Audio Technica AT-LP60X review: Upgrade over the AT-LP60?
My very first turntable was the Audio-Technica AT-LP60, a very solid and affordable record player. It was a wonderful gateway into the world of vinyl records, costing just $99.
Now, Audio-Technica has the Audio-Technica AT-LP60X on the market, and you might just be wondering what has improved since the previous release? Well, I’m going to help you understand everything you need to know in this detailed Audio Technica AT-LP60X review!
Audio-Technica AT-LP60X Review (TLDR)
If you’re looking for the Too Long Didn’t Read (TLDR) version of my review, here it is: The Audio Technica AT-LP60X is a great turntable for entry-level vinyl enthusiasts.
With it’s fully automatic functionality, it’s plug and play design (thanks to a built a phono preamp) and the various colors the record player comes in, the AT-LP60X is a perfect option for any beginner that values convenience in the world of vinyl.
How the AT-LP60X Looks
The first thing that I noticed when it comes to the LP60X, especially when compared to the original LP60 that I owned several years ago, is that the LP60X is a much sleeker, slicker, and (dare I say it?) sexier turntable than its predecessor.
They both are designed in very similar fashion, of course, so they do share a striking resemblance. But the LP60X is a more refined machine, and I think that (just purely from an aesthetics point of view) it looks better on a table or cabinet than the LP-60 did.
And I think that’s a great thing, because while people always want to save money, I think that when it comes to the vinyl hobby specifically, you want to feel you’re getting a luxury feel—even if you’re really not.
The LP60X comes in four different versions, and funny enough, all of them contain black as either a primary or secondary color. You can get this record player in black, brown and black, gunmetal and black, or red and black.
I also really like the buttons on this record player, as well. On the original LP60, the buttons on the front panel were bigger, wider, and stuck out further from the turntable’s panel.
Again, this is a more refined looking turntable, so the front panel buttons are now circular and a bit more recessed into the panel itself. To me, it gives off a less showy and cheap vibe and more of a classy visual appeal. It’s in no way a big deal in the long run, but visually, I much prefer the look of the LP60X.
Another small but improved visual detail that I like is how the dust cover meets the top of the turntable. On the LP60, the dustcover came down onto the turntable and meet the record player’s edges with little room for margin.
The AT-LP60X allows it’s dust cover to come down, with about an inch (maybe less) or room to remain in the front. And that extra room serves as a description panel for the front facing buttons. So now, you can—from the top down—see which button changes the speed of the record player, which button starts and stops the turntable, and which button lifts the tonearm up and down.
Again, not a major deal, but it’s worth nothing that those graphics used to be on the front panel of the AT-60. So, in order to see them, you’d have to be facing the turntable—it wasn’t as easy to read them when you were standing over the record player itself about to play or change a record.
Now, as you hover over the record player, you simply look down to see which button does which, thanks to Audio-Technica moving this text up from the front panel to the top of the turntable in front of the dust cover.
A small but really nice touch.
Setting Up the Audio-Technica AT-LP60X
Let’s talk a bit about how easy it is to set this turntable up, and then we’ll get into the features of this record player and how they can benefit you.
First, after you’ve taken everything out of the box, place the large circular platter onto the AT-LP60X. You’re going to want the rectangular opening that has the red ribbon attached exposes the motor pulley. The motor pulley is made of brass, and its located in the upper left hand corner of the record player. This pulley is where you’re going to have to install the belt.
The AT-LP60X is a belt-driven (as opposed to a direct drive) turntable, which means that in order for the platter and vinyl record to spin consistently, a physical belt needed to be installed.
This belt of course comes with the AT-LP60X and is easy to install. In fact, the red ribbon that’s attached to the platter is connected to the drive belt. So, what you need to do is remove the rape that helps to keep the red ribbon attached to the platter. Then, using your index finger and thumb, pull the red ribbon (and drive belt) over the motor pulley.
Once you’ve placed the belt inside the motor pulley’s groove, you can remove the ribbon entirely. Here, you’re really just going to want to make sure that the belt isn’t twisted up—that part of the belt isn’t bent backwards or anything.
Next, place the felt mat over the spindle and onto the platter. Then, in order to ensure that the automatic mechanism of your AT-LP60X is fully cycled, you’re going to want to manually rotate the platter about ten times. You should do this clockwise.
Next, you’re going to want to remove the twist-tie that is on the tonearm. Also, remove the stylus guard (careful, you don’t want damage the stylus!) that’s on your cartridge.
Then, be sure to put your AT-LP60X on a stable table or cabinet. After than, plug in the power cable and connect it to a wall outlet.
Comes with a Built In Phono Preamp
One thing that I think is impressive about the AT-LP60X, just as it was with the AT-LP60, is that this record player comes with a built-in phono preamp. And it makes everything so much easier to play your music—it’s very much the definition of plug and play.
But what’s great is that Audio-Technica gives you the option to either use its built in phono preamp, or to bypass it and use (for example) an audio component like an integrated amplifier’s very own RIAA phono input.
So, for example, if you have an amplifier with a built in phono preamp, and you’d like to plug this turntable into the PHONO input on the back of that amplifier, then first go to the back of the AT-LP60X and slide the button to the left under PHONO.
If, however, you have an amplifier that doesn’t have a PHONO input on the back, then you’re going to want to use the turntable’s built in phono preamp. And to do that, you’d slide the knob to the right under LINE (which stands for Line Level).
You would do this if you were not only going to use a different input—say the TAPE or CD input—on the back of your amp, but you’d also be able to connect the AT-LP60X directly to your powered speakers or sound bar, for example.
Now, if you do want to connect this turntable to something like powered speakers, you’re actually going to want to directly connect the speakers to the AT-LP60X’s rear panel 1/8” mini jack.
However, if you want to connect this turntable to something like an amplifier or a receiver, where on the back of these components are RCA phono or AUX inputs, then you’re going to need to use the included 1/8” dual RCA cables. These are red and white cables, which you’ve very likely seen over the years that are used to connect audio components/devices so we can hear sound.
Audio-Technica AT-LP60 vs Audio-Technica AT-LP60X
I’ve outlined several key similarities and differences between these two models, but there’s a couple addition improvements when it comes to the LP60X that I want to point out.
Let’s first talk about the the tonearm on the LP60X, which has an upgraded base and headshell design. These type of redesigns often are done to improve better tracking of the stylus in the groove, as well as remove unwanted vibrations that can negatively color the sound.
One thing I also like on the AT-LP60X is that it features a 3.255mm AUX stereo output. In the previous model, the turntable featured a non-removable RCA cable.
Now, you get a 3.25mm to RCA cable included in the box, which will now allow you to connect your turntable to a wide variety of systems—be it an integrated amplifier or powered speakers. Removable cables are always highly preferred, because when the cables come pre-attached to the turntable, you run the risk of having to throw out your entire turntable if the cables get damaged. Now, if the LP60X cables get damaged, it’s an easy fix—just run to the store and purchase new ones.
Both of these turntables are able to play 33-1/3 RPM records, as well as 45 RPM records. And both do come with a 45 RPM adapter, as well.
Audio Technica AT-LP60X VS Audio Technica AT-LP60XBT
Now if you’re looking for a great Audio Technica bluetooth turntable, the good news is that the awesome AT-LP60X also comes in a bluetooth-ready version.
So, the difference between the LP60X and the LP60XBT is that the “BT” stands for “bluetooth.” So now, you can technically have your turntable in one room, and be actually listening to your records via speakers in a completely different room—all working wirelessly thanks to the bluetooth technology.
You can store up to 8 different pairs of speakers or headphones in the AT-LP60XBT’s memory.
What’s nice, too, is that Audio-Technica gives you the option to be able to play this turntable via a wired or wireless connection. So, on the days where maybe the bluetooth signal isn’t working, or maybe your entire Internet connection is down, you can still listen to you records by connecting your turntable directly to an amplifier or powered speakers.
The AT-LP60XBT comes in both black and white colors.
As I conclude my Audio-Technica AT-LP60X review, I think the Audio-Technica ATLP60X is a great record player for beginners. It’s probably one of the best entry-level turntables because the price (about $99) is so affordable, and it’s automatic mechanism means you can enjoy playing vinyl records without having a massive “hands-on” approach.
While I wouldn’t say it’s the best Audio Technica turntable on the market, I think as you grow and mature in your vinyl and audio equipment tastes, there’s a good chance you’ll want to upgrade to something better than the AT-LP60X (personally, my next turntable was the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon and, soon afterward, the Clearaudio Concept Black).
But, if you’re just an extremely casual vinyl fan, or you’re just wanting to dip your toe in the vinyl waters, the Audio-Technica AT-LP60X turntable is a fantastic deal.
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