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Audio Technica AT-120 Reviews

displaying reviews 1 to 20 of 26

Audio Technica AT-120

Audio Technica AT-120

7/10 by lampio

A very good cartridge to reproduce high quality records, although the needle becomes so thin after a couple of tracks, when the records are old, and if the record is not flat enough and skips, because it is very light Its weight 1.5 grams.
But its sound quality is exceptional although with a somewhat low output

10/10 by DSJR

Now replaced by the more universal AT530, my experiences of the 120E I have indicate it prefers a lower mass tonearm such as the fixed-head SME's. Used this way at 1.5g or so, the sound is lively and slightly crisp but with the bass accurate and quite well extended if not 'juicy' in sonic flavour. Used with too massy a tonearm in my experience, the bass can 'detach itself' from the rest and the top becomes a bit messy. This has pretty well been solved with the AT530 and the tautening up in the new current model means a beneficially higher tracking weight is now recommended (1.8 - 2g). I love my 120E to bits and the replacement AT530 should build on this, although I haven't tried one as yet.

5/10 by jazzyreggie

10/10 by Somecountrymembers


10/10 by Dual622

This is one incredible cartridge! I switched from an AT-95 E to the AT-120 E and wow, what a difference. Stereo separation is fantastic, bass is tight and improves as the cartridge breaks in, and the high notes are as clear as a bell. I'm hearing sounds I've never heard before in my records. When there are multiple background singers, I can pick out their individual voices, they don't sound mixed together like they did before. This cartridge really sings and can be bright and shrill, but turning the treble down will fix that. I like to hear all the little details in my music, and the AT-120 E really delivers. The high compliance and low tracking force are a good match for my ultra low mass tone arm, and the nude elliptical stylus should be gentle on my records.

9/10 by reinhold

I've now had the AT-120Eb for a couple of weeks in my Technics SL-1500 and find it an excellent match. For comparison - see my other post on this - a difficult record that was untrackable with a vintage Shure M75 in the same turntable/tonearm proved no difficulties for the 120Eb.

8/10 by Martin64

value-for-money, audiophile on a budget

10/10 by agoldarbit

There's not much more that I can say relative to the other reviewers. It's a cartridge that is excellent sounding AND TREMENDOUS VALUE FOR THE MONEY.

9/10 by sylvain999

Terrrrific value for the money. Agree with most other comments. Just be carefull not to match with a bright system it could be too bright. The only cart i own that tracks all 4 tracking tests on my test disc.

10/10 by Musacci

I like it very much. Great sound, nice bass and rich of treble. Acceptable price.

10/10 by hifigurl

audio technica is the best. they know how to design them. very smart design.
ive been with them since 1980. a.t.120 series is amazing but then again
even the at3600 is amazing.

10/10 by spunkerboybr

The AT120E(/T) is definitely an excellent budget cartridge that is better than many more expensive cartridges of other brands. The frequency response is really very good (it can definitely go up to 25kHz and beyond), soundstage is perfect (the 29dB channel separation is really true) and almost all details can be pushed out of the grooves by this sweetie. The sonic signature is quite neutral and overall enjoyable, the cartridge exhibits almost no inner groove distortion on LPs and it definitely does not lead to ear fatigue even after several hours of continuous listening. Another important aspect is that the AT120E/T delivers far less surface noise (clicks, pops and white noise) than my old AT3400, equipped with a modest .7mil conical stylus by AT as well.
The only issue I would highlight is that, even after having perfectly aligned the AT120E, I still had some meaningful distortion issues in complex passages during its first 10 hours of use. This issue, however, was tamed by increasing the tracking force to 1.7g and gradually reducing it as the resulting sound got better. Nowadays, my AT120E has about 60 hours of use, it tracks and it excels in all my LPs. It is currently tracking at 1.5g, which was found to be the ideal adjustment to match my Marantz TT6200 turntable.
Overall, the AT120E is the main 'guilty' for the fact that I love so much the AT sonic signature.

9/10 by kceateva

So far I'm loving it. The sound design is really good. Acoustic songs sound amazing!

8/10 by HT Performance

Excellent stereo imaging. Very detailed sound. Superb tracker. A little shy on bass. Easy to align. Outstanding value for money cartridge. Also good for used records, as the surface noise is quite low.

9/10 by buddybopper

Cart sounds great on a Thorens TD145 MKII. Great channel separation with a wide stereo spread. Great high end sparkle and detail. I can hear the reverb on vocals tail off, unlike many carts of this price range. Great value for the money.

8/10 by KDUB14

9/10 by clouzot

If you are looking for the most bang for your $, this is probably the best one to go for!
Incredible value and sound range and quality!

9/10 by andy8400

This cartridge has a great tonal range. Only thing missing is VERY deep (below 60hz, say) bass at the same db as regular low or mid-bass (it's still there, however). I've only heard MCs track this successfully. BUT through the rest of the 98% tonal range, this cartridge is terrific. No stridency, no over-the-top treble, just clear tracking even during difficult inner-grove passages. It's balanced tonal range virtually eliminates ear fatigue. I use it on a second TT and I am very pleased with its performance especially for its modest price.

9/10 by budlark

9/10 by Mike Reyna

I bought this cartridge for my Audio Technica LP 120 USB. For the price, it's fantastic!

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