Audio Technica AT-LPW40WN Review

by crackler01

After quite some time I have a turntable on my desk in a new Audio Technica AT-LPW40WN Review.

Turntables, cartridges, and headphones are the categories in which Audio-Technica specializes. However, while among the cartridges everyone will find something for themselves – we have a range from affordable to expensive high-end – the offer of turntables is rather aimed at beginners. But also here the offers are various. We have fully manual turntables, automatic turntables, direct drive, and belt drive, wired and wireless signal transmission, and headphone output … All of them, however, are at affordable prices, so the tested AT-LPW40WN is already the best model on offer.

Audio Technica AT-LPW40WN Review

Along with the AT-LPW40WN, a similar, slightly cheaper AT-LPW30TK is also available for sale. These are very “hi-fi” turntables, fully manual.

Their introduction coincided with the premiere of the new AT-VM95 cartridge. For the manufacturer, it is perhaps even more important than the new turntables, as it is to replace the legend of budget configurations – the fantastic AT95E. Some people, after learning about AT’s plans to withdraw the AT95E, have stocked up on that cartridge … But the AT-LPW40WN and AT-LPW30TK turntables are an opportunity to get to know the new AT-VM95.

Audio Technica AT-LPW40WN Specifications

  • Type: Belt-drive manual turntable
  • Motor: DC servo with Active Speed Stabilization
  • Drive: Method Belt drive
  • Speeds: 33-1/3 RPM, 45 RPM
  • Turntable Platter: Die-cast aluminum
  • Wow and Flutter: < 0.15% WRMS (33 RPM) at 3 kHz
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio: >60dB
  • Output Level: Pre-amp “PHONO”: 4.0 mV nominal at 1 kHz, 5 cm/sec, Pre-amp “LINE”: 200 mV nominal at 1 kHz, 5 cm/sec
  • Phono Pre-Amp Gain: 35 dB nominal, RIAA equalized
  • Power Supply Requirements: 100-240 V, 50/60 Hz, 0.5 A Max.
  • Dimensions: 420.0 mm (16.53″) W x 340.0 mm (13.38″) D x 116.9 mm (4.6″) H
  • Weight: 4.72 kg (10.40 lbs.) without dust cover
  • Accessories Included: Dust cover, Platter, Turntable mat, Drive belt, Counterweight, AT-HS4 headshell, AT-VM95E stereo cartridge, 45-RPM adapter, RCA audio cable (approx. 1.0 m (3.3′)), AC adapter (approx. 1.5 m (4.9′)) (AD-SA1205WE), Dust cover hinges
  • Tonearm type: Static balanced straight carbon tonearm
  • Effective arm length: 223.6 mm
  • Overhang: 18.6 mm
  • Tracking error angle: <2 degrees
  • Applicable cartridge weight: 12-17 g
  • Stylus pressure adjustment range: 0-3 g
  • AC Adapter: 12 V, 0.5 A
  • Replacement Stylus: AT-VMN95E

You can download the manual here->Audio Technica AT-LPW40WN Manual

Audio Technica AT-LPW40WN Review – Technical Description

Audio-Technica AT-LPW40WN – The Design

The Audio-Technica AT-LPW40WN looks elegant and is quite original at the same time. It may appeal to people who are tired of the piano black style or any high gloss varnishing. Here, the aesthetics return to the classics and the beauty of natural materials. The MDF plinth is covered with satin lacquered walnut veneer. There are only small covers for mechanisms and electronics under the plinth, without a large bottom plastic panel. The feet are screwed directly into the MDF board.

Audio Technica AT-LPW40WN without a platter

Audio Technica AT-LPW40WN without a platter

Audio Technica AT-LPW40WN – The Drive

There is a single knob (apart from the arm itself), which is both – the power switch and the speed selector (33.3 rpm and 45 rpm). The Audio-Technica AT-LPW40WN has a belt drive, the whole mechanism is hidden under the platter, and the motor transmits the revolutions to a smaller sub-platter disc.

Audio Technica AT LPW40WN switch

Audio Technica AT LPW40WN switch

The engine was installed on the plinth with vibration-damping rubber brackets. A thick, rubber mat with effective cuts also plays a similar role. Sensors built into the motor ensure rotational accuracy, while the platter is a classic aluminum die-cast.

Audio Technica AT-LPW40WN – Tonearm

The 9-inch tonearm is noteworthy. At first glance, it is similar to the Thorens TD201 – it is a simple tube with a socket and an angular head embedded in it. But the tube itself, made of carbon fibers, stands out from the rest of the turntables. The tube suspension element also has an interesting, light form of the C-profile.

Audio Technica AT-LPW40WN - tonearm closeup view

Audio Technica AT-LPW40WN – tonearm closeup view

The tonearm base housing has an anti-skating system (spring mechanism) with a convenient knob (the precision and resolution of the adjustment are very good – similar to the TD201). The pressure of the needle is set using a typical, round counterweight, screwed on the rear part of the tube.

Audio Technica AT-LPW40WN – Connection Panel

There are no surprises in the connection panel – there is an RCA socket, a ground pin, and a connector for an external power supply. A small toggle switch allows you to turn on or bypass the built-in correction preamplifier circuit, prepared for MM-type cartridges.

Audio Technica AT-LPW40WN - connection panel

Audio Technica AT-LPW40WN – connection panel

The Audio-Technica AT-LPW40WN is one of the first turntables to use the cartridge from the new AT-VM95E family. There is a good chance that due to the characteristic green color and this construction, the nice term “frog” will stick to it. The AT-VM95E is an MM cartridge, it has an advanced (for such an affordable model), elliptical needle cut.

AT-VM95E mounted on Audio Technica AT-LPW40WN

AT-VM95E mounted on Audio Technica AT-LPW40WN

It is also worth paying attention to the relatively high level of output voltage – 4 mV, thanks to which the turntable will play loud (and this is enough for many listeners to consider such a sound better …). The cartridges from the AT-VM95 family have a common body, differing in needles (and these are compatible), so the factory one can be easily replaced with an even better one. A plate and a mat are provided for self-assembly, you also need to gently put the belt on the motor roller and, of course, determine the correct pressure force of the needle.

Audio Technica AT-LPW40WN – Sound Test

Although the timbre from the Audio-Technica AT-LPW40WN is, as befits a turntable, natural, and pastel, we do not focus here on the midrange, but on a soundstage.

Audio Technica AT-LPW40WN Test


This complete sound, compared to the Thorens TD201, can be a bit less warm, the first impression not so appealingly analog, but capable of handling any music at a good level. The sound is well-saturated, balanced, and energetic at the same time. The Audio-Technica AT-LPW40WN gives strong and powerful sound. This will not happen with every record, AT is not a creator of great performances, but it efficiently responds to what has been recorded. Recordings that have a lot of dynamics in them will make the sound clear. This turntable neither flattens nor exaggerates the sound nor does it wade in any direction at the expense of other important features.

At the same time, it does not soften the upper midrange and against the background of many pale, dark playing turntables in this price range it enters a higher level of vividness and selectivity. This one takes on the bounce and even contours, avoiding the lowest frequencies and complicated formations. The midrange is expressive, not necessarily stereotypically analog, the treble is already delicate, but fresh and with a breath. Audio-Technica AT-LPW40WN carefully reads information from the record. You can hear the competence of the needle with an advanced, elliptical cut. Travel noise is kept low. The AT sounds both vitally and culturally, it is juicy and transparent, and it clearly reproduces sibilants, which is a problem for many cartridges. The built-in preamplifier is a good start, but this turntable seems to deserve more.

I decided to test this turntable with Cambridge Audio Alva Solo.

Cambridge Audio Alva Solo


I was eager to see how the LPW40WN will handle a phono-stage upgrade. It’s easily the best sub-$500 phono stage I’ve heard, and the AT and Alva Solo worked well together. I played records with this combination for several days and frequently forgot to think critically; I just listened to the music, which is the whole point.

How to setup Audio Technica AT-LPW40WN – Detailed video instructions

Audio Technica AT-LPW40WN Review – Final Verdict

The Audio-Technica AT-LPW40WN is another example of the progress that has been made in the last few years in the segment of budget turntables. The ubiquitous plastics have given way to the classic, known for more expensive models, solutions in the form of MDF plinths or carbon fiber tonearms. In addition, the simplicity and intuitiveness of use have been maintained, which only enhances the fully positive sound impressions. Because the AT-LPW40WN not only looks great but also sounds good, which should be a sufficient incentive to start your adventure with vinyl records from it.

Audio Technica AT-LPW40WN Pro & Cons


  • Looks great
  • Detailed and neutral sound
  • Easy to setup


  • Not-so-good preamp
This turntable has design simplicity in style and color. The sound of the highs and lows coming from speakers is superb. Great quality and easy to assemble. The stylus that came with it produced excellent sound. There's no need to spend more money for more expensive turntables.
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3.9/5 - (49 votes)

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