The Pro-ject Primary Turntable is share a lot of components from the lower end Elemental and higher end Essential II.
It combines the Elemental’s motor, arm and cartridge with the full-size MDF plinth, isolating feet and detachable dust cover of the Essential II. The Primary shares the Elemental’s tonearm – an 8.6” aluminium arm riding on sapphire bearings with an under slung counterweight to lower the centre of gravity. An Ortofon OM5E cartridge comes preinstalled with the tracking force and bias both preset at the factory.
Please note as this turntable is meant to be plug and play, ie. no setup needed for counter weight and anti-skating. This limits the possibilities of cartridge upgrades in the future. This means you can’t upgrade it to Ortofon 2M Red. However, you can upgrade the OM 5e stylus to OM 10.
• Instant playback with super-easy setup
• Pre-adjusted tracking force & anti-skating force
• Ortofon OM5e cartridge, pre-mounted
• 8.6” aluminium tonearm with sapphire bearings
• Belt drive with silicone belt
• Low vibration synchronous motor & DC power supply
• Pre-mounted gold-plated RCA interconnect cable
• Special turntable feet for effective decoupling
• Built-in MM phono stage
• Connections: line-level RCA to amp & USB to PC/Mac (simultaneously)
• Acrylic lid included
• Colour options: Black matt, White matt
The Primary is a synergy of good value parts maximising the hifi content by operating within their performance envelope.
Overall – a balanced soundscape with clarity and bounce beyond expectation for this budget.
AT A GLANCE
Build Quality: It’s ample and functional for the job at hand
Sound Quality: Surprisingly good speed stability and a great sounding way to enjoy your vinyl
Value For Money: Very much worth the stretch over the cheaper turntables on the market
Pros: VERY easy to set up and sounds great
Cons: Not much, perhaps isolation, but it’s nit picking at this price
HiFi Pig Magazine (December 15, 2016)
A solid, easy-to-use deck that reaffirms Pro-Ject’s supremacy in the budget market. If you’re looking for a way ‘in’ to the record revival, the Primary is an excellent introduction.
What HiFi Magazine (March 27, 2017)
Pro-Ject’s primary is a great value budget vinyl spinner with an enjoyable sound, fuss-free setup quality build and clean looks. Opt for the USB model and you get a capable phono stage and a USB interface too. If you’re starting out or need a turntable to spin some old favourites, this could well be it. Highly recommended.
audioappraisal.com (Mar 17, 2017)
There are few entry-level turntables as accomplished as the Pro-Ject Primary.
Offering detail in spades and a hugely listenable character, you’ll find yourself sitting down to listen to one track and finishing the whole album.
Stuff Magazine (July 30, 2017)
GOOD: audiophile-centric, price, airy soundstage, instrumental separation, midrange detail
BAD: bass focus
Everything about this deck is designed to maximise the sound quality from your LPs and it does this with a great deal of success. For those looking for a first turntable or if you’re coming back to vinyl and cash is short, then the Primary is a cracking entry point into the glorious and terribly cuddly world of vinyl.
* Note: this review is written on the Primary version without built-in phono stage.
theaudiophileman.com (Nov 20, 2017)
You can buy the Primary with confidence and also be assured that none of your hard-earned cash has gone to waste on frivolousness and shiny, but little-used, accessories that seemed a good idea at the time. Surely, the point – the entire point – of hi-fi is music.