 3 Speed Stereo Turntable with Built in Speakers, Aux in, Vinyl to MP3 Converting/Encoding

Audio Technica simply continue to do what they do best, and that is why we love them for it!

Final Tones

So, there you have it!

You will no doubt have seen just how capable the Audio Technica LP60 is when put to the test, and perhaps you will have surmised for yourself how adaptable and useful it could be if used as a vehicle for your own fledgling record collection!

FAQs Audio Technica LP60

Why was the AT-LP60 discontinued?

Allegedly, the AT-LP60 was discontinued because Audio Technica released its successor – the AT-LP120. You can, however, still pick up plenty of the AT-LP60’s for more or less the same price on Amazon or eBay, they were mass produced after all. Sure, they have been discontinued by the factory that produces them, but the sheer amount that were manufactured before discontinuation means that suppliers are not going to be running out of stock anytime soon.

Are Audio Technica LP60 good?

I suppose this depends on your tastes and the like. If you have more expensive taste and the often overly discerning ear of the pervert audiophile, then the LP60 is not going to do justice to your leanings. If, however, you are relatively new to record collecting and have yet to own a good turntable for yourself, then you can’t really go wrong with the LP60 or anything made by Audio Technica, as they are masters at what they do.

Will Audio Technica LP60 damage records?

Certainly not, and if it does it will not do it to anywhere near the same extent as a Victrola or a Crosley, both of which are released into the world with very little attention to detail. Do not let the price point fool you, the Audio Technica AT-LP60 is a specialist piece of equipment manufactured by experts in the field of audiophile electronics whose modus operandi is to provide high quality audio electronics for affordable prices. Audio Technica are especially known for creating exemplary audio styluses, so you can’t really go wrong here.

Does Audio-Technica LP60 need speakers?

Indeed it does, and this is oft toted as one of the reasons why a consumer would be better off purchasing another record player if they are just starting out. Sure enough, there are plenty of other similarly priced competitors on the market today, especially since this same market is more saturated than it has ever been. None, however, are going to offer the same attention to sound fidelity than the AT-LP60.

Does the Audio-Technica LP60 need a preamp?

The LP60 comes with its own built-in phono preamp, just as many other contemporary turntables do. Thus, an external preamp will not be necessary, though a set of decent speakers will.

Is the LP60 a good record player?

Do not let the price point fool you, the Audio Technica AT-LP60 is a specialist piece of equipment manufactured by experts in the field of audiophile electronics whose modus operandi is to provide high quality audio electronics for affordable prices. Audio Technica are especially known for creating exemplary audio styluses, so you can’t really go wrong here. If you are relatively new to record collecting and have yet to own a good turntable for yourself, then you can’t really go wrong with the LP60 or anything made by Audio Technica, as they are masters at what they do.

Published
Categorized as Guides

By Robert Halvari

My name is Robert Halvari - audio engineer and a total audiophile. I love vinyl because it has that natural character which brings music to life. I've been using and testing vinyl record players for around 15 years and I'm sharing my love and knowledge of vinyl by publishing all I know at Notes On Vinyl

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