Turntable question; Does Audio Technica make any good turntables?

In the $500 to $1000 range does Audio Technica make any good turntables, either belt drive or direct drive? Compared to say Pro-Ject, Fluance, Rega, Music Hall, Technics, etc.

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MC What is your impression of this brand? Which one do you have? What is the cost? any anti-skate on the TT?

AT has a pretty (soon to be released) limited edition TT for slightly over your budget ($1200).

No reviews that I can find as of yet.

I don't recall ever seeing/hearing an AT turntable.



My first turntable was the Miller Carbon, based on the Teres Audio bearing, platter and motor. I made the plinth of BDR Source Shelf, with several modifications and upgrades over the years. You can see it on my system page, with Origin Live Conqueror arm.

This was a very fine table, way better than the (more expensive) Basis it replaced, and the fact it was so good had me avoiding trying to find a better turntable for a great many years. Nearly 20 years. The Conqueror arm had replaced the very well regarded Graham 2.2. The Conqueror was so much better, way out on another level in every way, that I used that arm for about 15 years. 

Until about a year ago when they were both replaced with Origin Live Sovereign deck and Enterprise arm. This pair is so much better it is mind-boggling. You can see it on my system page, Chuxpona21, when it was brand new. 

So brand new in fact it had low single digit hours on it when Krissy and the group in the pictures arrived for the weekend event. Far from dialed in. Yet it sounded so good the whole group sat wrapt for a solid hour at least. Sounded so good one guy who had even brought his DAC to set me straight had to suffer through his own wife melting when she heard how much better the Sovereign sounds. We did a direct comparison of her favorite Tracy Chapman track.

One of the beautiful things about analog is they all sound good. AT and Rega will get you the lean side of good, some of the others the fat side, a few somewhere in between. But you spend the money, it is hard to be disappointed. Mark Baker however, once you hear Origin Live you will understand why I recommend them so highly.

In the year or so since I got mine there are at least three people that I know of who have bought OL decks on my recommendation. As it turns out this is about as much if not more than the people listed on-line as actual OL dealers! So, full disclosure, Mark Baker has agreed to take me on as a dealer. Currently working on one that if it goes through I will be mounting arms and cartridges, so full service. If it  goes through. I have yet to sell a single table.

Not that I care. Don't need the money. Really only care about finding great gear and turning others onto great gear. Happy to help answer any and all questions. Makes me just as happy if you get one from Mark as me. 

I'm telling you this even though their entry level deck the Aurora is out of your price range. At about $1800 it would be a stretch. That is just for the table. Which is the way to do it- buy table and arm separately. Better to get a really good table and whatever arm you can afford, because then later when you upgrade the arm maybe to something like the Silver, wow do you have a fine deck! Cartridge last. In that order.

It always pays to study the stuff that is a little beyond your price range, because that is what you want to grow into. Check out Michael Fremer's review of the Resolution, "one of the truly special products I’ve reviewed in the past eighteen years." What I'm talking about.


Did you read the question that was asked from the OP?

In the $500 to $1000 range does Audio Technica make any good turntables, either belt drive or direct drive? Compared to say Pro-Ject, Fluance, Rega, Music Hall, Technics, etc.

Thanks for all the comments. Didn't know about OL. So even though MC didn't answer the question exactly... I am going to say thanks anyway for the information.

I can squeak out a few dollars more as long as my wife doesn't know the actual cost. I will look into more options... 

If you can squeak out a few dollars more the VPI Cliffwood looks like a nice option!


At this price point, turntables are as alike as peas in a pod, in my opinion.  So just pick out a nice looking one that has one feature or another that particularly appeals to you, made by a good company, and you will be happy until you come down with audiophilia nervosa.  It has happened to all of us.  Audio Technica is a giant in the small audio industry and certainly ranks among the "good companies".  Nothing wrong with OL, either, but $1800 is also well above your price range, so their turntable at that cost dang well ought to be a bit better.

Millercarbon, thanks for taking the time for the thoughtful and detailed response…Not sure about the complaint about the length or response… I found your response helpful.,

Avid makes a nice turntable, also over looked....the Avid ingenium plug and play with the Upgraded metal platter is a good value.

The music hall mmf-7.3 is also a very nice table, especially in Walnut with the 2m Bronze. Too bad the price is @ 2k with inflation and all.

If your a fan of direct drive, the Technics mk7 can still be had for $999, and it's now available in different colors. I bought one in black, just for the hell of it....it's a great table for the money.

In my opinion price range of $500-$1000 would be entry level TT price and brand choice shouldn’t be main criteria to look at. If you really tight on your budget range, my suggestion is to concentrate on proper TT setup, arm and cart alignments. Re OL tts agreed with MC. OL is really great machines in every little detail from their bearings to perfectly designed motors. I had great experience talking about OL arms and TTs with Steve Davis from analogmatters. 

5 years ago when I was just getting back into 2 channel I bought an

Audio Technica TT at Frys Electronics for $200. It was marked down

many times. I think it sold for $600. It came with an A to D converter.

If you did not see the brand name you would think it was a technics.

Bottom line is it was a bargain and sounded very good.

The ATLP120 is a cheaper knockoff of a Technics SL1200.  For its low price of $349.00 it is ridiculously good. They make a more purist model ATLP5X for $449.00 that looks like it might be even better.  Both have built in phono preamps. You cannot beat these for the price, but of course there are better for more. The Pro-Ject Debut Pro is $999.00 and is belt driven with a better arm and cartridge, but no built in phono amp. That would be best for under $1K, IMO.  The Fluance tables I’ve seen look better on the web than in person…rattles in the arm bearings… not good. 

As shown previously, the New TT from AT fits in with the brief from the OP.

If the Tonearm is able to be swapped out at a later date and the Power Supply is able to be upgraded, in the same manner as to what happens to many other base model TT's from other Brands. This model from AT could prove to be a very worthwhile investment with further potential.

l feel confident AT are going to win awards with this one and build their customer base with converts from New Users of Vinyl to this Brand.

One Trick they have missed out on is that many new users of vinyl are (Techie) which makes the option for Bluetooth Speaker usage quite attractive. An Off-Board Module could have been an ancillary to enable this type of usage to take place. It certainly isn't 'Audiophile' but it is 'Lifestyle' any many Vinyl Sales today are a sale that is attached to a Lifestyle and not a passion for the recording medium. This is great news, as any individual creating a 'Lifestyle' can easily develop a passion for one of their choices made for replaying music, if this is to be for vinyl, then a fledgling Audiophile is born.

It's happening in Photography regular and has been a revival of the market. Phone Owners using the on-board cameras begin to show an interest in photography and learn of the limitations of the phone's camera.

There want to do more with photography produces a customer for other products more suitable, and in many cases, this has evolved into a Multi Lens Owning convert to Photography, who found their way in through a 'Techie Gadget'.

Offering Bluetooth as an affordable ancillary, can quite easily create for a HiFi Brand a similar route to a New Customer Base for their Higher Priced Items. Add an App to the device and there will be jelly knees in 'Techie World '

Seeing that Techie Exhibitions /Trade Shows are Global Attraction, where the Larger Capacity Events are drawing in both Public Attendance and Virtual Attendances, estimated to be approx' 250 000, the Gadgets that enable a Wireless use of a Vinyl Source has a back door into these events if a Bluetooth Ancillary is being Marketed. 

For myself, not needing too much in sound quality for a background music. 

A fairly priced Bluetooth Recording Device, App Controlled of Course, Capable of producing a Playlist, that could record my Vinyl and CD Albums when being replayed and enable them to be replayed on Portable Bluetooth Speakers, would be an attractive alternative to the sessions that me and my wife share together, using Alexia for calling up olden memories of much enjoyed music.

I inherited a bunch of lacquer 78 records and i needed a turntable that would play 78 rpm. I picked up an AT 120USBX and an AT mono cartridge (it comes with a stereo cartridge). Even though it has a built in phono preamp I also got a phono preamp from Emotiva. It works great for 78's but the thing that surprised me is how good it sounds on stereo LPs with the stereo cartridge. My main system has a Krell phono pre, a Denon DP47f turntable, and a Hana SL cartridge.

That little AT turntable sounds better than it has any right to. I have been a fan of AT for a long time and when I had my recording studio I used mostly AT microphones and other AT gear, especially headphones and ear buds. I've been happy with everything I've owned that had the AT brand.

I would avoid Pro-Ject. I've owned an entry level Carbon Debut and a higher-end RPM 10 ($6K). The build quality just isn't good enough.

I believe the lower-end Music Halls are made by Pro-Ject (feel free to correct me if I am mistaken)

I cannot speak to the other brands.

ATLP5 here. Snatched a mint 2nd hand for €100...a bargain. Came with AT95Ex. Easy to set up, great platter mat. I think the arm is the strongest point of this model. The only pitfall is that the TT is pretty sensitive to vibrations so extra care and effort in finding the best isolation setup in the end-user context (flooring, speakers, isolation platform, etc) is a must. Get one and spend the rest of the money on headshells and cartridges. 

The Audio Technica LP120 and LP140 seem to be pretty popular. For ~$500 and under there isn’t a whole lot more you can expect, (at least they aren't Crosleys) so they are definitely good turntables for the money. Only caveat is that a few years ago the LP120 had some issues with the anti-skate not working. That has been remedied in the newer versions. I seriously looked at them when I was buying a TT for my den but ended up going with a U-Turn Orbit Special, I got the upgrade acrylic platter and the Ortofon 2m Red (though I will replace the stylus with a 2m Blue in a few months).

I’ve been pretty happy with it and its quality. You can decide to either get their "OK" Pluto 2 phono amp built-in or not get one if you want to use a better external one, like the price appropriate Schiit Mani or iFi Zen Phono.

Good luck going down the rabbit hole of vinyl...Once you go in, you’ll never go out...

Yes. I liked the AT-LP7 when I had the chance for a long-term audition. It comes with a mid-line VM520EB MM elliptical cartridge for $849, however, I'd upgrade to the 540ML micro-line stylus for $209. It's quite a decent listen.

Another great turntable I've been able to listen to long term is the new U-Turn Audio Orbit Theory. Comes with the Ortofon 2M Blue MM elliptical for $999. One of the best of the breed for the money.