Pro-Ject Essential II USB
ONE FOR THE BUDGET-CONSCIOUS
Pro-Ject is a huge name in turntables, and its Essential line looks to bring the company’s renowned quality at a great price – under $600, in fact.
The Essential II Phono USB (to give it its full name) is about as minimal as it gets, but is stylish at the same time – featuring a no-frills yet sturdy plinth and a premounted Ortofon OM 5E cartridge. It’s also a lot quieter than the previous iteration, thanks to the low-vibration motor.
And there’s something else, of course, the clue being in the name. As well as having an RCA connection, the turntable will plug into your Mac or PC to enable you to rip your vinyl to digital files. And what’s more, you can output to RCA and USB simultaneously (so you can listen to your vinyl as you rip it).
It may not have the bells and whistles of others, but it’s a great starter choice.
If you like your audio minimalist, then the Essential II USB is the one for you