Audio-Technica has spent many years cementing its reputation as the go-to brand for no-frills, affordable turntables. But a 60th birthday is the kind of occasion for pulling out all the stops, and that’s exactly what Audio-Technica did with its new AT-LP2022.
The limited-edition turntable was designed in honor of the brand’s diamond anniversary, and the belt-drive turntable utilizes a limited-edition Audio-Technica Shibata stylus and carbon fiber tonearm that’s designed to bring out the best possible audio experience. And while the specs should satisfy audio enthusiasts, it’s undoubtedly the aesthetics of this turntable that make it stand out.
The entire plinth and platter of the turntable are made from transparent acrylic, allowing you to see through the turntable. You can also see and appreciate the interior components, such as the motor. Since this is a limited-edition release for Audio-Technica’s 60th birthday, you should expect that this will cost more than the average AT turntable, and it certainly does. At $1,200, it’s a steep price for even a dedicated audio enthusiast. But the top-tier features and incredible design are hard to deny.
Audio-Technica was founded in 1962 by Hideo Matsushita, who set out to make high-fidelity vinyl equipment more accessible to the average listener. This commitment hasn’t waned in 60 years, because the brand continues to produce some of the most affordable turntables and Bluetooth turntables that are worth buying. The AT-LP60X is one of the brand’s best-known turntables, and at $150, it’s a modestly-priced upgrade from all-in-one record players.
Beyond audio quality, many vinyl enthusiasts love the hobby because it makes them feel more connected to the music. Placing the needle in the groove and watching the record turn adds a tactile element to an audio experience, and even errors like crackling and popping noises have their own kind of appeal. The transparent body of the AT-LP2022 allows for an even closer experience.
Like many of Audio-Technica’s turntables, this option is belt-driven. That means the motor is offset from the center of the platter, and it pulls the platter using a belt, similar to the way the gears on a bike work. On the AT-LP2022, the belt is visible on the outside of the platter, and it connects to the exposed motor pulley.
This turntable is manual, meaning you have to lift the needle on and off the record, rather than pushing a start button. There is a knob for adjusting the turntable from 33-1/3 RPM to 45 RPM. And if you decide to dance to your records, you can. The 30 mm-thick acrylic platter and height-adjustable feet help isolate the turntable from noises and vibrations.
Despite the minimalist look of the turntable, it comes with a surprising number of accessories. Typically, turntables only come with one stylus attached, but the AT-LP2022 includes a replacement stylus, so you can swap it out when your old one wears down. A detachable dust cover is also included. RCA audio cables are included for easily connecting this turntable to your stereo or preamp. There are even gloves included for to keep everything clean.
If you’ve got the cash to spend, The AT-LP2022 is available for $1,200 from Audio-Technica’s website. It’s not clear exactly when the turntable will begin shipping, as the stock status simply says “Coming Soon.” That said, you can add it to your cart and check out, and you won’t be charged until the turntable ships. The turntable ships standard for free, so you can take those savings and buy some vinyl.