The Pro-Ject T1 series of turntables is among the Austrian firm’s latest additions to its own budget line, which can be full of turntables $500 and under. But the 3 T1 models are Pro-Ject’s purest expressions of an entry-level solution, made to appeal to vinyl fans who like to keep things cheap and easy. It has an integrated phono preamp and digital speed controls for 33 and 45 rpm. The basic T1 ($329) doesn’t have a phono preamp and requires one to change speeds by manually moving the belt.
The T1 Phono SB may be plugged right into a pair of powered speakers, or you can turn out its preamp and utilize an external phono stage to get a more customary set-up. Many similar turntables have landed in recent years, with Audio-Technica leading the way with its wildly popular LP120X and LP120 models.
The T1 Phono SB and its sisters certainly seem enticing. Plinths can be found in glossy black, satin white or walnut, along with the sporty glass dish has a pleasing heft. Pro-Ject reports that plastic isn’t involved in the production of their T1 plinths and that maintaining resonances into a minimum was a priority.
A brand new tonearm is similar in many ways to additional Pro-Ject arms but does not have adjustable anti-skate, an apparent cost-cutting move which some might not enjoy. But whatever Pro-Jet has done to achieve usable anti-skate functions; the arm once skipped, jumped or hiccuped. The popular Pro-Ject Essential III Phono is $389 and contains a better tonearm and much better cartridge, but speed needs to be altered manually by moving the belt (though you can opt for the Critical III SB, which at $460 adds digital speed shifting ).
So like the qualified small blonde-haired girl who stole all of the porridge stated, the T1 Phono SB’s combination of features seems just right.
Using the Crucial line firmly based, what’s the point of the T1 Phono SB?
The principal appeal is that the ease of set-up and use. A beginner to turntables has sufficient variables to be worried about even on a fantastic day, and also the T1 Phono SB was made to scratch a few of those factors from the list. It’s easy to get lost when playing anti-skate adjustments, as an example, and if a noob becomes lost bad things generally happen. Toss in electronic speed shifting and also the T1 Phono SB is the closest thing to plug-and-play that Pro-Ject offers under $400.
Preparing the T1 Phono SB was simple and the directions were clear and concise. The cartridge was perfectly aligned but the vertical tracking force (VTF) was set at 2.40 grams rather than the recommended 1.75. For anybody comfortable with making the alteration this is no big deal, but I have rarely dealt with a counterweight as fussy as this one. This item likes to scrap and tightening its set screw invariably resulted in the VTF altering. Finally, I settled on near enough for rock and roll since life is short.
Total, the T1 Phono SB makes quite music and looks even more pretty, which makes it solid competition for its handsome Audio-Technica LPW40wn, a budget version I really like. It leans toward a friendly noise, with a plump bass and tipped-down highs (a number of which, clearly, is attributable to the capsule, which is easily upgradeable).
It’s an easy’dining table to listen to for extended periods. You don’t get that magical suspension of disbelief, the feeling that John Lee Hooker is in the area, but that is simply not going to happen with a funding turntable. Instead, you receive a fair facsimile, only enough to make you hungry for more, and that’s why Pro-Ject creates The Vintage as well as the 1Xpression.
I had two glitches throughout the inspection period, neither of which turned out to be a dealbreaker. The T1 Phono SB’s phono preamp is pretty good, no worse or better compared to recently-upgraded version utilized by Audio-Technica, but you can always do better. I like to plug any funding’table using a lineup option to some Lounge Audio LCR MKIII, which at $300 sets a great deal of pricey phono preamps to pity.
However, the Pro-Ject along with the Lounge refused to get along.
Another glitch came following a very long listening session, around seven minutes , when the motor pulley began making a steady noise best called a rubbing noise.
Possibly something heated up and expanded. Most individuals don’t play records for seven hours straight unless downloading a document celebration, in which case they are probably super drunk, listening to Black Oak Arkansas for no fantastic reason, and definitely not concerned about a rubbing racket. In normal use, including sessions which lasted a couple of hours, the sound never returned.
Like every other turntable/cartridge combo in this price point, a seasoned listener will notice things like a lack of bass definition, moderate separation of tools and a more arid tonal quality. None of it was missing to an alarming level, and if you’ve never discovered a nice upper-middle-class stereo method — and also most people buying this turntable probably have not — then you won’t miss them.
Pro-Ject delivers a dizzying selection of models between $250 and $500, perhaps too many, but the T1 Phono SB strikes a sweet spot of features, sound and price. For anybody looking to get into vinyl without losing a great deal of cash, it joins Pro-Ject’s Essential line and the AT LPW40wn on the shortlist of potential buys.