How To Use An Audio-Technica Turntable 2021

by Editor

I’m a musician who loves taking inspiration from old classics from the ’60s and ’70s and absolutely indulge the high-quality recording from an LP (Long Playing Record).

I’ve been using my dad’s two-decade-old record player that has been giving up on me now and then and has finally decided to go to sleep. A fellow enthusiast suggested the series of Audio-Technica Turntables that I didn’t think twice before ordering for its amazing niche looks and affordable price tag.

I chose the AT-LP60XBT-USB, once the product was delivered I was ecstatic about how it sounds and its performance, so I started setting it up and it was nothing like my old record player and it was tricky to get the connections sorted so I reached out to friends who helped set it up. 

Hence, I’ve created this article to help you understand how to use an Audio-Technica turntable.

It will help you understand how to set up the turntable to your stereo at home or office, how to replace a cartridge, and the difference between the wide range of turntables available from Audio-Technica. 

Let’s get started with what you receive in the box and how to set them up.

How To Use An Audio-Technica Turntable

Audio-Technica turntables are some of the most brilliant sounding machines available today. They are both easy to use and easy to setup.

This article will clear any doubts you might have on how to use an Audio-Technica turntable.

Today we’ll cover the complete setup process and how you can use the following Audio-Technica turntables:

  • Audio-Technica – LP60XBT-USB / AT-LP60XBT
  • Audio-Technica AT-LP140XP 
  • Audio-Technica AT- LP120XBT and AT- LP120XBT-USB 
  • Audio-Technica AT-LP5

Recommended Read: How to Pair Audio-Technica Bluetooth Earbuds and Headphones 2021

Set Up and Use Audio-Technica – LP60XBT-USB / AT-LP60XBT

How To Use An Audio-Technica Turntable

The AT-LP60XBT-USB is designed to be the modern LP home entertainment unit, it is a belt-driven turntable that is fully automatic and is powered by a DC servo-controlled motor providing 33RPM and 45 RPM speeds. It provides options to set it up through three different modern modes of connectivity that is Bluetooth, Analog, and USB. 

AT-LP60XBT edition is set up the same way but does not support USB.

Check if all these items are present within the packaging for a hassle-free installation.

  • Aluminum platter with the drive belt attached to the bottom ring of the platter
  • Slipmat
  • Dust cover and two dust cover hinges
  • Power supply
  • 3.5 mm male to dual RCA male (Analog)
  • 45 RPM adapter

Once you have all this in hand let’s move to the set up. 

Belt and Tonearm Setup

How To Use An Audio-Technica Turntable
  • Place the platter – Remove the platter from the box and place the aluminum platter carefully on the spindle, make sure it’s well seated. 
  • Belt placement – Use your hand and slowly rotate the platter till you see a large opening where you can see the red ribbon is positioned correctly to the upper left corner of the turntable. By doing this it will reveal the motor pulley which should be brass-colored. Now carefully remove the red ribbon holding the platter and guide it to the drive belt over the motor pulley and ensure it is well seated with the right amount of tension to make sure the turntable runs at the proper speed.
  • Slipmat – Carefully lay the slipmat over the platter, now in a clockwise direction rotate the platter 10 times for the belt and platter to be fully cycled.
  • Tonearm –  Remove the tie holding the tonearm and carefully remove the plastic stylus guard by pulling it forward. It’s best to be extra careful when doing this so you do not damage the styles. 

A power adapter cable is provided which you will need to connect to the back of the turntable and you’re ready to go. 

Speaker Output Setup

How To Use An Audio-Technica Turntable

This particular model from Audio-Technica provides three modes of setting up your speakers.

Bluetooth

Place the Bluetooth speaker within 1 meter of the turntable and activate the pairing mode on the BT speaker. 

Press the LED wireless function button on the turntable which will activate the BT transmitter, you will know it when the LED is blue in color. 

Now press the LED again till it starts flashing Red and Blue colors, this shows it’s in pairing mode and searching for your BT speaker. 

Wait till the LED is no more flashing red just blue to confirm a successful connection, you will also get a notification on your BT speaker saying it is successfully connected depending on your BT device.

Analog Output (3.5mm to RCA) 

Connect the 3.5mm jack into the analog audio port behind the turntable and connect the other end of the 3.5mm jack to your stereo-powered speakers. 

Note: If the stereo is labeled a phono input, look behind the turntable to see the option to switch between PHONO and LINE. 

USB 

This mode is used if you want to re-record the song into a digital format that can be saved to your computer with the help of recording software like Audacity, Logic, Ableton. 

The turntable is provided with a USB cable with a Type B connector on one end (which goes to the back of the turntable) and Type-A on the other (which goes to your computer). 

Sound Check

Once you’ve set the turntable up to your preferred audio out, place your desired record at the center of the spindle securing it on the platter. Choose the correct play speed according to the record which can be either 33 and 45. 

Once you’ve set the play speed, hit the play button. The tonearm will automatically align itself to the first song on the record which should be audible from your chosen sound output. 

Setup complete.

Set Up and Use Audio-Technica AT-LP140XP 

How To Use An Audio-Technica Turntable

The AT-LP140XP is one of the best-selling professional DJ turntables with a high torque direct drive motor with an aluminum platter and provides three speeds of 33, 45, 78 RPM. 

After unpacking please check if all the below items are present within the packaging for a hassle-free installation.

  • Chassis
  • Dust cover and dust cover hinges
  • Platter
  • Slipmat
  • Headshell with pre-installed AT-XP3 cartridge
  • Tonearm counterweight 
  • 45 RPM record adapter
  • Dual RCA audio cable with integrated ground wire
  • AC power cord

Setting Up AT-140XP

How To Use An Audio-Technica Turntable
  • Leveling the Turntable – Place the chassis of the turntable on the desired surface if the surface is not leveled us the adjustable bottom hinges to make sure it is leveled correctly. 
  • Install the Aluminum Platter  – Remove the platter from the box and carefully place it on the spindle. Make sure it sits on the spindle securely after which you can place the slipmat on the platter.
  • Tonearm – Take the pre-installed cartridge and secure it to the headshell which will then go into the tonearm socket.  Hold the headshell in the correct position and slowly rotate the headshell locking ring counterclockwise, do this till the headshell is seated securely. 
  • Counterweight  – Attach the counterweight to the other end of the tonearm by rotating it while it is in the rest position.  It will thread the weight onto the arm, rotate it till it’s about halfway in.  Set the anti-shake adjustment to zero, remove the tonearm from the rest so it can move freely then slowly rotate the weight behind it till the tonearm is balanced to your liking. 

Note: A well-balanced tonearm should be parallel to the turntable chassis. Anti-shake adjustment should be set to the same value as the tracking force of 3.0.

Audio Set-up and Power Connection

How To Use An Audio-Technica Turntable

The turntable comes with the classic unequalized PHONO level output making it well-suited for PHONO inputs on DJ mixers and stereo amplifiers. 

Use the Dual RCA cable with a ground wire given to connect to the mixer or amp and you are good to go. 

Once you’ve completed the above sets, attach the AC power cord to the rear of the turntable and the other end to an AC outlet.

Dust Cover – Install the dust cover hinges in the slots provided on the dust cover.

Sound Check

Once you’ve set the turntable up to your preferred audio out, place your desired record at the center of the spindle securing it on the platter. Choose the correct play speed according to the record which can be either 33, 45, and 75. 

Once you’ve set the play speed, hit the play button. The tonearm can be manually set to your desired cue point or it will automatically align itself to the first song on the record which should be audible from your chosen sound output.

You can use the pitch control on the right-hand corner of the turntable beneath the tonearm. 

Setup complete.

Set Up and Use Audio-Technica AT- LP120XBT and AT- LP120XBT-USB 

How To Use An Audio-Technica Turntable

The AT-LP 120 XBT and AT-LP120 XBT-USB are designed for ideal home entertainment. 

They have a fully manual direct drive with a lightweight headshell that comes with a preinstalled cartridge. 

Check if all these items are present within the packaging for a hassle-free installation.

  • Chassis
  • Platter
  • Slipmat
  • Lightweight headshell with preinstalled AT-VM95E cartridge
  • Counterweight
  • 45 RPM record adapter
  • Stylus cue light
  • Dual RCA audio cable
  • USB cable
  • AC power adapter

Setting Up AT-LP 120 XBT and AT-LP120 XBT-USB

How To Use An Audio-Technica Turntable
  • Leveling the Turntable – Place the chassis of the turntable on the desired surface if the surface is not leveled us the adjustable bottom hinges to make sure it is leveled correctly. 
  • Install the Aluminum Platter – Remove the platter from the box and carefully place it on the spindle. Make sure it seats on the spindle securely after which you can place the slipmat on the platter.
  • Tonearm – Take the pre-installed cartridge and secure it to the headshell which will then go into the tonearm socket. Hold the headshell in the correct position and slowly rotate the headshell locking ring counterclockwise, do this till the headshell is seated securely. 
  • Counterweight – Attach the counterweight to the other end of the tonearm by rotating it while it is in the rest position. It will thread the weight onto the arm, rotate it till it’s about halfway in. Set the anti-shake adjustment to zero, remove the tonearm from the rest so it can move freely then slowly rotate the weight behind it till the tonearm is balanced to your liking. 

Note A well-balanced tonearm should be parallel to the turntable chassis. Anti-shake adjustment should be set to the same value as the tracking force of 3.0.

  • Stylus Light – A stylus cue light is attached to illuminate the record surface to help find the groove in low light conditions. 

Audio Set-up

How To Use An Audio-Technica Turntable

Bluetooth

This option is available in the AT-LP120 XBT-USB, before starting the process please ensure the PHONO/LINE switch is set to LINE before starting to pair with the BT device. 

Place the Bluetooth speaker within 1 meter of the turntable and activate the pairing mode on the BT speaker. 

Press the LED wireless function button which is present right above the tempo fader on the turntable which will activate the BT transmitter, you will know it when the LED is blue in color. 

Now press the LED again till it starts flashing Red and Blue colors, this shows it’s in pairing mode and searching for your BT speaker. 

Wait till the LED is no more flashing red just blue to confirm a successful connection.

Analog Connection 

This series of turntables come with a PHONO output that is supported by a magnetic phono preamp that gives out an equalized line output. 

Making it compatible with any powered speakers and amplifiers. If the output stereo device has its own preamp, you can bypass the turntable preamp by pushing the switch behind to LINE.

USB Connection 

The USB mode is used if you want to re-record the song into a digital format that can be saved to your computer with the help of recording software like Audacity, Logic, Ableton. 

The turntable is provided with a USB cable with a Type B connector on one end (Which goes to the back of the turntable) and Type-A on the other (Which goes to your computer). 

The turntable requires no extra drivers just plug it in and it should show up as “USB AUDIO CODEC” on your computer.

Sound Check

Once you’ve set the turntable up to your preferred audio out, place your desired record at the center of the spindle securing it on the platter. Choose the correct play speed according to the record which can be either 33 and 45. 

Once you’ve set the play speed, hit the play button. The tonearm will automatically align itself to the first song on the record which should be audible from your chosen sound output. 

Setup complete.

Set Up and Use Audio-Technica AT-LP5

How To Use An Audio-Technica Turntable

The AT-LP5 is a sleek-looking direct-drive turntable that has been inspired by the classic A-T models of the ’60s. 

Check if all these items are present within the packaging for a hassle-free installation.

  • Chassis
  • Dust cover with two hinges
  • Aluminum Platter
  • Heavy-duty Slipmat
  • Counterweight
  • AT-HS10 headshell with pre-installed AT95EX cartridge
  • 45 RPM adapter
  • Audio output cable with dual RCA connections
  • USB cable
  • Power cable

Setting Up Audio-Technica AT-LP5

How To Use An Audio-Technica Turntable
  • Install the Platter – Remove the platter from the box and carefully place it on the center spindle. Make sure it seats on the spindle securely after which you can place the slipmat on the platter.
  • Tonearm – At this point, the tonearm should be locked into the resting position, slowly attach the headshell into the socket at the other end of the tonearm. Now rotate the locking ring to lock the headshell in the correct position. 
  • Counterweight – Attach the counterweight to the other end of the tonearm by rotating it while it is in the rest position. It will thread the weight onto the arm, rotate it till it’s about halfway in. Set the anti-shake adjustment to zero, remove the tonearm from the rest so it can move freely then slowly rotate the weight behind it till the tonearm is balanced parallel to the turntable.
  • Anti-Skate Adjustment – Now that the counterweight is leveled, you need to match the anti-skate value to the cartridge tracking force value. If you’re using AT95EX set the value to 2 if using any other cartridge check the tracking force value on the box and set it accordingly. 
  • Install Dust Cover – There are guided slots for the dust cover on the rear of the turntable, carefully attach it to the hinges. 

Audio Set-up

How To Use An Audio-Technica Turntable

Analog Connection

if connecting to an RCA output stereo, match the color to the sockets behind the turntable to the colors on the stereo using the RCA cable provided. 

USB Connection

The USB mode is used if you want to re-record the song into a digital format that can be saved to your computer with the help of recording software like Audacity, Logic, Ableton. 

The turntable is provided with a USB cable with a Type B connector on one end (Which goes to the back of the turntable) and Type-A on the other (Which goes to your computer).

Sound Check

Once you’ve set the turntable up to your preferred audio out, place your desired record at the center of the spindle securing it on the platter. Choose the correct play speed according to the record which can be either 33 and 45. 

Once you’ve set the play speed, hit the play button. The tonearm will automatically align itself to the first song on the record which should be audible from your chosen sound output. 

Setup complete.

FAQ’s

Do the Audio-Technica Series of Turntable support both 12inch and 7inch types of Vinyl?

Yes, The present 2021 series of the turntable from Audio-Technica support both 12Inch and 7inch vinyl. Apart from the automated cuing to the first track of the record, you can also manually lift the cartridge and place it your desired cue points. Hence you will be able to place the 7inch record and manually set it to your desired start point. 

Can I re-record my vinyl records into a digital copy on any recording platform or only audacity with the USB series from Audio-Technica?

Yes, the USB series of Audio-Technica turntable is plug and play-ready and does not require any extra drivers to connect to your computer. The USB connection is ready to read by all the industry-standard recording software apart from the free copy of Audacity you receive with the product.

Tip: Even if your turntable does not support USB, you can use the audio out from the turntable to record music to your recording software. You will need to buy an RCA to PHONO cable which is easily available online, connect the RCA stereo cable to the matching colors behind the deck (make sure you’re connecting it to the output section), and the PHONO jack to the input of your sound-card.

Once you start playing the record, you should get the signal on your recording software from the input channel you’ve connected it to. Set the gain level to your liking before recording to avoid any peaking issues. 

How often do I change the cartridge or stylus of my Audio-Technica turntable if it’s permanently attached? 

A stylus is one of the key parts of a record player, if you consider the turntable of a car the stylus is the wheels of the machine. Over time it will wear out but this is natural and it doesn’t require a change that often. Audio-Technica stylus provides 600 hours of quality play for their stylus after which you can order the ATN3600L stylus from Audio-Technica. 

#1 Hold the head of the stylus and rock the stylus gently downwards. Gently keep rocking the stylus body downwards till you completely remove the body cover from the bottom of the cartridge.

How To Use An Audio-Technica Turntable

#2 Once it is removed, replace the cartridge with the new ATN3600L and make sure when you do this NOT TO TOUCH THE NEEDLE.

How To Use An Audio-Technica Turntable

#3 while holding the tonearm slide the new stylus into position and push it upwards and make sure the clips as seen in the above image. It should align itself to the groove in the cartridge. 

#4 You should hear a snap or click indicating the stylus is in place, make sure there is no gap between the cartridge and the head like below and done.

How To Use An Audio-Technica Turntable

#5 As seen in the image above the new stylus should fit perfectly in the groove and should be ready for another 600 hours of excellent quality music or more depending on how many hours you use it in a day. 

Takeaway

We’ve covered the most popular Audio-Technica turntables and how you can set them up so you have a flawless experience.

Well there you have it, I hope this tutorial was helpful and easy to read. If there are any questions, please feel free to drop a comment below

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