What is a Pro-Ject RPM 3 Carbon?
The RPM 3 is an expansion of Pro-Ject’s successful Genie belt-drive turntable series, that managed to mix affordable prices with a well-developed styling some-more mostly seen on high-end models.
Despite visible similarities to a forebears, though, this is a poignant upgrade, with a important additions of a de-coupled engine and a 10-inch, S-shaped tonearm.
Pro-Ject RPM 3 Carbon – Design and Features
To anyone used to some-more normal turntables, a RPM 3’s curvy L-shaped plinth will seem rather alien. One finish of a L serves as a mountain for a tonearm, a other has a hole that helps to rightly position a freestanding engine unit; a centre houses an inverted temperament with a ceramic ball, on that a vinyl-topped platter sits.
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The RPM 3 is accessible in a choice of black, white or red for a plinth and a reduce partial of a sandwich platter. The plinth stands on 3 conical feet that finish in sharp-ish points, and 3 small, indented steel plates are supposing into that we set a feet.
Pro-Ject, formed in Vienna, isn’t a association that’s penetrating on adhering to a singular template for tonearms, with a accumulation of lengths and shapes via a range. In this box it’s opted for something unequivocally rather surprising in a turntable world: a 10-inch, S-shaped tonearm. With a difference of a 10-inch Jelco SA 750 E, S-arms are some-more traditionally 9-inch, with a few 12-inchers floating around for some of a some-more outlandish record players that can take a longer arms.
Even some-more scarcely for an S-shaped arm, this one is finished from carbon-fibre – as are many of Pro-Ject’s tonearms. It looks wonderful: it’s silken and beautifully kinked, with an integrated headshell, a captivating anti-skate resource and a lift.
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Pre-fitted to a arm and prepared aligned is an Ortofon 2M Silver MM (moving magnet) cartridge, value around £150. Replacement styluses are accessible for £75 each, that is accessible if you’re a small awkward or give your record players complicated use.
As with many Pro-Ject decks, a tonearm wire on a RPM 3 connects directly down to a span of RCA phono sockets and a belligerent depot on a behind underside. This means you’ll be means to fit your possess choice of stereo interconnect cables to offshoot it adult to your hi-fi, nonetheless Pro-Ject provides a flattering decent set of cables in a box.
Aside from a lift on a tonearm, a usually genuine control is a on/off switch on a engine unit. Changing between 33 and 45rpm speeds is achieved by simply hooking a finger around a expostulate belt and relocating it between a top and reduce engine crane – top for 33rpm, reduce for 45rpm. There’s a elementary cosmetic spider granted for wise in a centre of 45s.
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The fit, finish and styling is all top-notch. Because of a plinth shape, it’s also some-more compress than we competence design – useful if we keep your turntable on a buffet rather than a dedicated hi-fi rack.
What we don’t get is a lid or record clamp, both of that are discretionary extras costing £60 and £30 respectively – not a outrageous volume in a universe of crazily labelled hi-fi accessories.
Pro-Ject RPM 3 Carbon – Performance
The RPM 3 comes out of a box with a cartridge already fitted, so many of a initial setup involves wise a platter and attaching a expostulate belt around a engine pulley and a platter. This is a fiddly job, given a platter isn’t a thickest. It’s value regulating a elementary burble turn to check a rug is level; sadly, Pro-Ject doesn’t embody one.
After that you’re down to a some-more wily charge of environment a tracking weight for a cartridge. There’s a elementary automatic tracking-force sign supplied, that also has an integrated fixing protractor that will come in accessible if we ever confirm to reinstate that Ortofon cartridge.
Actually altering a tracking force isn’t too friendly, though. The counterweight on a behind of a tonearm is hold in place by a singular muck screw, for that an Allen pivotal is supplied. However, we found it wily to uniformly pierce a weight in a really small increments required to fine-tune a downward force of a needle. Still, once done, we won’t need to hold it again.
Since a RPM 3 is no entry-level record player, it doesn’t have a phono pre-amplifier built in – you’ll need to bill additional for one. we plugged it into a high Leema Acoustics Elements Ultra phono theatre for testing, yet Pro-Ject itself creates some some-more affordable phono stages that would fit a mid-level rug such as this.
There can be a somewhat shocking screech from a belt and pulley when we initial switch on a RPM 3’s motor, yet it’s zero to worry about. we encountered a same with a Pro-Ject RPM 10 we once owned.
Once adult and spinning, a sound peculiarity from a RPM 3 is excellent. There’s tons of a regard that’s a hallmark of vinyl, and it creates a poetic far-reaching soundstage.
It’s a small too laid behind for my liking, though. It lacks a small conflict and becomes undiluted in a mid-range with formidable tracks. Percussion can sound too calm during times – listening to “Blood Pt2″ from a “Dark Was The Night” LP, a miss of punch seemed to roughly delayed a lane down.
Stick to element that’s reduction vicious of somewhat off timing, such as Iron Wine’s Our Endless Numbered Days, and a RPM 3 is some-more during palliate and has a splendidly ethereal hold with vocals. Listening to “Fever Dream”, Sam Beam could roughly have been in a same room as me, plucking divided and kindly singing by that lush beard.
Should we buy a Pro-Ject RPM 3 Carbon?
The Pro-Ject RPM 3 is a distinguished rug that sounds roughly as good as it looks. However, a somewhat laid behind display of song means it isn’t a best all-rounder. The some-more prosaic-looking Rega Planar 3 2016 is a improved buy in this cost range, yet not by a outrageous margin.
A decent turntable that sounds roughly as good as it looks, yet isn’t utterly a best during this cost point.