Pro-Ject RPM10.1

Despite its low price, the RPM10.1 has more features than most, including a carbon-fibre tonearm

We looked at the RPM10.1 back in HFC 348 and found a lot to like in its high-mass, magnetically isolated design. Pro-Ject has a knack for making top-notch turntables at competitive prices and this would seem to apply as much here, as with its more affordable models. The RPM10.1 is supplied with Pro-Ject’s Ground It Deluxe base – a substantial slab of MDF and steel that sits on four magnetically isolated feet, with three steel buttons on top that locate the spikes on the turntable plinth. These incorporate another layer of isolation in the form of sorbothane damping, which keeps resonance out of the arm and platter. Magnets are also used in the main bearing, so that the fi ve-kilo acrylic platter doesn’t grind away at a thrust pad, but fl oats on the shaft.

Propulsion is produced by a freestanding motor that has its own mass-loaded stand and runs off a wall-wart supply. Pro-Ject supplies a spacer so that you know where to site the motor and get the right tension on the square-section rubber belt.

The tonearm is an Evolution 10cc, a ten-inch carbon-fibre beast, with a conical shape and moulded headshell. It sits on inverted bearings in a ringshaped housing and has a thread and weight anti-skate system. What differentiates it, however, is that four alternative counterweights are supplied so that you can optimise the resonant character of the arm/cartridge system. It’s a simple solution to the issue of resonance control in a system where any extraneous energy is turned into sound. The turntable is supplied with a heavyweight puck to pin the vinyl to the platter, but a rather basic interconnect for the RCA phono outputs.

Sound quality

This is a dynamic and vital sounding turntable that is capable of remarkably natural results. It has the ability to make instruments and voices sound more real and this results in extremely lively and lifelike music that envelopes the room. It’s rich without being blowsy or overblown and has taut, deep bass which underpins the soundstage to give it real scale. Timing is better than average, good but not outstanding, yet the exuberance it brings to the recording makes it seem on the ball and in truth only the Roksan and Clearaudio were able to outplay it in this department.

Its real strength lies in its expansiveness, which gives the soundstage depth and width without any hint that it’s overblown. The focus is sharp, but not edgy thanks to a very smooth, clean delivery. A result, no doubt, of the Ground It base, which provides impressive isolation. The panel really enjoyed the tonal rendering of horns and electric keyboards on one track, as well as the projection of voice on another.

In the context of a group of more expensive peers the RPM10.1 is still highly recommended. It’s a very effective turntable for the money.

LIKE: High sense of life and vitality thanks to excellent dynamics
DISLIKE: Tiny fingerlift makes manual cueing tricky
WE SAY: An entertaining turntable that offers excellent spatial and tonal
resolution for the money

DETAILS
ORIGIN:
Czech Republic
DIMENSIONS:
(WxHxD)
480x210x330,
Ground It
500x80x400
WEIGHT:
13.4kg
FEATURES:
• Mass damped
magnetically
sprung base
• 60mm acrylic
platter
• High-torque, freestanding
motor
• Four alternative
counterweights
• Single piece
carbon-fibre
tonearm
DISTRIBUTOR:
Henley Designs
TELEPHONE:
01235 511166
WEBSITE:
project-audio.com