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Price (when reviewed): 8890 PLN

Contact: Division of Audio Tuning Vertriebs GmbH  
Margaretenstrasse 98 | A-1050 Wien


The tested product was supplied by: VOICE

ne thing Pro-Ject can not be denied is their consistence. One has to be extremely patient over the years to constantly improve something, lay new models of the same, or slightly different, "blocks" and not be tempted by some sort of a "breakthrough". Because what sells best is what's extreme, or even better - hysterically extreme. Now one realizes that this patience has paid off, but a few years ago one could have doubts as to whether it was the right way. Because again and again, for 25 years (this year Pro-Ject celebrates their silver jubilee - all the best !!!) we got from the company almost the same turntables, only slightly improved, slightly modified, slightly different. The same principle also concerned the tonearms. "Slightly" being the key word here.

The most recent Pro-Ject turntables, including the reviewed RPM-9 Carbon, fit perfectly into the baby steps policy. Its base is shaped after a drop of water. At the narrow end they mounted a tonearm, and in the middle of the circle the main bearing. The diameter of the platter and the base at this point is 300 mm, which is the same as the one of a LP. The chassis is made of MDF taped hot with a thin layer of carbon fiber submerged in the resin. It's a solution that we already know from the cheaper model RPM-5.1 Carbon here "expanded" even further – carbon fiber is glued also to the side. The motor is placed next to the chassis and the drive is transmitted by means of a round, rubber belt.

Nowością jest umieszczenie elektroniki sterującej silnikiem, w tym zmieniającej prędkość obrotową (33 1/3 i 45 rpm) w obudowie silnika. Ma ona taką samą średnicę fi, co w poprzednich wersjach, a jednak nie potrzebujemy zewnętrznego sterownika. Prędkość zmieniany małym, podświetlanym na zielono (super!) guzikiem, a wybrana prędkość sygnalizowana jest niebieskimi diodami. Synchroniczny silnik prądu stałego jest ten sam, co w RPM-5.1 Carbon, użyto także tego samego ramienia 9 CC Evo. W tej wersji dostajemy jednak aż cztery różne, wytłumione Sorbotanem, przeciwwagi, pozwalające na precyzyjne dopasowanie ich do wkładki (5 - 7,5 g | 7 - 10 g | 9 - 11 g | 10 - 14 g).

From its smaller "brother" RPM-9 Carbon differs with the said motor control, but above all, with more significant weight. Small Carbon weighed 8 kg, and here just the platter weighs 7.2 kg; and the the turntable nearly 17 kg. It is made of aluminum with a vinyl layer on the top, it is damped from the bottom using a type of rubber (TPE) for the push-wide cutter. It is made using CNC machines and it is higher and heavier, because of some additional steel elements. It is also “wrapped” with carbon fiber not only on top but also on the sides. The bearing is a classic one for this manufacturer with a ceramic ball and Teflon bed. Turntable comes with Connect it CC cable with a DIN socket on one end and RCA plugs on the other (optional XLR connectors are available).

From its smaller "brother" RPM-9 Carbon differs with the said motor control, but above all, with more significant weight. Small Carbon weighed 8 kg, and here just the platter weighs 7.2 kg; and the the turntable nearly 17 kg. It is made of aluminum with a vinyl layer on the top, it is damped from the bottom using a type of rubber (TPE) for the push-wide cutter. It is made using CNC machines and it is higher and heavier, because of some additional steel elements. It is also “wrapped” with carbon fiber not only on top but also on the sides. The bearing is a classic one for this manufacturer with a ceramic ball and Teflon bed. Turntable comes with Connect it CC cable with a DIN socket on one end and RCA plugs on the other (optional XLR connectors are available). As I wrote in the RPM-5.1 Carbon review, the 9CC Evo is one of the lightest tonearms in this manufacturer's range, that its effective weight is only 8 grams and that it should therefore work with cartridges of high and medium compliance; Denon DL-103 and similar ones may be too "stiff". It is of course true, but an incomplete one. In the real world, all Pro-Ject arms “get along” with DL-103 just fine.


The Pro-Ject RPM series turntable come in several pieces that need to be assembled before one can start using it. It's not a difficult task but surely some experience with other decks helps. The test model comes in a very nice, although simple MDF box. I will say this: all turntable that cost more than 5000 PLN should be packed this way, as well as all amplifiers and players!

I described the whole procedure in my RPM-5.1 review but it won't hurt anyone to repeat it. After opening the box one needs to take the chassis out of it and then tighten the three feet to it. The reviewed model uses large, aluminum feet featuring two surfaces decoupled by means of magnets. This solution is used by PJ for a long time and that's the only element of the design on which I have my doubts (with the magnetic suspension there is no way to disperse vibrations or convert them into the heat).

The turntable should be placed a shelf so that the arm is on the right side, perpendicular to us. Set includes a small spirit level. User should unscrew consequent feet to the point where the chassis is horizontal, and then one installs the platter. Both the spindle (in the chassis) and the bed (in the platter) feature protective plastic caps that one has to remove before installing platter. One should keep them for future use.

The motor can be set at three locations, all on the left side of the chassis: at the front, in the middle and in the back. I would suggest to set it in the front. One takes a transparent ruler and put so that its edge runs over the the axis of the arm base (there is a recess), the spindle and the axis of the motor. The distance between the motor and the platter may be adjusted by means of a transparent template that is included in the package. Cable from power supply needs to be plugged in the motor and the power adapter into a power outlet.

One may purchase this turntable together with Ortofon Bronze, or without any cartridge. To adjust VTF one has to follow instructions in the manual, it's not that difficult at all. The indications on the counterweight are precise enough although if you want to do it accurately you should ask someone for electronic scale. One should also adjust VTA by adjusting the height of the tonearm column. It can be done by unscrewing two Allen screws. Generally, the idea is that white line drawn on the side of the arm is parallel to the surface of the record. This can be measured by using a small set square. Interconnect connects to the socket placed at the bottom of the arm.

PRO-JECT in “High Fidelity”
  • REVIEW: Pro-Ject HEAD BOX RS + POWER BOX RS UNI 1 - headphone amplifier + power supply unit
  • REVIEW: Pro-Ject RPM-5.1 CARBON – turntable
  • REVIEW: Pro-Ject PRE BOX RS – DAC, read HERE
  • REVIEW: Pro-Ject BOX DESIGN MaiA – integrated amplifier, read HERE
  • AWARD OF THE YEAR 2014: CD BOX RS + PRE BOX RS DIGITAL – Compact Disc transport + D/A converter/preamplifier, read HERE
  • REVIEW: CD BOX RS + PRE BOX RS DIGITAL – Compact Disc transport + D/A converter/preamplifier, read HERE
  • AWARD OF THE YEAR 2014: Pro-Ject 1XPRESSION CARBON CLASSIC + Ortofon M SILVER - turntable + cartridge, read HERE
  • REVIEW: Pro-Ject 1XPRESSION CARBON CLASSIC + Ortofon M SILVER – turntable + cartridge, read HERE
  • REVIEW: Pro-Ject Box CD SE + DAC Box FL - CD player + D/A converter, read HERE
  • REVIEW: Pro-Ject ART-1 (+ Denon DL-A100) – turntable (+ cartridge), read HERE
  • REVIEW: Pro-Ject RPM6 SB + PRO-JECT PHONO BOX SE – turntable + phonostage, read HERE
  • REVIEW: Pro-Ject 2XPERIENCE – turntable, read HERE
  • REVIEW: Pro-Ject RPM5 SUPERPACK – turntable, read HERE
  • REVIEW: Pro-Ject HEAD BOX MkII – headphone amplifier, read HERE
  • REVIEW: The Π Ject Family Saga vol. 1, read HERE
  • REVIEW: The Π Ject Family Saga vol. 2, read HERE

  • Records used for the test (a selection)

    • Smoke Sessions - Vol.1, Smoke Sessions Records SSR-1401, „Limited Edition Collection | No. 193/500”, 200 g LP (2013);
    • Bill Evans Trio, Waltz for Debby, Riverside Records/Analogue Productions APJ009, „Top 25 Jazz | Limited Edition #0773”, 2 x 180 g, 45 rpm LP (1961/2008)
    • Dire Straits, Brothers in Arms, Warner Bros./Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab MFSL-2-441, „Special Limited Edition | No 3000”, 2 x 180 g, 45 RPM LP (1985/2014)
    • Jean-Michel Jarre & Tangerine Dream, Zero Gravity, The Vinyl Factory VF184, 180 g 45 RPM LP (2015)
    • Julie London, Julie is Her Name. Volume Two, Liberty/Analogue Productions APP 7100, 180 g LP (1958/2014)
    • Mark Knopfler, Tracker, British Groove Records 4716983, “Deluxe Limited Edition”, 2 x CD + DVD + 2 x 180 g LP (2015);
    • Skalpel, Transit, PlugAudio PL02, 2 x 180 g LP (2014)
    • The Mills Brothers, „Hymns We Love”, Dot Records DLP 3568, LP (1964)
    • Tommy Schneider & Friends, The Hidden Port, Kolibri Records no. 12001, 180 g LP (2012)
    • Wes Montgomery & Wynton Kelly Trio, Smokin’ At The Half Note, Verve/Universal Music K.K. [Japan] UCJU-9083, 200 g LP (1965/2007)
    Japanese issues available at

    Whenever a company has more than two-three products in their range, one can point out a so called "sweet spot". This is a product, or several products, after which the curve describing this relation begins to flatten rapidly. These products are not too expensive, but they are no longer cheap – they are just right. Among the Pro-Ject turntables such a place of balance was, for me for years, the RPM-5 model. First, in its basic form, then as a more sophisticated Superpack and finally in its best incarnation so far, the 5.1 Carbon.

    I remember particularly well the 2007 Superpack version test, because it was a set, which could be supplemented with new elements, one could replaced some element thus improving the quality of the sound while keeping the same sonic character of the presentation. If one liked the basic version of this turntable one could make it sound even better enhancing its advantages without exposing its weaknesses. Although the Carbon version is more expensive, it is still for me the "sweet spot" of the RPM series and the whole Pro-Ject lineup.

    The RPM-9 Carbon is almost twice as expensive as the 'Carbon 5.1'. But also its earlier versions were much more expensive than the original RPM-5. Despite that, following this model and the RPM-10 one could easily see how the price/quality ration worked - their sound was better, but not enough to justify declaring them a “new quality”. The improvements included cleaner, more accurate and more selective sound. These were still, so to speak, high quality hi-fi machines.

    The '9 Carbon' version overturns the existing stratification upside down. There is no need to pretend or be limited by a political correctness, because there is plenty of records to be listened to – it is a serious turntable. Serious in the sense that it shows things that we ask for on high-end level. E.g. the richness of the sound. I'm a big fan of RPM-5, in each version, mainly because the instruments are presented by him in a life-size, with nice, palpable bodies. They are never too bright or outlined which happened to '9' and '10' models before. The reviewed turntable offers even further improvement towards more open, more resolving sound, while maintaining the same level of richness and the scale of the sound.

    The first thing that stroke me was the amount of information, particularly in the middle and treble areas. It was real information, ie. building the message, and not the details that we do not need. They shape a rich sound with a proper flow regardless of the quality of the recording and pressing. The first records which I listened to were lo-fi releases by Warsaw label Altanova Press and the re-issue of electronic experiments Cybernetic Serendipity Music, and therefore the items one could say many things about except for one thing – one could never say these offer a refined sound. And yet, despite all this I listened to them with interest, enjoying them because I received a fantastic musical message, I knew what these recordings were about. I did not focus on the drawbacks of the media, but on music.

    And yet, as I say, this turntable shows a wealth of information at the top of the band, which for crack and pops, noise and distortion is like an open door to the prison cell – an irresistible temptation. It is capable of nice differentiation, shows the advantages of analog recording and analog remastering - see Waltz for Debby by Bill Evans Trio on 45 RPM Analogue Productions - but it also lets you close your eyes and "sail into big ocean of" sounds from digital recordings, such as, for example. 200 gram issue of Smoke Sessions. Vol. 1.

    The midband is particularly resolving. But also rather warm sounding. I'm exaggerating about this warmth a bit, but when we put RPM-9.1 and RPM-9 Carbon next to each other, we, without hesitation, will call Carbon a warm one among these two. If you have experience with more expensive turntables, then you will know that it's not about some warmth added on top, because it is not a coloration and treble is not rolled off. We will be aware that it is a "warmth" that is a result of the low distortion and - attention, the "magic" word - of coherence, so the features describing the world of high-end.

    The whole frequency range as delivered by RMP-9 Carbon is actually well balanced - neither warmed up nor dried. It is just right. If you could point the finger at something, but with care and not with the accusation, it would be more powerful lower bass. This should appeal to most listeners. I heard it best with Denon DL-103, but it was also evident with other cartridges. The control of the lowest range is not absolute - it is rather soft and meaty presentation. '9' and '10' delivered tauter and tighter bass. On the other hand, they did not deliver that much information and were not as enjoyable.

    What we get in comparison with more expensive turntables, is primarily an even larger scale of sound and better shaped instruments' bodies. Carbon soundstage is deep, also elements out-of-phase are portrayed in a fabulous way - the opening of the 12 " Jarre with Tangerine Dream single surrounded me with the sounds coming even from behind me. In turn, the width of the stage is moderate. This is a result, I think, of a limited volume of the sound. Kronos Sparta priced at 130.000 PLN, which uses carbon fiber also on the platter proves that everything can be much deeper, much bigger and many times more resolving. For a fraction of that amount, RPM-9 Carbon, however, gets us all the basic building blocks of Sparta's sound, shown in a very convincing way.

    And if I haven't convinced you yet to audition this turntable maybe an information the - especially with Denon cartridge, the background noise and pops&cracks are on this turntable negligible. Even listening through planar HiFiMan HE-6 headphones, particularly resolving, that hate bright sources, I could listen to any records comfortably and enjoy it.


    In the world of audio progress is extremely slow and rarely we can witness any technological breakthroughs. The last was the digital revolution 2.0, which took place 25 years after the previous one, associated with Compact Disc. In the analog world we use solutions designed dozens of years ago or even more. It turns out that the experiments with the materials produced much good, and carbon fiber (and titanium, but it is completely different shelf price) are perfectly suited to increase the resolution of the sound without making it bright. And that's exactly what this turntable is about. It has a full, deep sound and high resolution. Bass is well extended and slightly emphasized, and the treble is nicely extended as well. The background noise as well as cracks&pops are barely audible. This is a very serious turntable.

    RPM-9 Carbon is a non-suspended mass-loader. It's chassis is machined on CNC of MDF and hot coated on top and sides with a layer of carbon fiber. A steel element added at the bottom adds weight, lowers the center of gravity of the deck and stabilizes the main bearing. It is an inverted bearing with a ceramic ball and steel spindle mounted in the base and with a bed of hardened bronze plate. The ball is lubricated.

    The turntable rests on three large feet decoupling it from the ground. Their bodies are made of aluminum, and the upper and lower parts are separated by repelling magnets. These are adjustable feet that allows user to level the turntable but they are not particularly user-friendly – flanges that have to be turned to adjust height are placed too close to chassis so it is hard to use them.

    The nicely balanced platter weighing 7,2 kg is made of aluminum. On top they put a layer of vinyl, it also features an internal TPE damping. Turntable is delivered with a black, heavy record puck made of brass.

    Platter is set into motion by an AC motor using a rubber, round belt. The motor sits inside a large, aluminum cast housing placed on a steel base. The whole structure vibrates a bit during operation, which should be improved in the future. There is a novelty in this design – a precise DC driven AC generator (Speed Box) that is built-in together with electronic speed control with 33/45 rpm switching. It runs on DC 15 V DC external power supply

    The deck is supplied with the 9” (230 mm) Pro-Ject 9CC Evo tonearm already installed. The set includes also the Pro-Ject Connect It 5CC phono cable terminated with DIN and RCA plugs.

    Specifications (according to manufacturer)

    RPM-9 Carbon
    Wow & flutter: 33: +/- 0.10% | 45: +/- 0.10% Speed drift: 33: +/- 0.10% | 45: +/- 0.10% S/N: - 75 dB External power supply: 15 V DC/800 mA Power consumption: 13 W (max)/< 0.3 W (standby) Dimensions: 440 x 180 x 325 mm (S x W x G) Weight: 16.7 kg

    9cc EVO carbon
    Effective arm length: 230 mm Effective arm mass: 8 g Overhang: 18 mm Tracking force range: 0 – 35 mN



    - Turntable: AVID HIFI Acutus SP [Custom Version]
    - Cartridges: Miyajima Laboratory KANSUI, review HERE | Miyajima Laboratory SHILABE, review HERE | Miyajima Laboratory ZERO (mono) | Denon DL-103SA, review HERE
    - Phono stage: RCM Audio Sensor Prelude IC, review HERE

    - Compact Disc Player: Ancient Audio AIR V-edition, review HERE

    - Line Preamplifier: Polaris III [Custom Version] + AC Regenerator, regular version review (in Polish) HERE
    - Power amplifier: Soulution 710
    - Integrated Amplifier: Leben CS300XS Custom Version, review HERE

    - Stand mount Loudspeakers: Harbeth M40.1 Domestic, review HERE
    - Stands for Harbeths: Acoustic Revive Custom Series Loudspeaker Stands
    - Real-Sound Processor: SPEC RSP-101/GL
    - Integrated Amplifier/Headphone amplifier: Leben CS300XS Custom Version, review HERE
    - Headphones: HIFIMAN HE-6, review HERE | HIFIMAN HE-500, review HERE | HIFIMAN HE-300, review HERE | Sennheiser HD800 | AKG K701, review (in Polish) HERE | Ultrasone PROLine 2500, Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro, version 600 - reviews (in Polish): HERE, HERE, HERE
    - Headphone Stands: Klutz Design CanCans (x 3), review (in Polish) HERE
    - Headphone Cables: Entreq Konstantin 2010/Sennheiser HD800/HIFIMAN HE-500, review HERE

    - Portable Player: HIFIMAN HM-801
    - USB Cables: Acoustic Revive USB-1.0SP (1 m) | Acoustic Revive USB-5.0PL (5 m), review HERE
    - LAN Cables: Acoustic Revive LAN-1.0 PA (kable ) | RLI-1 (filtry), review HERE
    - Router: Liksys WAG320N
    - NAS: Synology DS410j/8 TB
    System I
    - Interconnects: Acrolink Mexcel 7N-DA6300, review HERE | preamplifier-power amplifier: Acrolink 8N-A2080III Evo, review HERE
    - Loudspeaker Cables: Tara Labs Omega Onyx, review (in Polish) HERE
    System II
    - Interconnects: Acoustic Revive RCA-1.0PA | XLR-1.0PA II
    - Loudspeaker Cables: Acoustic Revive SPC-PA

    System I
    - Power Cables: Acrolink Mexcel 7N-PC9300, all system, review HERE
    - Power Distributor: Acoustic Revive RTP-4eu Ultimate, review HERE
    - Power Line: power cable Oyaide Tunami Nigo (6m); wall sockets 3 x Furutech FT-SWS (R)
    System II
    - Power Cables: Harmonix X-DC350M2R Improved-Version, review (in Polish) HERE | Oyaide GPX-R (x 4 ), review HERE
    - Power Distributor: Oyaide MTS-4e, review HERE
    - Stolik: SolidBase IV Custom, read HERE/all system
    - Anti-vibration Platforms: Acoustic Revive RAF-48H, review HERE/digital sources | Pro Audio Bono [Custom Version]/headphone amplifier/integrated amplifier, review HERE | Acoustic Revive RST-38H/loudspeakers under review/stands for loudspeakers under review
    - Anti-vibration Feets: Franc Audio Accessories Ceramic Disc/ CD Player/Ayon Polaris II Power Supply /products under review, review HERE | Finite Elemente CeraPuc/ products under review, review HERE | Audio Replas OPT-30HG-SC/PL HR Quartz, review HERE
    - Anti-vibration accsories: Audio Replas CNS-7000SZ/power cable, review HERE
    - Quartz Isolators: Acoustic Revive RIQ-5010/CP-4

    - FM Radio: Tivoli Audio Model One