A few random observations on the Audio-Technica AT-LP1240USB

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NewOldVinyl
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A few random observations on the Audio-Technica AT-LP1240USB

Post by NewOldVinyl » 11 Feb 2019 19:11

Spent some time with one at home. As many of you know, it’s a rebadged Hanpin DJ-5500 “Super OEM” model, with the addition of a phono preamp and USB port. Appearance-wise the LP1240 looks virtually identical to the DJ-5500.

The LP1240 is a tank! It’s the most solid-feeling turntable I’ve ever used. My daily driver is a Technics SL-1200MK2 (circa 2006) and it seems almost like a toy in comparison to the DJ-5500 (I know the 1200 is not a toy but we’re talking first impressions here - The 1240 is positively “Industrial” in comparison to the 1200).

Unlike the AT-LP120 I tried, the LP1240’s platter motor was completely silent with no pulsing or other audible noise. No platter wobble, and the underside of the platter is covered with a damping material. The tonearm bearings seemed perfect. All the controls feel substantial. It sounded excellent with an Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge installed but I only got to listen to it for about an hour.

What I Didn’t Like:

All those useless-to-me pitch and reverse control buttons located right where the user’s hand might rest while cueing a record. I would want to try and disable all of those controls.

The tonearm calibration dial markings are kind of coarse so if you’re setting the VTF to say 1.8g you kind of have to interpolate that point on the dial. But the dial is gauge-accurate if you set the arm’s zero balance point correctly.

The sliding pitch control has no center detent (even though the manual says it does). However, if the “QUARTZ” button is pressed and the light is on, the pitch control reverts to “0” regardless of the position of the slider.

At $450, given the apparent build quality, the 1240 seems like a relative bargain. Me like. If Audio-Technica would take out the phono preamp, USB port, and delete the silly pitch controls, they might have a serious contender in the audiophile purist market. They kind of already do if you’re prepared to disregard those features.

Well those are my impressions. :)

lenjack
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Re: A few random observations on the Audio-Technica AT-LP1240USB

Post by lenjack » 12 Feb 2019 03:56

An Audio Technica "Un-Toy"? :?: #-o =D> About time.

kramer
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Re: A few random observations on the Audio-Technica AT-LP1240USB

Post by kramer » 12 Feb 2019 13:27

Audio Technica used to make a non DJ version (ATLP 240) of the ATLP 1240 and for some odd reason is longer sold.

That said really pleased with my ATLP 1240 and I have removed the phono preamp so that I have a clean signal for my Cambridge Audio 551P.

I have made another mod, which is an easy win and replaced the counter balance weight with Technics one which is heavier and looks better.

Regarding weight, a lot of Technics snobs whinge about the steel plate in the lower half of the plinth and there is no doubt that it adds weight (is this a bad thing?) but even without the plate the deck is pretty weighty with its steel upper plinth and very solid platter.

BMRR
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Re: A few random observations on the Audio-Technica AT-LP1240USB

Post by BMRR » 12 Feb 2019 16:06

kramer wrote:
12 Feb 2019 13:27
...the deck is pretty weighty with its steel upper plinth and very solid platter.
Non-magnetic steel, I hope...?

Technics uses aluminum rather than steel.

NewOldVinyl
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Re: A few random observations on the Audio-Technica AT-LP1240USB

Post by NewOldVinyl » 12 Feb 2019 16:20

Audio-Technica has some new direct-drive models coming soon including an updated LP120 claiming to have a new motor design, plug-in stylus light, and an external power supply.

LP120XUSB: https://www.audio-technica.com/cms/turn ... index.html

LP140XP: https://www.audio-technica.com/cms/turn ... index.html

Also some lower-end belt drive models.
Last edited by NewOldVinyl on 12 Feb 2019 16:28, edited 2 times in total.

BMRR
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Re: A few random observations on the Audio-Technica AT-LP1240USB

Post by BMRR » 12 Feb 2019 16:26

If I could make just one change to the 1240, I'd add hinges to the dust cover. The lack of hinges is the biggest thing that would prevent me from using a 1240 for home hifi.

I realize that most DJs remove their dust covers and pack them away in a closet (or throw them away). Clearly I'm not the target audience for this product. But if AT wanted to make it more compelling to home users, hinges would be #1 on my wish list.

NewOldVinyl
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Re: A few random observations on the Audio-Technica AT-LP1240USB

Post by NewOldVinyl » 12 Feb 2019 16:31

BMRR wrote:
12 Feb 2019 16:26
If I could make just one change to the 1240, I'd add hinges to the dust cover. The lack of hinges is the biggest thing that would prevent me from using a 1240 for home hifi.

I realize that most DJs remove their dust covers and pack them away in a closet (or throw them away). Clearly I'm not the target audience for this product. But if AT wanted to make it more compelling to home users, hinges would be #1 on my wish list.
Completely agree on the hinged dust cover.

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Re: A few random observations on the Audio-Technica AT-LP1240USB

Post by kramer » 12 Feb 2019 18:39

BMRR wrote:
12 Feb 2019 16:06
kramer wrote:
12 Feb 2019 13:27
...the deck is pretty weighty with its steel upper plinth and very solid platter.
Non-magnetic steel, I hope...?

Technics uses aluminum rather than steel.
Damn it, you got me! its got more pull than a supercooled magnet. I am not worthy #-o

eddie edirol
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Re: A few random observations on the Audio-Technica AT-LP1240USB

Post by eddie edirol » 12 Feb 2019 22:04

NewOldVinyl wrote:
12 Feb 2019 16:31
Completely agree on the hinged dust cover.
Like Kramer said, I think your best bet is the ATLP 240, you will get the robust build, and strong torque direct drive without the rest of the bells and whistles. Might be able to find some non-dj abused models on ebay. I think thats your best bet.

Ive actually sampled DJing on the 1240s and yeah, they are for real. Until Technics re-released the 1200 again, I considered getting a pair of 1240s. They actually have more torque than Technics.

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Re: A few random observations on the Audio-Technica AT-LP1240USB

Post by Vinylfreak86 » 12 Feb 2019 23:31

AT-LP1240 is very different league than most popular AT-LP120. This guy is on a harder side, more near to the PLX-1000. If someone is going to buy a new DD than this model would be the lowest acceptable level. But look is little childish and funny.

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