The vinyl LP, which actually outsold the fading CD in 2021, won’t last without affordable turntables like the new Pro-Ject E1 series introduced today.
The three-turntable family includes the E1 ($349), the E1 Phono SB with phono preamp ($399), and the E1 BT ($499) with both a phono preamp and a Bluetooth audio transmitter.
These are otherwise identical triplets, with the only differences being internal electronics. Each is designed and manufactured in Europe by Austria’s Pro-Ject, a division of the McIntosh Group. The turntable uses a high-density resin subplatter beneath the low-mass synthetic main platter to reduce noise and resonances. The main bearing assembly, mounted in a solid MDF plinth, is wrapped in either a high-gloss black, satin white, or satin walnut foil finish.
Each turntable includes an Ortofon OM5 cartridge, which typically sells separately for $69.99, factory-mounted on the aluminum tonearm, and a hinged acrylic dustcover.
If you’re among the 76 percent of Americans who, according to a CBS News poll late last year, do not have a working turntable, here’s how to choose which E1 might be right for you.
E1: This turntable connects to an existing sound system with either a stand-alone phono preamp or a phono preamp built into an A/V receiver or integrated amplifier.
E1 Phono SB: Now that you have a built-in phono preamp, this turntable becomes much more versatile. It connects to a line-level input of any receiver or integrated amplifier, even the auxiliary input of a smart speaker. You can also turn off the phono preamp in the E1 Phono SB and use it with another device with a dedicated phono input.
E1 BT: This turntable can duplicate any feature of the other two models, it then adds another dimension with Bluetooth. Now you can also use the turntable with most Bluetooth-enabled speakers and soundbars as well as A/V receivers that have Bluetooth receivers.
Kevin, a former consumer electronics columnist for The Chicago Tribune, writes about technology and health from his home on the Connecticut shoreline overlooking an osprey platform. Smart-home confession: He has two nightlights in his home connected to smart plugs.