What We Like
- Rock solid belt drive system that brings power as well as finesse.
- Simple but ultimately attractive chassis design.
- Performance that is well within the realm of audiophile level.
What We Don’t Like
- It is slowly gaining more and more capable competition.
Pro-Ject 1Xpression Carbon Classic really takes the game up a notch in the higher-end segment of the market. At the moment, it is one of the best turntables you can grab under $1000. Let’s find out why.
Where to even begin with this one. Leave it to Pro-Ject to deliver a super clean and incredibly attractive design that just steals the spotlight. 1Xpression Carbon Classic features a solid chassis that comes in dark red color. This is the latest iteration of a very successful Pro-Ject series of ‘entry level’ turntables. Whether or not this is an understatement is something we will leave you to decide upon.
In terms of design, there are only three things you should know. First of all, this thing is built like a tank. Quality materials everywhere combined with an impressive level of finish. Second, it’s a compact unit that comes across as pretty efficient in this regard. Lastly, it looks like it belongs to a price range that is a couple of steps higher. Pro-Ject delivers these with a dust cover included, although it arguably looks much better without one.
The very core of the 1Xpression Carbon Classic is all about the advanced belt drive system they have employed. It uses an AC motor with an effective motor decoupling. Add the DC driven AC generator into the mix, and you got a very solid ground works for what is fixing to be an incredible turntable. The platter is a complex design that features numerous layers of different materials sandwiched together.
You have high-grade aluminum combined with thermoplastic elastomers and finally the chrome plated stainless steel in the bearing axle. The tonearm is made of carbon fiber, hence the name. Pro-Ject sells this stock with a 2M Silver cartridge, so you know that fidelity is going to be good right out of the box. Last but not least, we have TPE insulating feet that simply kill any vibrations that are trying to get through.
Describing the performance of the 1Xpression Carbon Classic is easy. This thing just steamrolls whatever expectations you might have had. Sure, there are super high-end turntables which will run circles around it, but keep in mind that Pro-Ject still categorizes these as entry level models. Tracking is perfect with perfect precision and one smooth ride.
When paired with a decent phono amp, you are looking at a well saturated, truly 3D sound stage that has tangible depth. Pro-Ject 1Xpression Carbon Classic is the type of turntable that will really show you just how far this technology can go. Being a manual unit, it will require a certain dose of knowledge to operate properly, but learning the ropes of turntable use is a small price to pay for what you get. Right now, it is one of the absolute best models you can grab in this price range, and it promises to remain that way for now.
1Xpression Carbon Classic is an extremely attractive turntable that just brings on the Thunder in the best way possible. It comes at a price, but one that is well worth paying. Overall, this is an awesome little unit.