With the new Automat A1 ($499), Pro-Ject debuts a new line and offers its take on an "entry-level" model with fully automatic operation. Of course, by "entry-level" what Pro-Ject means is handmade in Germany by an established and experienced manufacturer. According to the company, 98% of this turntable's individual components are made or produced in Germany.
The Automat A1 offers fully automated, mechanical start-stop operation—a first for Pro-Ject, which has been in business since 1991. A key design feature is that the automation is designed so that the entire mechanism is 100% "disengaged and decoupled" from the playback components when the record is playing.
Pro-Jext's Automat A1 is good to go right out of the box. Don't mistake ease-of-use and accessibility for a lack of audiophile features or fidelity. This turntable has a solid wood (MDF) chassis and a damped platter, as well as a carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer headshell. It ships with an Ortofon OM10 and it has a ULM (ultra-light-mass) tonearm that's an intentional perfect match, with pre-adjusted tracking force and anti-skating.
It is a plug-and-play turntable designed to get new owners up and running in a matter of minutes. That means it comes with all the necessary components, from a semi-balanced RCA cable with low capacitance and effective shielding, to a built-in phono preamp that you can bypass, and dual speeds (33/45 RPM) that don't require changing the position of a belt, just push a button.
If you are turntable specifications savvy, the nitty-gritty details are:
|Speed:||33, 45 (electronic speed change)|
|Drive principle:||belt drive, fully automatic|
|Platter:||damped aluminum platter|
|Wow & flutter:||33: +/-0,27%; 45: +/-0,25%|
|Speed drift:||33: +/-0,75%; 45: +/-0,65%|
|Signal to noise:||65dB|
|Tonearm:||ultra-light-mass 8,3” aluminium tonearm|
|Effective arm length:||211mm|
|Included accessories:||15V DC / 0,8A power supply, dust cover, 7‘‘ single adapter, felt mat, phono cable|
|Dimensions:||430 x 130 x 365 mm (WxHxD)|
|Weight:||5.6 kg net|