When it comes to entry-level phonographs, Pro-Ject can’t be beat. Made in Germany, the turntables are high-quality but won’t completely wipe out your bank account. The Audio Automat A1 is their latest model and is focused on quality and accessiblity for the average turntable user.

Automatics aren’t the most popular turntables for “true” audiophiles which makes this an interesting move. The turntable has a 8.3” aluminum low-mass tonearm and “precise mechanics with automated start and stop.” It includes an Ortofon OM10 cartridge and includes a dust cover.

Here’s the best part: this automatic costs $499, about as much as you’d pay for a Denon or Orbit, two competitors in the space. Plus you’re getting a design to die for.

From the release:

Handmade in Germany, the new Pro-Ject AUTOMAT series of turntables are the latest in high-quality HiFi automatic turntable design, while remaining accessible for modern homes and listening environments. The project was inspired as our team listened to our customers seeking maximum simplicity in their vinyl experience. The A1 is a reflection of experience in acoustic manufacturing, each turntable expertly assembled and adjusted by our team of top sound engineers.

This looks to be an excellent entry-level turntable for the record lover who doesn’t want to fiddle with tone arms. It doesn’t quite have the panache or features of a DJ-style turntable, it’s a serviceable piece of tech at a great price.

By John Biggs

John Biggs is an entrepreneur, consultant, writer, and maker. He spent fifteen years as an editor for Gizmodo, CrunchGear, and TechCrunch and has a deep background in hardware startups, 3D printing, and blockchain. His work has appeared in Men’s Health, Wired, and the New York Times.

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