It’s not every day, or for that matter year that we get to post anything about turntables anymore, so imagine my glee when some PR about one such thing arrived in my inbox. Audio Technica announced their snappily named AT-LP1240USB turntable earlier this year, but now it’s available all over the world.
Firstly, the official PR followed by some knowledge:
Audio-Technica’s New Flagship Turntable Delivers For
Ardent Audio Fans And Discerning DJs Alike
Leeds, UK, 01/08/2012: Audio-Technica has unveiled its new flagship turntable, the AT-LP1240USB, which offers a host of features that cater to the demands of both hi-fi connoisseurs and mobile and club DJs.
A direct-drive 16-pole, three phase motor ensures speed stability with easy back-cueing, forward and reverse play and quiet operation at 33-1/3, 45 or 78 RPM. The turntable features an S-shaped tone arm with adjustable tracking force and anti-skate adjustment and a removable universal cartridge mount. The tone arm has locking height adjustment to dial in the vertical tracking angle, crucial for achieving the most accurate record playback.
With a sleek gloss black and silver design, the AT-LP1240USB is ideal for any music or home entertainment system. A built-in switchable phono preamp allows use with a wide variety of receivers, powered speakers and other A/V components, while its USB output makes for easy connection to a computer without the need for any special drivers. The turntable is therefore perfect for transferring records to digital music files that can be played back on portable MP3 players including Apple’s iPod, iPhone, iPad, in the car or at home.
In addition, the AT-LP1240USB boasts myriad DJ-friendly features including a damped cast aluminium platter with stroboscopic markings and slip mat, illuminated speed indicator and adjustable pitch control, start/stop button, a removable stylus target light, dedicated tone arm grounding lug, a hydraulically damped lift lever and locking tone arm rest.
The AT-LP1240USB comes bundled with PC and Mac compatible software, a USB cable, audio adaptor cables, removable dust cover, 45RPM adaptor, adjustable levelling feet and accessories. The supplied Audacity software offers simple digitisation of vinyl records and audio editing features including equalisation and click/noise removal.
The AT-LP1240USB carries a recommended retail price of £500 (inc VAT)/€500 (ex VAT) and will be available from hi-fi retailers and www.audiotechnicashop.com from September 2012.
Let me take this opportunity to drop a little industry knowledge. While the behemoth-like Behringer has their own manufacturing city, there are but a small number of factories that make DJ gear for most manufacturers. It’s normal to see competitive names dropping off the conveyor belts into different boxes. Hanpin is one such factory, but they also take it a step further and make their own units that are simply rebadged for manufacturers to sell on with their own logos on them. Hanpin’s DJ-5500 turntable is the basis for many others out there and is known as a super OEM turntable. Reloop’s RP-6000 is one such model, and Stanton’s STR8-150 is another. SYNC, Omnitronic, Citronic and American Audio have also put out the same deck, just with different names.
Some companies simply add their logo, or in the case of Stanton quite heavily modify the base unit to differentiate theirs from the rest of the market. But they are more or less the same turntable, and a very good one too. It’s probably heresy for some to hear, but I’d take a super OEM over a Technics, simply because they offer me more features with a performance and quality that makes me very happy indeed.
I think however that this particular unit has something that the others don’t have, and that USB output. Numark’s TTX USB has USB too, but this is the only super OEM deck that does. So if you want to listen to your vinyl on a high quality deck using quality carts, and then rip it directly to digital, there’s now more than one option open to you.
It’s a sad thing to say, but this may very well be the last new turntable post that appears on DJWORX. I hope it isn’t of course, but the sales numbers simply aren’t there for anyone to do anything more than put out a super OEM with a different logo on it. I’m sure we’d all love to see a new deck with built in dicers, or some sort of direct USB compatibility, but I just don’t see it happening. I would love to be proved wrong.