Daily archives: March 9, 2010

Objects of Desire- Pro-ject turntables

Objects of Desire may become an irregular preview of things I’ve found that I really want but, usually, can’t afford.

Working for a company which sells audio-visual kit I regularly post details of some very nice stuff to the internet. Today I got to look at some of it. I thought my cheap and cheerful turntable with USB output was good enough for what I wanted to do- rip my vinyl (eventually) to the pc. But maybe I want a better turntable, one I can connect to the other separates I’m now inevitably going to buy, which will really get the best out of my old records.

Audiophiles will tell you that a well set up turntable, even a relatively cheap one, will sound better than almost any cd player. But you have to be willing to do a bit of tinkering. There are many tricks to getting a good sound from your vinyl. The most obvious one is to cut vibration and resonance, which will be fed to the needle and result in distortion. The turntables I was shown today, from Austrian manufacturer Pro-ject, have sturdy chassis made from medium density fibreboard or, at the high end, perspex and some clever tricks such as mounting the belt drive motor in an elastic cradle. A side effect of the materials and techniques used is that the turntables are very good looking pieces of kit. Stunning in the case of the perspex ones.

The Pro-ject Debut III USB is a version of Pro-ject’s basic model which also outputs to USB so you can rip music to .wav files on your computer then convert them to mp3, FLAC or whatever your preferred digital format is. In my dream computer/audio/video setup I think I’d have one of these to rip the vinyl I’d start buying again.

Disclosure The link above goes to an Amazon listing by the company I work for. It’s an affiliate link, if you buy the turntable they and I will both make some money. Other people also sell Pro-ject through Amazon, but none of them pay my wages.