Reviewed: Audio-Technica AT-LP3 Belt-Drive Turntable

Technical Audio Group | | Expect To Pay: $469

Here’s one for those of you who are fans of the listening chair and have your own space set aside at home for simply listening to a favourite record. What you don’t need is any of the bells and whistles that a DJ-inspired turntable would normally offer. In fact, you don’t really want a direct drive turntable at all, and would be much better suited with a stable belt-driven unit that delivers even and consistent playback. If you want all this without blowing your entire budget on the hardware, then the Audio-Technica AT-LP3 is certainly worth a listen.

What I do like about this unit is that it is not trying to offer you features you don’t need. This is a pretty simple turntable, but it does what it is supposed to. The belt-driven platter is stable and offers a good smooth start-up and an even continuous payback. The rubber mat may seem like unfamiliar territory to many DJs, but it creates the perfect surface for a non-slip rotation of your records, whilst keeping them stable beneath the stylus. The controls are fairly sparse with a speed selection, record size selection and a start/ stop button. An adaptor is also included for 7” records.


Aside from the platter, the tone arm is the most important device on a turntable to achieve an even and steady playback. The AT-LP3 offers a balanced tone arm with a solid and adjustable counterweight to get the right tension on your stylus. Although the arm itself is straight, the headshell is mounted at an angle to ensure the stylus sits comfortably in the record grooves with the least amount of side pressure from the outer regions right into the centre of the record.


This is not a turntable designed for DJ use; it has been built to deliver clear and concise playback of a record from start to finish. It does just that, and paired with a good preamp and decent amplification system there is no reason why you shouldn’t fully enjoy all of your record collection with the aid of the Audio-Technica AT-LP3. It’s simple and that is its charm.


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Hits and Misses


Simple, sleek design

Smooth playback

Clear sound


A little lightweight in build