Turntables at this price point are few and far between, making Pro-ject's Genie something of a lone ranger – so we were glad the original represented rather good sound-per-pound value.
Pro-ject has now released a second, upgraded model, complete with a number of key differences. The most notable change is the new Pro-ject S-shaped, single piece tone arm, which feels a much more solid proposition.
As for the new paint finish, it adds a more luxurious feel to the deck. Elsewhere, there's an upgraded power supply (from 12V to 16V), the addition of onboard power switching, a new Pro-ject motor and improved bearings.
It all sounds like good news, so we eagerly connect the Genie using the supplied phono connections, complete with ground cable. The deck requires a minimal amount of construction and while it feels fine, the detached motor design doesn't entirely reassure.
Your deck should be set up on arrival, but ask your dealer to check the tracking weight – ours had gone awry in transit.
More after the break
First-class delivery – for the priceWe give the Pro-ject Genie 2 a rude awakening with the fearsome In Bloom from Nirvana. And enjoy it we do, the Genie 2 doing an admirable job at delivering a punchy, absorbing listen.
The grinding guitars sound solid and weighty, while vocals sound every bit as gravely and bittersweet as they should. Switch to some classical in the form of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana and the Genie 2 does its best to conjure up the necessary dynamics and expression.
The gap between low and high-end hi-fi kit is perhaps most noticeable with turntables, and you have to cut the Genie some slack due to the tiddly price tag. Nevertheless, this is an entertaining and well-built deck, which is why it's the ideal choice for vinyl-lovers on a budget.