Pro-Ject Essential Turntable + Ortofon OM_3_E

Pro-Ject makes a virtue out of necessity and developed a turntable which has outstanding qualities for 210 euros from budget cuts.

  1. Pro-Ject essential turntable + Ortofon OM_3_E
  2. Data sheet

The price is hot: “In this class every euro lowers the sold numbers more clearly”, explains Chief Heinz Lichtenegger Pro-Ject. Therefore he devised with the essential also a turntable, which is only 210 euros including Ortofon pickup – to continue with a European record player confronting the far East competition. Because the production of the previous entry-level model debut III (5/05) was always more expensive over the years. The resulting sale price 240 euro missed an important price point, when “only” around euros 30.

Every euro counted, Pro-Ject decided to offer the essential only in a black laminated version – and no additional optional coating variants. This saves storage costs. The construction of the inner plate on which is a metal main dish, gave way to a laminated MDF version with embedded stainless steel bearing axis. Thus, he presents essential as external rotor with round belt Enclosing horizons. That the debut powered by a polished flat belt provides slightly better matching properties III, Lichtenegger had accepted. For this, he established a camp quite closely tolerated for the price range with bronze bushing and polished stainless steel ball – and donated the rubber feet for Pro-Ject drives dampening typical also the cheapest model.

Then completely to the virtue he had made the emergency 8.6 UP the tone arm. To avoid complex and expensive expensive constructions, he designed the arm with one-point bearing, its hardened steel tip in a steel Pan balances and for the sampling process provides the necessary freedom of movement.

Closer examination shows that while much work was done. The block in the arm tube and counterweight are locked, seems polite massively. In addition, the counterweight is concentrically mounted and has a very low centre of gravity. Both measures will help to calm the otherwise rather shaky one-point design.

Fully suitable for everyday use

This construction and a plastic Guide at the bottom of the bearing block, in which the steel pin protrudes, lead to an overall rugged construction. Even innocent vinyl fans should cope with the essential easily. Same clientele will also appreciate that the Ortofon cartridge factory is perfectly adjusted. Hand work of the customer is so that even the Needle azimuth is exactly – an absolute novelty in this price range. Thus, it is ensured that the needle sits right in the middle of both sides of grooves and evenly scans.

The sound can Ortofon OM_3_E, whose PIN is therefore shaped a steel tip is an appropriate choice for the price range, glued on a smaller diamond is (typed). You write the same tonal characteristics as the more expensive OM_5_E connoisseurs.

For fans who want to digitize your record collection, the version is essential particularly interesting phono USB. She has a good phono on board, which is identical to the phono box II (7/06) for 285 euros. Your USB port allows the digital port on a computer. It is safe to get over that the transfer to 16 bit / 48 kHz is limited.

Plastic figure

The listening test he took but essential as pure turntable – and stunned with a very plastic for its price class representation of individual instruments. So sound events not only in complex passages were well localised, but seemed also three-dimensional outlined as the testers of such cheap devices do not know it.

The bells ring in Jack of Johnson’s “Staple It Together” (In between dreams) sounded so finely resolved that it was thought every single clip not only to listen, but also to see. A such tangible and precise figure could not offer the debut III with Ortofon OM_5_E. About him, blurred the boundaries between individual instruments.

For this he countered debut III with more stability in orchestral tutti inserts. Here he was essential, as if he had a load to carry and should strive honestly. Although the outlines of the players remained, but the music sounded something s/he the quiet, delicate passages.

When it comes to bass reproduction, the tester stated a stalemate. Because the debut III sounded nice, in the upper bass pressure-full, while the essential contoured presented and intonations more worked out. Since these differences were on the drive, a change of the needles showed that he received a stereoplay highlight essential. And that’s not all: Pro-Ject has quite a few variants of the cronyism in planning…

Pro-Ject essential + Ortofon OM 3 E

Manufacturer Pro-Ject
Price €210.00
Rating 32.0 points
Test procedure 1.0

Technical data and test results

Dimensions (W x D x H) 51.5 x 9.5 x 32.0 cm
Measured values
Tracking rated 0,158%
Target velocity deviation 0.32%
Rumble noise (weighted)
Measuring record / coupler 65 / 66 dB
Short conclusion Pro-Ject has managed to cut costs without cutting back on the sound. He impressed essential with superb depth and finer resolution. This is already a stereoplay highlight value.
Sound Upper middle class
Sound points
(maximum 70 points)
Measured values
(maximum 10 points)
Practice (max 15 points) 2
(maximum 10 points)
Overall rating (maximum 120 satisfying-45 points
Price / performance outstanding
tested in issue: 6 / 10