Audio-Technica is a Japanese company established in 1962. They are well-known for their cost-effective but good quality turntables. The Audio-Technica At-LP60X-BW is a very good example of this. Also, they’re respected for their microphones and headphones, which offer the same level of quality.
Audio-Technica receives the most recognition for the quality of their phono cartridges. Whenever you buy an Audio-Technica turntable, it will come with one of their cartridges. Likewise, these are found on the turntables from other manufacturers, confirming how good they are.
So what is this turntable all about? Let’s find out in our in-depth Audio-Technica At-LP60X-BW review…
Maybe you are looking for an affordable first turntable to add to your music setup. Or you are returning to the great world of vinyl. Whichever it is, the At-LP60X-BW is a very good option. For those who want to play their vinyl with minimum fuss, this turntable will suit you.
It is easy to set up, has a minimum of controls, and is easy to use. There’s a built-in switchable phono preamp that plays both 33 and 45 rpm speeds. It can connect to powered speakers and other devices. Furthermore, it doesn’t matter if the other devices have a dedicated input for phono or not.
This turntable is an updated version of the popular Audio-Technica AT-LP60. It is everything that the basic vinyl user will need and at a great price.
We would like to think as we go through this review that people will keep in mind what this turntable is all about. It is not the highest level that Audio-Technica manufactures. They make far more sophisticated and expensive turntables than this. It is very much a budget product.
Having said that, there are some good features built-in. And these will enhance its performance. More on this later.
A sturdy foundation…
The base, or plinth, is made of plastic, as many budget turntables are. But this is a decent quality plastic that feels substantial in the hands. It measures 19.00 by 17.00 by 7.00 inches and weighs just eight pounds, and feels solid. It certainly hasn’t got the flimsy feel that some plastic products have.
The platter is anti-resonant, die-cast aluminum. It operates at both 33 and a third and 46 rpm. However, there is no 78 rpm speed option. For the 45 speed, there is an adapter included. This has its own storage space on the plinth.
Finding the groove…
The tonearm has been redesigned slightly from its AT-LP60 predecessor. It is still made of good quality plastic. But the changes ensure better tracking and greatly reduced resonance. Also, the headshell has been subject to a redesign.
The Audio-Technica cartridge is a dual magnet creation and is integral to the tonearm. The diamond stylus, also made by Audio-Technica, is replaceable.
There is a built-in preamp. This is switchable and lets you make connections to either your powered speakers or to your existing stereo system. This is made easy by just using RCA cables.
We mentioned earlier some features that give this turntable a good performance for its price point. One of them is the AC adapter. The conversion from AC to DC is now completely outside of the chassis. This will have the effect of greatly reducing any unwanted noise that could occur.
The build is nothing fancy, just a solid style that will do its job. It is a plain turntable, but certainly not unattractive at all. And its two-color black and brown front fascia makes it a reasonable looking product.
This is a fully automatic belt-drive turntable with, as we said, 33 and 45 rpm speeds. The choice between belt drive and direct drive will always have to be made when selecting a turntable. But what is the real story and difference between them?
Belt drive vs. direct drive…
Belt-driven turntables are still the choice of most vinyl enthusiasts. They have less torque and might not be as accurate with their speed as a direct drive. But the positive is that the motor that drives the belt is off to the side. This works to reduce potential noise.
With a direct drive, the platter sits on the motor. That can cause unwanted noise and vibrations. However, those who require accurate and fast speed changes, like DJs, prefer direct drive. With a direct drive turntable, it is easier to change the speed. This can be awkward on a belt-drive.
However, as we said, the usual choice for home use is a belt-drive.
This turntable is fully automatic, which means that with a push of a button, the platter will revolve. The tonearm will then place the stylus on the track. It will play to the end, and then the tonearm will return itself to its resting position.
Some prefer this system, as the turntable doesn’t need attention when it is in use. With a manual turntable, if the stylus comes to the end of a track, it will stay on the record. You then have to remove it by hand.
If you forget, the turntable will continue to rotate with the stylus on the record until you remove it. That is not good for the stylus or the record.
Great for newbies…
Belt-drive and fully automatic, everything about this turntable is made to be simple; in fact, it is effortlessto use. That is especially important for a new user.
There is one design feature that some may find disappointing. The cartridge and the headshell are built-in. Everything is fixed and factory set as they are both in the same piece.
Only the stylus is replaceable, as we mentioned. Therefore, there is no pitch or other control of the tonearm. It is all previously set up.
The redesign of the tonearm and headshell, which are the main upgrades, made an impact. The changes over the previous model have improved tracking and reduced resonance. But there will be some users who prefer to have some form of control over the tonearm.
There isn’t any need for any complex controls. The turntable is basic and clearly doesn’t need it.
On the front of the fascia is the speed control selector and the start and stop buttons. There is also a control for raising and lowering the tonearm. On top of the unit is a knob, which lets you choose between twelve inches and seven-inch sizes.
That is all you need to fully operate this turntable. As we said, simplicity and ease of use are very much at the forefront of the design.
How does it sound?
There certainly won’t be any complaints at this price point. The specialists will argue that it doesn’t give you a high-quality sound. Those with some common sense will answer it isn’t a high-range turntable. Quite right.
But the sound is good, with little external interference. And you are certainly going to hear sounds and nuances that you don’t get from digital equivalents. A very good reproduction of your vinyl considering the price point.
What is included?
There isn’t much that you need to be included, but everything you do need is there. The 45 rpm adapter and the RCA output cable are included. The cable is a 3.5mm male-to-female RCA dual connection.
Of course, a hinged dust cover is also included.
Audio-Technica is recognized and respected for producing quality products at various levels. But always at an affordable price. The Audio-Technica At-LP60X-BW is another very good example of them doing what they do best.
Its performance is steady, and the sound more than adequate. It is easy to use, and as an entry-level or improvement on an old system, it is perfect.
Simply put, and at the expense of repeating ourselves, it is well-made and looks quite attractive. It is not complicated to use. You just plug it in, and away you go. And being fully-automatic it means you haven’t got to stay in the room and hold its hand.
And finally, there is the price point.
The only issue we can think of is that some might not like the lack of any controls over the balancing, anti-skate, or tracking. We have already dealt with that, but it needs to be mentioned once more.
But maybe it doesn’t need those features.
Audio-Technica At-LP60X-BW Review Pros and Cons
- Decent built quality.
- Fully automatic belt-drive motor.
- AC adapter and RCA cable included.
- Redesigned headshell and tonearm.
- Balanced soundstage.
- Great for home use and new users.
- Attractive price point.
- Cannot play 78 rpm speed.
- Headshell and cartridge are fixed.
Looking for Something Else?
Not quite the turntable you had in mind? Check out our extensive in-depth reviews of the Best Turntables Under $100, the Best Turntables Under $200, the Best Turntables Under $300, the Best Turntables Under $500, and the Best Turntables Under $600 you can buy in 2020.
Audio-Technica At-LP60X-BW Review Final Thoughts
This turntable is a great example of what can happen when a company focuses on customers first. They have identified the need for a basic turntable at entry-level and built one. No fancy gadgets, flashing lights, or ‘aren’t we great’ signs. Things that are usually used to justify a hike in price that is not justified.
And they have built it at a price point that is staggering to be honest. The cost of this turntable puts the quality of it firmly in perspective. We doubt you will find something better and cheaper anywhere else.
This is a super turntable. Ideal for that first venture into vinyl. Or maybe a return to it. This should be right at the top of your shopping list.
Until next time, may the beat go on.