Since its introduction in late 2016, the Essential III from Pro-Ject Audio Systems has been, say Pro-Ject, “a revelation in the affordable turntable market”. Combining looks with performance, they say that the initial market response has been phenomenal. As a result of this impact, the Essential III is beginning 2017 by extending into a range of three turntables at various prices.
The standard Essential III will be introduced at £239.00 (UK SRP). It incorporates all the benefits of the Essential III that was introduced in 2016, plus it includes a new MDF platter. The new platter’s high-gloss finish provides a smooth platform for the felt mat and vinyl record to sit on.
Essential III A
The Essential III A carries all of the features of the original Essential III, including the upgraded Acryl-IT E platter. Acrylic is an ideal playback platform for vinyl records. Coming in at £279.00 (UK SRP).
George Harrison Record Player
The family of George Harrison has joined with USM to commemorate the iconic musician’s solo career, with a comprehensive vinyl box-set of all his solo releases. Featuring 12 studio albums, a live album and two 12” picture disc singles all re-mastered from the original analogue tapes at the legendary Capitol studios. To coincide with the launch, Pro-Ject Audio Systems have been asked to produce a special edition turntable specifically to complement the vinyl albums. The result is the George Harrison Record Player.
Boasting an entirely unique appearance, this special edition version of the Essential III A is limited to 2,500 pieces worldwide. The design was created by Studio One, and is based on an exclusive 2014 art-print lithograph designed for the Harrisons by world-famous artist Shepard Fairey. Behind the acrylic platter, you can also faintly see an image of a studio mixing desk, reflecting the re-mastering process the vinyl box-set has undergone.
Aside from the cosmetic differences and the platter change, all other characteristics of each of the Essential III models are shared.
The Essential III models retain the simple yet elegant frame of the multi-award winning Essential II. Now made from high-quality MDF for its acoustically neutral character, and wrapped in a high-gloss paint finish (available in red, white or black on standard versions). Integrated into the structure is the stainless steel main platter bearing in a bronze bushing, lined with Teflon at the bottom for smooth rotation and engineered to very fine tolerances. The plinth is then mounted on three anti-vibration feet, for effective decoupling from the surface on which the turntable is placed.
The Essential III uses the same 9V motor as its predecessor, but it’s the first to use a new integrated grounding link. The motor is a premium, synchronous AC design that’s driven by a built-in signal generator, ensuring optimal speed stability and minimal resonances. The brand new aluminium pulley improves the performance and the appearance even further still. The Essential III is pre-fitted with an 8.6” aluminium tonearm for its lightweight, rigid characteristics. The gimbal bearing assembly uses sapphire bearings to allow for smooth tracking across a record, and the supplied counterweight allows for a variety of premium pick-up cartridges to be installed. The tonearm is supplied with an Ortofon OM 10 cartridge installed.
Essential III SRP £239.00
Available in the UK now in Black High-Gloss finish (Red and White to follow)
Essential III A SRP £279.00
Available in the UK now in Black, Red and White High-Gloss finish.
George Harrison Record Player SRP £429.00
Due in the UK from February 25th (George Harrison’s birthday).