AT-LP120XUSB

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by Trekkie4, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. Trekkie4

    Trekkie4 Active Member

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    So, I was looking for something completely different on Audio Technica's website, specific numbers & values for the LP120 vs the more "successful" AT-LP5, when I ran into this...

    Apparently Audio Technica is about to release a new (and upgraded?) LP120, by the name of AT-LP120XUSB.

    First thing I've noticed straight away is that it looks absolutely hideous! Cheap, generic & over-priced. Surely I was mistaking ... right? After all, I own the "older" LP120, which looks amazing & sounds decently enough. Well, nope ... Apart from cheap exterior, it will actually perform worse than the old one, at least according to posted specs.

    Starting torque was reduced from >1.6kgf.cm to >1.0, W&F remained the same (0.2%), and so did Signal to Noise ratio (>50dB). Phono Preamp gain also remained the same (36dB nominal), but they reduced the overall weight from 10.7 kg (23.5 lbs) to 8 kg (17.6 lbs). They also replaced the old & metal "45" adapter for the plastic one, and the pop-up target light with removable plug-type one, the kind that's been previously used on LP-1240. Also, I could be wrong on this one, but I do believe they entirely removed VTA adjustment, who knows why... Overall, quite a disappointment IMO. The only significant "upgrade" in the terms of performance would be the cartridge & headshell. Instead of AT-95E, they're using AT-VM95E & appropriate headshell to match the cartridge design. However, European models had already been shipped with lightweight AT-HS10 headshell, identical to the one on AT-LP5, so I really don't see much benefit (or even logic) in all this.

    What about you guys, what do you think?
     

     

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  2. jrtrent

    jrtrent AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Seems to be downgraded, but it does have a lower selling price ($249) than the LP-120-USB ($299). The more logical successor/upgrade to the LP-120-USB appears to be the AT-LP140XP ($399). This retains the arm height adjustment and forward/reverse play options, has >2.2 kgf.cm torque, plus comes with a DJ cartridge (AT-XP3) that may be able to withstand reverse play (while also accepting any XP or VM95 series stylus if you want to make a change).

    Perhaps these two new models simply more clearly differentiate between something intended for the home stereo system vs. DJ use:

    LP120XUSB, "Experience the high-fidelity audio of vinyl"
    LP140XP, "Experience high-fidelity audio and professional DJ performance"
     
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  3. olddude55

    olddude55 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    The $250 price tag seems to be what the market will bear. If the new 1200Mk7 has an MSRP of $1,200, I'm sure AT won't have any problem selling the 120X for $250. The two decks look the same, which is important to most buyers.
    I'm not in the market for a new turntable, but based on the other brand new turntables available in the 120X's price range, it's competitive. At least IMO.
    I'd void the warranty on Day One though, opening up the deck to bypass the onboard phono stage.
     
  4. RobRoy

    RobRoy It's just stuff - but fun

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    Looks the same to me, for the most part.
     
  5. Trekkie4

    Trekkie4 Active Member

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the original LP120 (1st gen, before they upgraded it several times) had elliptical ATP-3 right? Funny how history always tends to repeat itself... :idea:

    But yes, I totally overlooked LP-140XP, this is getting absurd IMO. What I like about LP120 is that it had to offer the best of both worlds, DJ and HiFi. Now, I don't expect some folks to agree to this one, but LP120 indeed has the privilege of being universal table, for any purpose ... whenever you're just an amateur DJ, or want to enjoy your vinyl collection. In fact, if it wasn't for the infamous antiskate issue (which was eventually resolved, as of January 2017), built-in preamp using filter capacitors even in pass-through mode and/or VTA alignment issue (which can be easily resolved either way) this would had been one heck of a turntable IMO.

    As it is, with the new & upcoming model, people will now have to pay $400, instead of $300 for the old model & basically for nothing in particular, a redesigned plinth? Not to mention it's confusing, to say at least... Having LP60 on one end, along with LP3, LP5, LP7, LP120XP, LP140XP, LP1240, things are getting too complicated. Because let's face it, many of these models are just re-invented versions of the previous (and existing) models.

    @RobRoy I take it you don't own LP120? :)
    No, they redesigned it entirely. One of the things I love about LP120 is that it looks beautiful. Which is hardly a coincidence, since they used SL1200's template. But the new one no longer looks like Technics. In fact, it looks cheap & plain. This is just my personal observation of course, I don't expect others to share my point of view. After all, you know what they say ... "beauty is in the eyes of the beholder"
     
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  6. RobRoy

    RobRoy It's just stuff - but fun

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    I think you nailed it other than the looks. In the auto industry this is called "de-featuring". I had a 2001 Chrysler 300M that my wife absolutely loved. It had a gorgeous real wood interior and steering wheel. The next year, the wood was replaced with plastic fake wood.

    They are cutting corners. I'm glad I got the first one.

    To be blunt, the old one actually has more features than it "needs". How many TT's have a VTA adjustment?

    But it does make me appreciate mine even more. :)
     
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  7. Trekkie4

    Trekkie4 Active Member

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    EXACTLY!! And I absolutely agree, seeing the new generation, it makes me like (and respect) my "older" one even more. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if these older ones suddenly become more desirable than new ones. After all, that's what happened to "original", AT-PL120 especially after someone reported how the anti-skate works OK!
     
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  8. RobRoy

    RobRoy It's just stuff - but fun

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    I think you nailed it. The XP is an upgrade and the "X" is a downgrade, with prices reflecting it.

    I enjoy reading reviews of LP120-USB's because in real world performance those suckers are a steal. Entry level minimalist belt drive (e.g. UTurn type) is cute and all, but these AT tables will probably go on for decades with zero maintenance. And for the needs of most of the public, they sound better than they really need or notice.
     
  9. RobRoy

    RobRoy It's just stuff - but fun

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    Yes, I own a 120, but as a third TT. The reason I thought it looked the same is that I'm going from a fairly small picture. The "dark" one does appear to be satin dark gray rather than shiny black. But that is the only cosmetic difference I noticed at a glance.

    And to be clear, I'm a huge fan of that TT. My friend in Seattle even bought one from amazon and he loves his too, even though he has a refurbished late 70's Dual. This has become his go-to TT.
     
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  10. RobRoy

    RobRoy It's just stuff - but fun

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    I have to admit I'd love to get the plinth painted metallic high gloss orange. Or candy apple red. :)
     
  11. Trekkie4

    Trekkie4 Active Member

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    I know several folks out there who own (or owned) LP120 for years. One guy even owned it for 5yrs, before he sold it & upgraded to a better, high end HiFi turntable. He never had a single issue with it, or wished that he never bought his. I wouldn't expect LP120 to last as long as original Technics, but for a "budget" turntable I'd say the original one hits the spot. :thumbsup:
     
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  12. Trekkie4

    Trekkie4 Active Member

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    Right, I got that from your other post :) IDK, perhaps the new LP120/140 somewhat resembles the new (and recently announced) Technics, but I still don't like it.

    The older design was just more beautiful to me. Not to mention it looked sturdier, more reliable. This "XP" on the other hand reminds me of those all-in-one audio solutions, at least when it comes to finishing touches. And I really, REALLY dislike blue strobe & target light. The strobe I could accept & live with, but the target light has to be white IMO. What's the point of it otherwise?!

    Edit
    Yup, seems I was on the right track... The "new" XP series is based on a brand new Technics, SL-1200 Mk7. The more I look at them, the more similarities I'm noticing.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  13. RobRoy

    RobRoy It's just stuff - but fun

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    For those that have the budget, the XP is a great way to get rally close to the Technics for not much money.

    On a side note, I really think AT is missing the boat not releasing these turntables in various colors. They are past the "model T" stage (in that case, you could have any color you wanted, as long as it was black).
     
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  14. olddude55

    olddude55 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Local record store had a 120 it used to play records in the store. I got a chance to play around with it while I was there.
    Better than my first TT, and adjusting for inflation, a lot cheaper too.
     
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  15. Frank Sol

    Frank Sol Addicted Member

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    Even Mikey Fremer ;) gave the LP120 an 'OK' review

    "The AT-LP120-USB is extremely well made, packaged and presented equally well, including excellent instructions for both vinyl playback and computer interface, and with its generous accessories should make casual vinyl spinners very happy with their purchase."

    https://www.analogplanet.com/content/audio-technica-lp120-usb-turntable-shames-plastic-competition


    FWIW: I've been very happy with my PL120 (Non-USB) TT w/mods. Going on 4 yrs I believe
     
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  16. RobRoy

    RobRoy It's just stuff - but fun

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    That's the way it should be. I sold 19" tube TV's in 1978 in the $500 range. Zenith, Toshiba, Sony ($$), etc.

    $500 will get you quite a bit more today in a TV. And adjusted for inflation that is more like $1700..
     

     

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  17. Trekkie4

    Trekkie4 Active Member

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    Of course, I realize that. But what I don't understand is why make a clone of something that hasn't even been released yet? The original one was based on Mk2, right? And that's just the thing IMO, the old Technics was a work of art, a really beautiful & iconic table. If I didn't know better, I'd say Audio Technica found the old LP120 to be just a bit too successful. Despite its drawbacks, it was rated as one of the top 10 (budget) turntables, and it keeps on being sold & out of stock pretty much everywhere you look. So, from the corporate point of view, it would make sense to convince people to buy two separate turntables, for either DJing or HiFi.

    As for the multiple colors, I suppose it would make people happy. But I just can't seem to imagine red or orange "Technics" lookalike. I actually saw a genuine Mk2 in purple ... someone hand-painted it with spray paint (apparently for use in a night club) & it looked terrible. But once again, "beauty is in the eyes of the beholder"
     
  18. Frank Sol

    Frank Sol Addicted Member

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    I've seen some painted 1200xx , done properly like in an auto paint shop they looked nice. Of course which color is a personal taste matter
     
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  19. Trekkie4

    Trekkie4 Active Member

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    [​IMG]
    IDK... Not quite "classic" as original, but still looks better than purple I suppose :)
     
  20. olddude55

    olddude55 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Flat black with flames. Paint the feet like wide whitewalls.
     
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