The only real downside to the AT-LP60 design is that you can't upgrade to a better phono cartridge; the one that it comes with is permanently installed, but the good news is the cartridge's stylus is user-replaceable. Audio Technica's cartridges are excellent, so even though you'll be stuck with the one in there, it's not a deal breaker.
The AT-LP60 is, after all, a budget turntable, and the better cartridges typically sell for more than the price of this entire turntable, so if you want to significantly upgrade the sound over the AT-LP60, buy a better turntable, such as aor a Rega RP1.
If you would also like to "rip" your LPs to digital files, Audio-Technica offers a USB version of this turntable, the AT-LP60USB that you can get for almost the same price online.
Even after they're all set up and ready to go, most turntables are very hands-on devices: you have to manually put the stylus (needle) in the groove and lift the stylus at the end of the record side, so LP playback can seem like a lot of work. Here's the good news: The AT-LP60 turntable eliminates all of those hassles.
Just put the LP (or 45 RPM single) on the platter, press the Start button, and the platter starts turning as the AT-LP60 automatically lifts the tonearm, positions the stylus over the LP's lead-in groove and gently lowers the stylus down onto the record. After the last song on the LP's (or single's) side is finished, the AT-LP60 automatically lifts the tonearm, returns it back to the arm rest, and turns off the platter motor.
We played dozens of records for this review, and the mechanism worked flawlessly every time. No matter how fumble-fingered you are, you'll never scratch an LP or damage the stylus if you use the autoplay feature. Of course, you can also choose to manually start and stop playback and lift or lower the tonearm.
This is the cheapest turntable we've ever reviewed, but we really enjoyed using it and wound up playing a lot more records than we needed to -- it's that good. Warped (not flat) LPs played well, and no rumble or speed variations were audible. Record surface noises, clicks, and pops were audible, but not overly intrusive.
Unlike a lot of budget turntables that sound thin and lack bass, the AT-LP60's overall sound quality, from bass to treble, was smoothly balanced.
The LP60 will not be out of place as a starter turntable for amateur audiophiles or veterans looking to get back into playing records. We recommend it for folks who might have a hard time getting used to the more hands-on aspects of manual turntables -- with the AT-LP60, you just press a button and enjoy the tunes.