Hifi News

Pro-Ject Essential III: Romance is in the air now that two becomes three

Pro-Ject Audio Systems has announced the availability of an improved version of the belt-driven Essential II called (and they must have stayed up all night for this one) the Essential III

Made from MDF and now wrapped in a high-gloss paint finish (available in red, white or black), the plinth is then mounted on three anti-vibration feet.


One of the most obvious changes with the new model is in the use of an upgraded Acryl-IT E platter. Available separately for £85, the Acryl-IT E reduces “the unwanted effects of resonance,” says the company. Available for use with and without the supplied felt mat, the platter uses a stainless steel bearing in a bronze bushing with a Teflon-lined bottom.


The Essential III uses the same 9V motor as its predecessor, with a built-in signal generator and a new aluminium pulley plus a new integrated grounding link. The included 8.6” aluminium tonearm includes a gimbal with sapphire bearings. Topping off the arm is the included Ortofon OM 10 cartridge (featuring an elliptical profile stylus), instead of the Essential II’s OM 5E cartridge.

Featuring a dust cover, felt mat and power supply and spanning 420 x 112 x 330mm, the two-speed turntable weighs in at 5kg. Price for the deck is £239.

To see a video on the turntable, click HERE

For more information, click www.henleydesigns.co.uk or phone 01235 511166.

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  • Reply
    5th August 2017 at 12:27 pm

    Paul, how does the new Essential III compare to the 2016 Rega Planar 1? For a vinyl newbie, which do you recommend? In England, the Essential III is 50 GBP more expensive, but in the United States the pricing is reversed: Planar 1 is nearly double the price of the Essential III! (I’m in the US.)

    Thank you.

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      5th August 2017 at 1:55 pm

      Hi Joel
      The III is excellent and you won’t be disappointed if you did grab one but the Rega would the one I’d go for, if the price was similar. With that price difference though, a better quality Pro-Ject would threaten the Rega. If your budget is tight, go for III. Hope that makes sense – replying on the move!

  • Reply
    5th August 2017 at 12:30 pm

    Correction: in the U.S., the Planar 1 ($475) is over 50% more expensive than the Essential III ($299), not nearly double.

  • Reply
    8th April 2018 at 6:04 pm

    How does the Essential III compare to the Planar 2? Is it possible to plug these into a speaker with an aux cable?
    Thank you

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      9th April 2018 at 4:23 pm

      Hi Jasper – of the two, I’d go for the Rega. Both are excellent, though. No, you’ll need a phono amp and main amp and then the speakers. Other option? A phono amp and powered speakers.

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