After more than 30 years, Austrian hi-fi brand Pro-Ject finally got around to making a fully automatic turntable last year. Now the company has launched a bigger, heavier, more expensive sibling named the Automat A2.
“The Automat A2 takes everything our customers loved about the Automat A1 and added a load of improvements for the discerning vinyl listener,” said Pro-Ject in a press statement.
The most noticeable visual difference between the two models is a much thicker plinth, with the company reporting that its designers have reduced the hollow spaces inside to make a “very heavy” hand-painted MDF chassis that “greatly reduces unwanted resonances and decouples the A2 from outside influences.” Overall weight for the turntable comes in at 7.3 kg (16 lb).
Potential issues with external vibrations are further reduced by employing a separate floating sub-chassis for the tone-arm, platter bearing and motor. A reinforced die-cast aluminum top for the sub-chassis also helps brace the auto-mechanism. And the Automat A2 rests on silicone-damped aluminum feet.
In this outing, the listener can select the drop-off point for the 8.3-inch ultra-light-mass straight tone-arm – for 7-inch singles or 12-inch records – and also set the tracking force. That black aluminum tone-arm ends in a carbon-fiber anti-magnetic headshell with a pre-adjusted Ortofon 2M Red MM cartridge (or a Sumiko Rainier in the US).
Pro-Ject says that the tone-arm bearing has been upgraded to aluminum and features a “4-pin-point cardanic construction with steel-tip ball bearing” for “unhindered and free tone-arm movement with the lowest amount of friction possible.”
As before, the listener places a vinyl record on the platter and then hits the start switch. The electronically controlled DC motor can now drive the belt at 33, 45 and 78 rpm, which is selected on the top left. The automatic mechanism raises the tone-arm, moves it into position over the lead-in groove and the lowers the stylus for playback. The mechanism then disengages until the lead-out groove.
The Automat A2 is expected to go on sale shortly for €1,199 (we’ve no word on US pricing as of writing), and ships with a dust cover and the company’s semi-balanced, low capacitance Connect it E cable.
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