Pro-Ject has just now revealed a new line of affordable audiophile-quality turntables, the E1 series. The line consists of three models, and the cost of entry is a mere $349 USD for the E1 model, $399 for the SB that includes a built-in phono preamp, and $499 USD for the E1 BT that has that preamp and adds Bluetooth capability.
According to Proj-Ject, the purpose of this new line is to “introduce a new audience of music lovers to the world of vinyl by offering quality technology at an accessible price point.” And by that, the company means that this turntable utilizes a “true sub-platter design” which it defines as a low mass synthetic main platter riding on a high-density resin sub-platter.”
The players' spindle is polished stainless steel and it rotates in a brass bearing well, and that assembly is in turn mounted on a solid MDF plinth. Pro-Ject notes the design avoids the use of plastic trim pieces and has no voids in the construction.
This is a belt-drive design and the DC motor is wired so that it can run at 33 or 45 RPM, selectable with a simple switch.
Each of these turntables ships with an aluminum tonearm that includes a factory-mounted Ortofon OM5 cartridge. these turntables are both designed and manufactured in the European Union and come in the following finishes: high gloss black, satin white, or satin walnut.
A detachable hinged acrylic dust cover protects the tonearm, cartridge, and record.
Now that you're tempted, you're probably wondering about availability. My calendar says it's May already—wow time flies—and the release says they will be available through authorized Pro-Ject Audio Systems dealers this month.