Reviews

Review: Pro-Ject T2 W Turntable – A Fusion of Analog Elegance and Digital Innovation

Review: Unveil the harmonious blend of analog tradition and cutting-edge streaming in the Pro-Ject T2 W turntable—audiophile excellence redefined.

Embracing Tradition and Innovation: The Pro-Ject T2 W Turntable

Pro-Ject has carved a niche in audiophile pursuits by marrying classic craftsmanship with cutting-edge technology. The T2 W turntable, an extension of the T1 series, exemplifies this synthesis, targeting enthusiasts seeking an immersive music experience without breaking the bank. With its sleek design and dedication to unadulterated sound, the T2 W adheres to Pro-Ject’s tradition of clean lines and quality construction and ventures into uncharted territory, introducing modern features like wireless streaming that redefine the boundaries of vinyl enjoyment.

Aesthetic Simplicity, Sonic Sophistication: The Pro-Ject T2 W’s aesthetic simplicity belies its intricate engineering. Clad in walnut, white, or black, its 18 mm thick MDF board chassis serves as a stable foundation. Yet, the innovation lies in the details – a glass disc plate, precision AC motor, and a Sumiko Rainier pickup. Beyond the allure of its physical form, the T2 W seamlessly integrates into the digital soundscape, enabling users to stream their cherished vinyl records wirelessly. This review delves into the intricacies of the T2 W, exploring how it bridges the timeless allure of analog with the conveniences of the digital age, offering audiophiles a unique intersection of tradition and innovation.

Pro-Ject: Crafting Audiophile Experiences with Precision and Innovation: Pro-Ject stands as a beacon in the world of audio equipment, renowned for its commitment to delivering exceptional sound experiences through meticulously crafted turntables. Founded on clean design principles, superior engineering, and affordability, Pro-Ject has consistently appealed to music enthusiasts with a discerning ear and a budget-conscious mindset. The company’s T2 W turntable exemplifies this ethos, seamlessly blending traditional analog excellence with contemporary features like wireless streaming. Pro-Ject’s legacy is built not just on the elegance of its designs or the precision of its mechanics but on its ability to evolve, ushering in innovations that enhance the joy of listening to music in a rapidly changing audio landscape.

Technical Specifications

Speed:33,45 RPM (electronic speed change)
Principle:Belt drive
Speed variance:33: 0,6% 45: 0,5%
Wow & Flutter:33: 0,19% 45: 0,17%
Platter:10mm thick, 1,7kg heavy glass platter with felt mat
Main bearing:Stainless steel/brass
Signal to noise:67dB
Tonearm:9” aluminium
Effective arm length:230 mm
Overhang:22.0 mm
Effective tonearm mass:9.5 g
WLAN standards:IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax 2×2 MIMO; 2.4/5GHz
Included accessories:dustcover, feltmat, singles adapter, power supply, phono RCA cable
Power Supply:15V / 800 mA DC, universal power supply
Power consumption:4,5 W / <2W in network stand-by
Dimensions:457 x 134 x 335mm (WxHxD)
Weight:5,5 kg net

Design and Construction: A Symphony of Form and Functionality

The Pro-Ject T2 W turntable is a testament to the harmonious marriage of design aesthetics and functional precision in audio equipment. Crafted with meticulous attention to detail, the turntable’s design is characterized by clean lines and surfaces, embodying Pro-Ject’s commitment to simplicity and elegance. Offered in walnut, white, or black finishes, the 18 mm thick MDF board chassis provides a robust foundation, reducing sensitivity to unwanted environmental vibrations.

The engineering ingenuity of the T2 W extends to its construction, where form seamlessly serves function. The single-piece glass disc plate, at a substantial 10 mm thickness and 1.7 kg weight, contributes to the turntable’s aesthetic appeal and its operational excellence. The plate, marked as “zero-resonance” by the manufacturer, works in tandem with the precision AC motor and electronic speed control, resulting in an impressively low meow and periodic pitch fluctuation—0.19% at 33 ⅓ RPM and a mere 0.17% at 45 RPM.

The chassis further reveals the sophistication of Pro-Ject’s design philosophy through CNC machining, ensuring precise cavities that accommodate structural elements and mitigate standing waves. The reliance on a glass disc plate enhances stability and concentricity, setting the stage for a smooth and quiet ride. The turntable’s base, supported by vibration-damping rubber-plastic composite legs, ensures stability and prevents low-frequency vibrations from reaching the motherboard.

In essence, the design and construction of the Pro-Ject T2 W turntable epitomize a meticulous blend of visual elegance and engineering excellence. From the choice of materials to the precision in manufacturing, each aspect delivers an immersive and high-fidelity audio experience to the discerning audiophile.

Usability, Functionality, and Connectivity: Unraveling the Seamless Symphony of the Pro-Ject T2 W Turntable

Usability: The Pro-Ject T2 W is designed with user-friendly features, ensuring a straightforward and enjoyable experience for both seasoned audiophiles and newcomers to the vinyl realm. Its intuitive “Pro-Ject Control” app simplifies operation, offering seamless control over streaming settings and device preferences. Manual aspects, such as tonearm handling, provide a tactile connection to the traditional vinyl experience, while the app caters to modern preferences.

Functionality: The T2 W’s functionality extends beyond the conventional boundaries of turntables, offering diverse features that enhance the overall listening experience. From electronic speed control for precise RPM adjustments to the inclusion of a high-quality phono preamplifier, the turntable caters to audiophiles seeking both authenticity and innovation. The real-time streaming capability, powered by UPnP, transforms vinyl listening into a dynamic and multiroom-compatible endeavor.

Connectivity: Versatility in connectivity is a hallmark of the T2 W. Its seamless integration with local WiFi networks, facilitated by the Pro-Ject Control app, opens the door to a world of streaming possibilities. Whether connecting to a network media player or various streaming-compatible devices, the turntable adapts effortlessly, enabling users to curate their audio environment easily. Including MP3 and lossless FLAC formats ensures compatibility with multiple playback devices, offering flexibility without compromising audio quality.

In essence, the Pro-Ject T2 W champions the timeless ritual of vinyl playback and redefines it by seamlessly integrating modern functionality and connectivity. Its usability invites engagement, its functionality caters to nuanced preferences, and its connectivity options open up a world of audio possibilities, making it a versatile and dynamic addition to any audiophile’s setup.

Precision Mechanics for Superior Performance: Engineering Excellence in Every Revolution

At the heart of the Pro-Ject T2 W turntable lies a symphony of precision mechanics meticulously designed to elevate the listening experience to unparalleled heights. From the rotation of the glass disc plate to the hum of the AC motor, every component has been crafted with an unwavering commitment to delivering superior audio performance.

The glass disc plate, a striking feature with a thickness of 10 mm and a weight of 1.7 kg, serves as an aesthetic centerpiece and a critical element in maintaining perfect concentricity. Pro-Ject’s designation of it as “zero-resonance” is not mere marketing; it reflects the manufacturer’s dedication to minimizing unwanted vibrations and ensuring a flawless playback experience. The weight and thickness of the plate, combined with electronic speed control, contribute to an impressively low meow and periodic pitch fluctuation—0.19% at 33 ⅓ RPM and a mere 0.17% at 45 RPM.

The precision AC motor, equipped with electronic speed control, is the powerhouse behind the T2 W’s smooth and reliable operation. The silicone rubber flat belt efficiently transmits the drive to the turntable platter, with the axis of the platter serving as the axis of the slide bearing for the turntable chassis. This meticulous design choice ensures a smooth ride and a reduction in mechanical noise, contributing to the overall clarity of the audio output.

The slide bearing, a critical component for stability, is a testament to Pro-Ject’s commitment to engineering excellence. Crafted from a hardened steel shaft and a bronze bushing with an ultra-precise tolerance of 0.001 mm, the bearing provides a frictionless and quiet rotational movement. The attention to detail extends to the tonearm, a one-piece aluminum structure with a counterweight that can be precisely adjusted to achieve the optimal needle pressure.

In essence, the Pro-Ject T2 W’s precision mechanics go beyond mere technical specifications; they embody a commitment to sonic perfection. Each revolution is a testament to the meticulous engineering that Pro-Ject invests in its turntables, resulting in an audio experience that is not just heard but felt—a true embodiment of precision in motion.

Innovative Features: Streaming Capabilities Redefining Analog Elegance

The Pro-Ject T2 W turntable transcends conventional boundaries with a groundbreaking fusion of analog heritage and modern innovation, mainly through its revolutionary streaming capabilities. Beyond the traditional realm of vinyl playback, the T2 W seamlessly integrates into the digital landscape, ushering in a new era of connectivity and convenience.

One of the standout features is the turntable’s ability to connect effortlessly to a local WiFi network, extending its functionality beyond the confines of a solitary listening space. Managed through the intuitive “Pro-Ject Control” app, available on both iOS and Android platforms, the T2 W leverages UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) to offer a versatile streaming experience. This opens up the possibility of wirelessly transmitting vinyl sound to various streaming-compatible devices, ushering in a paradigm shift in how vinyl enthusiasts interact with their record collections.

The T2 W’s connectivity doesn’t stop there. As the turntable connects to the local network, it simplifies the streaming process and introduces the flexibility of multiroom applications. This innovative feature allows users to simultaneously enjoy their favorite records across different rooms, creating a seamless and immersive musical atmosphere throughout their living space.

The Pro-Ject Control app manages the streaming capabilities, providing a user-friendly interface to control and customize the turntable’s settings. Whether choosing between MP3 or lossless FLAC formats, adjusting streaming parameters, or selecting the target streaming device, the app transforms the T2 W into a versatile hub for audio distribution.

Furthermore, the T2 W embraces real-time streaming, adding a dynamic dimension to the vinyl-listening experience. The turntable connects effortlessly to devices like the iFi ZEN Stream network media player, allowing continuous and uninterrupted music flow.

In essence, the Pro-Ject T2 W’s innovative streaming capabilities redefine the boundaries of analog elegance. It seamlessly integrates timeless vinyl playback with the modern convenience of wireless connectivity, offering a unique and transformative audio experience for the contemporary audiophile.

Audio Performance and User Experience: A Symphony of Sonic Brilliance

The Pro-Ject T2 W turntable captivates with its innovative features and takes center stage with an audio performance that transforms music into a rich and dynamic tapestry. This section delves into the auditory enchantment and user experience that defines the T2 W, showcasing its ability to deliver an immersive and finely tuned listening experience.

The T2 W revealed its prowess in real-world tests with a tonally balanced and powerful sound signature. From the majestic resonance of Mahler’s “Resurrection” symphony to the intricate jazz melodies of The Manhattan Transfer’s Vocalese album, the turntable unveiled a sonic panorama marked by depth, warmth, and an engaging dynamism. The integrated Sumiko Rainier moving magnet pickup was more than a mere component; it became the maestro conducting a symphony of musical nuances.

The intricacies of the T2 W’s design, including the glass disc plate, electronic speed control, and precision tonearm, synergize to minimize distortions and resonate with audiophile precision. The result is a soundstage that honors the original recordings and elevates them to new heights, offering an expansive and detailed auditory experience. The bass resonates with authority, the midrange is finely detailed, and the high frequencies remain smooth without succumbing to harsh peaks.

Navigating the user interface, facilitated through the “Pro-Ject Control” app, proved to be intuitive and user-friendly. The seamless integration of streaming capabilities allows users to connect the turntable to their preferred devices effortlessly. Streaming vinyl sound over the WiFi network introduces a level of flexibility previously unheard of in the realm of analog playback. Whether controlling the T2 W via the app or engaging with the tactile aspects of vinyl, the user experience encapsulates both the nostalgia of traditional record playing and the modern convenience of wireless connectivity.

Furthermore, the Pro-Ject Control app’s ability to manage settings, choose streaming devices, and customize preferences showcases Pro-Ject’s commitment to providing users with a streamlined and versatile interface. The turntable’s connectivity with various streaming devices and its ability to deliver high-resolution audio streams ensures that the T2 W seamlessly adapts to the diverse preferences of today’s audiophiles.

In essence, the Pro-Ject T2 W dazzles with its engineering finesse and envelops users in an immersive sonic experience that transcends the ordinary. Its audio performance, marked by precision and vibrancy, coupled with an intuitive user interface, cements the T2 W as a tour de force in the world of turntables, offering a delightful blend of nostalgic analog charm and cutting-edge convenience.

Analog Essence in the Digital Age: Harmonizing Tradition and Innovation

The Pro-Ject T2 W turntable masterfully preserves the essence of analog audio in an era dominated by digital advancements, achieving a delicate balance between traditional warmth and cutting-edge connectivity. In a world increasingly enamored with digital convenience, the T2 W emerges as a symbol of Pro-Ject’s commitment to preserving the soulful nuances of vinyl while embracing the possibilities of the digital age.

The T2 W’s meticulously designed pickup system is at the core of this analog-digital fusion. Pro-Ject’s collaboration with Sumiko, a renowned manufacturer with a legacy in pickup craftsmanship, underscores the dedication to audio purity. The Sumiko Rainier moving magnet pickup, nestled within the turntable’s aluminum tonearm, delicately navigates the grooves of vinyl records. This partnership results in a stroke of brilliance—a pickup system that honors the integrity of analog recordings and does so with finesse and fidelity.

Pro-Ject’s deliberate separation of the analog signal path from the digital data path further accentuates the analog essence. This strategic design choice ensures that, even in the presence of modern streaming capabilities, the T2 W maintains a distinct warmth and silkiness in its sound reproduction. The integrated high-quality phono preamplifier, a hallmark of Pro-Ject turntables, contributes to preserving analog authenticity in every note and chord.

While streaming capabilities propel the T2 W into the digital realm, the turntable’s commitment to analog purity remains unwavering. The option for a direct analog connection to the amplifier delivers a sound that is notably warmer and silkier, highlighting the versatility that caters to both traditionalists and those embracing modern conveniences.

In conclusion, the Pro-Ject T2 W is a testament to Pro-Ject’s unwavering commitment to analog excellence amid the digital revolution. By seamlessly integrating the soulful warmth of analog sound with the convenience of streaming, the T2 W emerges as a distinctive player in the evolving audio landscape, offering enthusiasts the best of both worlds without compromising on the essence of what makes vinyl genuinely timeless.

Conclusion: The Pro-Ject T2 W – Where Tradition Meets Tomorrow

In the ever-evolving landscape of audio technology, the Pro-Ject T2 W emerges as a beacon, seamlessly bridging the revered traditions of vinyl playback with the boundless possibilities of modern innovation. Its design, characterized by clean lines and meticulous engineering, pays homage to Pro-Ject’s legacy and sets a new standard for turntable craftsmanship. The marriage of precision mechanics and streaming capabilities encapsulates the essence of analog warmth, marrying it harmoniously with the convenience of wireless connectivity. The T2 W invites audiophiles to embark on a journey where the nostalgic crackle of vinyl meets the seamless integration of digital streaming, creating an audio experience that transcends the boundaries of time.

In a market inundated with choices, the Pro-Ject T2 W is a distinctive testament to Pro-Ject’s commitment to delivering audiophile-grade excellence. Its fusion of traditional analog brilliance with cutting-edge streaming capabilities reflects a profound understanding of the evolving needs of music enthusiasts. Beyond its exquisite design and impeccable construction, the T2 W resonates with an audio performance that is not merely heard but felt—a symphony of sonic brilliance that encapsulates the very essence of music. Whether relishing the tactile joy of placing a vinyl record or indulging in the wireless freedom of streaming, the Pro-Ject T2 W remains poised as an exemplar, beckoning music lovers to embrace the past while stepping boldly into the future.

Reasons to Consider the Pro-Ject T2 W:

  1. Analog Excellence with a Modern Twist: The T2 W seamlessly blends the warmth of analog sound with innovative streaming capabilities, offering the best of both worlds. It caters to traditionalists seeking the authentic vinyl experience while embracing the conveniences of contemporary connectivity.
  2. Precision Engineering: Meticulous construction, including a glass disc plate, precision tonearm, and electronic speed control, contributes to an immersive audio experience. The turntable’s design minimizes distortions, providing a tonally balanced and powerful sound signature that elevates the listening experience.
  3. Versatile Streaming Options: The T2 W’s ability to stream vinyl sound over a WiFi network introduces unprecedented flexibility. Whether listening in a single room or orchestrating a multiroom setup, the turntable adapts to diverse preferences, making it versatile to modern audio setups.
  4. Quality Pickup and Phono Preamplifier: The collaboration with Sumiko for the Rainier moving magnet pickup ensures exceptional audio reproduction. The integrated high-quality phono preamplifier further enhances the analog signal, contributing to a rich, dynamic, and detailed sound.
  5. Intuitive User Interface: The “Pro-Ject Control” app simplifies the user experience, providing seamless control over streaming settings and device preferences. The turntable’s ability to connect effortlessly to various streaming devices enhances user convenience.

Considerations Against the Pro-Ject T2 W:

  1. Price Point: While positioned as an entry-level option for audiophiles, the T2 W may still be considered relatively pricey for those on a tight budget. Potential buyers should weigh the cost against their priorities and intended usage.
  2. Manual Operation: The absence of built-in automation means users need to manually lift and lower the tonearm, which might be a preference for traditionalists but could be a drawback for those seeking more automated functionalities.
  3. Limited Color Options: While available in three colors—walnut, white, and black—the limited color palette may not suit every aesthetic preference. Those looking for a broader range of color choices might find this limiting.
  4. Height Adjustment Limitation: The turntable’s fixed height may pose challenges when placing it on surfaces that aren’t perfectly level. Users need to ensure a flat and stable placement to avoid operational issues.

In summary, the Pro-Ject T2 W appeals to those seeking an amalgamation of analog charm and modern convenience. Its superior audio performance and streaming versatility make it a compelling choice for audiophiles willing to invest in a turntable that transcends traditional boundaries. However, potential buyers should consider their budget, preferences for automation, and color options before making a decision