Austrian manufacturer Pro-Ject's RPM range has been met with great success in recent years. It owes it, amongst other things, to the RPM 1 Carbon model and more ambitious RPM 9.2 Evo AND RPM 10.1 Evo. To bridge the gap in its product line, Pro-Ject has developed an intermediate model with appealing features!
It has a an impressive varnished MDF plinth. It rests on three cones that make for great stability. A concrete/resin weight has been added underneath the spindle to lower the centre of gravity.
The platter is also made of varnished MDF in the same colour as the plinth. It uses a vinyl mat on the surface acting as a platter mat! This solution is a great alternative to the traditional felt mat. It features the inverted brass bearing that rests on a ceramic ball bearing. It enables good rotation while minimising friction. Note that Pro-Ject has developed a tailored dust cover to protect the RPM 3 from dust.
The most unexpected feature in this turntable is the tonearm, fully exclusive for the range! Its length is impressive and it is completely exclusive in terms of technology and profile! Its carbon-coated aluminium S-shaped tube is 10 inches long (254 mm)! Pro-Ject uses a complex 3-step process, combined with thermal treatment and a pressure of 100 bars! It produces a robust tube and outstanding internal damping properties to minimise any resonance. It offers all the adjustments of a high-end tonearm (azimuth, VTA, etc.). The tracking force is applied via a TPE counterweight with elastomer damping. The anti-skating weight is applied magnetically to the tonearm spindle.
As standard, the RPM3 turntable comes with Ortofon's great 2M Silver cartridge. The tonearm leads are not captive and can thus be replaced with a higher end model such as the manufacturer's CONNECT IT CC. Like on all RPM models, the motor is physically separated from the turntable. It sits in an anti-vibration housing. It has an AC synchronous design and is now powered by a DC current via an outboard 15V power supply. An alternating current generator delivers a perfectly stable alternating current!
Overall operation is very simple and we like its stripped and audiophile design! Due to its 10 inch tonearm, it has quite atypical dimensions!
This tonearm definitely lives up to our expectations! It has the required dynamics and subtlety! The transparency is also amazing and, as expected, the tonearm length minimises distortion. The notes have a lot of substance and robustness. The soundstage is wide and precise. The stereo is amazing and the panoramic effects on electro music are stunning. But this quality also applies to orchestral pieces with excellent placement for each section.
As always with Pro-Ject, the sonic performance is on par with the resources! It often even surpasses them and, above all, the value for money is unbeatable!
The RPM3 turntable is the cheapest worldwide with a 10" tonearm! This is a true success for the Austrian manufacturer! Flawless!
A new benchmark!
EISA Best Turntable 2015-2016
HiFi News Outstanding Product
Drive principle: silicone belt
Speed: 33 and 45 rpm (manual change)
Bearing: inverted, stainless steel with bronze housing and ceramic ball
Tonearm: 10'' S in carbon/aluminium/Resin
Effective tonearm weight: 16g
Effective tonearm length: 254 mm
Speed stability: +/-0.19 %
Signal-to-noise ratio: -71 dB
Platter: MDF + 30 cm diameter record
Motor: Fully synchronous, independent from the turntable
Power supply: separate 15v DC800 mA
Consumption: 5 W
Dimensions 447 x 118 x 373 mm
Weight: 6.1 kg
Tonearm cables: Supplied (non-captive)
Cartridge: Ortofon 2M Silver.