Pro-Ject is rounding out its turntable offering by introducing its first fully automatic turntable series. The suitably named Automat range will comprise turntables that offer “class-leading sound alongside an effortless user experience”, and its first member is the Automat A1, yours for £369 (around $499, AU$699).
Having already ventured past purist turntables to those with built-in phono stages, Bluetooth transmitters and even bundled speakers, the Austrian brand is now looking to take turntable convenience that much further with fully automatic operation. All you have to do, in Pro-Ject’s words, is “set the playback speed and then push START”.
The development has been made possible through a new partnership agreement with Fehrenbacher GmbH in St Georgen, Germany (the production facility of the original 20th-century Dual turntables), allowing the Automat range to benefit from proven made-in-Europe automatic drive technologies.
Pro-Ject says the automatic operation of its A1 and future Automat models also benefits from being entirely mechanical, rather than reliant on extra built-in electronics, and does not impact performance during record playback.
Aside from automatic operation, the A1 is plug-and-play in other ways too. It’s a belt-drive deck that operates at 33 and 45RPM, with a built-in moving-magnet phono stage (line-level and aux inputs available) and pre-set OM 10 cartridge.
The Pro-Ject A1 will be available from next month in a black finish. Pro-Ject hasn't released details of further models, but if the naming system (and A1's modest price) is anything to go by, we should probably only be expecting more expensive models.
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