One of the leaders in the market of vinyl players, the Austrian company Pro-Ject, has introduced its unique vertical turntable in $300 price range, with their brand tonearm and Ortofon OM5E MM-cartridge.
The quality of manufacturing and finishing is quite decent for this price. The cap has three color options: white, red, and black. The MDF platter and sound suppressor go only in black.
The design of this turntable is extremely elaborative: the engine (on DC), bearing, and tonearm are located on the same line on a solid wooden base. Heavy anchor support, made of the artificial stone, is attached to a thin base under the bearing, and it not only increases the stability of the structure but also serves as a vibration absorber for any noise created by the bearing and the engine. A high-quality tonearm, endowed with the force of displacement, is exactly suitable for the Ortofon cartridge.
The Pro-Ject Elemental review is a good way to find out that this turntable conforms to the plug-and-play principle. The tonearm and cartridge are already fixed and tuned, up to the biasing force and downforce regulator. Even the counterweight is already mounted in place.
It has no leveling mechanism and no suspension for isolation from external vibrations – you will have to take care of a suitable low-resonance stand yourself.
After I got turntable out of the box, I pulled the belt around the platter and the drive motor pulley, plugged in an external power supply unit and inter-unit cables. After that, I only needed to put a record and turn on the player.
Electronic gear shifting is not provided. To change from 33.3 to 45 RPM, you will need to manually move the belt from the lower stage of the pulley to the larger one.
The bearing pulley is pressed right into the disk, so there is no subdisk. There is also no suspension for the support disk, and the chassis support is the only protection against mechanical vibrations for the entire turntable. The support disk is driven by a rubber belt, which runs on its outer side and the engine pulley. The head of the player is equipped with an elliptical diamond needle, using a standard holder.
The Pro-Ject Elemental specs were developed to consume little energy. When the power switch is turned off, the consumption doesn’t exceed 0.28W, and during work it’s 4.17W.
The Pro-Ject Elemental vinyl player has a very simple design and is intended primarily for the rookies. Nevertheless, this model stands out for its high-quality build that distinguishes this turntable from the other ones of a similar class.