Pro-Ject Audio Systems was founded by Heinz Lichtenegger in 1990 in Vienna (Austria) with one idea: to produce audiophile quality Hi-Fi components at an affordable price. Heinz believes that analog audio reproduction is the best way to listen to music at the highest quality. Pro-Ject Audio Systems, inspired by the concept of developing analog devices against the onslaught of digital technology, has become one of the most powerful forces in the revival of analog turntables for the hi-fi market.
Heinz Lichtenegger, the founder of Pro-Ject, has been personally involved in the distribution of High End products in Austria since 1985 and is one of the leading distributors of High End equipment on the market. His special passion has always been and remains analog players (LP players). As a distributor and avid hobbyist, he has extensive experience with all analog products on the market. Most of them were very expensive, and with the decline in production of analog turntables in the late 80s, they became even more expensive. There were no longer turntables at an affordable price (especially for people who were starting out with High End Audio). His idea was to create a very inexpensive, very simple, but mechanically beautifully designed and truly great sounding turntable that would be so inexpensive that it could be sold to anyone looking for a hi-fi system. Plus, it was likely that people wouldn’t throw away their vinyl collections and an analog turntable could revive them.
Unfortunately, there was nothing on the market at that time, only THORENS and DUAL. But they were among the expensive ones. Budget models of these brands began to be made partly from plastic, and the sound was “so-so”. Yes, of course, there was REGA, but from England, and it was quite expensive. In the early spring of 1990, when the Iron Curtain fell, Heinz Lichtenegger accidentally visited (while visiting a friend) an audio factory in the Czech Republic. Those who worked there said they were turntable specialists. Naturally, to make sure of this, he decided to take a look at the production. They showed many different models, more or less bad copies of the players that were popular 10 years ago. But in a dark corner of the factory he found a small record player. Very simple with a black flat body. Having looked more closely, he discovered a belt-driven player with a massive disk, without automation or adjustment – THIS WAS WHAT YOU NEEDED! He said that he was interested in this model, however, they looked at him like he was crazy.
Pro-Ject 2 Xperience
He asked for a sample, which he brought with him to Vienna. The sound was unexpectedly good from the very beginning, and he realized the main feature of this player – it had hidden talent! Heinz began to modify the player in the following important ways. The tonearm bearing has sapphire plates and very durable axles The tonearm tube and cartridge holder are made from a single “piece” of material (not plastic) The platter bearing is bronze with a Teflon rolling surface (which spins more smoothly and smoothly than a cheap ball) The belt is flat precisely manufactured, not made of rubber The “table” plate is made of MDF The plastic mat was replaced with a felt mat The plate itself was made 100% smooth and neat Internal wiring is made of pure copper All contacts are routed to RCA sockets without the use of DIN connectors After all these changes were completed, the Pro-Ject-1 was created and with it the idea of a simple, great sounding high end product was realized. It turned out to be a first-class player, which in terms of dynamics, rhythm, and openness could be compared with products 2-3 times more expensive. The design was still simple, without any technical “stuff”. But in other more important respects, Pro-Ject was a High Class product.
Pro-Ject The Classic
So he went back to the factory and organized everything for production. Selected and trained people who were able to fulfill his expectations for the production of high-class products (today a team of 25 specialists works at the factory) were left from the entire factory staff (1000 people!) in very clean and modern premises where it is possible to produce high-quality products standard Finishing details such as paint, color, etc. have been carefully considered to give the product a modern design and excellent preservation. Rumors about a new player for 1/3 the price spread very quickly. Five months later, after the first very good review in an Austrian magazine, one of the most important German Hi-Fi magazines (STEREOPLAY) wrote a first-class review of the Pro-Ject-1. They classified it in a category that usually lists products that are 3-4 times more expensive. The fever for the inexpensive but fantastic-sounding player spread throughout Germany and very quickly throughout all European countries. Pro-Ject turntables have received fantastic reviews wherever they have been.
The success led the creator to create more sophisticated models: the top-end Pro-Ject-2 and Pro-Ject-6, which were sold at a reasonable price (especially if you look at all the features they have). Today, Pro-Ject Audio Systems is the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality Hi-Fi turntables, as turntables are once again a must-have component for every true music lover. Pro-Ject Audio Systems products are exported to almost 80 countries around the world and have been awarded almost every possible prize in the audio industry. The design principle of Pro-Ject is high sound quality at the lowest possible price. This is achieved through classical manufacturing technology and high quality materials. With its simple design, distinctive appearance and well-chosen mechanical components, Pro-Ject delivers sonic results that far exceed expectations. Pro-Ject turntables are easy to operate, long lasting, reliable and require little maintenance.
Pro-Ject Rpm 9
All Pro-Ject Audio Systems products are invariably manufactured in our own European factories in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Products are handmade in accordance with ISO-9001 standard by highly qualified specialists. Pro-Ject places great emphasis on having most of the key structural components manufactured in-house (eg motor, housing, bearing, tonearm, etc.). More than 300 employees are employed at the company’s production facilities. The advantages of the Made in Europe label are clearly visible: reliable connections with European partners, the highest quality provided by qualified employees, short transport routes. Pro-Ject is thus an exemplary result of cooperation in a united Europe. These achievements of Pro-Ject were awarded the Econet-Award, the European Union’s interregional award for exemplary cross-border cooperation in the Central European area. Listening to analogue has become “cult”. Pro-Ject Audio Systems is strongly promoting the vinyl renaissance with its products and initiative. Since 2006, Pro-Ject Audio Systems has been bringing its “less is more” message to the digital world. Inspired by the new possibilities of multimedia devices and high-quality audio reproduction using a PC or laptop, Pro-Ject Audio Systems has developed an entirely new and revolutionary line of high-quality hi-fi components – BOX DESIGN. Starting with the world’s smallest amplifier with an open, sweet sound, Pro-Ject Audio Systems produces all traditional hi-fi components, including CD players, tuners, phono stages, headphone amplifiers and switching modules, as well as digital devices such as docking -stations, digital-to-analog converters and streamers for wired and wireless connection to a PC.
Pro-Ject Box CD
The BOX DESIGN line is positioned as a series of next generation Hi-Fi components, i.e. as a link between miniature equipment from the IT world and large cases from the audiophile world. All products, with the exception of speakers and headphones, are designed and manufactured in Europe. The fantastic quality-to-price ratio of turntables and electronics Pro-Ject Audio Systems has been pleasing its fans for many years!