Words by Rafe Arnott, photos courtesy of Pro-Ject USA.
Priced at $899 USD and available in limited quantities starting August 2021, Sumiko and Pro-Ject USA just announced the Pro-Ject Pro turntable. This design appears to address numerous shortcomings plaguing many sub-$1,000 USD models (not the least of which is eschewing plastic fitments for alloy ones). The hi-fi demographic is not prolific in offering more for less, but an initial assessment of the Pro’s listed specifications shows it be noteworthy in this price category, and merits reporting.
Photo below: New 8.6-inch aluminum-wrapped carbon-fibre tonearm.
This new design is said to feature a hand-painted, multi-coated matt finish, new height/azimuth adjustable tonearm (8.6-inches, single tube carbon-fibre wrapped in aluminum), new bearing assembly (nickel-plated aluminum bearing block, high-precision stainless steel axle in bronze bushing), new 300mm, die-cast aluminum platter with TPE damping and felt mat, height-adjustable, oversized feet equipped with integrated resonance damping, belt-drive with electronic speed selection (single switch, 78-rpm available), separate acrylic dust cover with included phono cable (with hard-wired, gold-plated RCA connectors), improved motor suspension with better damping and detachable switching power supply.
Photo below: The new design incorporates numerous improvements that few designs feature at this price point.
Photo above: A new aluminum platter with TPE damping puts the Pro ahead of much of the competition who tend to favour MDF.
The Pro comes factory-fitted with a Sumiko Rainer moving-magnet cartridge w/5mV output, and can be fitted with a variety of aftermarket cartridges as well. As someone who champions the ability to enter the vinyl community without breaking the bank, and who is familiar with many turntables ranging from $500~$25,000 USD, it is refreshing to see this level of quality and well thought out acoustic-mechanical engineering at an entry-level price point.
Find out more HERE.