The Pro-Ject The Classic vinyl record player was first unveiled at the Munich 2016 trade fair. And thanks to the combination of many exciting new features and Pro-Ject's timeless and unique aesthetic, it unsurprisingly attracted a lot of press attention.
Pro-Ject The Classic : Plinth, platter and feet
At first glance, it bears a strong resemblance to a certain famous Scottish turntable. But if we take a closer look at the history, this Scottish product, released in the late 1970s, was based on an even older product released in the 1960s!
The Pro-Ject The Classic vinyl turntable has been built with a beautiful wooden frame available in three finishes: Rosenut, Walnut and Eucalyptus.
This plinth is made from high-density MDF topped with a sheet of aluminium. It is decoupled using 6 TPE-damped balls.
The bearing is attached to the sub-platter, and is encased in a bronze housing with a Teflon thrust pad.
The platter is made of solid aluminium, and has a TPE ring around its inner edge to prevent resonance.
This plinth sandwich sits on height adjustable damping feet.
Pro-Ject The Classic : Motor and drive
The AC motor is driven by a DC power supply and controlled by a generator. This high precision component is attached to the underside of the frame, and doesn’t physically touch the main plinth, to which the bearing and tonearm are attached.
The speed can be changed manually between 33⅓ and 45 rpm by moving the drive belt to the desired cog.
Pro-Ject The Classic : Tonearm and cartridge
The tonearm is a brand new model based on the Pro-Ject 9CC. It may look very similar to the 9CC, but it has in fact undergone several modifications.
For example, its 9” tonearm tube is made up of an aluminium and carbon fibre sandwich, which gives it very low levels of resonance and excellent rigidity, as well as an effective mass that is 60% higher than the original model.
Its bearings and gimbals have been completely overhauled, and are now Japanese components assembled with meticulous precision.
The counterweight is made of stainless steel and is not graduated, which means it requires a gauge to adjust the tracking force.
The VTA and azimuth are, of course, also fully adjustable.
Rival vinyl turntables are usually delivered either without a cartridge altogether or with a small Audio Technica. But when you buy the The Classic Pro-Ject delivers it with the excellent Ortofon 2M Silver cartridge. You can, of course, replace this with an MC cartridge or an Ortofon 2M Black MM cartridge, or even the Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge.
Pro-Ject The Classic : Phono cable and accessories
Its phono cable is not captive, and can therefore be replaced by a higher quality model at a later date. Which is not to say that this original cable doesn't do the job well – it is a very decent cable.
The Pro-Ject The Classic turntable is delivered with a dust cover.
Pro-Ject The Classic : Listening and test review
The sound quality of this turntable definitely reflects the high standard of the resources used to make it, boasting excellent balance and superb neutrality.
It is not lacking in any way, and none of the registers sound artificially overstated.
This feels a little out of step with its vintage aesthetic, which could suggest a less modern sound quality. It certainly has the same substance and depth as some of the suspended record players of the 1970s, but the transparency and definition are beyond compare.
The dynamic range is excellent, making it easy to follow the beat and movement of the musicians.
The versatility of this Pro-Ject The Classic turntable also means there’s no limit to the amount of genres it can handle, from rock and classical all the way through to jazz and electronica!
This is a superb vinyl turntable that boasts a timeless aesthetic and sound. We love it!
Soundstage HiFi: Best of 2016
Stereo: Excellent Product Franck
Principle: belt drive
Platter: 300 mm solid damped aluminium
Speeds: 33 rpm and 45 rpm manual
Spindle: stainless steel
Drift: 33/ ± 0.03% 45/ ± 0.05%
Speed stability: 33/ ± 0.10% 45/ ± 0.11%
Signal-to-noise ratio: - 71 dB
Tonearm: 9 inches, carbon/aluminium sandwich tube
Effective tonearm length: 230 mm
Effective tonearm weight: 13.5 g
Amplitude: 18 mm
Tracking force: 10 - 30 mN
Azimuth and VTA: adjustable
Dust cover: Yes
Phono cable: Connect It E
Cartridge: Ortofon 2M SILVER
Counterweight: 15 volts DC/0.8 A
Consumption: 5 Watts max/<0.5 Watts on standby
Dimensions: 460 x 131 x 351 mm (LxHxD) closed dust cover
Weight: 10.2 kg net