This past weekend I visited my friends at Sound and Vision and bought myself a new Audio Technica LP7 turntable. I have been wanting a new one for my personal set up for a while and have been weighing options for a couple of months. I had a wants and needs list made up and looked for something that fit my budget the best. I knew I would need to compromise in some areas, or did I? The LP7 is a remarkable table, offering amazing features at a hard to beat price. The only thing I think could be a littler better for the price is the arm. Don’t get me wrong it is not bad at all, I would have just preferred a one piece, instead of a seperate headshell.
Unboxing the LP7
When you unbox the LP7 it helps to have someone else there. It is packed very well into its box. It is helpful to have someone hold the box while you lift the table out, trust me on this one. Audio Technica does most of the work for you, all you have to do is put the platter, head shell and belt on. Oh and plug it in. The cart is already attached to the headshell and said to be in proper order. I do not know if I would trust that 100% all the time. I am sure it is good enough that it won’t damage records, but it may not be in the absolute best alignment, your mileage may vary. I ditched the included cart on mine anyways as I am also going to be doing a red vs blue article for the Ortofon 2M carts. Keep an eye out for that late this week. I am not going to get deep into how to set it up as that is gone over in the manual, as well if you have questions your local store should be able to help you out with that as well as AT customer support. It is honestly very simple most folks even beginners in turntables shouldn’t have much issue.
LP7 Included Hardware
You get the table itself, well atleast mine was in the box. Make sure yours doesn’t actually have an angry badger, though no reports of this happening before, you can never be to careful. I’ve got my eye on you badgers. You know what I will make it easy and just list it out.
- composite platter, Polyoxymethylene specifically
- RCA interconnects, with ground
- 45 adapter
- VM520EB Dual Moving Magnet stereo cartridge with replaceable stylus
- owners manual
- various packing tape, baggies and styrofoam
I will say the cart is okay, nothing, great certainly not bad, but you will be ready to play a record after assembly with no other parts needed. The RCA’s are also best described as adequate. They could be better, they could be worse. Again it’s one less thing you will need to pick up while at the store. Something I wish was included would be a small screwdriver for cart adjustment and replacement. Granted most of us have one or 20 of them, but for those new to this it would be a nice inclusion and doable at the price point.
LP7 Specs per Audio Technica
|Type||2-speed, fully manual operation|
|Drive Method||Belt drive|
|Speeds||33-1/3 RPM, 45 RPM|
|Wow and Flutter||<0.08% WRMS (33 RPM) at 3 kHz|
|Signal-to-Noise Ratio||>60 dB|
|Output Level||Pre-amp “PHONO”: 4.5 mV nominal at 1 kHz, 5 cm/sec|
Pre-amp “LINE (MM)”: 280 mV nominal at 1 kHz, 5 cm/sec
|Phono Pre-Amp Gain||MM: 36 dB nominal, RIAA equalized|
MC: 56 dB nominal, RIAA equalized
|Power Supply Requirements||100 to 240 V AC, 50/60 Hz, 0.6 A max.|
|Power Consumption||5.5 W|
|Dimensions||450.0 mm (17.72″) W x 352.0 mm (13.86″) D x 157.0 mm (6.18″) H|
|Weight||8.3 kg (18.30 lbs.), without dust cover|
|Accessories Included||VM520EB Dual Moving Magnet stereo cartridge with replaceable stylus; AT-HS10 lightweight headshell; power cord; dual RCA (male) to dual RCA (male) stereo cable; 45 RPM adapter; dust cover|
Type: Static balanced J-shaped tonearm
Effective length: 247 mm
Overhang: 17 mm
Maximum tracking error angle: Less than 2.5°
Stylus pressure adjustment range: 0 to 2.5 g
Applicable cartridge weight range (including headshell): 15 to 20 g
My thoughts on the Audio Technica LP7
The Audio Technica LP7 is a great table, it comes in at 800 Dollars MSRP, and offers a lot for that price. You will get anti skate adjustments on the tone arm as well as adjustable height. The height adjustment is great if you use a lot of different carts, you can get the angle just right on them no matter what. The table is also rather heavy for this price point at a little over 18 pounds total. It also has very nice feet to aid with shock absorption. I can walk around the room and there is no issue with it shaking. The platter is heavy and very flat, it is a solid piece of poly. The sound is great, as in there is none from the table that I can notice so far. My thought is that a turntable shouldn’t sound like anything, that is the carts job. I have played a variety of records on it already and it is night and day over my old Onkyo unit. With the 2M red on there I have an excellent sound stage. If you close your eyes you can start to paint a picture of where instruments are in the room. The channel separation from the first to last track is superb. As most of us know with a straight or J shaped arm it can not have perfect alignment through the full sweep. Though anywhere along the sweep that is not perfect I can not tell listening. The fit and finish is fantastic, it looks much more expensive than it is. Personally I am huge fan of the satin black finish, it is timeless and clean. I personally do not go for bright colored gear, there is nothing wrong with it. The reds, blues and so on are just not my aesthetic. I would say a nice polished raw tonearm and headshell would offer nice contrast, but that is my taste anyways. Speaking of the tone arm, the adjustments are tight, yet smooth. It feels substantial, there is no play in the mechanism. The platter echos this with a smooth spin on a brass bushing. It spins freely by hand, and lacks any play. Something some people may not care for is that the dust cover is only removeable, there are no hinges. I like this as that is one less thing to bounce around. My old turntable’s hinges were worn out anyways so I removed them and it’s cover was treated the same way, no changes for me there. If you are looking for the best turntable under 1000 dollars this needs to be on your list.
When I was looking at my options, high on my list were the Cliffwood from VPI, Project Debut Carbon and the Audio Technica LP7. While they are various different prices my budget was under 1000 dollars. The VPI Cliffwood is an excellent table. It is VPI’s entry level offering and offers entry level options. Though entry level for VPI is not the same as entry level with AT or Project, so keep that in mind. Entry level VPI is like the Entry level Supercar, sure it’s the base level but it is not to be confused with a Camry. The Debut Carbon is minimalist and not priced as such if you ask me. If you do not get the Esprit you will get a very thin and light platter, it is stamped steel. If you tap it, it rings like a bell, that I did not care for. Your tonearm adjustments are also the minimum. It is not a bad table for the price, but if you can swing a little more the AT LP7 has so much more to offer.
As always don’t take my word for it, go to your Local Audio Shop and listen to all the option in your budget. Your ears will be a much better judge than my words.
Audio reviews should be here to help you decide what you want to look into yourself. Don’t take our word for it alone.
This post was not sponsored by anyone, the LP7 was paid for by us for our personal reference system.
To find an Audio Technica dealer near you, check out their Dealer listing page