Pro-Ject RPM 1 Carbon Turntable

The distinctive, minimalist design of the Pro-Ject RPM 1 Carbon is available in stunning black, white and red high gloss finishes. It's going to definitely add an atmosphere of contemporary elegance to any hi fi set up and contains a genuine feel of quality about it.

The motor is mounted outside the platter and also the drive is taken in the pulley to the circumference of the platter through the belt. The motor sits in the hole in the plinth, but does not touch it. It stands on your equipment support and so is totally decoupled from your deck itself, apart from the drive belt, which runs across the platter's circumference. This motor is of an identical design to the one used to the Xpression Carbon that is more pricey and is powered by an AC generator connected to your DC power supply. The 33 and 45rpm rates are selected by moving the belt between the two pulleys of different diameters. The platter is supplied with a felt mat and is made from MDF. The main bearing is an inverted design with a ceramic ball.

The S shaped tonearm has a fixed headshell and is produced from a one-piece carbon fibre and aluminium resin concept which is fabricated using special heat and pressure treatments. It is fitted using a magnetic anti-skating apparatus of a brand new design. The RCA phono connectors at the rear are linked straightaway to the cartridge, so a separate phono stage or dedicated phono input on an amplifier is required.

Sound quality

The absolute power and ability of the orchestra with all the Borodin track is very captivating - so much so that I am compelled to flip the LP over and listen to some of Stravinsky's The Firebird. What strikes me is the realism of the performance, and I almost jump from my seat when the drum strikes along with the trumpets blast. On balance, I feel the provided Ortofon outperforms the reference cartridge that is Goldring.

Subsequently when backing orchestra and the bass drum comes in, there isn't any sense they require the crescendos within their stride plus the cartridge and arm are being overloaded.

The sax in Miles Davis' So What's incredibly clear and lifelike and yet does not swamp the drum accompaniment in any way. I get the impression the drums are being reproduced on a totally separate system. However, that's not to say the music isn't totally cohesive and nicely integrated.

By comparison, the driving techno beat in Laurent Garnier's Desireless is wonderfully controlled and not loose, which confirms the wonderful union of the tonearm and cartridge. Vocal growls in the record are perfectly projected in front of the soundstage, illustrating the genuine three dimensionality of the performance that's so nicely interpreted by the Undertaking and contains many of the features of the company's more expensive turntable packages, which will be quite an accomplishment.

Pro-Ject RPM 1 Carbon Turntable photo