Aiming to offer customers the simplest possible operation of a turntable, Pro-Ject now introduces a fully automatic model, which is said to also offer a high sound quality. In the A1, the automatic part – which starts the motor, places the tonearm on the record and moves it back again at the end – works completely mechanically, and is thus not supposed to affect the sound quality. Moreover, the mechanism is said to be active only when it is working, i.e. at the beginning and end of the record, and thus to be completely detached from the playback itself.
The A1's chassis is made of wood, and its high mass is said to reduce resonances as well as decouple the turntable; the latter is also the goal of the newly developed feet and their included damping silicone layer. The aluminum platter carries a damping ring inside, which is also supposed to further reduce resonances.
On top of that, the Pro-Ject A1 offers a built-in phono preamplifier that can be switched on. For external phono amplification, Pro-Ject includes a "Connect it E" phono cable with the turntable. The package also includes the OM10 pickup from Ortofon, which comes pre-mounted and -adjusted. It sits on an 8.3-inch, ultra-lightweight aluminum tonearm with a completely redesigned headshell. This headshell is made of a composite material of polymer reinforced with carbon fiber, which is supposed to combine stability with light weight.
According to Pro-Ject, not only is the A1 assembled entirely by hand in Germany, but 98-99% of the individual components are also said to come from Germany. Together with the experience and tradition of the German manufacturer, Pro-Ject also wants to develop more new devices.
In Germany, the A1 from Pro-Ject is said to be available from February at Pro-Ject dealers, coming at a price of about €400 including the cartridge.