CHICAGO (PTA) — With the official world-wide launch of Pro-Ject’s four new turntables scheduled for MUNICH (May 9th 2019), we were given early-access at AXPONA 2019, to look, touch, and feel the new spinners from Pro-Ject. Shipping on track for this summer. We take a tour of the four new turntables with company personality and all around great guy, Jeff Coates.
Starting with the new Pro-Ject X2, which replaces the 2Xperience SB at $1,599 USD. The X2 includes a brand new carbon fiber wrapped aluminum tonearm, carried over from the Pro-Ject Classic SB model. The first time in particular that this tonearm will be fitted on a non-Classic turntable. So things are trickling down and around at Pro-Ject. The new X2 will be shipped in the USA with Sumiko’s own Moonstone phono-cartridge which carries its own $300 USD retail value. Other features for the X2 include: electronic speed control (33/45/78), 2 Kg acrylic platter, and as standard with Pro-Ject their sub-platter belt-drive design. The X2 will come in four standard finishes, with no premium charge for any of the finishes. Finishes include Gloss Black, Gloss White, Matte Walnut (real hardwood veneer) and Satin Black. The X2 include a dust cover and retail for $1,399 USD
Moving forward we discover the new X1, which is similar to the X2, but with a few factors of scale drawn inward. Starting with mass. The plinth isn’t as massive as in the X2, but still carries the self-leveling feet and sub-platter drive system like the X2. Platter weight on the X1 is 1.5 Kg instead of 2Kg like on the X2, and the carbon-fiber wrapped aluminum tonearm is 8.6-inches instead of 9-inches like on the X2. The X1 will ship in the USA with Sumiko’s own Raneir phono-cartridge, which carries its own $150 USD retail value. Dust cover included and retailing for $899 USD. Color finishes include: Matte Walnut (real hardwood veneer), Piano Black, Gloss White. This table is exciting as it really does provide a logical and great step-up in refinement for people who love their Debut turntable, and are looking to move up in the Pro-Ject family.
A new entry-level emerges, the T1 turntable, available in three finishes, and with an all new tempered-glass platter. This will mark the first time that Pro-Ject has ever done a tempered-glass platter. The glass was chosen for all of the properties it brings in rotational mass. The T1 includes the same Pro-Ject sub-platter drive system, and an all new high-precision bearing. Tonearm is pre-installed with everything set-up for plug and play use. Configured with counterweight and cartridge pre-installed and set to spec. Ortofon OM5E cartridge factory installed. Power supply is built-in, and phono-cables are captive to the table, meaning they are not swappable. However the cables are exactly the same as the ones found on much higher-end Pro-Ject turntables, so the need to swap them shouldn’t arise. The whole package retails for $299 USD, and comes in Walnut (foil finish), White, or Black.
The new Classic EVO replaces the Classic and Classic SB — and brings about a few refinements. Same tonearm as before, and shipping with a Sumiko Blue Point No.2 phono-cartridge, same electronic speed control, same platter and sub-platter design. The biggest technical difference is in going from a nylon sub-platter assembly to an all-aluminum high-mass sub-platter drive system. More rotational mass, speed consistency and retails for $1,599 USD
The Classic retains all of the TPE isolation work done inside the chassis, which in my opinion is one of the best isolated chassis I’ve seen in a long time, and deserves your own investigation. It isn’t completely a solid-fact at the time of writing this article whether the motor of the new Classic EVO has been upgraded, but Buzz Goddard (brand manager of Pro-Ject, and possibly a former NASA super-star) is confident that the motor is all-new.
The four turntables were in a static display, along with a singular active headphone display consisting of Pro-Ject’s own Pre Box S2 Digital, and Stream Box S2 Ultra, and Head Box S2. Time constraints of the show, did not allow me to move in for a listen.