Pro-Ject Debuts an Ultra-Modern Take on an Old-School Automatic Turntable

One of the best-kept secrets in the high-fidelity sound space, Pro-Ject Audio Systems is a high-end Austrian outfit founded in 1991 that produces turntables and other hi-fi items like DACs, amps, and phono stages. A subsidiary of AUDIO TUNING Vertriebs GmbH, Pro-Ject has largely built its reputation on the strength of its audiophile-grade turntables sold at accessible prices, and the company now looks to remain at the forefront of that space with the debut of its latest deck, the Automat A1 Turntable.

Built and assembled entirely by hand in Germany, the new table’s headline feature is its AUTOMAT technology, which enables the A1 to automatically lift the needle and tonearm at the touch of a button and place it on the record’s lead-in (i.e. outer) groove to begin music playback. When the record reaches its end — or the user hits “stop” — the tonearm automatically returns itself to its rest. Because this system is completely mechanical and devoid of any additional electronics, it won’t degrade the audio quality or affect playback in any way, and once the needle has been dropped, it completely disengages itself. What’s more, the entire table is built upon a new foot design that more efficiently dampens vibrations thanks to a new internal silicon layer worked into the base’s construction.

In addition to a built-in phono preamp, Pro-Ject Audio Systems’ latest wheel of steel also comes sold with the brand’s own semi-symmetrical Connect It E phono cable with gold-plated connectors, and an ultra-lightweight 8.3” aluminum tonearm paired with a top-shelf Ortofon OM10 stylus that’s secured in a carbon fiber-reinforced anti-magnetic polymer composite headshell. Adorned in a blacked-out finish that’s devoid of any obvious logos or branding, the Automat A1 also boasts a new damped aluminum platter that’s stamped, bent, and perforated in a multi-stage process before being precision-balanced to ensure minimal wow and flutter deviations.

Available for preorder now, the Pro-Ject Audio Systems Automat A1 Turntable is scheduled to ship out before the end of this month. Pricing for the Automat A1 has been set at $499.

Purchase: $499

Photo: Pro-Ject Audio Systems
Photo: Pro-Ject Audio Systems
Photo: Pro-Ject Audio Systems