I really wish the Pro-Ject Automat A1 Turntable had been released 3 years ago. It would have saved me a lot of grief.
A few years ago, I decided to be the “good” son and purchased a new turntable for my parents.
My mother never got rid of her records and she thinks any music recorded after 1975 is garbage so it seemed like the perfect kind of gift. Dad still has his McIntosh rig from 1981 and it seemed like the perfect way to keep them from killing one another now that they are retired and living in Florida.
There’s nothing wrong with the U-Turn Orbit+ Turntable; unless you are someone like my parents; my 75 year-old parents with imperfect vision and less than steady hands.
Mom didn’t love what she called “the flimsy record player that I have to cue up on my knees wearing my reading glasses” and wondered why her “audiophile” son who runs a stereo magazine couldn’t find her an automatic table like they used to make that isn’t built like a toy.
She was awesome on report card day. I love her like crazy but don’t mess with a former prosecutor born in a DP Camp to Holocaust survivors.
She did break a few carts in the process and eventually told me to take it back.
“If I can’t push a button and it plays my records…who needs it,” she remarked while my poor father installed a plexiglass shield around his vintage McIntosh gear out of fear she would find a way to break that too.
Is she wrong?
She does speak German and Yiddish and it wouldn’t surprise me if she reached out to the kind folks at Pro-Ject behind my back on this one.
Handmade in Germany, the new Pro-Ject Automat Series of turntables are the latest in high-quality HiFi automatic turntable design, while remaining accessible for modern homes and listening environments.
So what inspired the new Pro-Ject Automat A1 Turntable?
“The project was inspired after our team listened to our customers seeking maximum simplicity in their vinyl experience.”
I knew it. Einfachheit.
If you don’t think there is a market for this — you are really not paying attention. Consumers want something built by a reputable brand that comes with a good cartridge and requires very little “fiddling” and set-up.
I shared this with my mother prior to publication and she asked some smart questions.
“Do I have to do anything but put a record on the platter and press a button?”
“Do I need more than one cable? Because you know how much I hate your father’s mess of cables.”
One power cord and one cable to his McIntosh system.
“Is it made in China?”
Germany. Like your Mercedes.
“Do we get a discount because you’re our son?”
They’ll probably charge you more.
“When can we get one?”
My daughter at SUNY-Binghamton had a similar reaction.
Automat A1 Key Features
- Factory installed and aligned Ortofon OM10 cartridge
- Built in, switchable phono preamp
- 8.3” aluminium low-mass tonearm
- Precise mechanics with automated start and stop
- Aluminium platter with damping ring
- Carbon fiber reinforced non-magnetic headshell
- Resonance damped chassis
- Silicon damped isolation feet
- Electronically controlled playback speeds
- Premium semi-symmetrical Connect it E phono cable
- Gold plated RCA cable connectors
- Dust cover included
- Handmade in Germany
For more information: project-audio.com
Price & Availability
The Pro-Ject Automat A1 Turntable will be available for $499 in February 2022.
January 31, 2022 at 3:43 pm
It looks exactly like the Thorens TD-170-1 and its twin, the Dual CS-435-1. It seems there are now triplets of the same turntable with the latest Project Automat A1.
This is decades old technology being repackaged as something “new”.
January 31, 2022 at 3:57 pm
It’s distinctly possible that Pro-Ject are making all 3 tables.
I have another “automatic” table at home that we’re going to compare the Automat A1 to — with the same cartridge but using external phono stages to compare.
What we don’t know yet is how the tables sound or how different they are internally. Shoot-out perhaps?
We will let readers know.
January 31, 2022 at 6:42 pm
What, a turntable is old technology? Shocking, just shocking. I had no idea.
February 1, 2022 at 2:06 am
Aaaaaaaaand…Guess who is getting one of these beauties to go along with his Dual 1246, Pro-Ject Essential III Sgt. Pepper’s 50th, Technics Direct Drive, Teac TN300 and Denon DP-300F?
I have been waiting for this for quite some time now as I am a BIG fan of Pro-Ject because ever since my first ‘table by them (the Sgt. Pepper 50th) and because Mr. Buzz Goddard has been very kind to me in keeping me updated and helping me out with ‘table stuff!
He is a true gentleman and hinted this ‘table was coming soon as he knows I have a handicap that makes it some times difficult to get up and return the tonearm, etc.
So yup! The Toad is getting this one as soon as possible! And I look forward to your thoughts on the Automat A1.
February 1, 2022 at 11:13 pm
Whimsical and entertainingly written. The others missed it. I wished the piece was a bit longer and on how it performed but I suppose it was just an introduction..
February 2, 2022 at 2:21 am
Appreciate the fact that someone actually read it.
Review sample coming later this month.
C. Turner J.
February 6, 2022 at 2:09 pm
Everyone has a reason for why they like something. Glad they gave them what they want!
Personally I like automatic return turntables for home listening. Too often, I have something else going and forget to stop after each side of the album.
February 6, 2022 at 2:48 pm
I think it makes a lot of sense.
February 14, 2022 at 10:50 am
So hey…Ian? Any news on the A1? Are you getting one to review any time soon? I have my Dual 1245 back home again (!) and it is FUN! I have put a new belt and stylus on my Denon DP-300F (thanks to LP Gear!) and am looking at getting a new (HERESY!) P-Mount cartridge for my Technics SL-QD33 reeeeal soon!
All three of those are fully automatic but I still think my Pro-Ject Sgt. Peppers (manual) is the loverliest of them all…
To paraphrase Alfred Doolittle, I’m willing to read. I’m wanting to read. I’m waiting to read…
February 14, 2022 at 2:45 pm
We expect one in March. We have 2-3 Pro-Ject/Sumiko/Sonus faber reviews underway right now.
March 26, 2022 at 11:05 am
It is still not available for sale. Go figure…I think it is time to look for one more vintage ‘table instead of a new one. Dammit.