Affordability and reliability are very important features of any entry-level turntable and few companies do it as well as Pro-Ject; the ability to manufacture their own parts in a state-of-the-art facility in Europe and deliver consistent quality explains why they sell more high-end turntables than anyone else.
If you’re looking for a turntable in the $450 to $1,000 range, Pro-Ject needs to be near the top of your list.
But what if your budget doesn’t stretch that far? Fluance, Rega, U-Turn, and Andover Audio all have compelling options that are affordable but do they really offer anything better than a comparable Pro-Ject?
Sumiko and Pro-Ject USA have announced the new E1 line of turntables, designed and produced in Europe.
The new collection aims to introduce a new audience of music lovers to the world of vinyl by offering quality technology at an accessible price point.
The E1 family all feature a true subplatter design, where a low mass synthetic main platter rides on a high-density resin subplatter. The spindle is a polished stainless-steel design which rotates smoothly in a low-friction brass bearing well.
The main bearing assembly is mounted in a solid MDF plinth, with no voids or plastic trim pieces, and the entire plinth is wrapped in one of three beautiful, durable foil finishes.
The E1 series is an excellent tracker due to an expertly crafted aluminum tonearm which includes a factory mounted Ortofon OM5 cartridge.
Rounding out the standard features for the E1 collection, is a precision DC motor with electronic speed selection for 33 and 45 RPM records along with a detachable, hinged acrylic dustcover.
The E1 Phono SB adds a selectable phono preamp that can be switched on to connect with the auxiliary input of a smart speaker or any device lacking a phono preamp.
The phono preamp can be turned off for connection to devices that have a dedicated Phono input. The E1 BT offers both an onboard phono preamp as well as a Bluetooth audio transmitter for wireless connectivity to most sound bars, A/V receivers and Bluetooth-enabled powered speakers.
The E Line consists of three models, the E1 ($349 USD) E1 Phono SB ($399 USD) and E1 BT ($499 USD), all of which are designed and manufactured in the European Union, available in high gloss black, satin white or satin walnut finishes.
The E1 Family will be available for purchase through Authorized Pro-Ject Audio Systems retailers beginning May 2022.
Related reading: Best Affordable Audiophile Turntables
May 3, 2022 at 3:20 pm
Hmmmmmmm…The mystery, as I see it plays out thus –
I can get the fully automatic Pro-Jet Automat A1 for the same price as the E1 BT model. The A1 wins. I can also buy a George Harrison Essential III for the same $500 and it has the totally gear acrylic platter, looks cooler and is equally as pain-in-the-buttocks-totally-manual as the equally priced E1 BT model.I have my druthers (for those wondering, I am paying homage to “Li’l Abner” here) and other than the lack of the incredibly stupefyin'(!) acrylic platter, the A1 wins out.
The Harrison comes in second, or as “Ricky Bobby” (the ONLY role I can stomach Will Ferret in) would say, second place is first loser. The E1 series is in third, which in this company is far from being “turd place”. The series appears to be quality made and that is important.
If I could easily and affordably upgrade the base E1 to an acrylic platter it would likely move into first loser status and I would buy one for my daughter and her family. I already spoke with the folk at Pro-Ject and the A1 is not able to be upgraded with the stunning plateau acrylique. Not now. Not ever. Too bad.
For such as I and at the same price point as the E1 BT, the A1 is Numero Uno. I already have an Essential III Sgt. Peppers 50th ‘table so as much a Harrison enthusiast as I am, I would still choose the A1 for the convenience of its autmaticallifactionalization playback.
Pro-Ject does NOT make junque. So any of these three new models would satisfy the need for 33 1⁄3.
Hope that one shows up! If not, it is also the title of a George Harrison album. 33 & 1⁄3.
August 2, 2022 at 2:37 pm
I have had the E1 BT turntable for a month when the blue tooth stopped transmitting during playback of an album. Multiple tests to other devices, and a trip to the shop where I bought the turntable at confirmed b/t was not transmitting. It’s been over a week now, and the shop has yet to receive a response from Pro-Ject. Not very pleased about the lack of response.