The Pro-Ject Essential II is a budget priced turntable that is a back to basics design that delivers a terrifically musical sound.For what could be considered to be an entry level turntable the Essential II is designed to perform way above it's price point.Pro-Ject pretty much started the turntable renaissance in the mid to late 1990's by designing turntables under $1000 that sounded better than a CD player.
Their designs focused on the critical elements of the turntable that make the most difference the quality of the music reproduction.Areas that they worked on include the tonearm which is critical for accurate tracking of the record groove.In fact many other turntable manufacturers use Pro-Ject tonearms on their turntables on their decks.They also sought to reduce resonance by making the platter innert,instead of the "ringing" that can come from thin metal platters.As well they worked on making the turntable motor quieter and smoother to allow you to hear more of the sound and less of the vibration.The quality of the main bearing is also important for speed stability and minimizing vibration.
All of the above are areas that Pro-Ject has focussed on with the Essential II.As well they didn't cheapskate on the phono cartridge/stylus, the starting and critical first point of contact with the record groove.They included an Ortofon OM5E cartridge valued at $100.Ortofon are the world's largest specialist cartridge manufacturer and they used to manufacture record cutting heads that make records.The stylus is an eliptical diamond which is a V shape and not only visits more of the record groove but reduces wear due to having a larger contact point with the groove.
This all adds up to a formula that is going to give you a special record playing experience."What HiFi"...the UK HiFi Magazine in it's out of star review of the Essential II said......."ProJect has done it again.The Essential II is a frill-free entry level product that gets all the basics spot on.It's easy to set up and even easier to enjoy.It makes listenening to records fun and we can't ask for much more."They then went on to award it ....."best turntable up to 400 pounds ....that's $800 Aus Dollars!.......and it's at Vinyl Revival for under $400 Aus....what a bargain!
The Essential II also comes in a Phono USB version that includes a Phono Pre-ampliflier and a USB output so you can record to your computer.......great stuff!
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