What makes an expensive turntable worth it? Pro-Ject's X Series shows us.
Audio-Technica: AT-LP60x vs. ATLP60 Turntable Comparison / Review
1.0 KEY SIMILARITIES
Firstly, we'll start with some of the key similarities. The three most popular features of the AT-LP60 are carried over to the AT-LP60X.
1.1 The automatic function (play, stop, and auto-stop that controls both the motor and tonearm) is carried over. A closer inspection under the platter reveals the auto mechanism, and they are identical on both models.
1.2 The compact footprint remains similar, with only slight differences in dimensions and weight. The AT-LP60X is approximately a pound lighter, likely due to the external power adapter and removable cables (more about this below).
1.3 The $99 price point for the base model of the AT-LP60 is its strongest selling point. The reliability and feature set offered at this price can not be found elsewhere. The base model of the LP-60X retains the $99 price point while offering several upgrades (more on the upgrades below).
2.0 KEY DIFFERENCES
We've identified (4) key differences: the tonearm design, the external power supply, the output connection, and the overall aesthetics.
2.1 The tonearm has been improved with a new base and headshell design. According to Audio-Technica, these changes result in better tracking (how the needle rides the groove) and reduced resonance (less vibration to distort audio signal). One small detail that we really like is that the headshell (still not removable) has an easier-to-use finger-lift which was an issue on previous model.
2.2 The removable power cord now features an external AC adapter, which will help with audio signal quality by lowering interference. Previously the AC/DC conversion was done inside the turntable body, and could affect the audio signal.
2.3 The audio output cable (the cable that connects your turntable to your audio system) has been switched from a non-removable RCA cable to a 3.25mm AUX stereo output. The turntable now includes a “Y-style” 3.25mm to RCA cable which will connect your turntable to most audio systems. We've always preferred removable turntable cables because you can swap out worn cables, or upgrade to a higher quality cable. Conversely, we prefer the durability of RCA outputs vs. 3.25mm output. Audibly, there’s no difference between the outputs.
"The ATLP60X features a redesigned tonearm base and head shell to improve tracking and reduce resonance. Noise is further reduced by the inclusion of an AC adapter that moves the AC/DC conversion outside of the chassis where its impact on the signal chain is limited." - Audio-Technica
2.4 Lastly, the most obvious difference is in the aesthetic. Audio-Technica has completely reshaped the body and dustcover, giving the turntable a more specialized look (less-rounded, more unique details), which visually separates the series from its competitors. Visually, we especially like how the dustcover looks when the unit is closed.
In addition, there has been a change to the color scheme. The base of the body is only available in black. The color variations (black, gunmetal, white, brown, and red) are reflected in the front faceplate (you can not swap colors yourself).
⇉ IN SUMMATION
The AT-LP60 was already the best entry-level value at $99. With the addition of several improvements at the same price tag, the AT-LP60x solidifies our choice as the top turntable in the $100 price range.
Audio-Technica AT-LP60X Overview + Setup Guide Video
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