With the renaissance of vinyl still going strong it seems like the market is absolutely flooded with record players at the moment.
To really stick out from the crowd it needs to have a lot going for it. Building on the massive success of their LP5 turntable released in early 2016, Audio Technica have released a few different decks in the past 12 months. Now here we have their newest offering in the What Hi-fi 5 star rated LP3.
Immediately you can tell that the LP3 is more like a slimmed down version of the meatier LP5. It weighs just over 5kg and the front as a curved shape facing down giving it a slightly different look. It’s still got that familiar “slab” look as I like to call it where it looks like the whole deck is made from one piece.
There’s your standard stop and start buttons for an automatic turntable and the speed also changes at a button push. Almost forgot to mention the handy switch on the top of the deck that switches between 7″ and 12″ records.
As the LP3 is fully automatic, set up couldn’t be simpler. From out of the box to playing some vinyl took less than 10 minutes. Fitted to well built tone arm is an AT91 cartridge. If you wanted to change the cartridge then go right ahead. The built in phono stage offers you the flexibility to add both MM (moving magnet) and MC (moving coil) to the turntable. With the built in phono stage offering this, the LP3 already offers great value already and appeals to a massive audience. You can simply plug into any amplifier going. Even a sound bar with an aux input will work just fine. Although due to the quality of the LP3, I’d advise putting this through a decent hi-fi system is important.
So putting it through a decent hi-fi is what I shall do!
I use the award winning Cambridge CXA60 as my amplifier of choice and due to its lack of a phono stage, it gives me a real chance to see what the built-in one in the LP3 is like. Ed Sheeran’s 2017 chart topping album “Divide” is playing with zero issues. I start the album and it becomes clear that this is a turntable punching way above its price point. Generally on automatic turntables I feel they can lack a bit of depth. Not here I’m glad to say. There’s a full immersive sound that’s extremely captivating for the price point. Ed’s guitar and his familiar voice flow effortlessly as the album continues. I do feel that soundstage could be a bit more expansive at times but it’s only a slight issue. Other than that it’s hard to pick a fault. This side of the album finishes and the automatic turntable returns to its starting point. Flip the record over, press start and away we go. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable experience and a massive upgrade from your entry level turntables.
There’s a massive amount of competition out there for the LP3 but not a lot, if any can do what this can do. Its combination of its flexibility and sound quality will appeal to a plenty of people. It’s a real winner and if you want to see for yourself then pop down to Richer Sounds for a demonstration.
Author: Bradley, Plymouth Store