AU­DIO-TECH­NICA AT-LP5

Focus-Science and Technology - - Innovations -

£330, eu.au­dio-tech­nica.com Au­dio-Tech­nica’s turntable may be the cheap­est of the three fea­tured on these pages, but it’s also the best all-rounder.

There’s elec­tronic speed con­trol and a USB-B out­put to con­nect it to a com­puter, and you also get pop­u­lar record­ing pack­age Au­dac­ity sup­plied on disc. Uniquely of the three turnta­bles, the RCA phono out­put at the rear is switch­able be­tween line-level and phone-level, which means if your amp doesn’t have a phono chan­nel you can con­nect it to a line-level in­put with­out need­ing to buy a sep­a­rate, out­board phono stage. And un­like the Rega and Pro-Ject turnta­bles, which both have straight ton­earms, this one fea­tures a J-shaped ton­earm with a de­tach­able head­shell. Ton­earm shape (straight or curved?) is one of those long-run­ning ‘Mac or PC?’-type ar­gu­ments that we won’t go into here, but the de­tach­able head­shell will make chang­ing car­tridges a heck of a lot eas­ier. It’s also a di­rect drive ma­chine, which means quicker start-up and no faffing around with belts.

It’s not just in the fea­tures depart­ment that it wins ver­sa­til­ity points. Ter­rapin might not have sounded quite as spa­cious as on the Rega, and the bass may not be

quite as tight as the Pro-Ject, but the sound that comes out is richer and more res­o­nant than the other two con­tenders and re­ally fills the room. If you lis­ten to a wide range of mu­sic gen­res, you may find that this one per­forms bet­ter across the board, even if it fails to truly ex­cel in any one par­tic­u­lar area.

Weigh­ing in at 10.7kg com­pared to the Rega and Pro-Ject’s 5kg and 5.5kg, it’s built like a tank and prac­ti­cally im­per­vi­ous to vi­bra­tion – a def­i­nite bonus if you’re prone to danc­ing around the liv­ing room!

A ver­sa­tile beast that packs plenty of punch 9/10

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