Contrary to what its name may suggest, this new RPM 5 Carbon turntable is not an upgrade to the RPM5. Actually, by its concept and technology, it looks more like an upgrade to the RPM9!
Unlike its predecessor, this turntable is designed with a separate motor and driven by a belt that runs around the platter. The former version had a suspended separate motor and a hub.
In addition to this significant change, Pro-Ject has associated this turntable with the great and efficient Pro-Ject 9CC Evo tonearm. It is fitted with a 9-inch full-carbon tube and a damped TPE counterweight. The bearings are meticulously mounted for minimum friction. It is compatible with the best MM and MC cartridges.
But there is more! To optimise the system, the plinth has been damped and consolidated with a very elegant top carbon fibre plating. It is supported by three aluminium spikes, with TPE damping and adjustable in height.
The acoustically inert platter is milled from a block of acrylic of 30 cm in diameter. It is fitted with an inverted bearing and a new bearing with ceramic ball bearings that reduces noise below an audible limit. A synchronous motor drives the system and is fully separate from the turntable plinth. It uses 15V DC power supply. The motor unit accommodates a DC/AC generator that supplies the motor with a clean and perfectly stable current. It provides a precise rotation and perfect stability for the playback speed.
As always with Pro-Ject, the finish and assembly are perfect and flawless. It is also important to add that for this price, it is the only turntable on the market that features a moving coil (MC) cartridge as standard! And not just any cartridge. It is the famous and great Ortofon Quintet Red Hi-Fi MC cartridge!
It is very easy to use once it is perfectly aligned, the VTA and tracking force of the tonearm adjusted… (all of which we will do for you!).
You will need a good phono preamplifier, or at least one with an MC input. The RPM5 Carbon turntable comes with a phono cable (a real one! ), but it is of average quality compared with the overall capabilities of the turntable, tonearm and cartridge. We therefore advise considering an upgrade eventually…
The sound quality is fully in line with the RPM range. The bass is vibrant, tight and perfectly articulated. The transparency in this register is quite impressive. We can clearly hear the subtlety of the notes played on the double-bass and bass. On pipe organ pieces by J.S Bach (Marie Claire Alain, Erato) the pedalboard comes through strong and subtly. The mids are precise, detailed without any harshness, without any excessive warmth. They blend in well with the treble that flies high and smoothly into the upper frequencies! It gets on with the Quintet Red like a house on fire!
Its very neutral and vibrant sound quality make this RPM 5 Carbon quite versatile in terms of combination and musical style. Despite its dynamics and 'swing', it is still subtle and refined.
Pro-Ject's RPM 5 Carbon manual turntable is a great alternative to more traditional turntable models in terms of design and also tamer in terms of sound quality …
Turntable: Rigis MDF plinth, with carbon fibre upper veneer
Feet: Aluminium/TPE spike
Drive principle: Silicon belt drive
Bearing: Stainless steel inverted bearing with ceramic ball
Tonearm: 9cc Evolution is crafted in a single carbon piece
Effective weight: 8.0 g
Effective length: 230 mm
Cartridge compatibility: 5-14 g
Recommended tracking force: 1 g-2.5 g
Speed stability: +/-0.12 %
Wow: +/-0.17 %
Signal-to-noise ratio: -73 dB
Speed variation: Electronic (via Speed box generator built-in to motor unit).
Speed: 33/45 rpm (78 optional)
Platter diameter: 30 cm
Motor: Synchronous 16 V, separate and independent from the turntable
Phono cable: supplied
Record clamp: Record Puck
Active consumption: 5 W
Standby consumption: 0.3 w
Power supply: Outboard DC 15 V/800 mA
Dimensions: 430 x 150 x 323 mm
Weight: 8 kg