The Pro-ject RPM-3 Carbon turntable is a fully functional model fitted with a decoupled high precision motor, a carbon, aluminium and resin alloy S shaped tonearm and with an inverted platform with ceramic marbles. It is also fitted with an Ortofon 2M Silver cartridge, a reference amongst hi-fi cartridges. This cartridge is directly derived from the Ortofon 2M Red and only differs from it due to the use of silver instead of copper for its conductors.
Pro-Ject RPM-3 Carbon- a very technical turntable
Everything in the Pro-Ject RPM-3 was designed to minimize vibrations and interference. First is the central mass of the structure, which was designed to offer maximal vibration dampening. The low resonance structure also adopts an inverted platform with ceramic marbles, just like the Pro-ject RPM-1 Carbon. The vinyl covered platter is driven by a silicone belt paired with a completely decoupled motor and a switch power supply. The diecast S shaped tonearm was manufactured under high temperature and pressure and benefits from an ultra-rigid carbon, aluminium and resin structure. This design results in an excellent damping capacity, especially given that the counter-weight is also dampened. The new generation tonearm is a 10” model (254 mm). The Pro-Ject RPM-3 Carbon turntable is, on paper, a rather charming mid-range model.
Pro-Ject RPM-3 Carbon- assembly
If you are a beginner in the hi-fi world, setting up this turntable is not complicated. The cartridge is pre-installed on the tonearm and the user only has to install the platter on its axis, place the motor in its compartment and adjust the counterweight. The only tricky part may be placing the rubber belt around the platter as there is no user guide to help the user.
Pro-Ject RPM-3 Carbon- a high-quality cartridge
The Ortofon 2M Silver was specifically developed by Ortofon. Derived from the famous 2M Red model it stands out due to its silver internal wiring which enhances the restitution of high frequencies. This cartridge is the result of a long research process to obtain a high performing mobile magnet model as regards frequency response and musicality. The 2M technology is based on a split magnetic motor designed to reduce Foucault currents. This design results in an extremely linear response curve and an outstanding sensitivity of 5.5 mV, which makes it compatible with all phono preamps.
Pro-Ject RPM-3 Carbon- listening impressions
We listened to the Pro-Ject RPM-3 turntable with the Graham Slee Amp 2 Communicator preamp, Hegel H80 amplifier and Focal Aria 906 speakers. The listening session was so rich that it gave us the impression that we were rediscovering our records. A tremendous amount of micro details were audible and gave the wide sound stage a real flavour. The low end was warm and comforting. In Serge Gainsbourg’s “Aux armes et caetera”, for example, the percussions and drums were spot on, despite the fact that we were using compact speakers. The timing was very accurate. The bass line was clear and we could follow it without any difficulty. The voice of the artist, often placed on the left of the sound stage, left the centre to the I Threes. The atmosphere of the sound take was easily perceptible. To obtain such an impression with a digital source would require a much more expensive configuration. The restitution was ample and the space was handled in a very natural way. The higher end of the spectrum was not over the top, even though the Pro-Ject RPM-3 & Graham Slee Amp 2 Communicator pair definitely stimulated the tweeters of the Focal Aria 906. A lot of substance in the mid-range as well. The Pro-Ject RPM-3 Carbon turntable delivered a smooth, coherent, soft and very comforting sound.
Pro-Ject RPM-3 Carbon- conclusion
A very enjoyable listening experience. This turntable, which was awarded the EISA award, is recommended for every music enthusiast who wants to invest in an original and musical turntable.
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