Pro-Ject products are the result of an exemplary cooperation within a rapidly uniting Europe. For over fifty years record players have been designed and built at Pro-Ject's manufacturing facility in Litovel, situated to the east of Prague. This plant is one of the most advanced manufacturers of precision mechanics in the country In cooperating with this company Pro-Ject Audio Systems, located in Vienna, found the ideal partner for their plans to produce the goods that they missed from amongst the vast flood of consumer hifi products - simple, uncluttered and utterly functional products. Pro-Ject Audio Systems is currently one of the world's leading suppliers of record players, with a range of models designed to satisfy all levels of expectation and budget. In many countries of the world customers can rely on competent service and support from Pro-Ject distributors well versed in analogue record reproduction technology. Pro-Ject products exhibit sonic performance beyond all expectations normally associated with their price. they are simple to use, maintanance free and will function reliably a lifetime long. They also offer extraordinary value for money.
Essential Details Reduced to the basics, or turntable for starters that look for exceptional sound quality. Innovation in technique, like a super-smooth running AC-motor that drives the resonance-free MDF platter and an unipivot tonearm make the Essential an unbelievable musical performer.
Compare the Essential with other turntables around this price and there's simply no comparison. Where rivals use thin, metal platters, plastic plinths and decidedly ordinary bearings, the Essential uses a solid MDF plinth, thick MDF platter and a well engineered bearing. Moving to the tonearm and, again, the Project Essential is leagues ahead of its rivals. A one-piece aluminium arm tube with under-slung counter weight and adjustable bias makes a mockery of the usual, non-adjustable tonearms standard on many turntables of this price. The icing on the cake is a good quality Ortofon OM3 cartridge.
So the Essential is built like a proper turntable, but does it sound like one? The answer is a resounding yes! Given its price, the Essential sounds superb and is the perfect first turntable or the ideal way back into playing a treasured vinyl collection. Next to its rivals, the Essential sounds crisp, clean and clear with a surprisingly powerful and deep bass response. If you thought that vinyl sounded thin, scratchy and inferior to CD then this might be the budget turntable to change your mind.
What Hifi Review The Essential is yet another excellent budget Pro-ject. There's little to complain about here. Detail levels are good, and rarely does the turntable sound flustered, even when it's asked to replay something demanding. Considering the price point there's little of substance to criticise here. The Essential is decently made, easy to set-up and sounds great. You can't ask for much more than that, especially at this price level.
Belt drive with low vibration AC-motor
Silicone drive belt
Mechanical speed change between 33 and 45
MDF platter with felt mat
Chassis made from particle board
Stainless steel main bearing
4-point motor suspension
Fitted cartridge Ortofon OM 3E
Internal phono pre-amplifier yes
Internal A/D converter with USB output yes
Nominal speeds 33 / 45
Dust cover yes
Tonearm Pro-Ject 8.6up
Effective tonearm length 8,6 " (218,5mm)
Effective tonearm mass 8,9g
Supplied counterweight cartridge weight 4 - 9g
Optional counterweight cartridge weight 8 - 15g
Downforce range 10 - 30mN
Speed variance ±1,5 %
Wow and flutter ±0,25 %
Signal to noise -65dB
Platter weight/diameter 0,8kg/300mm
Power consumption 2W
Dimensions (lid open) 415 x 365 x 390mm
Dimensions (lid closed) 415 x 112 x 335mm
The headshell and armtube are fashioned from a single piece of carbon-fibre.