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Pro-Ject Primary E: a new £150 plug-and-play turntable with 5-star foundations

We’ve seen our fair share of super-cheap budget turntables over the last few years courtesy of the unrelenting vinyl revival, but the best of the bunch has arguably been Pro-Ject’s Primary (£170) and Elemental (£150) decks.

The former received five stars from us last year but now appears to have a limited shelf life ahead of it - which would be a shame were it not for the fact a very similar and even more affordable turntable will soon take its place.

The £150 Primary E uses the same 8.6in aluminium tonearm, which is pre-configured to match the pre-installed Ortofon MM cartridge it’s attached to - meaning there’s no need to set-up the tracking force or anti-skate during installation. Attach the belt, hook it up to a MM phono stage, and away you go.

The difference? Unlike the Primary, the new E model has a direct-to-mains 230V motor built-in, negating the need for its plug to house the power supply instead.

It’s also only available in a black finish as opposed to a red or white one, too.

History would tell you that the Pro-Ject Primary E could be a good pick for anyone after their First Turntable. And as we already have a sample in our test rooms ready to spin our vinyl collection on, we’ll be finding out whether indeed history will repeat itself or not very soon.

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Becky is Hi-Fi and Audio editor of What Hi-Fi?, and has been part of the team for almost eight years, with her current position preceded by roles as a staff writer and news editor. During that time she has been fortunate enough to travel the world to report on the biggest and most exciting brands in hi-fi and consumer tech (and has had the jetlag and hangovers to remember them by). In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching horror movies and hunting for gluten-free cake.