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AT-LP2D-USB Turntable

by Audio-Technica
Retail Price: $229.00
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Price last verified: Sunday, December 16, 2018
Turntable Categories
USB
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Cheap, plastic USB turntable redeems itself somewhat with a moving magnet cartridge and metal platter. Audio-Technica no longer makes the AT-LP2D-USB. The replacement is the AT-LP60-USB.

 

Contents

Turntable Quality Checklist
Review of the Audio-Technica AT-LP2D-USB
Details and Specifications
Photos and Pictures
Sample Audio Clips

 

 

Turntable Quality Checklist

Score: 2 out of 6
Moving Magnet Cartridge or Better
Adjustable Anti-Skate Compensation
Metal Platter
Upgradable Cartridge/Stylus
2 Grams or Less Tracking Force
Adjustable Preamp Gain

 

 

Review

Review Date: February 25, 2009

Turntable Quick Facts

The Good

  • Not defective on arrival!
  • Windows software burns CDs
  • Aluminum platter

The Bad

  • Excessive needle pressure wears down vinyl faster
  • Possibly too loud
  • Extra $10 to create MP3s

Overview

Every good point about the AT-LP2D-USB is seemingly balanced by a similarly bad one: It features an aluminum platter but the stylus presses down too hard on the vinyl. It includes feature-packed software but won't create MP3s without a $10 upgrade. It has every possible cable you might need but the overly-loud recording volume occasionally clips your music.

In the end, you get a lot for under $100, you just don't get the perfect vinyl ripping system.

 

Complete Package and in Working Order

Ordinarily, "not defective" isn't a plus, it's expected. However, of the three turntables Knowzy purchased, the Audio-Technica was the only one where something didn't need to be fixed before using it. AT's quality control department gets points for that!

The AT-LP2D-USB comes with every imaginable way to connect it: USB, RCA, 1/8" male and female, pre-amp on or off. The Cakewalk software is advanced and full-featured, though notably missing is the ability to create MP3s unless you purchase an upgrade (more about the software below).

 

Is It Too Loud For You?

Audio-Technica's samples are the loudest of the bunch. While it's tempting to equate the loudness to better sound quality, in reality this is not a good thing.

When combined with a loudly recorded LP, such as Gorillaz "Demon Days," you get clipping- the volume exceeds the maximum level. Since the recording volume is not adjustable on any USB turntable reviewed here, you are helpless to prevent the clipping.

To be sure, most records Knowzy tested did not clip and the loudness is a plus if you just want to record and be done with it. The Crosley turntable records at a much lower volume. You will want to "normalize" the volume after recording with this turntable so the music doesn't sound soft in comparison with your other digital music.

 

Serious Needle Pressure = Accelerated Vinyl Wear

When designing a cartridge (the unit that holds the needle), one of the major goals is to use as little force as possible on the record. This reduces vinyl wear, allowing you enjoy your records longer.

Audio-Technica has a good reputation when it comes to cartridges. The AT440MLa is a favorite "budget" cartridge among many turntable enthusiasts at around $150. It puts around 1.5 grams of pressure on your record.

The AT3600L cartridge featured on the AT-LP2D-USB would make these same enthusiasts cringe.

At 4.54 grams of tracking force, it presses down hard on your vinyl. In fact, it exerts almost the same amount of pressure as the infamous ceramic cartridge found on Crosley's record player (4.62 grams). The Ion TTUSB05's cartridge is much easier on your records with 3.08 grams of tracking force.

Nonetheless, this turntable features a moving magnet cartridge, which sounds much better than Crosley's ceramic cartridge. You need only listen to the samples to hear the difference.

 

Bass Boost Built-In

Hydrogen Audio's Axon's signal analysis shows a significant bass boost. In fact, he called it "shocking."

Ultimately, it comes down to personal taste. You can judge for yourself whether the extra bass is shocking or pleasing by listening to the samples.

 

Advanced Software Though Not Vinyl Ripping-Centric

You can read a full review of the software in the comparison guide. Briefly, here's what you need to know about Cakewalk's pyro Audio Creator LE.

This software is for Windows only. Mac and Linux users are stuck with Audacity, which is tricky to learn and is missing several key vinyl ripping features, such as CD burning.

pyro teases you when it comes to MP3 creation: You only get this ability for 30 days. After that, you are forced to purchase the $10 "encoder" module to continue creating MP3s.

Two other important vinyl ripping features are missing from pyro: You cannot look up album information on the Internet which saves your fingers from typing in the song titles, album name and artist. There is also no way to automatically split your album side into individual tracks.

These faults aside, pyro Audio Creator is truly feature-packed software suitable for people who like to perfect their recordings. It removes pops, clicks and hiss, it has equalization and volume adjustments, it burns CDs and offers advanced editing features. It goes well beyond simple LP recording.

 

 

Details and Specificatons

Turntable Basics
CategoriesUSB
Suitable for 78 RPM?No
Pre-Amp?Yes
Upgadable Cartridge?No
CD Burner?No
SD Card, USB Flash DriveNo
iPod DockNo
SoftwareCakewalk pyro LE, Audacity
Tape Player, RadioNo
SpeakersNo
Remote Control?No

1  Requires an aftermarket stylus available online at LP Gear. Read more in the review.

 

Connections
USB OutputYes
Line OutRCA
Phono OutYes
Headphone OutNo
Line InNo
Ground WireNo

 

Turntable Construction
Cartridge TypeMoving Magnet
Cartridge MountPermanent
Cartridge Make/ModelAudio-Technica AT-3600L
Adjustable Anti-SkateNo
DriveBelt
Adjustable GainNo
Speeds33.3 & 45 RPM
PlatterAluminum Platter
Automatic FeaturesFully
Tonearm CueYes, Button
DustcoverPlastic
Tonearm Height AdjustmentNo
Offset Tonearm?Yes
Adjustable FeetNo

 

Turntable Features
Adjustable Pitch?No
Pitch Lock?No
Reverse (Backward) PlayNo
Strobe Light?No
Cue LightNo

 

Specifications
Signal to Noise (S/N)50 dB
Wow and Flutter< 0.25%
Vertical Tracking Force (VTF)4.54g1
Tracking ErrorNot Published
Effective Tonearm LengthNot Published
Speed VarianceNot Published
Counterweight RangeNot Adjustable
Cartridge Weight RangeNot Applicable
A/D Resolution44.1kHz, 16-bit
Dimensions (W x D x H)14.17" x 3.82" x 14.06"
Weight6.6 lbs

1  Measured by Knowzy using this tracking force scale*. Figure not from manufacturer.

 

 

Photos and Pictures

Marketing Photo

Idealized photo of the Audio-Technica AT-LP2D-USB turntable, brought to you by the Audio-Technica marketing department.

 

Audacity screenshot shows a waveform where several sections exceed the maximum volume. These sections are indicated by labels below the waveform.
Clipping!

The audio exceeded peak volume on two records and there's nothing you can do about it. Gorillaz's Demon Days, Side A is shown.

 

Close-up photo shows the Audio-Technica AT-3600L cartridge. The stylus is covered in dust. Dust is also visible on the LP sitting on the adjacent turntale platter.
Always Clean Your Records Before Playing!

Result of playing the abused Fleetwood Mac LP for the first time in many years. The clip that follows was recorded long after this picture.

 

Screenshot of Cakewalk pyro Audio Creator LE. A '1' is over the Monitor Audio button. A '2' is over the Record button. A '3' is over the Pause button. A final label, '4', reads 'Play Record.'
Steps to Recording an LP Using Included Cakewalk pyro Audio Creator LE

It's not intuitive but click the buttons in order starts the recording.

 

Photo shows view of the Audio-Technica AT-LP2D-USB turntable unassembled turnable from above. Motor and pully are visible.
Bare Turntable

Your job: Add the platter and belt to create a functioning turntable.

 

Photo shows a hand holding up a platter with a rubber drive belt wrapped around the bottom. The unassembled Audio-Technica AT-LP2D-USB turntable is in the background.
Drive Belt Wrapped Around Aluminum Platter

Install the belt by wrapping it around the underside of the platter then stretching it over the pulley on the turntable.

 

Photo shows a nearly-assembled Audio-Technica AT-LP2D-USB turntable. Prominent is a bare metal platter with four holes. The pulley that spins the platter is visible through one hole. The drive belt is over the pulley.
Bare Platter, Top View

Almost there, just need to add the rubber mat. Notice the belt around the pulley visible through the top-left hole in the platter.

 

Photo shows a fully assembled Audio-Technica AT-LP2D-USB turnable from above.
Ready to Rock 'n Roll!

Fully assembled. Putting it together wasn't too painful.

 

Close-up photo shows the Audio-Technica AT-3600L cartridge and stylus mounted on the tonearm of a Audio-Technica AT-LP2D-USB turnable.
Cartridge Close-Up

Head on with the AT-3600L cartridge that comes pre-installed.

 

 

 

Sample Audio Clips

Album Cover: The Black Eyed Peas - Monkey Business

The Black Eyed Peas - Dum Diddly

Source: Audio-Technica AT-LP2D-USB

Play Button
MP3 (192Kbps VBR)
Duration: 0:30
Album Cover: Michael Franti and Spearhead - All Rebel Rockers

Michael Franti And Spearhead - A Little Bit Of Riddim

Source: Audio-Technica AT-LP2D-USB

Play Button
MP3 (192Kbps VBR)
Duration: 0:30
Album Cover: Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon

Pink Floyd - On the Run

Source: Audio-Technica AT-LP2D-USB

Play Button
MP3 (192Kbps VBR)
Duration: 0:30
Album Cover: Steely Dan - Aja

Steely Dan - Peg

Source: Audio-Technica AT-LP2D-USB

Play Button
MP3 (192Kbps VBR)
Duration: 0:30
Album Cover: Fleetwood Mac's Self-Titled Album

Fleetwood Mac - Rhiannon (Abused LP)

Source: Audio-Technica AT-LP2D-USB

Play Button
MP3 (192Kbps VBR)
Duration: 0:30

Listen to recordings from other turntables on our USB Turntable Samples page.

 

 

Disclosure

* Knowzy earns a commission on items marked with a *. We strive to find you the lowest price from reputable retailers but you may find a better deal elsewhere.

Learn how Knowzy puts your best interests before our selfish desire to turn a profit.

We appreciate your support.

 

Originally Published:  Sunday, December 18, 2011, 7:36 PM PT

Last Updated:  Sunday, December 18, 2011, 9:40 PM PT

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