Pro-Ject have been around for just 20 years. I say 'just' because if you look at the vast majority of the biggest high end manufactures out there today their origins often go back many many decades. But this has not hindered them from competing with the big boys. They have been pioneers in the turntable industry since day one, and when you think that that day was way back in 1991 when vinyl was all but dead and cd's were forcing their dominance onto the market, well it just makes their accomplishments even greater. But where many producers of high end goods often loose sight of the less wealthy demographic out there Pro-Ject didn't, and have always been conscious to offer a great selection of turntables at a wide variety of prices and styles. Surely the lower priced players are of poor quality right?... Wrong! In fact that couldn't be any further from the truth, hell, just look at the amount of awards they've won. If you are to look on What HiFi's site, they have no less than ten 4 - 5 star awarded turntables, almost double than any other manufacture. Not bad for a company just two decades old.
So lets get down to brass tacks and crack on with the review. Gee, where to start? Well just take a look at the thing. Its simple and beautiful. Perfectly minimalistic and calmly subtle. Based on its predecessor the RPM 9.1, Pro-Ject utilised their development of the RPM 10.1 to give the original some nice tweaks and alterations. Retaining the same excellent build quality the biggest addition is that of the 9cc Evolution carbon fibre tone arm which has under gone some slightly chunkier remodelling and retuning around the anti skating weight and tone arm counter weight. Another new addition are the three new wide magnetic dampening feet. What does remain is that same heavy (3.5kg to be exact) acrylic platter with brass puck, inverted main baring and the isolated motor housing. Which by the way, runs so quietly that you may be tempted to prod the pulley to check its actually running (yes, I may have done this). Plus the aforementioned brass record puck, which may well initially be quite alien to some, including myself as it's not often the sort of thing found on less costly turntable set ups. It's does however work wonders, especially if you have a few slightly wavy or questionable old 125g records.
So its safe to say the build is not only fantastically solid and methodical but utterly gorgeous as well. But as what everyone has come to expect from Pro-Ject the quality doesn't stop there. Naturally everything is pin point precise and obviously this shines through on playback. Whether you're playing the fast paced thundering of Maylene & The Son's Of Disaster's 'II' (as you can see above), the bass heavy slow tones of Oldman Gloom or enjoying the classic blues of John Lee Hooker the 9.2's range is ideal for any genre. Of course you're going to want to couple this little beauty with a worthy cartridge too and it goes without saying, which is why I'm going to say it anyway, but look no further than Ortofon. In my mind there's no one else to even consider when you're weighing up price and quality, and it seems as though the guys from Pro-Ject are quite like minded. If you have a glance over their product range you'll notice that all their models that include cartridges all come fitted with Ortofon's. Need I say more?
So whether you're looking for your first turntable or you're a seasoned veteran, sticking to a budget or have money to spare, your first stop should always be Pro-Ject. With award winning tables ranging from £150/$240 to £4000/$6400 you really have no reason not to.