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Purchasing a turntable can be a bit more complicated than some people might imagine and how you will be using it has a large impact on which model will best suit your needs.
Even though CDs and digital formats have largely taken over the music and audio world, there are still many reasons why you might need a quality turntable.
For one, listening to music on vinyl can be quite refreshing and offer a totally different experience from the sound quality provided by more modern formats.
Additionally, you might be a DJ or wish to convert your old record collection into MP3 format.
Whatever your reason is, all turntables are not created equal, and finding the best value can be a challenge. The Audio Technica LP60 offers music enthusiasts a high-quality turntable option at a very affordable price compared to many other available models.
Let’s take a closer look and find out all it has to offer and perhaps a few areas where it does not do so well.
Overview of the LP60
The LP60 is presented in most of its marketing material as a music transferring device but it operates as a standard record player as well as facilitates the transfer and conversion of music into digital formats. The device itself is not what actually records audio; instead, there is software that facilitates the recording function. Audacity is the music recording software of choice for many lower price point turntable systems but there many different pieces of software you can choose from depending on your exact needs.
The Technica LP60 does have a USB port which can greatly ease the process of transferring and recording music. While a USB port is not an absolute requirement, it is a nice feature to have and adds value to the overall Audio Technica LP60 package.
“This turntable does not set itself apart from the competition in a one particular category such as audio quality or ease of use but it is far above average in almost every category.”
This is why it remains such a popular choice for those who are new to working with transferring music from vinyl to digital and for those who are not great at working with tech solutions. As a package, it offers a lot of functionality for what is a relatively low price.
Features and Functions
It’s important to note the LP60 is compatible with both 33 1/3 and 45 rpm speeds but it is not able to play 78 rpm vinyl, which is a result of its cartridge being fixed to its tonearm. The cartridge does have its advantages as it is a dual magnet style cartridge instead of a ceramic style that you find with many units in the entry-level category. Generally speaking, dual magnet cartridges offer higher sound quality and better performance overall. This is another one of those small items that by itself doesn’t make the LP60 stand but another small upgrade among many in the overall package.
The unit comes with a diamond tip spherical stylus with a relatively long lifespan. You will begin to notice when the stylus needs to be replaced because the player will begin to skip and you will hear high-frequency loss. If you want to upgrade the stylus there are two options available, either the ATN3600L or 3600DLXI. However, the stylus should last for about five hundred hours so you will get plenty of use before having to worry about replacement.
The LP60 is an automatic player but you have the option of manually operating the tonearm by engaging the manual lift control. This allows you to set the tonearm in place to play single tracks of your choice as opposed to letting the automatic action run the tonearm from the beginning of a record until the end. The automatic functions of the tonearm are set to play records that are twelve or seven inches and you must make a selection as to which size of the record is loaded before the unit will begin operating. You can play other sizes as well but it requires you to engage the manual lift function and place the tonearm in the appropriate position by hand.
As mentioned above, Audacity is the recording and audio transfer software that is recommended to use with this player but that does not mean you have to use it. Some complain Audacity is difficult to work with, especially if you are a beginner. For most users, taking a little time to learn the finer details of the software makes things much easier in a relatively short period of time. If for whatever reason you still have a difficult time with Audacity, then there are many free options available that are compatible with the Technica LP60.
The overall quality of the audio output always depends on all of the individual components that make up an entire system. However, the LP60 does offer a higher quality audio experience compared to entry-level turntables that have ceramic cartridges.
“It won’t measure up to some of the high-end or premium players available but it is among the very best in the entry-level and mid-level record player market.”
Design and Appearance
The LP60 with a USB output port is only available in silver. However, if a USB port is not important for you then you can get the unit without and choose from several colors including red, onyx black, and dark blue.
The aluminum platter of the LP60 is crafted from aluminum with most of the rest of the unit being made of plastic. It does not feel quite as solid as one would probably like but it is relatively light and easily portable.
The unit also includes a dust cover that protects the players and your vinyl record from getting scratched and damaged while in transit or storage.
Overall, the player has a classic yet clean design that fits in well with most environments.
With a price point of under $200, this unit offers an excellent value when it comes to lower-end turntables with full functionality.
While the USB port is not an absolute necessity, it can make transferring data and recording music into a digital format much easier. It is well worth the few extra dollars even if you are not sure you really need it.
The sound quality compared to other units in its category is far above the average unit. The magnetic cartridge offers a big step up from models that have a ceramic cartridge.
Ease of Use
Overall, the unit is very easy to operate and learn. There are no complicated control panels or functions to learn and you can choose from a wide array of software that is available for free.
Missing Built-in Speakers
Not all turntables have built-in speakers but it sure is a nice touch when they are included. The LP60 does not have any speakers built-in so it must always be hooked up to an external speaker of some kind to hear the audio output.
Not Many Upgrades or Options
Part of what makes this unit nice is its simplicity. However, it is also somewhat limited in what it can do because it cannot be upgraded and there are not many options that can improve functionality. For the most part, what you see is what you get with the LP60.
Final Thoughts on the LP60 – Is it Worth the Money?
The LP60 may not be the best option for more experienced users or for those who are extremely tech-savvy.
However, if you are not interested in spending a lot of money and can handle a small learning curve when it comes to the recording and digitizing software involved, then it represents one of the best values available in the entry-level turntable market. It looks good and the overall operation of the unit is relatively simple without a lot of options to figure out.
If you are looking to transfer your old vinyl to a digital format and need an efficient player to get the job done, then the Audio Technica LP60 should be on your list of considerations.