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Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USB Professional DJ Turntable Preview

Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USB Professional DJ Turntable

Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USB Professional DJ Turntable


  • Product Name: AT-LP1240-USB Professional DJ Turntable
  • Manufacturer: Audio-Technica
  • Review Date: January 26, 2012 21:00
  • MSRP: $529.95
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
Type 3-speed, fully manual operation
Motor 16-pole, 3-phase, brushless DC motor
Drive Method Direct Drive Direct drive
Speeds 33-1/3 RPM, 45 RPM, 78 RPM
Turntable Platter 332 mm dia. die-cast aluminum
Starting Torque >4.5 kgf.cm
Braking System Electronic brake
Wow and Flutter < 0.1% WRMS (JIS WTD) with 33 RPM
Signal-to-Noise Ratio > 55 dB (DIN-B)
Output Level Pre-amp "PHONO": 2.5 mV nominal at 1 kHz, 5 cm/sec (HP-4005)
Pre-amp "LINE": 150 mV nominal at 1 kHz, 5 cm/sec (HP-4005)
USB Function A/D, D/A - 16 bit 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz USB selectable;
Computer interface - USB 1.1 Compliant Windows XP or above or MAC OSX or above
Power Supply Requirements 120V AC, 60 Hz
Power Consumption 13W
Dimensions 450.0 mm (17.72") W x 353.0 mm (13.90") D x 166.5 mm (6.56") H
Weight 12.5 kg (27.6 lbs.)
Accessories Included Slip mat; dust cover; platter; 45 RPM adapter; counterweight; headshell; power cord; USB cable; dual RCA (female) to 1/8" (3.5 mm) mini-plug (male) stereo adapter cable; dual RCA (female) to 1/8" (3.5 mm) mini-plug (female) stereo adapter cable; dual RCA (male) cable with integrated ground wire; stylus target light; Audacity software (CD)

We have a bit of a hard time with turntables. It isn't that we don't understand them or that we don't like them, it is just that they seem to have stopped being a piece of AV gear and transformed into listening room bling. We're sure people use those 200lbs, $200,000 turntables constructed out of acrylic, carbon fiber, and dolphin bones but, it seems to us, that these are more "works of art that may or may not be used for their intended purpose" than actual pieces of gear. So, when a company brings out a new turntable, it usually comes in one of two flavors: the uber-expensive showpiece designed more to pull people into their booth at trade shows than to be sold or budget models for people that actually just want something to use to playback their aging vinyl collection.

AT_LP1240_USBThe Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USB Professional DJ Turntable is more the latter.

One of the problems with the larger, statement turntables (aside from the ridiculous asking prices which soar toward $1,000,000) is that they look like they aren't meant for long term use. The belts are often thin (especially compared to the rest of the components) and they are usually fully manual which turns starting an LP into some sort of AV tea ceremony. 

As the name implies, the AT-LP1240-USB Professional DJ Turntable is built for long term use and abuse. It employs a direct drive, high-torque multi-pole motor with selectable 33/45/78  RPM speeds. It has dual start/stop controls and you can adjust these controls manually. The sliding pitch control includes a quartz speed lock. The stroboscopic platter includes a speed accuracy indicator. You can even operate the AT-LP1240-USB in reverse. The damped cast aluminum record platter is topped with a low-resistance DJ-style slip mat.

The tone arm is S-shaped with an adjustable counterweight and a removable target light. There is an anti-skate adjustment, height adjustment and lock, and a dedicated ground lug for tone arm grounding. The AT-LP1240-USB includes a hydraulically-damped lift lever and locking tone arm rest for keeping the arm in place during transport.

Obviously, many of these features are things that will be of interest to DJs and users on the go. For the home user, the AT-LP1240-USB includes an integrated phono preamplifier so you won't have to buy a new receiver. Luckily, this preamp is selectable so you don't have to use it if you have something better on hand. As the name implies, the AT-LP1240-USB has a USB output for a direct connection to your computer. This is handy if you are looking to transform your vinyl into a digital format. The output can be 16 bit 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz and the USB is 1.1 compliant and compatible with Windows XP or above or MAC OS X or above. 

There are a few "features" included with the AT-LP1240-USB that neophytes might expect would be included on the more expensive turntables but often aren't. The AT-LP1240-USB includes a 45-RPM adapter, adjustable feet for leveling, and a removable dust cover. Many times, the more expensive turntables will not include one or all three of these. While the aesthetics of the AT-LP1240-USB aren't flashy, the gloss black and sliver stylings certainly should fit in well with most home theater gear. At $530 MSRP, the AT-LP1240-USB isn't exactly an impulse buy but it looks to be a very solid offering that should last for years. 


It would be easy to discount the Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USB Professional DJ Turntable as "not for you". It's more expensive than other budget offerings but it is built for more abuse than you are ever likely to dish out. This translates into a player that very well may outlive your vinyl collection. With its myriad of features and extras, we wouldn't be surprised if this turned into a very good seller for Audio-Technica.

For more information, please visit www.audio-technica.com.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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