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Pro-Ject Essential III

Manual belt-drive turntable with pre-mounted cartridge (Gloss Red)

6 Reviews | 1 question - 3 answers

Item # 252ES3GR

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Our take on the Pro-Ject Essential III

The Pro-Ject Essential III lets you start enjoying the rich, warm sounds of vinyl at a reasonable price.

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

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

Enjoy rich vinyl sound at a great price

The Pro-Ject Essential III lets you start enjoying the rich, warm sounds of vinyl at a reasonable price.

A solid MDF (medium density fiberboard) base with shock-absorbing feet keeps unwanted vibrations from causing skips. And a pre-mounted Ortofon OM10 cartridge helps you get into the groove right away. Choose from three high-gloss colors to match your decor.

Start spinning records quickly

Pro-Ject knows that turntable setup can be a challenge. The Essential III 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
  • fully manual operation
  • 33-1/3 and 45 rpm speeds (manual speed change)
  • speed variance: 0.7% (at 33-1/3 RPM), 0.6% (at 45 RPM)
  • wow and flutter: 0.21%
  • requires a phono preamp or phono input on receiver or preamplifier
  • 16-9/16"W x 4-7/16"H (with dust cover down) x 13"D
  • weight: 11.02 lbs.
  • warranty: 2 years (1 year warranty for the supplied cartridge)
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Turntable (tonearm and cartridge installed)
  • AC power supply (w/ attached 6.5' DC cord)
  • 3 AC plug adapters (US/UK/EU)
  • Platter
  • Belt
  • Mat
  • 45 RPM adapter
  • Anti-skate weight
  • Counter weight
  • Head-shell weight
  • Dust cover
  • Plastic hook-tool
  • Hex-key
  • Instructions For Use
  • Two-Point Cartridge Alignment Protractor

Great turntable. Easy set-up and sound is amazing for this price. Very good cartridge included.

Manuel, Hialeah, FL


Pro-Ject Essential III Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(6 Reviews)
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Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Operation Manual
Speeds 33-1/3, 45
Cartridge Type MM
Phono Preamp No
USB Output No
Pitch Control No
45 RPM Adapter No
Signal to Noise Ratio 66
Wow and Flutter 0.21
Weight 11.02 lbs.

Product Research


MDF Platter & Plinth: The Pro-Ject Essential III XE 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 III XE turntable features a quiet-running synchronous motor with silicone belt and diamond cut aluminum drive pulley to drive the low-resonance platter. The Essential III XE turntable supports 33-1/3 and 45 rpm speeds.

8.6" Aluminum Tonearm: The Essential III XE 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.

Fixed RCA Cable: The turntable features fixed 39" stereo RCA cable and ground wire. The turntable's internal wiring consists of high-grade flexible copper from the headshell right through to the fixed connection cable.

Dust Cover: The Pro-Ject Essential III XE 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.

Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

Adjustable counterweight. Good cartridge. Anti skate. Cue arm. Dust cover. Can't be beat. [ KEN  Jan 24, 2018 ]
Reviews and the help from Mick my adviser! [ Michael  Nov 05, 2017 ]

1 question already asked

It does not, but I find that keeps me on my toes and helps me time 20-30 minute segments which is great while cooking. [ Matthew  Jun 11, 2018 ]
No, this is a manual turn table [ Mike  Jun 11, 2018 ]
No it does not [ SUSAN  Jun 11, 2018 ]

Looking for more? Check out the next model in this lineup.

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC red

Made from advanced materials for a superior vinyl playback experience

The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon (DC) offers these features:

heavy 12" steel platter with felt mat provides excellent speed stability and protects records from scratches

one-piece carbon fiber tonearm for superior rigidity and low resonance

pre-mounted Ortofon 2M Red moving magnet cartridge