As 2022 draws to a close and we look ahead to 2023, we’re bringing you our picks of the best new gear this year, from drum machines to turntables.
When Technics discontinued the legendary SL-1200 DJ deck back in 2010, there was suddenly a bit of a void in the turntable market. The iconic brand has returned in recent years, but during its brief hiatus, another Japanese company firmly established itself as one of the go-to choices for DJs in the need of reliable, competitively priced turntables. Audio-Technica’s AT-LP120USB, released in 2009, quickly became a favourite, selling hundreds of thousands of units worldwide.
The release of the Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB earlier this year marked the first major upgrade to that 2009 model, featuring a new motor, some small changes to the plinth itself and a change of cartridge. Otherwise, the majority of the things which made the LP120 series a hit also apply to the LP120X models: solid build, a Technics-inspired design, adjustable pitch ranges (±8%/16%) and built-in phono pre-amp and USB audio interface, making it easy to connect to DJ mixers, hi-fi equipment or computers for digitising your records.
Available in black or silver and coming in at under £250, the LP120XUSB offers tremendous value to back up its sound quality and user-friendliness. Audio-Technica’s excellent AT-VM95E cartridge, worth £50 on its own, is included with the turntable to help set you off on your sonic adventures, whether you want to. There are probably better scratch turntables out there for the hardcore turntablists, but as far as all-rounders go the LP120X nails it. For those who need the added convenience of Bluetooth streaming, there’s also the AT-LP120XBT-USB, which commands a £65 premium but offers even more all-round versatility.More info/buy