Both of my turntables with belt drives quit their work in the course of a few days recently. The only alternative: a direct drive turntable. Throughout my years in the clubs of 90s Berlin, the standard was, and I guess still is, the Technics 1210. The next best bet clearly is the Audio-Technica 140 XP which has all the gadgets of a DJ turntable, but is equally well-suited for plain listening at home.
My silver finish issue arrived yesterday so excuse me for not posting anything on Tuesday – I was too busy putting on record after record. Everything, from cartridge to slipmat, seems to be very well-crafted. Installation is pretty easy and the sound is great. I don’t think the blue lights are in need of getting used to. Actually, they make the whole device look pretty elegant and precious. The turntable itself runs perfect. The S-shaped tonearm, similar to that of the Technics one, can be adjusted in height, counterweight and anti-skate. Pitch lock and pitch slide are nice gadgets (it has three pitch ranges), of course, but I don’t think I’m going to use that for home listening. Same goes for the reverse and forward play. But it’s nice to have. Also, the start/stop button seems to work pretty well and I think the target light in combination with the stroboscope platter which indicates the speed, all add up to make this upscale turntable the only real alternative for the 1210. And no, this is not a sponsored blog post! I’m not sure yet if I should change the cartridge and headshell. This remains open but so far, I’m more than satisfied with the puristic Audio-Technica.