Audio Technica Lp 120bk USB Direct Drive Professional Turntable-Is it worth the Extra Money

So I am staying with Audio Technica for the second review as the next few rungs up in level for a turntable purchase. Again not just because of the brand name- but tried and true reputation. Though some modern day turntables sacrifice features for simplicity- the LP120Bk is loaded with great features. This turntable is modeled after the all-time DJ classic Technics SL-1200 which was constructed to be extremely durable with pro audio features and design. Although you may not be using this to “scratch” to hip hop music- I believe you will find a good deal of the features very practical for everyday use and this is a very well-constructed turntable that should last. This turntable was first into the market in 2009 and has proven to be an industry standard by most users-although there are always those that find shortcomings in most any product-maybe rightfully so- not discounting their experiences. So Audio Technica Lp 120bk USB Direct Drive Professional Turntable has stood somewhat a test of time and is an all-time best selling turntable for Audio Technica.

Once again- Here is a brief video from Audio Technica that will explain the setup procedure.


  • sits on 4 stabilized feet and weighs in at 23.5 lbs- which is heavy enough to keep vibrations to a minimum.
  • It is a Direct drive system so there are no belts to replace or adjust. Also, direct drive gives a more accurate rate of spin and can be adjusted for speed-pitch. Also, the direction can be switched from forward to reverse- so you can reverse the LP to reveal hidden Gothic messages! Just kiddin- I think?
  • Comes with an easy to install Cartridge with Stylus (needle) already installed.
  • Adjustable Counterweight and anti-skate control.
  • Manual shows how to easily balance tonearm correctly (which is important for consistent performance) and Audio Technica also has produced a video and is available to show users how to easily make these adjustments as well.
  • the clear plastic cover that can be lowered and left closed for the entire playing of an LP.
  • plays 33 and 45 rpm (45 adapter included in the box) records and will even play 78’s if you pick up a compatible stylus.
  • target guide light next to platter-for darker environments to easily locate grooves between songs.
  • comes with hardwired RCA cables and also includes a 1/8″ mini phone adapter cable to connect to power speakers etc.
  • has a built-in preamp that can be also be switched off for receivers with a phono or turntable input
  • built-in USB interface that will work with PC or Mac for easy connection to a home computer.
  • aluminum cast platter with slip mat
  • Start and Stop play button
  • pitch controller with two selectable ranges-Pitch variation +/- 10% or +/- 20%
  • and auto return button to bring the speed back to the original pitch
  • stock cartridge is easily replaced for higher end audiophile grade cartridge.
  • comes with a metal adapter for 45 rpm records.


  • Non-detachable ac power cord.
  • may require replacement of factory cartridge- for high-end audiophile sensibilities.
  • may have features that are not really useful for the non-DJ consumer.
  • Not a fully automatic turntable- so tonearm will not return automatically at the end of the record.
  • some reports of anti-skate control and turntable height control not being all it could be?
  • some report a wobbly platter but it seems to be a rare defect- not common.

Once again another online review that goes thru the features step by step visually.


Overall the Audio Technica Lp120bk USB Direct drive professional turntable is a feature-rich, well-built turntable considering the price point. Although not everyone will need or use all the features, its worth considering for the price point to have a well constructed- nicely weighted turntable. Most user reviews are favorable in terms of reliability and overall sound of this turntable even with stock cartridge. At around $300- the At-LP120bk USB comes with more than enough features- even if some users don’t need everything this turntable has to offer is still a great turntable at a very reasonable price point.

Introduced in 2009-This turntable was originally designed to compete with Technics SL1200 and overall I would say it does a great job of keeping up with its competitor-feature for feature. So, if you ever want to try your hand at scratching out some rap music- you can give it a whirl- Lol. Again- scratching aside- whether or not all the features will be of use- it is probably better to have more than you need feature wise than less, most likely.

Again considering this comes in around $300- it is packed with features and receives overall great reviews from users. This is light years ahead of the LP60BK USB for not a lot more money. Everyone will have to weigh out which features are most important to them. It is worth considering company reputation in that if there are issues after unpacking or within warranty period- Audio Technica is a company with great customer service support and a company that stands behind their product.

Hope you find this helpful- of course, I don’t expect everyone to agree- very few products, of course, please every consumer to a T, certainly, not audiophiles. However, overwhelmingly this turntable seems to more than satisfy the home consumer as well as the DJ’s out there- so it must be a turntable that can really take a good bit of everyday usage.


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  2. Hey,

    Great post, I love it.

    My Dad has a turntable at home in Liverpool but it is very old and hardly works.

    It is his 71st birthday in May, I am going to buy him this for him. I will let you know what he thinks of it.

    Thanks again for sharing.


    1. Author

      Thank you for your comments- Please wish your Dad a Happy Birthday and I know that he will love this fine turntable!

      Best Wishes

  3. I am not a professional musician, I do have a lot of vinyl that I would like to transfer to my phone. This looks like a great solution to connect to a PC or phone to make a playlist from my records.
    The $300 is a bit steep, my current record player is an older model that only hooks to a amp.
    Would this work for what I am looking for.

    1. Author

      Thank you for your comment and question. Yes, this has a built-in preamp that can also be bypassed- so it can plug into any home stereo that has inputs for external devices – such as a turntable, Cd player etc. Also if the price is too high- I have also written a review about the AT-60LPBK which is about a third of the price- and it also has USB for connecting to your home PC or Apple computer.

      Best Wishes

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