pl | en



Price (when reviewed): 28 990 PLN

Contact: Heinz Lichtenegger,
CEO Pro-Ject Audio Systems |


Provided for test by VOICE

he history of PRO-JECT special products began, as far as I remember, in November 2003. Its founder and director, Mr. Heinz Lichtenegger, signed then 500 certificates attached to the gold-plated version of the Pro-Ject Phono Box Limited Edition phono preamplifier; it was a way to celebrate the sale of 100,000 pieces of this product. It so happens that I have such a set with the number 162 (more HERE).

Another opportunity presented itself in 2010, when the company celebrated its 20th anniversary. Three turntables models were presented at that time: 1-Anniversary, ART-1 and Signature. Each of them based on an already existing model - ART-1 reviewed by us was based on the Debut III Esprit. Although inexpensive, its appearance was tuned using a few elements, some other elements were changed completely, and - as I wrote at that time - first of all, it was given a special feature: its artistic design prepared by one of the most well-known Austrian artists, Barbara Mungenast, recognizable among other things due to her "circular" paitings. Important thing was that the turntable was limited to 100 pieces, and each had a handwritten autograph of the artist and a unique serial number.

A bit different idea was used for subsequent special editions, because they were devoted to different bands and artists within the Artist Collaboration series: first there was The Rolling Stones Edition, and then The Beatles, George Harrison, and so on. However, Pro-Ject has never before offered such an expensive turntable as the 175 The Vienna Philharmonic Recordplayer, as they called the latest, special edition model. Not only is it limited to 175 pieces of the special version of the Classic SB model, it is also the most expensive turntable in the history of this company.

| Sub-chassis

Pro-Ject models from the Classic series refer to classic turntables, starting from the original Acoustic Research XA, through TD-160 models and other Thorens models, Linn Sondek LP12, turntables from the American company Sota to their contemporary versions of Thorens and Linn. The common feature of these designs was the decoupled base. It consisted of two independent elements: the proper base (chassis) and an auxilary one (sub-chassis). This arrangement was aimed at separating a cartridge from vibrations coming from the engine and the surface on which the turntable was placed. The motor was mounted on the chassis, and the main bearing, i.e. the plate, and the tonearm on the sub-chassis.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, this solution seemed perfect to many engineers and music lovers, because to a point it made a turntable less placement dependent. For turntables without decoupling/suspension, especially of a light construction, the placement become a key. That's shelves mounted to the wall gained such popularity once. De-coupling the sub-chassis from the chassis and motor allowed users to approach this problem less restrictively.

It is worth noting, however, that this is only one of the possibilities for high-end products continued, among others, by Linn, and in the modified version by SME, Avid Hi-Fi and Kronos. At the same time, many top manufacturers chose a rigid/un-suspended designs, that use larga mass to dampen vibrations. You can find examples in the Acoustic Signature, Transrotor or TechDAS lineups. The latter decided to suspend its design using feet.

As you can see, the two-part decoupled base is just one of the possibilities and turntables featuring this type of design are simply a compromise of a different kind than the ones of a non-decoupled, heavy origin. Let me add that in Poland decoupled turntables were once produced by Unitra - see the Daniel model (more HERE).


The new anniversary Pro-Ject was based on a "regular" Classic SB model. It is a suspended design turntable, with belt drive and "S" type tonearm. It is delivered together with a special version of the Ortofon cartridge named: 175. All of its elements have been tuned together, so one can talk about a "system", not about individual components.

| Chassis

Its special feature is a wooden frame, part of the sub-chassis. The frame is made of wood covered with high gloss lacquer. There are two versions available: Dark Cello and Bright Violin. The top plate is a sandwich made of MDF board and a 3 mm thick polished brass, protected against oxidation with a transparent lacquer. In the lower right corner, a large, anniversary logotype of the Vienna Philharmonics was milled out.

The upper plate connects to the chassis through six elastic elements made of a thermoplastic elastomer (Thermo Plastic Elastomer = TPE). And this is the biggest change compared to classic, suspended turntables – those featured springs. They were given up, I think, because they required constant control and adjustment, and because the upper plate was not stable, it always moved slightly. A drive motor with an aluminum pulley was screwed to the bottom plate. From the bottom, three feet are screwed in, which additionally insulates the whole design from the ground. The motor has been integrated with an electronic power supply. The power is turned on with a button resembling the shape of a flute button. The speed indication is provided by two blue LEDs.

| Platter

An aluminum platter of a small thickness is dynamically balanced and damped with rubber-like material, pressed from the bottom to a wide cutter on the perimeter. It is placed on a large-sized sub-platter, in this version made of CNC machined aluminum. The flat drive belt is placed on one side on th epulley on the motor axis and on the other on the sub-platter. Both elements are hidden under the platter, which gives the turntable a simple look.

A leather mat features as an interface between the platter and the record. I must admit that I am not an advocate of this solution for ethical reasons. So I think that we might as well order a version with a cork mat with rubber elements. Or stay with the leather one – your choice. The LP is fixed to the platter using a screw-on aluminum, gold-plated clamp. The main bearing is made of a steel spindle moving inside a bronze sleeve. Both elements are much larger than those in Classic turntables, which contributes to the greater mass of this turntable.

| Tonearm

Not only the polished upper plate, but also the arm shimmers and shines. Its name - Pro-Ject 9 "S-Shape Special Tonearm - says a lot about its construction. It features a gimball suspension, and the aluminum, hand-polished tube has the "S" shape. Its effective length is 9 ". At its end, a replaceable brass polished Amati headshell is screwed into it. The arm has a high effective mass, so it requires the use of low compliance cartridges. Also here you will find an element taken from a musical instrument - a holder one uses to lift the arm has a shape of a flap closing the hole in the transverse flute. The counterweight with the gold-plated other edge is screwed onto the plastic spindle of the arm. Antiskating features a rare mechanism - it is a weight suspended on a line, but it is very stable and does not vibrate during disc playback.

| Cartridge

As a part of this system customer buys also the Ortofon 175 cartridge. Manufacturer reffers to it as: "Selected High-End Moving Coil System Ortofon 175". Its body is made of steel and polished aluminum, therefore it is quite heavy - 10.7 g. It features a ruby cantilever, and the stylus is nude FG 70. It has a relatively low compliance of 12 μm/mN; recommended VTF is 2.5 g. The company recommends impedance loading of 50 to 200 Ω. Comparing this information with regular Ortofon lineup one can assumed that this is a modified version of the Cadenza Blue. Cadenza is the company's top series, sharing the body shape with its most expensive model, Windfeld Ti. The Cadenza Blue costs 6.200 PLN.

| Pride

The 175 The Vienna Philharmonic Recordplayer is a special product for the owner of the Pro-Ject company, Mr. Heinz Lichtenegger, arising from the needs of his heart. Therefore, he deals with orders personally. He made sure that the buyer would get a complete product, perhaps a one for a lifetime. The turntable is therefore packaged in a neat plywood box bearing the anniversary logo of the Vienna Philharmonics. Inside there is a second box made of wood, for subassemblies, also bearing the logo. On the back of the turntable there is a tablet with an individual number (xx / 175) and the name of the person who ordered the turntable. Two months is a waiting time for the finished product - it comes with a congratulatory letter signed personally by Mr. Lichtenegger.

175th Anniversary Edition 6 LP Box Set

The 175th anniversary of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra was almost a national holiday in Austria. The state mint for this occasion has minted a coin with a denomination of 20 euros – made of silver with the golden anniversary logo incorporated in it. Several concerts and receptions were held, and the Pro-Ject company prepared a special model of its turntable. The Deutsche Grammophon joined the celebration by preparing two boxes with this orchestra's recordings. One with 64 CDs and the other with six vinyl albums; at the moment we are interested in the latter.

The collection includes the following recordings: Bruckner and his Symphony No. 2 in C major conducted by Riccardo Muti, Schumann and Symphony No. 3 Rhenish with Cello concerto conducted by Leonard Bernstein, album by Carlos Kleiber conducting the Symphony No. 7 in A major by Beethoven; Claudio Abbado conducting Hungarian Dances by Brahms and Herbert von Karajan in Wagner's material containing orchestral works.

The records were pressed on 180 g vinyl and the number was limited to 1842 pieces. The recordings have been selected by the orchestra and it is a selection of their performances under five of its most respected conductors. The Bruckner's 2nd Symphony, conducted by Riccardo Muti recorded live during the Salzburg Festival in 2016, was released for the first time; The matrix for it and for record number 6 (Wagner) were cut in Emil Berliner Studios. As it reads in the company materials, material for all the albums originated from master-tapes and received a new master. It is not known whether the remaster took place in the digital or analog domain - I would bet on the digital. Besides, most recordings including Bruckner, Brahms, Schumann and Wagner are digital recordings.

Price – on around 100 USD.

The tested turntable was placed on the top shelf of the Finite Elemente Pagode Edition rack on the pneumatic Acoustic Revive RAF-48H platform. I also listened to it without the platform, but it performed better with the RAF-48H. The signal from turntable was sent through the Crystal Cable Absolute Dream interconnect to one of two - interchangeably - phonostages I currently use: RCM Audio Sensor Prelude IC or Grandinote Celio Mk IV, and from there to the Ayon Audio Spheris III line preamplifier with Siltech Triple Crown interconnect. I have dedicated a separate listening session to the Balanced Audio Technology VK-P6SE preamplifier. The preamplifiers were powered using a Siltech Triple Crown Power cable (a speaker cable came from the same series).

PRO-JECT in „High Fidelity”
  • REVIEW: Pro-Ject ESSENTIAL III PHONO | turntable
  • REVIEW: Pro-Ject RPM-9 CARBON | turntable
  • 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 (Polish)
  • REVIEW: Pro-Ject BOX DESIGN MaiA – integrated amplifier, read HERE (Polish)
  • AWARD: BEST SOUND 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
  • REVIEW: Pro-Ject 1XPRESSION CARBON CLASSIC + Ortofon M SILVER – turntable + cartridge, read HERE (Polish)
  • REVIEW: Pro-Ject Box CD SE + DAC Box FL - CD player + D/A converter, read HERE (Polish)
  • 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 (Polish)
  • REVIEW: Pro-Ject 2XPERIENCE – turntable, read (Polish)HERE
  • REVIEW: Pro-Ject RPM5 SUPERPACK – turntable, read HERE (Polish)
  • REVIEW: Pro-Ject HEAD BOX MkII – headphone amplifier, read HERE (Polish)
  • REVIEW: The Π Ject Family Saga vol. 1, read HERE (Polish)
  • REVIEW: The Π Ject Family Saga vol. 2, read HERE (Polish)

  • Records used during test (a selection)

    • Smoke Sessions - Vol.1, Smoke Sessions Records SSR-1401, „Limited Edition Collection | No. 193/500”, 200 g LP (2013);
    • Andreas Vollenweider, Caverna Magica (...Under The Tree - In The Cave...), CBS 25 265, „Halfspeed Mastered”, LP (1983)
    • Depeche Mode ‎A Broken Frame, Mute STUMM9, LP (1982)
    • Duke Jordan Trio, So Nice Duke, Three Blind Mice/Master Music MSA-001, „Harmonix Master Sound”, 180 g LP (1982/2017)
    • Jean-Michel Jarre, Zoolook, Disques Dreyfus/Polydor JAR4 5, LP (1984)
    • Paul Desmond, Take Ten, RCA Victor/Speakers Corner Records LSP-2569, 180 g LP (1963/2005)
    • Paul O’Brien & Uli Kringler Trio, Stockfisch Studio Session 2009, Stockfisch SFR 357.8010.1, 45 RPM, 180 g LP
    • Peggy Lee, Is That All There Is?, Capitol/Pure Pleasure Records ST-386, 180 g LP (1969/?)
    • The Bassface Swing Trio, The Bassface Swing Trio plays Gershwin, Stockfisch SFR 357.8045.1, 180 g LP + SACD/CD (2007),
    • The Bassface Swing Trio, Tribute to Cole Porter, Stockfisch SFR 357.8056.1, „Limited Edition | Promo”, 180 g LP + SACD/CD (2008),

    Japanese issues available at

    Although it should not come as a surprise, every time it is equally strong, which probably does not make me look good - the point is that Pro-Jecta turntable systems always and everywhere deliver a well-thought-out performance, they offer a "finished" sound. It's all about its internal coherence and compactness. It does not have to be the best sound in the world, not even the best in absolute categories in its price category. It does not seem that Pro-Ject even tries to fight for superiority in one or the other category. It seems though that they always take a particularly good care so that all the elements of a system they offer come together like an origami, so that individual sonic features do not fight but rather support each other. That description fits the 175 The Vienna Philharmonic Recordplayer perfectly.

    I would describe its sound as extremely enjoyable. Extremely, as in 'exceptionally', 'especially', 'unbelievably'. It is a design that focuses its efforts on the smoothness of the sound. The tracks flow like velvet, they caress us around the ears, they smooth out the unruly strands of hair on our heads. It is an invitation to the "waltz", so to speak, as no one is in a hurry, no one pushes us to do anything. It owes it, I think, to a gentle sound attack, a warm tone and a dense “network” of sounds spread between the speakers. There are no empty spaces and hidden "pockets" of air, which appear, for example, with stronger dynamics or when the bass goes deep down.

    Which was nicely presented by the three records from a special series, released year after year between 2007 and 2009, by Stockfisch Records, with "live" recordings, but made in the studio. Realized using different techniques they also sound different. Two of them, i.e. the "direct-to-disc" recording of The Bassface Swing Trio and the 45 RPM by Paul O'Brien and Uli Kringler Trio sound incredibly dynamic, and bass goes down very low while been rich, thick even. The Pro-Ject played them in an unusual way - ie warm, thick, smooth. It was obvious that the sound attack was eased, and the upper treble did not develop strongly. So there was no ultimate dynamics, and the recordings were not "x-rayed".

    But, it seems, that's not what it was about. It's about performance extracting from the album what's happening between the musicians and delivering a warm and saturated sound. This is the most important thing here. In the voices recorded by Stockfisch Records, always large, warm and boosted, you can sometimes hear an emphasized sibilant, sometimes an upper midrange - but not here, not with these vinyls. The tested turntable went even further and softened the upper treble, because the midrange is the most important part of the range here. It delivered a low, fleshy bass, did not extinguish it dynamically, but also slightly rounded it.

    This is a turntable that does not force you to analyze the sound. It is not that it does not allow it, but that it leaves the choice to us. It sounds warm and rich enough so that we do not have to study the sound under microscope looking for flaws. This time it's enough to enjoy the music, no matter what you're listening to. But at the same time the resolution is good enough so that we can clearly hear differences between recordings.

    It's not a coincidence that with these three Stockfisch records, I quickly turned off the one with material originally registered in the digital domain (DSD) because - in my opinion, it sounded worst of them. Everything seems to be in its place, it sounds good, and yet dynamics is extinguished, and the tone slightly suppressed. But the reason for that might have been different, perhaps the turntable indicated both the strengths and weaknesses of this digital recording and digital recording issued on vinyl in general. What seemed to be confirmed by listening to the Smoke Session album, a disc released on 200-gram vinyl, recorded using top analog systems, including tube ones, but with a hi-res PCM digital recorder at the end. Its sound was balanced, good, but not as emotional as the albums with a fully analog pedigree listened to moments later. There was something missing in this sound.

    And so – the Pro-Ject presented it bluntly, which testifies well to its resolution. But it also did not discourage me from listening. If only the music suited me, I was able to listen to new re-editions of older albums, including those bought in Biedronka (low-price discount) for 50 PLN or less. There was a nice tone bAlanace, pleasant dynamics and reasonable level of the insight into the recording. However, I have an impression that with time most will start digging deeper and looking for first-press records, analog remasters, higher quality editions, even if it means spending more on records.

    Listen to Take Ten by Paul Desmond re-issued by Speakers Corner, So Nice Duke by Duke Jordan Trio from the Three Blind Mice, recently re-issued by Mr. Kazuo Kiuchi under the Harmonix brand, or the original release of A Broken Frame, and you will realize what I mean. These are records with which the Pro-Ject turntable will show you something more, i.e. sound layers, it will saturate the midrange even more and open the dynamics. It is surely not a dynamics master, one can say that it treats it as something additional, supportive. Maybe that's why powerful recordings such as Master of Puppets by Metallica, the 45 rpm version, sounded bit too “polite”, without proper kick.

    But it should probably be clear at this point that it is a turntable conceived for other type of music, tuned - and I use this term not only figuratively, ultimately it is a kind of "electromechanical instrument", but also literally - for different music. How different? Jazz that I started with is number one, along with the classical music. But it is not a coincidence that I recalled Depeche Mode album from the times when they were still doing analogue recordings. Because it is the electronic music from the 1970s and 1980s that sounds insanely good with this Pro-Ject. I say this with full responsibility, knowing and recognizing the limitations of this design.

    Because the tone, volume and density of the sound are the elements that will be useful both with Andreas Vollenweider's Caverna Magica and Jean-Michel Jarre's Zoolook. These discs were released - respectively - in 1983 and 1984, but the former is an analog recording and the latter a digital one. In spite of what I said earlier, or perhaps because of that, the French musician's album sounded beautifully, without the often emphasized by turntables bright upper midrange. The sound was not as "pure" as from more analytical decks, but it did not stop me from almost ecstatic listening.

    Another features that support it are almost imperceptible noise and almost no pops&cracks. Let's be clear – the credit for that goes partially to the rounded attack and the withdrawn upper treble. But also, to a much greater extent, it's a result of designer's idea for a performance of this turntable, for listening to the music. It is not about listening to the details, searching for connections between all music elements. This mesh is hidden under music, covered with rich, dense tone.


    When buying a turntable we hope to enter the world of "analogue", and more specifically - of "vinyl." It rarely happens that we want to repeat our experience of listening to a CD. If this is how you think about vinyl records, this limited to 175 pieces Pro-Ject turntable has been designed for you. This is the essence of "vinyl" sound, the pill of happiness in an extremely attractive form, offering the feeling of having a unique, one-of-a-kind product.

    Its sound has been tailored exactly to meet such taste and to this extent it is an absolutely classic sound, which corresponds to both the model being the basis of this special edition one and the organization it was created to honor. Warm, rich and silky presentation with good resolution, on the other hand with smoothed dynamics, attack and warm treble. I would not combine it with warm phono preamplifiers, but the connection cable should be as saturated, rich as possible. It will allow user to get the essence of what playing music from vinyl records is. It's just the 175 The Vienna Philharmonic Recordplayer.

    Specifications (according to manufacturer)

    Nominal speeds: 33/45 r.p.m
    Drive principle: belt-drive
    Platter: aluminum, ø 300 mm
    Axle main bearing: stainless steel
    Wow and flutter:
    33 U/min: ±0.10 % | 45 U/min: ±0.09 %
    Speed variance:
    at 33 U/min: ±0.13 % | at 45 U/min: ±0.10 %
    S/N: 72 dB

    Effective length: 9”
    Material: aluminum
    Shape: S-Shape
    Headshell: removable, brass

    Selected, High-End Moving Coil System Ortofon 175
    Mass: 10.7 g
    Cantilever: ruby
    Stylus: nude FG 70
    Compliance: 12 μm/mN
    Recommended VTF: 2.5 g

    Power consumption:
    max. 5 W | standby < 0.5 W
    Dimensions (W x H x D): 462 x 131 x 351 mm
    Weight: 13 kg



    - 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