Replacing white LED stylus target light on Audio-Technica AT-LP120X

I recently bought a new turntable, the Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB. I wanted direct drive, decent quality (to match my ageing & damaged hearing!) and USB built in so I could hook up recording/streaming devices. I found an eBay listing for less than RRP and had a 20% off eBay voucher too so it was a no-brainer…

I really like the turntable, but the white LED “stylus target light” is absolutely dreadful – it’s cheap and plasticy and gives out a bright white light when all the other LEDs on the turntable are red. The idea is that if it’s dark then this light helps you see the gaps between tracks so you can select the right one. They’ve obviously cost-reduced this part compared to previous versions of this model and it’s a removable thing that plugs into a phono (RCA) socket on the turntable’s plinth. I immediately began to plot to replace it…

Original white LED stylus target light

Shopping list: cheap phono lead (RCA) cables with metal bodies that I could hack apart (thanks again to eBay) and some superbright red LEDs (thanks Amazon)

Measuring the voltage coming out of the phono socket shows 8V when no LED is connected but it collapses to ~2.4V when the white LED is plugged in – leading me to think that there’s already a current limiting resistor in the circuit internally. A quick calc on the Electrodoc app for the superbright red LED says I need another 27R to make everything happy.

I hacked the connectors off the el-cheapo leads and drilled a hole in the side of the connector barrel. I soldered the resistor & LED onto the base of an old metal phono plug and tested it for brightness and correct height to actually light up the platter. When I was happy with the height I put the LED & plug into the barrel and filled it from the top with sugru, smoothing off the top to make a nice(-ish) finish 🙂

Testing for correct height

Really pleased with how it looks now with everything red.

Red, red and more red.

Published by zedstarr

Chilled out human being, doing techy stuff.

One thought on “Replacing white LED stylus target light on Audio-Technica AT-LP120X

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