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

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

  1. Ben Adams

    Ben Adams Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    Why bother? The wire nuts worked just fine for me.
     
  2. mattanderson

    mattanderson New Member

    Why bother voiding the warranty of your fully functioning record player by ripping out the pre-amp that "works just fine"? ;)

    In all seriousness, wire nuts are better than a poor quality crimp or solder joint. I just prefer the idea of a clean crimp or solder joint, and was surprised that no one seems to be doing it that way.

    I don't imagine that there are enough vibrations to cause a problem, but it seems like the wires would be subject to some vibrations. And I'm a little OCD about clean wiring, even though no one will ever see it.

    Back to the more interesting question: what's the point of the circuit board connected to the tonearm?
     
  3. Ben Adams

    Ben Adams Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    Ha, I get your point ... but there's a very real performance difference with that preamp removed, whereas as long as the wire nuts are on tightly, there's going to be no noticeable performance difference between them and a crimp or solder joint. But of course your suggestions are technically better ones.
     
  4. mattanderson

    mattanderson New Member

    Sorry, couldn't resist. I agree with you.
     
    Ben Adams likes this.
  5. Ben Adams

    Ben Adams Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    Cheers then fella! :edthumbs:
     
  6. Alessandro

    Alessandro New Member

    Hi everyone, I have a newbie question. I´m doing the preamp removal today based on yours results!
    I use a pair of Ply 3.4S cables and each comes with a ground wire which are connected to my Marantz PM5003.
    Question; Is it ok to connect both cable grounds together with the turntable ground (3 grounds at same place)?
    Thanks
     
  7. mp29k

    mp29k New Member

    Hi all, maybe a silly question, and I'm new to this, but why couldn't one just solder some leads directly onto the red white and black points and connect those to a set of rca jacks? Then if you want to use the usb functionality of the table, you haven't torn out all the tables inner bits! If you soldered up-stream of these offensive caps, woukdnt you accomplish the same thing?
     
  8. Ben Adams

    Ben Adams Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    From my own personal experience with my table, the USB preamp actually would cut out during quiet sections. Very apparent and annoying when doing needledrops. For me, the ideal solution was to just get rid of it.
     
  9. Dr. Metal MD

    Dr. Metal MD Forum Resident

    Location:
    Coruscant, Ohio
  10. Dr. Metal MD

    Dr. Metal MD Forum Resident

    Location:
    Coruscant, Ohio
    I do not believe so. I use a Dell laptop. I have an auxiliary headphone jack, but that's about it to my knowledge.

    What do you think of your ART?
     
  11. In my opinion, you won't find anything better at that price. And it's not just because of the price. It's a truly great unit. You can check the sound from my needledrops in my YouTube channel (link in my signature).
     
  12. Dr. Metal MD

    Dr. Metal MD Forum Resident

    Location:
    Coruscant, Ohio
    Will do. Thanks for the input. I already have a preamp and amp system that I really like, but like I said, I cannot record anything. I'll check them out.

    Cheers.
     
  13. Dr. Metal MD

    Dr. Metal MD Forum Resident

    Location:
    Coruscant, Ohio
    Your needle drops sound great! Thanks for posting so many samples. I'll seriously consider that preamp.

    Also, I think I have the exact same cork mat that you do, at least from this video of yours:

    Did you buy it from this eBay seller? http://www.ebay.com/itm/Corkstone-C...pt=Vintage_Electronics_R2&hash=item4ae218390f

    I absolutely love my 'corkstone' mat.
     
    Hail Vinyl! likes this.
  14. Yes! That's the mat I have on my turntable. I love it. And I'm glad you like the recordings! :)

    EDIT: You can see the mat better here:
     
  15. Dr. Metal MD

    Dr. Metal MD Forum Resident

    Location:
    Coruscant, Ohio
    I'm glad their product is getting around. It's a very good upgrade at an extremely affordable price, especially compared to name-brand mats. They are also very nice people.

    Thanks for the link. I listened to your needle drop with the added counterweight, too (you actually commented on my YouTube video about a record that wouldn't track well unless I turned the tracking force way up). I went and ordered that aftermarket counterweight. Once I get it and give it a go, I'll make sure to share my thoughts.

    Regarding the pre-amp, I am solely looking for something to do a great job recording my records onto my large external HD into WAV files. If you know of a cheaper/better alternative to that ART product, please share.

    Cheers,
     
    Hail Vinyl! likes this.
  16. Honestly, I don't think so. Cheaper? Sure. Better? Sure. But not both.

    And I want to hear your impressions after replacing the AT-LP120-USB's stock counterweight. Ben (Adams) also ordered it. At least based on my own experience, I think this is one of the best tweaks for any turntable (making the counterweight to sit as close as possible to the pivot point).
     
    Ben Adams likes this.
  17. Ben Adams

    Ben Adams Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    Just FYI, I also use the ART DJ PRE II, the non-USB version. It's been phenomenal. Nothing else in the sub $100 range even comes close.
     
    Hail Vinyl! likes this.
  18. Dr. Metal MD

    Dr. Metal MD Forum Resident

    Location:
    Coruscant, Ohio
    Thanks again for your input. I hope somebody in addition to the Amazon reviews can comment on it's ability to record via USB. In addition to what you described early regarding RCA auxiliary hookups, are there any other good ways to record vinyl digitally?

    I will definitely report back my findings.

    Cheers, Ben. Thanks for your input!
     
  19. Since you only have a headphone jack in your laptop (aside from the USB ports), I think your best bet is getting the ART USB Phono Plus. You just connect the RCA cables from your turntable to the unit's rear auxiliary RCA inputs, and then from the ART to your computer via USB. I'm sure this unit is every bit as good as the non-USB version.
     
  20. Dr. Metal MD

    Dr. Metal MD Forum Resident

    Location:
    Coruscant, Ohio
    Thanks. I assume I'll also be able to listen to my records through my amplifier at the same time as recording via USB by hooking up more RCAs between the ART preamp and amplifier?
     
  21. Yes. The ART USB Phono Plus' rear panel has two RCA line output jacks plus an "USB to computer" port. Connect your turntable's RCA cables to the ART's "Preamp phono line in" jacks, then another pair of RCA cables from the ART's "Preamp line out" jacks to your amp's line or auxiliary input jacks, and an USB cable from the ART's "USB to computer" port to your laptop's USB port. BTW, I'm not familiar with laptops' USB ports since I've never owned a laptop. But on a desktop PC, the front USB ports are always way slower than the rear ones. Don't know if something similar happens on laptops. But if you happen to know that some of the USB ports on your laptop are faster than others, use the fastest one you can.
     
  22. Dr. Metal MD

    Dr. Metal MD Forum Resident

    Location:
    Coruscant, Ohio
    Thanks for the instructions and the tip. I do have some USB ports that are faster than the others.
     
  23. Ben Adams

    Ben Adams Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    Now that I've spent more time with the new counterweight and have had the chance to re-spin some vinyl which I had played before replacing it, I can tell you without hesitation that my table is tracking better, the stereo imaging seems more solid, and most noticeably I have less sibilance on some used LPs that I thought were hopeless.

    Definitely worth the $30, no question.
     
    Jam757 and Hail Vinyl! like this.
  24. Budysr

    Budysr Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Pensacola, FL.
    I also bought one of these counterweights and just set it up a couple days ago. It wasn't quite as heavy as I was hoping really. I had modded the stock counterweight with lead tape to make it heavier since I'm using a AT150MLX cart. that is pretty heavy for this tonearm as it is, and needed to get that counterweight in closer. The new counterweight doesn't actually get me any closer to the pivot than before, but I guess it looks better than the stock one did with the lead tape tie-wrapped around it! lol. I did actually try just for kicks putting the lead tape on the heavier counterweight and playing a record that has an edge warp which causes the needle to jump and skip, but this still didn't allow that one to track(this same LP tracks through this edge warp on a buddies Technics 1200). Sound quality speaking, things were, and still are, as good as they always have been. I guess I was just hoping my setup would handle the warps better.
     

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