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

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

  1. Deuce66

    Deuce66 Forum Resident

    the "audiophile" version
    rockclassics likes this.
  2. JimSpark

    JimSpark Forum Resident

    the "Steve Hoffman Music Forums Limited Edition" :)
    McLover likes this.
  3. cokebabies

    cokebabies New Member

    Colorado Springs
    This is great info - thanks. Getting info from both "experts" and people in the same boat as me is very useful combination. When I get all my stuff together, you will probably be getting a PM from me, to bug you with a couple questions.

    What's funny is the reason I bought this TT was for the built-in preamp, for convenience's sake. But in between the time I ordered it and now (which was like, three days), I've been doing lots more reading up on it. While my setup won't be an audiophile's dream, I figure I might as well make my budget's setup the best I can, which is why I am contemplating the surgery.
    DML2112, Grant and JimSpark like this.
  4. Patient is in stasis while I make a trip to Lowe's for more wire nuts. The smallest ones I had on hand were still too big for the channel wires.

    (And what was that extra set of red and white wires that plugged into the preamp? Nothing was said about them, and the videos just disconnected them and left them sitting.)

    ((How did you folks deal with all those little spacers? Did you put them back? Leave them out? How did you keep them from falling off over and over if you put them back?))
    Last edited: May 13, 2014
  5. Can't edit previous post any more, so I'll bump. Ready to close, but I want to know what yinz did with those spacers n'at.
  6. Budysr

    Budysr Forum Resident

    Pensacola, FL.
    put the botttom cover on and then put the spacers in each hole before you put the screws back in. That is how I put mine back together
    sirch likes this.
  7. JimSpark

    JimSpark Forum Resident

    For each spacer, I cut a narrow strip of electrical wire, about 1/8 inch wide, and used it to secure the side of the spacer to the side of the plastic mount that it sits on.

    Regarding the red and white wires to the preamp, yeah, I just left them sitting there after I cut them.
  8. Hey, that worked! :D
    And just before closing up...
    I'll give it a try later on tonight. Thanks to third shift hours, it's bedtime.
    drivingfrog and cokebabies like this.
  9. Budysr

    Budysr Forum Resident

    Pensacola, FL.
    Prepare to be "happy"... And CRANK it
  10. cokebabies

    cokebabies New Member

    Colorado Springs
  11. SUCCESS. After a fashion. I had to go back in to replace the ground wire I originally put in. Three feet turned out to be too short to reach the ground stud on the receiver. Four feet was just fine. And it sounds just fine. To be honest, I didn't really notice a difference in the comparison files posted elsewhere. So it goes.

    I've got all the tweaks done. I was already happy with the LP120. Now I'm free of the peer pressure to cut it open. ;)
    Agent57 likes this.
  12. Budysr

    Budysr Forum Resident

    Pensacola, FL.
    You CAN use one of the two strands of that speaker wire for the ground, although it isn't really ideal for that. You really need a piece of regular wire to make the ground wire. 16 gauge would be ok for the ground....just regular copper wire
  13. JimSpark

    JimSpark Forum Resident

    I took a picture of the grounding wire I have set up on my phono preamp (in the middle with the blue spade connector):


    This was the ground wire Technics sold to fit my now-dead SL-L20 turntable. Works fine on my AT-LP120 (Now With 100% Less USB!) :cool:
    DarkAudit likes this.
  14. Hey, @Ben Adams! I just noticed you removed the o-ring tweak from your blog post.

  15. Grant

    Grant A 60s, 70s & 90s Lovin' Musical Free-Spirit

    :eek: To me it was so painfully obvious, like night and day.
    Agent57 likes this.
  16. Ben Adams

    Ben Adams Forum Resident

    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    One day I just felt like taking them off and seeing what kind of difference I had. That's all. To me it sounded a little more spacious without the O-rings. Your mileage may vary, Dalek.
  17. Joshua T. Anderson

    Joshua T. Anderson Member

    Hey everybody,

    So, something odd just started happening recently. If I shut off my amp/pre-amp and turntable and let it sit for awhile, then turn them all back on a bit later, I get a bothersome hum in the right channel, and that channel is completely knocked out. When I drop the stylus, I only hear music in the left channel.

    However, if I pull out the right channel RCA cable from the pre-amp, touch the metal end of this cable (I hear a buzzing noise when I do this), then plug it back in, the hum is gone and I can listen to records normally again. This annoying cycle happens frequently. Occasionally, this process will happen in the middle of me playing a record. I then have to stop the record and pull out the RCA, etc. again to get it to play and sound normally.

    Does anybody have ANY idea what could be going on? I re-opened up the AT-LP 120 and looked at my wire connections, and all of them look fine. I have the reds spliced together and capped, the whites spliced together and capped, and the 3 grounds spliced together and capped. I have the other ground wire (the one attached to the metal coil) spliced and capped with the other end of the spliced-in wire grounded to my pre-amp. I'm considering soldering them.

    Do you think this issue arises from something going on with the turntable?

    The ground wire that I added in is not very thick. I was under the impression that it didn't need to be very thick. It's just some thin speaker wire.

    I really appreciate the time and any help/suggestions! Cheers!
  18. I333I

    I333I Forum Resident

    I think that purchasing a Pro-Ject would be a much easier affair, if you ask me :whistle:
  19. Ben Adams

    Ben Adams Forum Resident

    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    Not if someone already owns an AT-LP120. Tweak the table you have before buying a new one!
  20. Viesail

    Viesail New Member

    Followed the video instructions to the letter for the preamp removal. Red to red spliced and capped, white to white and all grounds connected and capped. New ground wire installed and connected to spaded ground wires inside under spring. After putting everything back together, there is more buzzing sound with the ground connected to the external preamp then without. Any thoughts on this?
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 27, 2014
  21. Gumby

    Gumby New Member

    Bozeman, MT
    I just came across this thread and am seriously contemplating this mod. However, I can't download the audio samples to hear the before/after comparison. Has anybody else had this issue?
  22. Israel Dias

    Israel Dias New Member

    Hello guys, I'm new here but I noticed some of you wanted to know how it is on the AT-LP1240. I opened up mine and took some pictures. It indeed has the preamp on a similar fashion and likely would benefit with a by-pass. It also seemed much easier to do because the wires are very close to the RCA jacks soldering points. I'll post pictures on another topic.
  23. I asked directly to Audio-Technica and they told me that both the AT-LP120-USB and the AT-LP1240-USB have the same preamp.
  24. Rick Davenport

    Rick Davenport New Member

    Thanks to you guys, I successfully performed this mod on my TT last night. Sounds amazing.
    Thanks So Much!!!

    AT LP 120 (AT95 cart)
    Denon AVR 3805 receiver
    Klipsch RF3 front speakers
    Jam757 likes this.
  25. KevinT2018

    KevinT2018 New Member

    Newbie here, my first post.

    Came across this post from google & youtube. Going to get an Audio technica AT-LP1240-USB soon.

    The shop I am getting LP1240 from will bundle it with an AT95E cartridge. Will record a sample with this cartridge before & after mod.

    Could anyone advise which program to use for comparisons of the before & after mod sounds. I can't seem to download the before mod file on this discussion.


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