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Audio Technica challenges Rega territory with new AT-LPW50PB turntable

Audio Technica challenges Rega territory with new AT-LPW50PB turntable
(Image credit: Audio Technica)

Audio Technica is one of the better-known purveyors of good quality, affordable turntables – not all that surprising considering its 50-year experience in manufacturing turntables and phono cartridges.

Today, at CES 2020, the Japanese audio brand has launched a deck at the higher end of its typical price spectrum. The Audio Technica AT-LPW50PB (£379/$399) is a belt-driven model that, instead of featuring the bells and whistles of some of its USB output- or Bluetooth-toting siblings, focuses purely on performance. 

The AT-LPW50PB has a professional-grade anti-resonant aluminium platter, a carbon fibre tonearm, and an AT-VM95E moving magnet cartridge that can later be upgraded to another VM95 series cartridge. A built-in phono preamp means owners have the option to connect the turntable directly to an amplifier or pair of powered speakers.

Audio Technica has chosen a sensor-monitored motor to ensure the accuracy of its platter rotation speed (either 33 1/3RPM or 45RPM), while the included AC adapter handles the AC/DC conversion away from the turntable’s chassis to minimise music signal interference.

Boxed with a dual RCA cable, 45 RPM adapter, removable dust cover, rubber mat and height-adjustable isolation feet, the AT-LPW50PB will be available from this month, priced at £379 ($399). As it positions itself between Rega’s class-leading Planar 1 and Planar 3/Elys2 models price-wise, it has some task on its hands to make a big noise in this territory. That said, if any brand can...

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Becky is Hi-Fi and Audio editor of What Hi-Fi?, and has been part of the team for almost eight years, with her current position preceded by roles as a staff writer and news editor. During that time she has been fortunate enough to travel the world to report on the biggest and most exciting brands in hi-fi and consumer tech (and has had the jetlag and hangovers to remember them by). In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching horror movies and hunting for gluten-free cake.