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Pro-Ject Essential II Phono USB

Manual belt-drive turntable with pre-mounted cartridge, USB output, and built-in phono preamp (Red)

4 Reviews | 3 questions - 4 answers

Item # 252ES2USBR

This item is no longer available.

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Overview

Our take on the Pro-Ject Essential II Phono USB

When it comes to bringing your vinyl collection into the digital age, a great-sounding turntable is the starting point for capturing better-sounding digital music files. The Pro-Ject Essential II Phono USB is just such a turntable. This well-crafted, easy-to-use 'table features a high-fidelity phono preamp with a built-in analog-to-digital converter and USB output that makes it a breeze to transfer music to your computer for easy archiving. Save your tunes as MP3, WAV, or other music files that you can store on your computer or download to your portable player. The built-in preamp means you can also connect the Essential II Phono USB 'table directly to almost any audio system.

Converting your records to digital? Start with better sound

When it comes to bringing your vinyl collection into the digital age, a great-sounding turntable is the starting point for capturing better-sounding digital music files. The Pro-Ject Essential II Phono USB is just such a turntable. This well-crafted, easy-to-use 'table features a high-fidelity phono preamp with a built-in analog-to-digital converter and USB output that makes it a breeze to transfer music to your computer for easy archiving. Save your tunes as MP3, WAV, or other music files that you can store on your computer or download to your portable player. The built-in preamp means you can also connect the Essential II Phono USB 'table directly to almost any audio system.

Crafted for serious sound

Pro-Ject's minimalist design philosophy focuses squarely on the features that benefit performance — no unnecessary bells and whistles here. The Essential II Phono USB's stiff, lightweight chassis rests on shock absorbing feet that help resist external vibration. Its low-resonance MDF platter spins on a precision axle and bearing that minimize friction for smooth, silent rotation. The turntable's tried-and-true belt-drive system uses a silicone belt to isolate motor vibration and prevent noise from being transmitted through to your amp and speakers. A newly designed motor control with a DC power supply further minimizes unwanted vibration. And last but not least, the Essential II Phono USB's rigid one-piece aluminum tonearm, with low-friction sapphire bearings and an Ortofon OM-5e moving-magnet cartridge provides, superior tracking ability and resonance reduction.

Enjoy the rich sound of vinyl without the hassle

Pro-Ject knows that turntable setup can be a challenge for the novice. That's why the Essential II Phono USB 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:

  • built-in phono preamp with line-level audio and USB output (Windows®, Mac®, and GNU/LINUX® compatible)
    • recording software not included (Pro-Ject recommends Audacity, a free sound recording and editing software program available at audacity.sourceforge.net
  • 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 OM-5E moving magnet cartridge
  • stainless-steel main bearing runs in bronze bushing with Teflon® bottom for smooth, quiet platter rotation
  • stiff, lightweight particle board base with shock absorbing feet
  • low-vibration synchronous motor
  • integrated motor control with DC power supply for silent operation
  • fully manual operation
  • 33-1/3 and 45 rpm speeds (manual speed change)
  • speed variance: 0.14% (at 33-1/3 RPM), 0.25% (at 45 RPM)
  • wow and flutter: 0.12%
  • signal-to-noise ratio: 65dB
  • gold-plated RCA audio jacks
  • external power supply reduces likelihood of electro-mechanical interference
  • 16-3/8"W x 4-3/8"H (with dust cover down) x 13-1/8"D
  • weight: 9 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
  • AC power adapter (w/ attached 6.5' DC cord)
  • Drive belt
  • Dust cover
  • Counter weight
  • Anti-skate weight
  • Felt pad
  • 45 RPM adapter
  • 4' Stereo RCA cable (w/ attached ground lead)
  • Female RCA to male 3.5mm adapter
  • 6' USB (type-B) to USB (type-A) cable
  • Key
  • Two-Point Cartridge Alignment Protractor
  • Instructions for Use
Reviews

Pro-Ject Essential II Phono USB Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(4 Reviews)

Pro-Ject Essential II Phono USB

Anonymous from Rockford, IL on 1/24/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The turntable is a nice piece of stereo equipment. The Ortophone catridge was the seal on the deal. The sound quality is what I had hoped for and I look forward to moving my vinyl to MP3 files. The only problem was the drive belt was not shipped with the turntable so I had to wait another week before being able to use it. But it was worth the wait. Kevin

Pros:

Cons:

Pro-Ject Essential II

Jillian from Oceanside, CA on 12/26/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The directions to put together were very clear, but the downside i would say is the rubber-band like belt. It comes off so easily and has caused a lot of frustration for us. I wish there was a groove for that to slide into to keep in place better. On the bright side, it's a beautiful turn table and it sounds amazing. There are more pros than cons!

Pros:

Cons: The belt seems to be cheap

Pro-Ject Essential II Phono USB

Karen from new york, NY on 1/31/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The turntable sounds great. We are disappointed with the product in two ways: The mat that comes with it is made of cheap felt that causes tremendous static and that comes off with every record. We already replaced it with a better mat for an extra expense. Also, the belt feels cheap and is in an awkward location on the turntable. It easily comes off, as it is really like a thin, rubber band that is round in shape. This causes the band to roll, so it will come off if you touch it by mistake when changing a record.

Pros: Great sound

Cons: As noted above, really cheap mat and really cheap band, that is in an awkward location.

Pro - Ject Essential Turntable.

Jim B. from Poway, CA on 2/16/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Two day delivery. Great quality. Like the product.

Pros: Sound is great and I like the finish. Very easy to setup.

Cons: Drive belt might be better if there was a groove in the platter.

Details

Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Features
Operation Manual
Speeds 33-1/3, 45
Cartridge Type MM
Phono Preamp Built-in
USB Output Yes
Pitch Control No
45 RPM Adapter Yes
Specs
Signal to Noise Ratio 65
Wow and Flutter 0.12
Weight 9 lbs.

Product Research

Features

Integrated Phono-MM Preamp w/ USB Output: Because the Pro-Ject Essential II Phono USB turntable includes a built-in phono preamplifier with USB output, connection to both line-level input of your HiFi system and USB port on your computer can be done simultaneously.

  • Built-in Preamp: The built-in phono equalizer preamp allows you to connect the turntable to an integrated amp or receiver that does not have a dedicated phono input. You cannot disable the built-in phono preamp. Plinth mounted RCA output jacks allow for the use of higher quality interconnects for even better sonic performance.
  • USB Phono Stage: The Pro-Ject Essential II Phono USB turntable allows you to transfer treasured vinyl records to any digital file format on your computer (software not included) with audiophile sound quality via its moving magnet phono preamplifier, A/D converter and USB (type-B) output (USB cable included). Compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. Pro-Ject recommends Audacity, a free sound recording and editing program available at audacity.sourceforge.net.

Belt Driven w/ 2-Speeds: The Pro-Ject Essential II Phono USB turntable features a quiet-running synchronous motor with silicone belt to drive the low-resonance platter. The Essential II Phono USB turntable supports 33-1/3 and 45 rpm speeds.

Particle Board Plinth: The main chassis is made from lightweight, but very stiff particle board. Special feet effectively decouples the turntable from the surface. The turntable should be positioned on a low-resonance surface such as wood or multiple layer ply-board to avoid structural vibrations disturbing replay.

MDF Platter: The Pro-Ject Essential II Phono USB employs a low-resonance platter made from MDF and includes a felt mat. The main platter bearing consists of stainless steel spindle and bronze bushing with Teflon bottom to secure low friction.

8.6" Aluminum Tonearm w/ Pre-Mounted Cartridge: The Essential II Phono USB utilizes a straight 8,6" aluminum tonearm design made from a single piece of aluminum with sapphire bearings. The tonearm is fitted with a Ortofon OM5e MM-cartridge.

Dust Cover: The Pro-Ject Essential II Phono USB 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 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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Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

Reviews say its excellent [ Doug  Feb 19, 2018 ]

3 questions already asked

No, this turntable does not have a Bluetooth connectivity option. [ Pamela  Dec 03, 2014 ]
I'm not sure of the range or pressure but I followed instructions setting it up and it works perfectly [ CLAY  May 19, 2015 ]
The recommended tracking force for the factory fitted cartridge is 17.5 mN., The supplied counterweight is suitable for cartridges weighing between 3.5 - 5.5 g. Alternative counterweights are available for cartridges weighing between 5-9 g, as an accessory part. [ Jay  May 19, 2015 ]
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