Here is another turntable review in a new article: Audio-Technica AT-LP140XP Review.
- 1 Audio Technica AT-LP140XP Review – Intro
- 2 Audio Technica AT-LP140XP Specifications
- 3 Audio Technica AT-LP140XP Review – Design & Features
- 4 Audio Technica AT-LP140XP Review – Assembly
- 5 Audio Technica AT-LP140XP Review – Usage
- 6 Other Features
- 7 Audio Technica AT-LP140XP Video Review
- 8 To Buy or Not?
Audio Technica AT-LP140XP Review – Intro
Modern DJ turntables often have many features: extra powerful motors, USB interfaces, internal phono preamplifier, double start buttons, control surfaces for DJ software, and so on. With the AT-LP140XP, Audio-Technica has a turntable in its portfolio that appears almost as puristic as a good old Technics.
In fact, the AT-LP140XP is also the first Audio-Technica turntable officially aimed at DJs. That’s right, even the inexpensive Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB from the same company is very popular with young DJs, but it was originally built and marketed purely as a hi-fi turntable. The LP140XP lacks the USB interface, it relies on puristic DJ action and is more expensive than the 120 and similar consumer models, but significantly cheaper than the professional top models from Pioneer & Co. I am curious to see does Audio-Technica succeeds in making a good and usable DJ turntable.
Audio Technica AT-LP140XP Specifications
- Type: 3-speed, fully manual operation
- Moto:r High-torque DC motor
- Drive Method: Direct drive
- Speeds: 33-1/3 RPM, 45 RPM, 78 RPM
- Turntable Platter: Die-cast aluminum
- Starting Torque: >2.2 kgf.cm
- Wow and Flutter: <0.2% (WTD) @ 3 kHz (JIS)
- Signal-to-Noise Ratio: >50 dB
- Output Level: 5.5 mV nominal at 1 kHz, 5 cm/sec
- Power Supply Requirements: 115/230V AC, 60/50 Hz
- Dimensions: 452.0 mm (17.80″) W x 352.0 mm (13.86″) D x 158.6 mm (6.24″) H
- Weight: 10.0 kg (22 lbs.), without dust cover
- Accessories Included: AT-XP3 phono cartridge; AT-HS6 headshell; dual RCA (male) to dual RCA (male) cable with ground wire; counterweight; felt mat; dust cover; 45 RPM adapter
- Pitch Variation: +/-8% or +/-16% or +/-24%
- Tonearm type: Balanced S-shaped tonearm with detachable headshell
- Effective arm length: 230.5 mm
- Overhang: 16 mm
- Tracking error angle: Less than 3 degrees
- Applicable cartridge weight: 3.5-8.5 g
- Anti-skating range: 0-4 g
- Replacement Stylus: ATN-XP3
You can download the manual here->Audio Technica AT-LP140XP Manual
Audio Technica AT-LP140XP Review – Design & Features
The Audio-Technica AT-LP140XP is a DJ turntable with direct drive in the upper middle price range. It is available in black or silver finish. Here I got a silver-colored model to do the test. The turntable makes no secret of the fact that it unconditionally recognizes the role model function of the Technics 1210s, all controls on the surface are positioned exactly where DJ expects them to be. At 45 x 35 cm, the width and depth are also the same as with the Technics, but the upper edge is around 7 mm higher at 9 cm in comparison.
The AT has the complete arsenal of the necessary basics and adds an extra here and there: There are three speeds (33, 45, 78 rpm) and three pitch ranges (+/-8, +/-16, +). /-24%) and a quartz-controlled pitch lock. The backlit reverse mode button is placed above the center pitch fader at the extreme minus range. This is a good choice, experience has shown that the reverse is rarely engaged and the position means there is no risk of operating errors during hectic routines.
The classic S-shaped tonearm with adjustable height, tracking, and anti-skate control looks solid and adjusts smoothly. The power switch is also housed in a Technics-like wheel in the stroboscope tower but is encased in a metal sleeve to prevent accidental operating errors. That’s the way it has to be!
The combined cinch and grounding cable and the power cable are detachable and are connected to the gold-plated cinch sockets and mains connection on the back. The fold-up and removable dust cover, the branded slipmat, and even the cartridge, an Audio-Technica AT-XP3 with headshell, are included in the scope of delivery. Thus, the AT-LP140XP actually offers plug-and-play right out of the box.
A rubber mat is not included and DJ is also looking in vain for a USB connection, internal phono pre-amplification, or a digital output: With the LP140XP, Audio-Technica is concentrating on pure turntable virtues. A special feature is a slot for an additional cartridge on the rear part of the surface between the tonearm and turntable: DJ can quickly store the Audio-Technica headshell here, for example, if he prefers to attach his own system onto the tonearm. This is an awesome feature!
Audio Technica AT-LP140XP Review – Assembly
Of course, the player is delivered “disassembled” in its plain brown cardboard box: the low-resonance, vibration-damped cast aluminum turntable, the tonearm weight, and the AT-XP3 cartridge already mounted on an Audio-Technica headshell are all individually packaged, and are easily plugged together.
There is a switch under the plate to change the voltage from 230 to 115 volts if necessary. The hinges of the dust cover are also only plugged in and not screwed. Incidentally, the hood is flat at the top, without the typical “Technics bump” above the tonearm, which looks stylish but has probably annoyed every DJ who at some point wanted to place a laptop/controller on it.
On the back, the AT-LP140XP has two gold-plated cinch sockets and a ground screw to which the supplied cinch cable with integrated ground cable is connected. Of course, longer and high-quality cables can also be used. There are no USB or digital connections, the Audio-Technica is very old school. The three-pin power cable can also be removed. This makes some installation setups easier than if the cables are permanently connected to the device.
The underside feels soberingly plastic, the four adjustable plastic feet are well cushioned and completely okay for the price range, but not nearly as solid as Technics. On the left and right on the outside there are practical grooved grip recesses, thanks to which the turntable can be easily lifted and carried. After a short adjustment, the turntable is ready to play.
Audio Technica AT-LP140XP Review – Usage
The first impression is really good. The Audio-Technica has a solid total weight of 10 kg and the individual components appear to be of high quality. The height of the tonearm can be smoothly adjusted and the counterweight and anti-skating can also be adjusted quickly and precisely.
The plastic surface is slightly rounded on the sides, which feels very comfortable when mixing. At 1.8 cm, the central spindle is significantly higher than the Technics SL-120 MK2 (1.4 cm) and tapers to a point. DJs who like to put their hands on the spindle when slowing down the record will be happy.
The Pitch Fader
The center detented pitch fader feels smooth and can be controlled precisely. The zero position gently clicks into place and illuminates the blue zero position LED. Even more important: when pitching around the zero point, the center grid is hardly annoying.
The speed and pitch range switches click reliably. If both switches are pressed at the same time, a third area can be selected and that is a good thing: The design of the player remains clear and the frequently used functions can be selected directly and without confusion, because DJ only needs 78 rpm or 24% pitch in exceptional cases.
Audio-Technica doesn’t really let itself be looked at here. The official data indicates a tracking force of 2.2 kgf.cm and wow and flutter of less than 0.2% WRMS at 33 RPM. I find the AT-LP140XP’s torque to be very smooth and organic. Start and stop are a bit more moderate than with Technics, but I like the slightly longer stopping behavior as an effect.
The platter is made of die-cast aluminum and has a thick rubber coating on the underside to avoid vibrations and thus feedback and is slightly lowered in the turntable “like the original”. At around 1250 g, it’s only slightly lighter than my 1210’s (around 1500 g) and the powerful motor has an easy time with the turntable. The four strobe rings for speed determination feel comfortable and smooth. Well suited for DJs who like to slow down at the edge of the turntable.
In general, the AT-LP140XP is a true aesthete: the silver-colored finish looks elegant and unobtrusive and goes well with the black elements of the turntable, the circular start/stop button corresponds pleasantly with the circular puck tray, and both are surrounded by a black ring, the whole design is coherent and beautiful. The black variant comes with a black chassis and black buttons, which also look very cool.
You just have to like the blue LEDs. The power light in the strobe tower, the LEDs in the switches, at the zero position of the pitch fader, and the needle lighting: everything shines in a cool, cold blue, similar to the new edition Technics SL-1210GR.
What I really like is the light effect that is reflected on the needle of the included AT-XP3 cartridge. Thanks to the shape of the cartridge, the blue light from the stylus lighting is reflected onto the stylus tip so that it almost acts as an additional LED and DJ can really see the exact position of the stylus on the record. Super practical and also a real eye-catcher at home.
The new AT-XP3 cartridge sounds good but isn’t as fat on the vinyl as my reference cartridges Ortofon Mk2 Club and Taruya 01-M, which stick stoically in the groove even with more agile scratches. Totally okay for mix DJs, but unsuitable for scratch DJs.
But with a dedicated scratch cartridge, the LP140XP comes off quite differently. On the other hand, DJ gets a good hi-fi cartridge including a headshell. Hence my tip: to listen to music, use the included XP3 cartridge, which thanks to its conical cut sounds beautifully balanced and puts less strain on the record grooves. Then screw on a real scratch cartridge for DJ mixes and hard scratch routines.
Thanks to the puristic design, which does not require a sound-changing phono stage or USB card, the sound of the AT-LP140XP flows directly from the cartridge to the cinch outputs. The well-damped turntable and high synchronism of the turntable are further prerequisites for optimal transmission between the cartridge and the phono preamplifier in the mixer or the power amplifier.
The small submarine periscope for illuminating the needle can be lowered into the turntable chassis and, like the Technics classic, raised again at the push of a hydraulic button. This is less smooth than with the “original” and didn’t always work without problems with the test device: I sometimes had to pull out the needle illumination with both fingertips. In contrast to my veteran Technics SL-1210 Mk2, the plate arm also seems lighter and therefore less vibration-free.
Finally, a critical word about the non-hydraulic tonearm lift: If the needle is lowered onto the record using the lift lever, care must be taken, otherwise the stylus will hit the record unchecked. But I don’t want to put these points of criticism too high either: Audio-Technica saved here in places that don’t significantly affect the performance of the turntable.
Most DJs leave the needle lights in one position or another, and in fact, in 27 years of clubbing, I’ve only met one DJ who carefully lowers the needle onto the record with a hydraulic lever. I do not need that.
Audio Technica AT-LP140XP Video Review
To Buy or Not?
The new Audio-Technica is a rock-solid and fairly puristic DJ turntable that is damn close to the Technics 1210 in terms of feel. The turntable feels good and valuable and performs as well. Everything you need in high quality is in the right place here, savings were made on the little things, but I couldn’t find any no-gos when I tested it on my own four walls. Also not unimportant for the living room at home: In silver, the AT-LP140XP looks distinguished, noble, and unobtrusive, in black it resembles a Batman device thanks to its all-black color scheme.
It’s just a shame that the needle light, tonearm lever, and feet aren’t of the same high standard as the other components. Then the Audio Technica AT-LP140XP – as it stands here in front of me – would be a real Technics alternative for demanding DJs. However, only time will tell whether it will still run as smoothly as my 1210 MK2 after 27 years of operation.
Audio Technica AT-LP140XP Pro & Cons
- Good workmanship
- Height-adjustable tonearm
- Height-adjustable feet with good decoupling
- Three speeds and pitch ranges
- Pitch lock
- Reverse mode
- Gold-plated RCA jacks
- Detachable cables
- Audio-Technica AT-XP3 cartridge and headshell included
- Blue light effect on the stylus of the AT-XP3 cartridge
- Needle light, tonearm lever, and feet are not to the same high standard as other components