Audio-Technica AT-LP120 Preamp Removal (Detailed Instructions Video)

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by FrankieP, May 20, 2013.

  1. Budysr

    Budysr Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Pensacola, FL.
    The repair shop guy would be WRONG. You just have to remove it for the added benefit. No other way around it. It really isn't difficult at all once you decide to do it. Just watch the YouTube video and make sure you have the supplies needed on hand.
     
  2. Ben Adams

    Ben Adams Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    Your repair shop guy can't get his head around the fact that Audio-Technica would purposefully hobble this turntable with a lousy pre-amp.

    Well, they did. And he's wrong. And the testimonials of those focus who own this TT and have done this mod should count for something.
     
    DML2112 likes this.
  3. Luca

    Luca Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Torino, Italy
    Has anyone tried the same with the 1240 turntable?
     
  4. TW2014

    TW2014 New Member

    Hi, apologies if this question leads the discussion off-topic, but I'm new here and wasn't sure where else to put it. I am about to remove the included pre-amp (thanks for the detailed video!) and was wondering if anyone had any external pre-amp recommendations for under $200 (preferably around $150 or so). I have an Onkyo R380 home theater system that I would be plugging the phono pre-amp into.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 7, 2014
  5. ClausH

    ClausH Forum Resident

    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    The Cambridge 651P or a used Cambridge 640P.
     
  6. TW2014

    TW2014 New Member

    Thanks, but at $229 for the 651 that's a bit above what I'm looking to spend. The 551P is only $139 though, so I might end up choosing that. However, this was posted in the review section on Amazon:
     
  7. Ben Adams

    Ben Adams Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    Wow, that's wrong. The guy had to have a defective unit. The AT-LP120 has a ground, it's simply hooked up to its own internal preamp. That's why if you remove the internal preamp, you wind up having to add an eternal ground cable.

    Anyway, the AT-LP120 works brilliantly with this, which is what I use for my needledrops:

    Art DJ PRE II, $49.
     
    Chrome_Head, c-eling and vlds8 like this.
  8. DarkAudit

    DarkAudit Well-Known Member

    With all the talk about loading on the M97xE, would leaving the preamp in place, but switched off, add to that?
     
  9. Ben Adams

    Ben Adams Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    It results in a very dark, muddy sound for the M97xE. Personal experience talking here.
     
    Grant likes this.
  10. DML2112

    DML2112 New Member

    Location:
    Olathe, KS
    I have a reliable pre-amp that works great and is under $100...a TCC TC750http://www.amazon.com/TC-750-BLACK-...UTF8&qid=1397145762&sr=8-1&keywords=TCC+TC750
     
  11. DarkAudit

    DarkAudit Well-Known Member

    Wait a tick. Is that "Scouring the Bins" yours? Removing the preamp board is the only step in that post I haven't done yet. :)
     
  12. Ben Adams

    Ben Adams Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    It is! I meant to blog and only ever did two music entries. I really should bring it back to life; I could write my impressions on new vinyl I pick up, I suppose.
     
  13. Joshua T. Anderson

    Joshua T. Anderson Member

    Location:
    Ohio
    New to the forum. Thank you to everybody who has provided input regarding this mod (especially the initial YouTube videos discussing it).

    I have the AT LP120, and I'm strongly considering doing this mod. I'm happy with the TT now, but if this mod REALLY makes a difference in sound quality, then I'd be happy to try it.

    My question is this. After taking out the pre-amp, how can I still record LPs onto my computer/exHD?

    Thanks!
     
  14. DarkAudit

    DarkAudit Well-Known Member

    The supermat and o-rings on mine are your fault. I could probably say the Jico is, too. :p ;)

    All money well spent.
     
    Ben Adams likes this.
  15. Ben Adams

    Ben Adams Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    I like how that last bit is like a whisper. ;)
     
  16. Ben Adams

    Ben Adams Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    Easiest way is with an external pre-amp with USB out, like the following:

    http://www.amazon.com/ART-USB-Phono-Plus/dp/B000BBGCCI

    I'm lucky enough to have a PC with digital optical audio input, so my pre-amp goes to an analog-to-digital converter, and then into my PC using a digital optical cable.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2014
    Tokamak likes this.
  17. Joshua T. Anderson

    Joshua T. Anderson Member

    Location:
    Ohio

    Thanks for the link! I'll continue to consider if I'm going to do this mod or not. I'm a bit worried I'd screw something up ha.

    Also, as far as mats are concerned, I bought this amazing cork mat from this eBay seller:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Corkstone-C...pt=Vintage_Electronics_R2&hash=item338c2c63e7

    They're only $30 and they really bring the bass out with clean highs. Highly recommended!
     
  18. Joshua T. Anderson

    Joshua T. Anderson Member

    Location:
    Ohio
    So, I am on the fence about making this modification. I have the M97xe (and I really like it thus far). I'm trying to talk myself into doing this, but I'm a total n00b at electrical work. So, I am hoping one of you can talk me into doing this haha.

    Is this very difficult to do?

    I primarily listen to metal, prog rock, and a very small amount of classical. Will the difference in sound likely help the sound quality for these genres?

    Also, what tools will I all need?

    Thanks for all the help!
     
  19. Ben Adams

    Ben Adams Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    Yep, it's worthwhile. You'll need the tools shown in the video posted in the instructions video. (Philips head screwdriver, wire-cutters, electrical tape or wire caps.)

    It's not difficult, but you'll want to go slowly.
     
  20. Joshua T. Anderson

    Joshua T. Anderson Member

    Location:
    Ohio

    Ha, well that was easy! Thanks for the push. I'll try to do this within the next few weeks and post my results. Thanks again.
     
  21. Joshua T. Anderson

    Joshua T. Anderson Member

    Location:
    Ohio
    Quick question for you Ben (and for anybody else),

    With a fully upgraded AT LP-120 (new mat, Technics protractor used for alignment, and a removed internal pre-amp), what do you think is the MOST you should reasonably spend on a new cartridge/stylus before just investing in a new, better TT overall?

    For example, I'm running the Shure M97xE. I've considering getting the JICO stylus or even getting an AT-440 to run on this TT. I'm more leaning towards a JICO, because I like a warmer, bass-ier sound. However, I don't want to spend too much on a cart and not have a TT to really bring out the cart's full potential.

    Cheers!
     
  22. Ben Adams

    Ben Adams Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    I've run mine with a M97xE and Jico combo and been very, very happy. It's a superb combo. The folks in the Needledrop thread will tell you I got some great-sounding recordings from it as well. It will sound quite amazingly clear but a bit thin for about the first 50 hours and then the bass and midrange will blossom again as the Jico breaks in.

    The Jico is worth the investment for the AT-LP120 since you already have the M97xE! I don't think you need to spend more than that on another cartridge.
     
  23. Joshua T. Anderson

    Joshua T. Anderson Member

    Location:
    Ohio

    Reading this makes me awfully happy! I'll have to pick on up after I successfully remove the pre-amp.

    Do you know where I can get it cheaper than $167? Or is this my best bet: http://stylus.export-japan.com/product_info.php?products_id=1526
     
  24. Ben Adams

    Ben Adams Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    You won't find it for less than $167.

    I got mine here, just for the comfort of knowing I'd be getting it from a US supplier. Plus I had it like two days after ordering.

    http://www.turntableneedles.com/N97xE-JICO-SAS-for-M97xE--our-Needle-77x3-Dsas-N97xe_p_3953.html
     
  25. Joshua T. Anderson

    Joshua T. Anderson Member

    Location:
    Ohio

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