Audio Technica AT-LP1240 Review: The DJ Standard


We have a real treat for you today with the Audio Technica AT-LP1240 review. For it’s most common use, this product is one of the high quality turntables, specifically designed for professional DJs. It’s a stunning piece of equipment, ideal for use in nightclubs and touring. However, it clearly does a great job of being an at home vinyl record player as well.

The performance and features of the AT-LP1240 bring to mind the legendary Technics turntables, specifically the Technics SL-1210 which has been the standard go to for DJ’s of all experience and stature.

The device allows for easy LP to digital conversion because of the handy USB output. Simply plug in the USB port to any PC/laptop and you can have access to a digitized version of the music.

You can connect the turntable to stereo equipment with the switchable phono/line pre-amp. Let us take a look at the technical details and specs first:

Technical Details And Specifications

  • High-torque 16 pole direct drive DC motor.
  • Direct drive technology.
  • 3 Speeds: 33.33RPM, 45RPM, and 78RPM.
  • Connects directly to your laptop/PC via USB.
  • Audio management software, Audacity, is included.
  • The turntable weighs around 27.6 pounds.
  • Dimensions: 17.7 x 6.6 x 13.9 inches.
  • Professional DJ features are very useful for the modern turntablist.
  • S-Shaped tonearm with adjustable tracking force.
Turntable Type Fully manual operation, 3-Speed.
Device Motor 3 phase DC motor (brushless), 16 pole.
Platter Die-cast aluminum, 332 mm in diameter
Speeds 33.33/45/78 RPM.
Wow and Flutter Less than 0.1% WRMS with 33 RPM.
Signal to Noise Ratio More than 55 dB (DIN-B).
USB Function A/D, D/A- 48kHz.

Pros And Cons Of The Audio Technica AT-LP1240

Pros Cons
✔Highly customized capabilities with tons of features. ✖Does not come with a cartridge.
✔Professionally built and offers superb value.
✔Built in phono preamp is exceptional.

Direct Drive Design

The drive is built using a direct-drive design and features selectable speeds of 33⅓ / 45/ 78 RPM. The platter is made of Sturdy aluminum. You can remove the headshell to install the cartridge.

The speed accuracy is indicated by a stroboscope and a fancy stylus target light guides your aim when you need to put the needle in the groove under low-light conditions.

For DJs who love a challenge and take on demanding performances, there are two start/stop buttons, a slider to quickly adjust pitch, and a quartz lock button which lets you bypass the said slider.

A word of warning, do not hit the reverse button if you are not a DJ. You will end up ruining the record as well as the stylus. The build quality of the turntable is quite strong for most part but sometimes the tonearm bearings seem to move too much. You can minimize the external vibration by adjusting the height of the tonearm.

Other DJ-friendly features include a dedicated tone arm, a lift lever (hydraulically-damped), and a lockable arm rest which help keep the cartridge and arm in place when transporting the unit.

Taking it for a Test Drive

The turntable offers a decent sense of drive, a great deal of clarity; you will be able to really hear the separate elements of the music. The sound immediately grabs and holds your attention. You will never be bored OF using this turntable if you are a true audiophile.

Since you have to get the cartridge on your own, you can chose the one which best fits your needs and budget. If you can afford it, go for a MC cartridge (see suggestions below) and take the performance of the AT-LP1240 to the next level.

If you want to be a little nit-picky—as most audiophiles are—let’s look at a few things we weren’t thrilled with. The AT-LP1240 is a tiny bit unrefined when it comes to the edges of notes. The leading and trailing notes lack a certain subtlety and nuance.

The deck is great at taking apart the individual elements of any track but is a bit less stunning when it comes to bringing them together. There is a lack of cohesiveness to the sound.

These criticisms, however, don’t take anything away from the raw power and energy of the turntable, the company has created an amazing device. At this price any purchaser who knows the market and the price range will be more than happy with the Audio Technica AT-LP1240.

If you need help setting up the device or want to read safety information, refer to your user manual.

Included Accessories

Other than the main turntable, the following accessories are included in the package:

  • 45 RPM adapter.
  • Dual RCA cable with an integrated ground wire.
  • Dual RCA 3.5mm stereo adapter cable.
  • Dust cover.
  • Slip mat.
  • Counterweight.
  • Head shell.
  • Power cord.
  • USB cable.
  • Stylus target light.
  • Audio software CD (Audacity).

Suggested Cartridges To Pair With The AT-LP1240

The most popular type of cartridge is a stereo cartridge. The choice between mono and stereo is usually up to your personal preferences. In terms of technology, there are two basic types of cartridges, Moving Coil (MC) and Moving Magnet (MM). The former is a more advanced kind, it will be more expensive but delivers excellent sound quality, something audio lovers will love. For people on a budget, the moving magnet cartridges offer better value.

Final Verdict

This is a great turntable and offers incredible value. The performance is top-notch, couple that with the reasonable price and you are looking at a winner. It has been designed keeping in mind the need of professional DJs so it’s built like a tank. However, if you are an audiophile who needs a great setup at home go for this one. It is likely that you won’t use some of the advanced features such as wide pitch control and reverse, but they are nice to have.

The Cartridge/Stylus is not included with the AT-LP2140USB

The turntable comes with a cartridge shell but the cartridge has to be purchased separately. The installation is quite easy as long as you follow the instructions. You shouldn’t have any trouble setting up the anti-skating and weight tracking.

This turntable looks gorgeous, the black surface, metal tone arm, and the strobe light lend an aesthetically pleasing look to the overall design.  The dust cover is a bit fiddly, it doesn’t have a removable hinge, and you have to lift it off. Be careful while replacing the cover if the turntable is playing.  Most DJs will probably leave the cover off while playing but it’s still a minor feature which is a bit bothersome. The mat it comes with is made of felt; we think that a cork mat would offer better traction.

The AT-LP2140USB delivers full-bodied superb sound. There is zero distortion so the listener won’t be able to detect any flutter, hum or wow. The arm can be set up easily and is a joy to use. Every component and part of this turntable exudes quality, even the supplied cables.

If you are looking for a turntable which reproduces your records accurately, this is a great upgrade to the AT-LP120. Any professional DJ knows the value of speed and stability, this one doesn’t disappoint in either of these aspects.

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