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Pro-Ject Essential III RecordMaster

Manual belt-drive turntable with pre-mounted cartridge, phono preamp, and USB output (Gloss Black)


Item # 252ES3RMGB

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Our take on the Pro-Ject Essential III RecordMaster

The Pro-Ject Essential III RecordMaster lets you enjoy the rich, warm sounds of vinyl, and it includes a USB output so you can digitize your record collection and take the music with you. A free recording program like Audacity can help make the process easy and fun.

The pre-mounted cartridge on the Pro-Ject Essential III

The pre-mounted cartridge on the Pro-Ject Essential III RecordMaster sounds great and makes setup easy.

Analog quality plus digital convenience

The Pro-Ject Essential III RecordMaster lets you enjoy the rich, warm sounds of vinyl, and it includes a USB output so you can digitize your record collection and take the music with you. A free recording program like Audacity can help make the process easy and fun.

There's a built-in phono preamplifier, so you have setup options. Switch it to "line" to use it with the regular RCA aux input on just about any home audio system, or choose "phono" to use a separate phono preamp, a receiver with phono inputs, or to connect to a pair of powered speakers with a built-in phono preamp like the popular Klipsch R-51PMs.

Solid construction and good looks

The turntable's solid base and dense platter help keep unwanted vibrations from causing skips. A built-in Speed Box not only lets you select the proper RPM for your records, but ensures greater speed accuracy. And pushing a button to change speed sure beats manually adjusting a mechanical belt and pulley system.

And, no small thing, the Essential III RecordMaster looks good. You can choose from three high-gloss colors to match your decor.

Get up to speed quickly

Pro-Ject knows that turntable setup can be a challenge. The Essential III RecordMaster comes out of the box virtually ready to play. Its pre-matched, factory-mounted phono cartridge and tonearm take the guesswork out of installation, and give you optimized sound quality with minimal effort. A few simple steps to dial in key settings like tracking force and anti-skating are all it takes to get this 'table primed and ready to deliver spacious, detailed music.

Product Highlights:

  • low-resonance 12" MDF platter with felt mat to protect records from scratches
  • one-piece aluminum tonearm with sapphire bearings for superior rigidity and low resonance
  • includes pre-mounted Ortofon OM10 moving magnet cartridge
  • solid MDF base with shock absorbing feet
  • integrated motor control with DC power supply for silent operation
  • built-in switchable phono preamplifier
  • USB output lets you digitize your record collection (no recording software included)
    • 16-bit/48kHz output resolution for digital recording (not compatible with external DAC)
  • fully manual operation
  • 33-1/3 and 45 rpm speeds (electronic speed change)
  • built-in Speed Box provides greater speed accuracy
  • speed variance: 0.21% (at 33-1/3 RPM), 0.19% (at 45 RPM)
  • wow and flutter: 0.7% (at 33-1/3 RPM), 0.6% (at 45 RPM)
  • 16-9/16"W x 4-7/16"H (with dust cover down) x 13"D
  • weight: 13.22 lbs.
  • warranty: 2 years (1 year warranty for the supplied cartridge)
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Turntable (tone-arm and cartridge installed)
  • Platter
  • Felt mat
  • AC power adapter (w/ attached 6.5' DC cord)
  • 3 AC plugs (US/AU/EU)
  • Drive belt
  • Dust cover
  • Counter weight
  • Anti-skate weight
  • Headshell weight
  • 45 RPM adapter
  • 4' Stereo RCA cable (w/ attached ground lead)
  • 6' USB (type-B) to USB (type-A) cable
  • Allen-key
  • Two-Point Cartridge Alignment Protractor
  • Instructions for Use

Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Operation Manual
Speeds 33-1/3, 45
Cartridge Type MM
Phono Preamp No
USB Output Yes
Pitch Control No
45 RPM Adapter No
Signal to Noise Ratio 66
Wow and Flutter 0.21
Weight 13.22 lbs.

Product Research


MDF Platter & Plinth: The Pro-Ject Essential RecordMaster employs a low-resonance plinth & 12" platter, both constructed of MDF. Special feet effectively decouples the plinth from the surface. The platter includes a felt mat.

Belt Driven (Two-Speeds): The Pro-Ject Essential RecordMaster turntable features a quiet-running synchronous motor with silicone belt and diamond cut aluminum drive pulley to drive the low-resonance platter. The Essential RecordMaster turntable supports 33-1/3 and 45 rpm speeds.

8.6" Aluminum Tonearm: The Essential RecordMaster utilizes a straight 8.6" aluminum tonearm design made from a single piece of aluminum with sapphire bearings.

Ortofon OM10 Cartridge (Pre-Mounted): The turntable is fitted with a Ortofon OM10 MM-cartridge. If your receiver does not have a suitable Phono MM input, a separate phono pre-amplifier (sold separately) is required to connect the turntable to your amplifier.

Stereo RCA Outputs: The Pro-Ject turntable is equipped with stereo RCA outputs and includes a stereo RCA output to connect to the Phono input of your AV receiver, integrated amplifier, or phono pre-amplifier (all sold separately).

USB-B Output: The turntable's USB-B output and included USB cable allows you to transfer your vinyl records to your Windows PC or Mac computer and convert them to digital music files. Thanks to the turntable's "new hardware found assistant", your computer will automatically detect the turntable and recognize it as a "Microphone USB Audio Codec" (there is no need to install a separate driver manually). However, your computer will need a recording software program installed - such as Audacity (available at

Dust Cover: The Pro-Ject Essential RecordMaster comes supplied with a dust cover to prevent dust build-up on the turntable.

AC Power Adapter: The turntable operates off of standard household current using the supplied external AC power adapter.

  • Input: 100-240V~50/60Hz, 0.35A
  • Output: 15V - 0.8A (0.5A)

Colors: Available in gloss black, red, or white finish.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

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