Are you an analog music fan or have some LPs laying around that never made it to CD and you want to rip them? Then the Audio-Technica AT-LP3 is worth a look.
I’ve got lots of vinyl albums, LPs, in my entertainment room and a record player that’s so old, I don’t remember even buying it. Time for something new, something with modern circuitry! Enter the Audio-Technica AT-LP3, a great belt-drive turntable with a budget price tag. Let’s have a closer look…
To start out, aesthetically I really like the look and feel of this turntable. It is a solid construction and simple in design. It has good shock absorption and it was able to continue playing without any skating issues even when I jumped up and down in front of it.
The arm has a variable weighting system with a counter weight that was a little tricky to setup but if you actually follow the instructions (don’t worry, they are simple) you can get a good balance on the tone arm and needle cartridge. The one complaint I have read from others regarding the arm was that there was no lock mechanism for when not in use. That was not a big deal for me, but I can see where it could bother folks.
The Audio-Technica AT-LP3 has two outputs: a line out (which leverages a very effective internal pre-amp) and a phono-out if you have an analog receiver with a phono-input. Having both options especially the pre-amp is extremely handy, as a separate pre-amp could run you anywhere from $70-$200 or even more.
The one thing I was looking for that was missing in this turntable was a USB output to connect to a PC or Mac. You may be able to get that on more expensive models, but not on this one. But have no fear, I was still able to play and record my output to my MAC without issue. It just required a little additional setup and a small piece of hardware.
I connected the turntable output to a Behringer U-Control UCA222 Ultra-Low Latency 2 In/2 Out USB Audio Interface, which you can pick up online for $29.99. The UCA222 has a USB output that you can plug directly into your PC or Mac. The only other thing you will need is Audacity audio editor software to record and edit your tracks and Behringer throws that software into the included software bundle.
All in all, with its solid construction, variable weight system, multiple outputs, and internal pre-amp there is a lot to like here. Whether you just enjoy listening to LPs or want to convert some LPs to CD or MP3, the Audio-Technica AT-LP3 is a good value for the money and worth serious consideration.
The Audio-Technica AT-LP3 turntable costs $249.00. Check it out at Amazon.com
Disclosure: Audio-Technica provided us with a turntable for the purposes of this review.