Audio Technica LP1240 vs LP120: Which Wins the Battle?

Audio Technica’s turntable has been quite the popular choice for a long time now. But it can be challenging to choose one with the abundance of new and improved models. 

So, choosing between the Audio Technica LP1240 vs LP120 might be difficult.

The main difference between Audio Technica LP1240 and LP120 is the Signal to Noise Ratio. In this case, LP1240 is superior to LP120. Nevertheless, the motors of both turntables are on par. On the other hand, LP120 requires more power to run. However, LP1240 is more expensive than LP120.

You need to dig more in order to choose the right one for yourself. Don’t worry though! The AT LP120 and AT LP1240 are thoroughly compared in the following paragraphs.

So, let’s get started.

Audio Technica LP1240 vs LP120: Quick Comparison!

Let’s take a quick look at the main difference between these two turntables-

DifferenceAudio Technica LP 1240Audio Technica LP 120
Signal To Noise Ratio>55 dB>50 dB
Starting Torque>4.5 kgf. cm>1.6
Wow and Flutter< 0.1% WRMS (JIS WTD) with 33 RPM<0.2% WRMS (33 RPM)
Power Supply Requirements120V AC, 60 Hz115/230V AC, 60/50 Hz
Weight12.5 kg (27.6 lbs.)10.7 kg (23.5 lbs.)
Price$529.95- $599.99$299.95- $383.90
Product LinkCheck the Price on AmazonCheck the Price on Amazon

This bit of information is particularly useful. Yet, there is more to explore before choosing the right one!

Hence, in the next section, I will briefly discuss the differences between LP1240 and LP120.

Audio Technica LP1240

Audio Technica LP1240 vs LP120: Brief Discussion!

With almost similar built quality, it can be hard to decide with just a table. It is especially hard for a beginner. So why don’t we take a deeper look into these differences-


The LP1240 features a more powerful motor. It has more torque and is developed with higher-quality components. Some fans say it is remarkably similar to the iconic SL1200 motor.

The LP120 still has a powerful engine that will serve you well. But for a high-performance Dj setup, LP1240 is a much better option.

Winner: LP1240 is clearly the winner in this section.  

Signal to Noise Ratio:

A signal-to-noise ratio greater than 0 dB implies that the signal level exceeds the noise level. The signal quality improves with a higher ratio.

More delicate sounds are audible when the operation is quieter. A turntable’s SNR ratio is often regarded as most satisfactory if it is 60 dB or higher.

SNR for the LP120 is more than 50 dB. And the SNR of the LP1240 is higher than 55 dB. Compared to similar equipment, both of these have a decent signal-to-noise ratio.

Winner: In the Audio Technica LP1240 vs LP120 segment, the new model takes the winner’s place.

Starting Torque:

A DJ turntable’s torque is one of its key characteristics. Higher torque implies that the disk will move to its optimal speed faster. And it won’t significantly slow down while you’re keeping a record steady on the slipmat.

The LP1240 comes with much higher torque than LP120. Starting torque of LP1240 is above 4.5 kgf-cm. And For LP120, it is higher than 1.6 kgf-cm but much lower than 4.5.

Winner: LP1240 is the best choice in this case by miles, the LP120 model is far behind.

Starting torque of LP1240
Source: Pinterest

Wow, and Flutter:

A turntable’s quality is determined by both wow and flutter. A reading of less than 0.2 percent for Wow & Flutter indicates a strong setup.

Less than 0.1 percent is a really solid setup. A slight shift in pitch on a steady test tone may be detectable by the human ear. But it needs to be above 0.2%.

The LP1240 comes with a reading which is less than  0.1% WRMS (JIS WTD) with 33 RPM. And LP120 comes with less than 0.2% WRMS (33 RPM) reading for wow and flutter. 

Winner: LP1240 again takes the lead in case of quality. 

Power Supply Requirements:

A turntable’s power supply affects the motor’s vibration depending on the kind and design of the motor. And subsequently, it decreases the motor-induced noise and  enhances the accuracy and speed stability.

These two turntables each have an AC synchronous motor. However, they have different voltages. It is either 115 or 230V at 60/50 Hz for LP120. And the LP1240 requires 120V AC at 60 Hz.

If the voltage becomes too high, the turntables may be damaged. Buzz and hum occur when the voltage falls too low. 

The dynamic range is lowered as a result, and your noise floor rises. For power amplifiers, high transients are bad. This could be one of the reasons behind the low-pitched sound.

Considering this, the LP120’s power supply is actually quite poor for turntables. As the voltage might vary between 115 and 230V, this causes persistent buzzing and hum.

And for the LP1240, a constant supply of 120 volts results in a consistent sound of high quality. It is neither too high nor too low.

Winner: It is no big surprise that LP1240 is also the winner in this case.

Output Level:

Both of these turntables have similar output levels. For Pre-amp “PHONO”, it is 2.5 mV nominal at 1 kHz, 5 cm/sec. And for Pre-amp “LINE”, it is 150 mV nominal at 1 kHz, 5 cm/sec (HP-4005).

Winner: Because both have the same output level, there is no clear victor in this criteria.

LP120's power supply
Source: Gumtree


Weight of a turntable has a great impact on the sound quality as well. In the case of turntables, the heavier it is the better. This is because a turntable’s ability to absorb vibration is improved by its weight.

The LP1240 weighs 12.5 kg or 27.6 pounds. And the LP120 turntable weighs 10.7 kg or 23.5 lbs.

Winner: Despite having similar weights, the new model 1240 is the best option here.


Now, when purchasing a turntable, the cost is always an important aspect. Price-wise, LP 1240 is a little more expensive than LP 120. The cost of a brand-new LP1240 is $ $529.95- $599.99. 

You can find the updated version of LP 1240. The model name is AT LP1240USBXP. You can check the price on Amazon.

On the other hand, LP 120 costs $299.95- $383.90. Let’s check out the updated versions of AT LP120!

With 3-speed control, the AT-LP120XUSB is my favorite. You can check for availability on Amazon.

You can even get the AT-LP120XBT with updated pitch control. You can check the product price on Amazon.

These costs are for brand-new turntables purchased from a retailer. However, you can find used versions of these devices at a lower cost.

Winner: LP120 triumphs here in terms of affordability.

Final Verdict

AT LP1240 is a great turntable. Here’s someone who bought the beautiful AT LP1240.

But is it worth the extra bucks than LP120? Well, let’s find out!

Both the LP120 and LP1240 are excellent turntables. But the 120 is the better bargain. because many of the extra features on 1240 are designed for DJs.

Are you a DJ or does a minor improvement in audio quality vital to you?

If the answer is ‘Yes’ then the extra expense of the LP1240 is worth the investment. In any case, you’ll receive your money’s worth with these record players. You won’t be disappointed with your purchase, whichever one you decide on!

But for that, you need vinyl of high quality. You should get decent vinyl records from trustworthy retailers like the pop market.

Sadly, both of these versions are no longer available. However, they both have upgraded versions. The AT-LP120XUSB Direct-Drive Turntable is the updated model of the LP120. And the  LP1240’s improved version is AT-LP1240-USBXP.

In short, if your budget isn’t an issue, go for Audio Technica LP1240. But, if you are on a tight budget, AT LP120 will also be great.

LP120 triumphs
Source: Twitter

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are Audio Technica LP120s Suitable for DJing?

Yes, you can.LP120 turntable is a capable and low-cost substitute for more expensive Djing decks on the market. The LP120’s drive motor is rated at 1.6 kg-cm. Most of the powerful Technics 1200 is listed at 1.5 kg-cm.

Why Is There A Quartz Lock on A Turntable?

The motor rotation speed is compared to a reference frequency generated by a quartz crystal oscillator. It is done by using a quartz lock. This is carried out to keep the platter’s spinning speed consistent. The circuit then adjusts the speed as needed to ensure stability.

Does the At-LP120XUSB Require an Amplifier?

No, you don’t need a separate amplifier. It has an amp built right into it. However, you do need a speaker with its own power supply. Something like a computer speaker or one of the newer more prominent portable stereo speakers.

End Words

That’s all about Audio Technica LP1240 vs LP120. Unfortunately, both of these turntables have been discontinued even though they are fairly excellent.

But as we already discussed, their updated version is already available. So, you can easily purchase those versions from the shops.

But vintage shops and old dealers might also have these in stock. Most of them will be secondhand though.

Until next time!

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