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Audio Technica AT 1120

Low-Mass Tonearm

review this tonearm (4 reviews)

Budget version of the low mass AT1100 tonearm with fixed plastic headshell

audio technica at1120
Audio Technica AT 1120


The AT-1120 is designed for the newly introduced low mass, light tracking force cartridges.

It is a careful blend of creative design and the latest materials, based on a basic review of tonearm tracing performance.

Effective mass has been reduced and resonances have been virtually been designed out of the system for a dramatic improvement in sound reproduction quality.

Many of the new technologies developed and applied in out top of the range AT-1100 are also found in the AT-1120.

The arm is compatible with ultra-low mass cartridges weighing less than 3g - truly a new high in low-mass tonearm performance.


Effective length: 240mm

Overhang: 15mm

Mounting distance: 225mm

Effective mass: 5g


Moving magnet cartridges generally gave good results, and although the arm is rather expensive it is probably worthy of recommendation on the basis of its overall performance - £110 HiFi Choice 1983


instruction/owners manual  English

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Audio Technica AT 1120 / AT1120 owners manual, service manuals and schematics are for reference only and the Vinyl Engine bears no responsibility for errors or other inaccuracies. The PDF files are provided under strict licence. Reproduction without prior permission or for financial gain is strictly prohibited. This website is not affiliated with or sponsored by Audio Technica.



The brief intro on the Audio Technica AT1120 arm says something about newly designed ultra low mass cartridges.
I wonder when this was written.
Reading the excellent scan of the user manual, one finds the arm is recommended for use with cartridges of 2 - 3 grams.
I wonder what cartridges are (were) available in that category.
Finally, if the arm / cartridge combination is so very light, doesn't that call for an extremely high-compliance cartridge suspension in order to keep the resonant frequency down where it should be?

Audio Technica AT-1120

At the beginning of the eighties many cartridge producers wanted to go the ultra low mass way. But in fact there was build only very few cartridge under 4 grams.

The AT-1120 is specially designed for low mass cartriges. But the extra counter weight allows the using of cartridges in the range from 3 up to 9 grams. In some cases (over 9 grams with screws) you have to use a cartridge gauge because it is impossible to balance the arm and therefore can't use the precise scale of the counter weight correctly.

The arm as its "bigger brother" - the AT-1100 - are simply excellent, very straight and fast sounding arms. The DTS seems really to be capable to reduce distortion to a minimum. In fact I've never heard my Nagaoka MP-50 (9 grams) so crystal clear.
Due to the fact that they don't produce any bass bomp it might be that some listners will miss some warmth. Therefore it should be an ideal partner for the Shure V15 V and similar warm sounding MM systems.

From all the japanese arms (Micro Seiki, Audiocraft, several Jelco derivats,SAEC) I've owned I like the Audio Technicas most.