Pro-Ject unveils Essential III turntable

Pro-Ject has introduced its new Essential III turntable which, unsurprisingly, is an improved version of its Award-winning Essential II player. The company says it has added £100-worth of improvements to the deck for a price increase of just £30.

Like its predecessor, the plinth is made from high quality MDF, but now finished in a choice of high-gloss colours. The plinth is mounted on three anti-vibration feet.

The most obvious improvement is the introduction of an Acryl-IT E platter, which the company says helps reduce the effects of resonance. The platter uses a stainless steel bearing in a bronze bushing with a Teflon-lined bottom for "liquid smooth" rotation. It's available to buy separately for £85 if you want to upgrade your existing Essential turntable.

While the Essential III uses the same 9V motor as the Essential II, there is a new integrated grounding link which Pro-Ject says reduces electrical interference to "unprecedented low levels."

The motor is a premium, synchronous AC design that's driven by a built-in signal generator, and a new aluminium pulley further enhances perfomance, says Pro-Ject.

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An 8.6in tonearm comes pre-fitted on the turntable, with an Ortofon OM 10 cartridge already installed. Pro-Ject claims this is superior to the OM 5 cartidge on the Essential II, and we look forward to putting that to the test.

If you fancy one on your hi-fi rack, the turntable measures 42 x 11. x 33cm and weighs 5kg. The Essential III costs £240, and is available now in black, white and red.

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Adam was a staff writer for What Hi-Fi?, reviewing consumer gadgets for online and print publication, as well as researching and producing features and advice pieces on new technology in the hi-fi industry. He has since worked for PC Mag as a contributing editor and is now a science and technology reporter for The Independent.