A guide to the design and the correct installation of Pro-Ject record players
The Design Principles behind Pro-Ject record players
The Turntable and Motor System
page.3, 4
The importance of setting the turntable level
The Tone-Arm
Vertical Tracking Angle, the Initial Adjustment
The Azimuth Adjustment
The Lateral Tracking Error
page.8, 9
The Down-Force or Tracking Weight and Bias Compensation
The Fine Adjustment of the Vertical Tracking Angle
Aligning the Tone Arm and Cartridge
page.12, 13
Fitting a new Cartridge to the Tone Arm
Adjusting the Lateral Tracking Error
Making the Connections and Speed Change
page.16, 17
Service and Packing
The Design Principles behind Pro-Ject record players
Before a record player can be designed, some important principles must be understood. The most
important of these is that the stylus or diamond tip of the cartridge must exactly trace the
undulations pressed into the groove walls of the record. For this to happen the pickup cartridge
must be held absolutely rigid and stable, and the record must also be held absolutely rigid and
stable. Then the only thing that is moving is the diamond tip, and as a result the output of the
cartridge is a perfect electrical replica of the shape of the groove with nothing added and nothing
taken away.
That is the theory. In practice the record is being rotated and so cannot be held rigid and the
cartridge is mounted in a freely moving tone-arm, which also cannot be held totally rigid.
None the less the skill of the designer is to rotate the turntable at a constant speed whilst allowing
it to have no lateral (side-to-side) motion and to design a totally rigid tone arm which allows the
stylus to track across the record. The success of the designer in getting close to these ideals
determines the ultimate performance and the quality of the musical experience.
But there is more. The designer may do a superb job, but he needs to be backed up by a factory
that is capable of manufacturing components to very close mechanical accuracy and tolerances
then assembling them with care before aligning them to absolute standards.
Over the next few pages we’ll take a look at some of the essentials of record player design, and
how Pro-Ject has created its outstanding turntable products.
The Turntable and Motor System
At first glance it would seem to be a simple task to rotate a turntable at the correct speed, but in
practice there are a number of problems which can be difficult to overcome. The turntable platter
is mounted onto a shaft which rotates upon a bearing assembly. First these bearings have to be
extremely smooth in operation because any irregularities produce 'rumble', the effect of which is
similar to that felt when driving a car along a gravel path. The small undulations cause the platter
to move up and down an almost imperceptible amount but the movement is detected by the stylus
and added to the signal as a distortion.
Secondly the bearing has to be very tight with virtually no slack, which would allow the shaft and
platter to move from side to side. Again any sideways motion would be detected by the stylus as a
'wow'; the sort of effect that would be heard on a sustained piano note as a crude vibrato.
For much the same reason the turntable platter itself needs to be perfectly balanced and be of
uniform structure. The Pro-Ject acrylic platters are particularly good in this respect. Obviously the
rotational speed needs to be held constant and this is normally achieved using an AC
synchronous motor which is locked to the mains supply frequency. (Close to absolute stability can
be obtained by using a crystal-controlled supply such as the Pro-Ject Speed Box). Of course even
the best motors have imperfections, and these include the small vibrations created within the
motor bearings; small vibrations caused by noise and interference on the mains power lines and
the so-called 'clogging' vibrations; a consequence of the motors having a finite number of poles
giving an 'on-off-on-off' type of motion.
The Turntable and Motor System (continued)
Any of these vibrations reaching the stylus could degrade the sound, so it is good design practice
to de-couple the motor assembly from the turntable platter by a belt drive using a carefully
specified belt. The characteristics of this belt (compliance, surface finish, etc.) and the amount of
tension determine the degree of isolation between the motor and platter, but a high-mass platter
will always smooth out any tiny remaining speed irregularities as a result of the 'flywheel effect'
which causes the rotational speed to settle to a constant value.
Almost every object resonates at some or other
frequency. Tap any object and the “knocking”
sound will be at a different note from object to
object, because each has its dominant
resonances. When an object resonates it actually
vibrates to a larger than usual degree and, of
course, in a record player any vibrations have the
risk of being picked up by the stylus and added to
the music signal. For this reason the turntable
platters used by Pro-Ject are made from
extremely well-damped materials, such as acrylic,
which have no significant resonances within the
audio frequency band; and so avoid adding any
colourations to the sound.
The Tone-Arm
The design of a tone-arm is a demanding task. Earlier we said that a key design requirement is
that everything be held absolutely rigid and stable. If a tone-arm has any flexibility between its
pivot point and the stylus then any movements will be superimposed on top of the music signal,
causing it to be degraded. In practice this means that the whole assembly should ideally be a
homogeneous single piece which is rigid and free from flexing. Yet at the same time this arm
needs to have a low-mass in order to work well with most modern pick-up cartridges.
Pro-Ject has met this requirement superbly on most of its turntables by using a carbon fibre tube,
which is one piece from pivot to the cartridge mounting platform. In addition to being one piece,
the carbon fibre arms are almost completely free from flexing, by virtue of the fibre alignment, and
through their conical tube shape have a high order of rigidity and a freedom from the 'tube
resonance', which can degrade the performance of conventional arm-tubes.
The Steps taken to Align a Record Player
The importance of setting the turntable level
One of the first steps in setting up any record player is the need to ensure that the turntable
assembly is perfectly level. This is because the overall performance and all the other adjustments
have been calculated from the datum or reference point of a perfectly level record platter. If the
turntable is tilted to one side then the force of gravity will not be acting vertically but will be applying
a force in the direction of the tilt. The effects of this force can be quite insidious and very audible.
One audible effect can be an increase in the wow & flutter. These are respectively the slow and
quick cyclical changes in speed as the platter rotates, and even if these changes are small they will
be audible particularly on piano music. The force due to gravity will also effect how the stylus tracks
the record groove because with a sloping record surface the stylus will try to run down the slope,
causing it to press harder on one groove wall than the other.
There are also other potential problems. Suspended turntables are designed to work in the vertical
plane with a resonance or natural frequency tuned well below any audio frequency. If the platter
does not “bounce” with a pistonic action only in the vertical plane then there will be other
secondary motions some of which will be in the audible frequency range.
Obviously these suspension problems are avoided with non-suspended turntables, but there will
still be a degrading effect upon the main bearing which should have minimal rotational friction and
hold the platter in a fixed position in all planes with minimal play and as little vibration as possible.
All such bearings are designed to work with the turntable level so that all the forces are acting
vertically downwards. Tilt the table and you add a horizontal force which will compromise
performance and over the long term cause the bearing to wear unevenly.
Before leveling the record player the supporting table, cabinet or shelf should be made as level as
possible because any leveling made on the record player is designed to be a fine adjustment to
bring it to a near perfectly level position. If the supporting surface is seriously out of level it may be
a good idea to use one the adjustable tables which your hi-fi dealer can provide as an accessory.
The spirit level should also be positioned in a number of locations because the turntable needs to
be level in both planes; both front-to-back and side-to-side.
The Tone-Arm
The design of a tone-arm is a very demanding task. Earlier we said that a key design requirement
is that everything be held absolutely rigid and stable. Because if a tone-arm has any flexibility
between its pivot-point and the stylus then any movements will be superimposed on top of the
music signal causing it to be degraded; the sound becomes muddled and “out of focus”. In practice
this means that the whole assembly should ideally be a homogeneous single-piece, which is rigid
and totally free from flexing. Yet at the same time this arm needs to have a low-mass in order to
work well with most modern pickup cartridges.
Pro-Ject has met this demanding requirement superbly by using a carbon fibre tube which is
formed in one piece from pivot to the cartridge mounting platform. It has, by virtue of the fibre
alignment, an almost complete freedom from flexing; and gains, through its conical tube shape, a
high order of rigidity and a freedom from the 'tube resonance' which can degrade the performance
of many conventional arm-tubes.
The ideal record playing system works within a mechanical closed loop. So the turntable platter is
rigidly coupled to the chassis or sub-chassis, so when the chassis moves up or down so does the
platter. The arm mounting pillar should be rigidly coupled to the chassis; the arm tube should be
'rigidly' coupled to the mounting and the cartridge should be rigidly mounted to the arm-tube. In
this way if one component moves all the linked components move so there is no relative
disturbance between the stylus-record contact. Pro-Ject gets close to this ideal by using 'virtually
zero-play' bearings for the arm-tube mounting, which allow free movement of the arm in the
vertical and horizontal planes but absolutely no movement at the arm pivot point.
Setting up the Tone Arm and Cartridge to give the best performance
Over the next few pages we’ll explain why the tone arm needs to be adjusted in order to perfectly
trace the groove of the vinyl record. When the record player is provided with a pre-fitted cartridge
then there are only two adjustments required and they are simple to perform. However, when a
new cartridge is fitted then either you or your hi-fi dealer will need to perform a series of
adjustments. Full details of these adjustments and how to perform them are given in the next
Vertical Tracking Angle, the Initial Adjustment
When an original record master is cut the cutter sits at a slight angle to the record surface,
because the cutter head needs to be lifted slightly above the record surface. This angle is
called the Vertical Tracking Angle (VTA) and can vary from record to record. In the 1960s
most records were cut with a VTA of 15 degrees, but by the 1980s the standard became 20
degrees. Yet even though there are standards, many successful cutting engineers still
make their own choice of VTA as well, in order to give the sound the particular character
which is their trademark.
If your record player is delivered with a fitted tone-arm and pickup cartridge then the correct VTA
will have been set by the factory and no further adjustment is needed. However, if the tone-arm or
cartridge are changed then the VTA will need to be set and this is done in two steps. The first
simple step is to check whether the arm and the head-shell are parallel to the record. Most
manufacturers of cartridges mount the stylus cantilever so that a Vertical Tracking Angle of about
20 degrees is achieved when the arm is parallel to the record. If the arm is not parallel to the
record you should loosen the locking collar on the base-board (as shown in the next section of this
manual) and then carefully move the arm up or down until the arm tube is parallel to the surface of
the record.
20 deg
The Azimuth Adjustment
Because the music is recorded into the two walls of a 'V' shaped record groove, it is obviously
essential that the stylus of the pickup cartridge sits perfectly vertical in the groove - rather than
leaning into one or other of the walls. This adjustment is called the Azimuth Adjustment and can be
checked by viewing the position of the stylus diamond tip in the record groove. Another easier
method is to put a small mirror on the record disk in front of under the stylus whilst viewing the
cartridge from the front. When the alignment is correct the cartridge and its reflection will be
perfectly in line with each other (as shown in the drawing below). Adjustment instructions will be
detailed shortly.
The cartridge viewed from the front
The small mirror on the vinyl surface
The reflection of the cartridge
For the more experienced listener there is another very accurate method of adjusting the azimuth.
Simply swap one pair of the cartridge wires around (effectively reversing the polarity of one
channel) then switch the amplifier to mono (or use a “Y” cable adapter to turn the stereo signal into
a single mono signal).
Pickup Cartridge
Azimuth Not Correctly Adjusted
Pickup Cartridge
Azimuth Correctly Adjusted
Then play a track on a mono recording (available from “collectors” record shop or use a test disc
from a specialist supplier) and carefully rotate the arm until you get the lowest level of sound from
the loudspeakers; ignoring the little bit of high-frequency “tizz” that will always be there.
When finished, remember to reverse the cartridge wires back to their original positions and you are
The Lateral Tracking Error
This is another adjustment which will not be necessary with a system supplied from the Pro-Ject
factory with a fitted cartridge but none the less it is helpful to understand why a special alignment
has had to be made.
When the recording is cut into the laquer disc (from which the master pressing is made), the disc
rotates and the cutter head moves laterally from the outside of the lacquer to the inside. The cutter
diamond is mounted in a parallel tracking arm that moves across the record so that the cutter is
held at a constant 90 degree angle with the groove. However most record players are fitted with
radial arms which pivot from one corner of the turntable so that the playback stylus moves across
the record along a fixed radius. The stylus cannot follow the exact path made by the cutter
because the lateral angle varies depending upon the position across the record surface.
In fact, what happens is that because the stylus is not exactly in line with the groove but at an
angle with the groove, so the stylus is touching one groove wall a tiny distance ahead of where it is
touching the other groove wall. This 'tracking error' means that there will be a time difference
between the signals of the left and right channel. What is needed is a way of aligning the arm and
cartridge in such a way that this time difference is minimised and thus inaudible at every point on
the track from the start to the finish of the record.
The Lateral Tracking Error (continued)
Of course one easy way of avoiding this problem would be to use a very long tone-arm. For
example with a 9 inch long tone-arm the angle would be about 6 degrees at the worst position but
with an arm 60 inches long the worst error would be about 0.7 degrees; an insignificant amount.
But, of course, such an arm would be hopelessly impractical; have far too high a moving mass and
be far from stiff. None the less even increasing the arm length from 9 inches to 12 inches reduces
the tracking error by a third; and Pro-Ject manufactures arms of both these popular sizes.
In aligning the arm and cartridge there are three main specifications which should be considered.
These are the effective tone-arm length; the overhang and the offset angle of the head-shell
relative to the arm tube. (The overhang is the distance between diamond tip and centre of the
spindle. The effective tone-arm length is the distance between arm pivot and diamond tip.) The
mathematics of how the stylus traverses the record disc are quite complex but in practice the task
of alignment is made very simple by the use of an alignment protractor which is a piece of printed
card or plastic which slots through the spindle and sits on the turntable platter. This protractor has
a number of lines radiating out from the spindle and labeled from 0 to 5 degrees plus a series of
vertical parallel lines. These reference points are positioned at distances of 63 mm and 125 mm
from the spindle. This alignment is a good compromise across the whole of the record and ensures
that almost zero distortion is achieved.
The error is reduced by turning the cartridge in the head-shell (by slightly loosening the mounting
bolts in the slotted holes) and by moving the cartridge back and forth along the slotted holes to
change the overhang. These adjustments give some flexibility in the mounting position to ensure
the best alignment allowing the stylus to track the record groove accurately. However there will
always be a slight error and different designers approach this problem in different ways with some
noting that the highest level of distortion will be in the inner grooves near to the label and so they
align for the best accuracy in that region.
The Down-Force
The down-force onto the record groove is also known as the Tracking Weight or the Vertical
Tracking Force and is a figure normally dictated by the manufacturer of the pickup cartridge. It is
important that the pickup is never used with a down-force that is too light as the stylus could skip
off the track and the groove walls could be damaged.
As no two cartridges (of the same model type) are ever exactly the same it is possible to optimise
the down-force by making a small adjustment in each direction and listening to the results each
time. When the down-force is adjusted you will hear small changes to the tonal balance; to the
imaging and to the way loud passages are reproduced.
The stylus pressure is quite critical for if it is too low the stylus will fail to hold on to the groove wall
and mis-tracking will occur, damaging both stylus and record. If it is too high the stylus will wear
out the groove wall faster than necessary.
The cartridge manufacturer actually chooses a precise down-force, which places the coils or
magnets centrally in the generator assembly. Any deviation from that down-force will change the
performance as the generator becomes misaligned and the suspension works outside its planned
range. The result is a drop in performance. However all manufacturer products differ from the
designer's drawing by a small amount (the manufacturing tolerance) which is why a slight
adjustment of the down-force can sometimes bring about improvements in the performance.
The down-force is set by balancing the weight of the cartridge with a so-called counterweight; then
reducing the amount of counterweight so that a defined portion of the cartridge weight bears down
on the stylus. This simple adjustment is covered in the next section.
The Bias Compensation or Anti-Skating Force
A stereo record is played back by reading the lateral and vertical movement across a 45 degree
groove so it is essential that the diamond tip of the stylus should have the same contact with both
groove walls.
When the record turns, a centripetal or rotational force will be applied to the arm and cartridge
which will push the cartridge towards the spindle. Because the arm is fixed at one end it will move
radially and so the stylus will apply an increased pressure on the groove wall which carries the
sound of the left channel. The bias compensation is simply a counteracting force applied at the
other end of the arm which cancels out the centripetal force. This compensating force is provided
by a small weight hanging from a thread to give a sideways pull. Again the correct amount of
compensation required has been measured by the manufacturer using a test record with a grooveless section. The side thrust compensation is then adjusted until the stylus tracks perfectly, moving
neither towards the spindle or towards the periphery of the record; hence the expression antiskating force. The manufacturer then plays a test record which has a sine-wave recording for both
channels and makes the final adjustment to ensure that the output of both channels is a clean
undistorted waveform.
Incidentally the centripetal force is the opposite of the better known centrifugal force. The former is
a force pushing towards the spindle whilst the latter is a force pushing outwards. Because the
stylus floats free of the record it will experience the centrifugal force on the groove wall thus
creating an equal but opposite force pulling towards the centre; the centripetal force. With most
Pro-Ject tone arms this force is generated by a small weight which is hung on one side of the arm
The Fine Adjustment of the Vertical Tracking Angle
Earlier we described how the Vertical Tracking Angle should be set by making sure that the
cartridge and arm-tube were sitting in parallel with the record surface. However once the downforce has been set the Vertical Tracking Angle may have changed because the cantilever arm of
the cartridge (which carries the stylus) may have moved in or out of the cartridge body and if that
has happened the angle at which the stylus sits in the groove will have changed. In fact a small
change of down-force can move the stylus an appreciable amount especially if the cartridge is very
compliant (has a very soft suspension).
This picture shows how the arm pillar
slides up and down through the support
collar and is locked in place by the allen
The final adjustment of the Vertical Tracking Angle can only be achieved by careful listening.
Lowering the arm in the support collar will cause the cartridge to lean back slightly and will
generally give a richer and less detailed sound heading towards dullness. Raising the arm causes
the cartridge to lean forward and will generally give a more detailed sound heading towards
Step-by-Step adjustment of the Tone Arm and Cartridge
Pro-Ject uses several types of Tone-Arm so again the instructions for aligning the arms and for
fitting cartridges vary slightly with each model. Many of the lower cost record players are delivered
with the cartridge already fitted so the instructions for fitting cartridges can be ignored until such
time as it is desired to make a change.
In the next section of this manual we will take you through all the practical steps needed to align
the Tone Arm and Cartridge assembly.
This procedure is quite simple, but if you have any doubts about undertaking these steps you
should consult the retailer who supplied the record player. The retailer will be more than happy to
undertake the alignment on your behalf.
These adjustments should always be made with the power off and disconnected as any
unexpected movement of the platter could cause expensive damage to the cartridge stylus.
The steps taken to align the Tone Arm and Cartridge
The majority of Pro-Ject record players are supplied with the cartridge already fitted so you’ll only
need to set the tracking weight and the bias weight as shown in the simple steps below...
Cartridge down-force or tracking weight adjustment
This adjustment is made to set the pressure that the
stylus tip applies to the record groove. The down-force
pressure is set by first balancing the tone-arm with the
stylus cover removed from the cartridge.
With a gentle pushing action, turn the counterweight along
the rear end of the tone-arm tube, ensuring that the white
scale markings are visible to the front.
Balancing the Arm
Now move the arm so that the cartridge is positioned to
the side of the platter then lower the arm-lift and carefully
rotate the counterweight until the arm tube is in a
balanced position.
When the arm is perfectly balanced return it to the rest
position. Now hold the counterweight, but do not move it,
and gently turn the scale ring until the zero is in line with
the anti-skating notched shaft.
Setting the Tracking Weight or Downforce
Check once again that the arm is balanced and then
rotate the whole of the counterweight counter clockwise
(seen from the front) to adjust the down-force figure to
match the cartridge manufacturer's recommendations.
One mark on the scale represents 1 mN (or 0,1g / 0,1
Pond) of down-force.
To obtain the downforce setting information for factory
fitted cartridges, see the original product manual or visit
the product pages of www.henleydesigns.co.uk for
Anti-skating force or bias adjustment
Once the down-force is set it is necessary to apply a
small force to the side of the arm to stop it swinging to
the centre of the record. This force is applied by a small
weight which hangs on a thread to the side of the arm.
Take the anti-skating weight and hook the loop in the
thread over a groove in the small rod that protrudes from
the rear of the tone-arm’s bearing mounting and then
hang the thread through the hook of the wire support.
This is the correct setting for the factory fitted cartridge.
To obtain the anti-skate setting information for factory
fitted cartridges, see the original product manual or visit
the product pages of www.henleydesigns.co.uk for
Aligning versions of Tone Arms with fixed counterweights
In addition to the straight (normally carbon-fibre) tube designs of arm on the previous page,
Pro-Ject also fits two other types of tone-arm. The “S” shaped arm used on players such as the
“RPM 1.3 Genie” and the Uni-Pivot arm used on players such as the “Essential” or “Xperience
Basic+”. These arms require a slightly different procedure which is described below.
Cartridge tracking weight adjustment
Place the counterweight halfway along the support rod at
rear of arm with the securing screw uppermost.
Now place the Stylus pressure gauge directly onto the platter
(removing any mat), with metal tip facing but NOT over the
centre spindle and then remove the plastic stylus cover and
carefully place the tip of stylus on point marked 15 (this
represents 15mN or 1.5 grams pressure - for the OM5E, as
provided on the Essential turntable). The aim now is to get
the stylus gauge to become level, as this will mean that the
stylus is exerting the correct downward pressure.
Carefully move the counterweight along the rod away from
the bearing to add more pressure or towards the bearing to
reduce the pressure. During this process keep lifting the
stylus away from the gauge in order to prevent any damage
to the stylus.
Once the gauge is balanced you should lock the
counterweight into position using the hexagonal key
For Factory fitted cartridges the settings are:Essential models
RPM 1.3 Genie
Xperience Basic+
Anti-skating force or bias adjustment
Once the down-force is set it is necessary to apply a small force to the side of the arm to stop it
swinging to the centre of the record. This force is applied by a small weight which hangs on a
thread to the side of the arm.
Take the anti-skating weight and hook the loop in the thread over the second groove (for Genie &
Essential, the outermost groove for Xperience Basic+) in the small rod that protrudes from the rear
of the tone-arm’s bearing mounting, and then hang the thread through the hook of the wire
support. This is the correct setting for the factory fitted cartridge.
The pictures show the anti-skate weight mounted on the two types of tone-arm.
Fitting a Cartridge to the Tone Arm
Some of the more expensive Pro-Ject record players are supplied without a cartridge fitted so the
simple steps for installing a cartridge shown below should be followed. These steps should also be
followed if you decide to fit a replacement or alternative cartridge.
Note that these instructions should be followed in conjunction with those provided by the
manufacturer of the cartridge. Although most cartridges are installed in the same manner there are
exceptions so it is always a good idea to read the instructions first.
! Safety First Warning !
Please read these instructions several times to ensure that you understand all the steps. The
cartridge stylus is fragile so keep the stylus cover in place except for when the cartridge has to be
lowered onto a record. Be careful when moving the tone-arm as the bearings at the mounting end
can easily be damaged.
Fitting & connecting the cartridge
Pro-Ject arms will accept all cartridges which have a
0.5 inch (1.27 cm) spacing between the mounting
holes. The mounting is done using the screws and
nuts provided with the cartridge. The cartridge is
mounted to the arm by passing each screw through the
slot in the arm assembly and loosely fitting the nuts.
Now fit the four coloured wires to the pins on the
cartridge as shown. The cartridge will normally have
its pins colour coded the same as the wires but in
other cases follow the following code:
White left channel positive [L+]
Red right channel pos. [R+]
Green right channel return [R-]
Blue left channel return [L-]
Adjusting the vertical tracking angle (VTA)
First put a record on the platter and then move the
arm off its rest and lower it so that the stylus point is
resting in the record groove. Now view the tonearm from the side and ensure that the tube of the
tone-arm is parallel to the surface of the record.
If it is not parallel you need to slightly loosen the two
hexagon screws in the tone-arm base to allow the
arm pillar to slide up or down until the arm tube has
been set parallel. Then carefully re-tighten the
hexagon screws. Do not over-tighten these
screws; finger tight is normally sufficient.
The Lateral Tracking Error
In order for the stylus tip to follow the record groove precisely the cartridge needs to be aligned on
the end of the tone-arm at the correct angle . This is a two-step procedure which is done with the
Alignment Protractor Card provided. Pro-Ject also has a special Cartridge Alignment Tool (The
Align-IT) which can be used. Full details can be obtained from your retailer.
Position 1
Position 2
The Alignment Card should be fitted over the centre
spindle and laid flat on top of a vinyl disc. As shown
in this picture there are two calibration points, one
near the centre of the disc and one near to the
outside edge.
The cartridge should be moved along the slots so
that the stylus tip rests on the correct overhang
mark as shown. Now gently twist the cartridge
around its mounting so that the side of the cartridge
body are parallel to the lines drawn on the
protractor. Now move the cartridge to the second
alignment point on the protractor and repeat the
adjustment. You may need to slightly adjust the
overhang to ensure good alignment at both
positions on the protractor.
Once this has been done you should carefully
tighten the mounting bolts and then re-check the
alignment again in case the cartridge has moved. If
all is correct you should now adjust the azimuth
setting and then finally check the down-force setting
Adjusting the azimuth
The cartridge stylus tip must sit vertically in the record groove in order
to trace the groove walls correctly. This vertical position is called the
azimuth setting.
There are two methods of checking the azimuth. The first, and most
precise method, is to use a good magnifying glass to view how the
stylus tip sits vertically in the record groove. Normally the top surface
of the cartridge body will also be parallel to the record surface, but in
practice this is not always the case.
The second method requires the use of a small mirror which is put
under the stylus whilst viewing the cartridge from the front.
When the alignment is correct the cartridge and its reflection will be
perfectly in line with each other. If adjustment is needed you should
slacken off the small screw, at the bearing end of the arm just enough
to be able to revolve the arm tube without needing to apply any force.
Do not remove the screw completely! When satisfied with the
azimuth setting you should re-tighten the screw.
! Safety First Warning !
Never adjust the arm tube whilst the stylus tip is still in the record
groove! You will cause damage to the stylus cantilever. The arm
must always be lifted to make the adjustment and then lowered
again to re-check the azimuth alignment.
Connecting a Turntable
The section below details how to connect your turntable into an existing system. Turntables should
be treated like any other source, with one exception. The output from a turntable is low compared
to other Line-level sources (such as CD players), so it needs to be amplified by a phono stage
before reaching a normal amplifier. Phono stages are available as separate accessories, or in
some cases built into turntables or amplifiers. You should make sure you only use one phono
stage in a system.
Connecting to the amplifier
Most Pro-Ject players have RCA phono sockets at the
rear, under the tone-arm base, to which you fit
interconnect cables, making sure that the left and right
channels are connected the right way round. An earth or
ground wire may be connected from the screw terminal
between the sockets on the plinth to the similar terminal
on your amplifier; if you encounter “hum” problems when
using the player.
The interconnect cables should be plugged into the
Phono input sockets on your amplifier (sometimes called
“disc”). Check the amplifier's instructions to see that the
phono input offers the correct matching and sensitivity to
suit the cartridge. If your amplifier does not have an
input suitable for phono cartridges you will need to fit
one of the Pro-Ject “Phono Box” range models between
the player and your existing amplifier.
The picture alongside shows the rear panel connections
for the Pro-Ject Phono Box.
Mains power connection
Most Pro-Ject record players are supplied with a
separate power supply, which has been manufactured
to match the mains power of your country. Take the
output cable of the power supply and plug it into the
matching socket on the back of the plinth or motor
housing, checking the label on this supply to ensure you
have the correct model, before plugging it into the mains
The pictures alongside show the two alternative
connections. The upper picture is the connection to the
separate motor housing whilst the lower picture shows
the alternative design with the connector fitted in a small
housing under the plinth.
Then you can start and stop the turntable by pressing
the power switch on the plinth or on top of the motor
housing; depending upon the model.
Changing the replay speed
A speed change is made by moving the drive-belt from
the smaller motor pulley (33⅓ rpm) to the larger pulley
(45 rpm). You should avoid contaminating the belt by
touching it and instead use the tool provided to hook
over the belt and then move it to a new position.
You can also operate the player at 78 rpm by
purchasing a special pulley which is available through
your dealer. Alternatively you can use one of the ProJect controllers which can change the speed
electronically without the need to move the belt. Again
full details can be obtained from your dealer.
Fitting the acrylic lid
For those models that have an acrylic lid it can be fitted
by carefully sliding the two hinge prongs into the
matching holes moulded into the lid. Then adjust the
two screws on the right side of the plinth (as viewed
from the back) until there is sufficient friction to allow
the lid to remain up after it is lifted. If the lid movement
is too stiff the two screws can be loosened slightly. For
optimum sound quality you may want to remove the lid
when listening to music.
45 rpm “Singles” adapter
Vinyl singles with the larger juke-box style centre can
be played by fitting them over the adapter provided.
There are two versions made by Pro-Ject; both fit onto
the disc in the same way as shown in the picture
Servicing and Re-Packing your record player
Should you encounter a problem which you are not able to alleviate or identify you should contact
your retailer for further advice. Only when the problem cannot be resolved should the unit be sent
to the Pro-Ject distributor in your country.
Never return a record player without making sure that is it safely disassembled and correctly repacked in the original packaging as the precision components can easily be damaged during
transportation. The drawing below shows the packaging of a typical Pro-Ject record player
although each model is slightly different. In particular you should always remove and pack
separately the lid cover; the feet; the counterweight; the turntable platter; and the belt. Always
replace the transport screws for the motor if originally fitted; the transport lock on the tone-arm
and, most importantly, fit the cartridge protection cap over the stylus.
Acrylic Lid
Record Player Plinth
Polystyrene or
Cardboard Caps
Packing piece
over Spindle
Polystyrene Caps
Carton Box
A number of loose parts are packed inside the carton. These vary from model to model
but typically include the following:Acrylic Lid
Lid Hinges
Drive Belt
Centre Drive Hub
Turntable Platter with felt mat
Allen Key for tone-arm adjustment
Tone-arm Counterweight
Anti-Skating Weight on thread
Belt Speed Change Hook
Singles (45rpm) Adapter
Power Supply Unit
The manufacturer accepts no responsibility for damage caused by not following these instructions
for set-up and use and/or by transportation without the original packaging. Modification or changes
to any part of the product by unauthorized persons releases the manufacturer from any liability
over and above those of the lawful rights of the customer.
PRO-JECT is a Registered Trademark of H. Lichtenegger.
Pro-Ject has a policy of continually upgrading and improving its products so changes may occur to
the design and specification without any prior notice.
For more information, visit: www.henleydesigns.co.uk
Version 102012
C.2012 SP
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