Audiophiles agree that rockin’ to the tunes from Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys album is best when those notes are crackling through a vinyl record. The rich tones vibrating amongst a record’s grooves can’t be beat. What would you say if we told you Audio-Technica has created a vinyl converter turntable that harnesses the passion for vinyl and modernizes that passion into a digital format? Be prepared to be amazed as the Audio-Technica LP120-USB converts your entire album collection into digital files compatible with your portable music devices. Best of all, Audio-Technica does everything in their power to make sure you have a good experience before, during and after the conversion process. This consumer conscious attitude has earned the Audio Technica LP120-USB the TopTenREVIEWS Silver Award.
Audio-Technica has several versions of their vinyl converter turntable, the LP120-USB being their leading product. Because of its top-of-the-line position, it really is packed with features. Standard features include adjustable playback speeds, an automatic tone arm and included audio editing software. More specialized features include forward and reverse play, adjustable pitch control and soft damping control. Back in the day playing your record backwards could do serious damage to your record player’s needle. Now, with forward and reverse play you can discover whether your favorite records really do have secret, subliminal messages hidden in the lyrics. You can even record the music as it plays backwards. Seeking out secret messages is pretty groovy, but we find the LP120-USB’s ability to adjust the pitch +/20% even more amazing. Sometimes older records begin to lose their pitch and the only time to fix the problem is after conversion during the editing process. The ability to adjust the pitch before conversion makes things that much simpler.
RCA stereo outputs are located on the back of the vinyl converter turntable and can be used to connect to your home audio system, your computer’s speakers or headphones. This way you are able to listen to your records as they convert. An RCA output also means you can convert other line-in audio sources to a digital format.
The software included with the Audio-Technica LP120-USB, Audacity, is one of the best audio editing software packages on the market, making it possible to edit several different audio files, split tracks and change the recording speed. Audacity is a free download online, but comes with the vinyl converter turntable conveniently pre-loaded on a CD. Further proof of Audio-Technica’s customer-oriented attitude lies in the step-by-step software installation user manual they include with their turntable.
The LP120-USB does lack the convenience of transferring the converted music straight to iTunes that competitors offer and can’t run standalone. The player needs to be plugged into a power source and a computer to run properly.
No matter the age, size or condition, the Audio-Technica LP120-USB can convert all kinds of records into a digital format. With playback speeds of 33, 45 and 78 RPM, you will jam to those antique and vintage tunes in no time. For your 45s with a larger center, a 45 RPM converter piece is included that easily snaps into place on the turntable. As alluded to earlier, RCA outputs allow you to connect other line-in audio devices to the vinyl converter turntable. This means you can convert cassette tapes to digital as well, using the vinyl converter turntable as a bridging device to the computer. The Audacity software’s can be adjusted to allow for many different audio file types.
Customer service is a very important aspect of our ratings here at TopTenREVIEWS and top-notch ratings are few and far between. Audio-Technica is one such exception. They go out of their way on their website to ensure you know everything you can about the product before you purchase it. Resources are also at your disposal after purchase. Under the Resources link on the left-hand navigation bar on LP120-USB’s product page, you’ll find a downloadable user manual, literature sheet and software user manual. Each of these documents is full of information about the vinyl converter turntable. The software user manual even has screenshots taking you through the installation process on a Mac and a PC (on both of which the software and the vinyl converter turntable are compatible.) All are in PDF format and are easy to save to your computer for future reference. Additionally, Audio-Technica’s website has a link to an instructional YouTube video that shows you step-by-step how to put your vinyl converter turntable together. A one-year warranty is included as a protection against manufacturer defects.
The LP120-USB turntable is compatible with Windows XP up to Windows 7 as well as Mac OS X. The Audacity software will need to be formatted differently according to the operating system your computer is running.
If you run into any problems not answered by Audio-Technica’s FAQs, user manuals and other online support resources, they do have a direct phone number and email address you can contact.
Upon opening your new Audio-Technica LP120-USB turntable, the box should include the following items:
You’ll notice that Audio-Technica includes everything you will need to convert your records and even cassette tapes quickly and efficiently.
The time has come to dig out the boxes housing your prized record collection and convert them to the digital age with the Audio-Technica LP120-USB. Your records will thank you as will your iPod – just because it’s digital doesn’t mean it doesn’t know good music when it hears it. With unmatched online help and support and a one-year warranty, as an Audio-Technica customer you will be well taken care of. Features like anti-skate control and RCA stereo outputs take away the inconveniences know previously with analog audio. Adjustable playback speeds of 33, 45 and 78 RPM mean you can convert your entire record collection – antique and vintage – as well as cassette tapes. For a quality vinyl converter turntable with plenty of features and converting options, you needn’t look further.
This turntable can convert 33s, 45s, 78s and cassette tapes.
The turntable can’t operate unless plugged into a power source and computer.
This turntable is professional enough for DJs and easy enough for the average user.