Audio-Technica's Professional DJ Turntable just sorely tempted us to kick off Turntable Quest 2012. As part of its 50th anniversary celebration, Audio Technica unveiled a range of prosumer gear at CES that would make any self-professed audiophile weak in the knees ($1200 headphones, anyone?). They had headphones and earbuds aplenty, but it was the company's new flagship turntable that really caught our eye.
The AT-LP1240-USB Professional DJ Turntable runs on a 16-pole three-phase motor to give DJs smooth back cueing and offers a ton of advanced features that you'd never need just to throw on a Dylan album. The DJ Turntable's long list of professional features may be overkill, but all the aluminum gives the record player a killer glossy-black-and-silver aesthetic.
Audio-Technica's turntable includes a preamp, allowing it to feed audio straight into powered speakers or a mixer. It will also do USB playback, which is great for converting vinyl albums to digital.
And, of course, there's the long list of DJ-focused features that can basically be boiled down to "this is a serious record player":
The turntable features an S-shaped tone arm with adjustable tracking force (counterweight) and anti-skate adjustment and a removable universal cartridge mount (cartridge available separately). The tone arm has locking height adjustment to dial in the vertical tracking angle (VTA), an important feature for achieving the most accurate-possible record playback.
The AT-LP1240-USB comes with...a damped cast-aluminum platter with stroboscopic speed markings and slip mat, an illuminated speed indicator and adjustable pitch control, a start/stop button, a removable stylus target light, a dedicated tone arm grounding lug, a hydraulically-damped lift lever and a locking tone arm rest that keeps the arm and cartridge in place during transport.
The DJ Turntable MSRPs at a heartbreaking $529 in March.