Pro-Ject Vertical Turntable
For a little while now we have been seeing pictures of, and reading reports about, Vertical Turntables. Our initial thoughts were “looks cool but it is just a gimmick”, but they kept coming. Then we heard a rumour that Pro-Ject were about to release one. These rumours have finally borne fruit and the Pro-Ject vertical turntable is now instore.
This new turntable is called the Pro-Ject VTE, and consists of an 8.6” aluminium tone-arm, fitted with an Ortofon OM5e cartridge, a MDF platter and a screw on clamp to secure your record.
This clamping system would traditionally be standard with the premium models (think Pro-Ject 2Xpression and above, although they are available for the other decks, Clamp-It and the Record Puck), however the VTE is not a normal turntable, and the clamp is required to ensure a constant and correct playing speed.
When first unboxing the VTE it is very reminiscent of the Pro-Ject Elemental, same white laminate on the platform, same MDF platter, much the same tone-arm (there have been minor changes to the counter weight etc. to allow for the unusual playing angle). After that however, you are confronted by an extra board, this is the support foot, and is attached using the two supplied screws, allowing the VTE to sit on a cabinet or shelf.
But cabinet or shelf storage are not the only option. The packaging also includes three metal strips that, when attached instead of the support foot, allow you to wall mount the VTE, thus saving even more space.
As was said earlier, we thought these vertical turntables were just a gimmick and would disappear quickly. So we were left scratching our heads when Pro-Ject announced that they would produce one. Whilst Pro-Ject are known for their interesting turntable designs (the Elemental and RPM ranges spring to mind), they are more importantly known for their Audio and Build qualities. Which begs the question: Why would Pro-Ject make a vertical turntable?
The answer is easy (and almost cliché); because they can. The extension of this answer is more like the key. While other companies have shown it can be done, Pro-Ject wanted to show that they could do it, and do it better; which it would seem they have.
This then leads to the next obvious question: Who is the VTE for? There are three groups of people that the vertical turntable is designed for:
- Anyone looking to get started with vinyl.
- The VTE is an excellent entry level turntable with a low price and a good sound.
- People who have vinyl but are short on space.
- Setup with the foot for cabinet/shelf placement the VTE is a little over half the size of a standard turntable.
- Wall mounted the VTE would take up even less space.
- The VTE is perfect for people that want a talking point/conversation started. Have it setup in your entertaining area and people are bound to ask questions.
Overall the Pro-Ject VTE is a wonderful, quirky, entry level turntable that is sure to get a comment. However if you a looking for a turntable with better audio qualities I would recommend paying a little extra and grabbing one of the Pro-Ject Carbon DC units.