Suspended turntables have been around for at least half a century. It’s a design approach that helps to isolate the critical elements of a turntable from encroaching vibration and unwanted resonance. Remember that the act of playing a record – the stylus in the record groove and the sound that comes from your speakers – creates vibration & resonance. The phono cartridge can be thought of as a microphone that deals specifically in vibration, so it makes all the sense in the world that affecting these properties in a turntable can significantly affect overall sound quality. Looking around the market, you’ll see that most suspended turntables use mechanical springs and can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Pro-Ject Audio Systems has pioneered something a bit more unique, far less devastating on your pocket book, and more future-proof (mechanical springs wear out over time, requiring adjustment and/or replacement!).

Listeners pursue suspended designs for their vibration-resistance indeed, but usually it has more to do with the livelier, more sprightly sound quality such turntables can achieve vs. types that rely more on mass & rigidity. It’s a different approach. One design type is not inherently ‘better’ than the other- they have different things to offer the person in the listening chair. What’s more important is that the design – no matter the approach – is well-executed. Now let’s get into the 6PerspeX turntable and its unique approach to suspending the platter, tonearm & cartridge.

The Floating Corian Sub-Chassis

Pro-Ject PerspeX Showing Magnetically-Suspended Corian Sub-Chassis

The sub-chassis is made from Corian- a material fabricated from an acrylic polymer blended with bauxite (a naturally occurring rock/aluminum compound). It’s been implemented for its non-resonant properties, its density & rigidity. Carefully selected magnets embedded in the underside of the sub-chassis oppose magnets embedded in the top of the acrylic plinth causing the sub-chassis to float. The platter bearing & tonearm are mounted to the sub-chassis, meaning they are completed decoupled from the main plinth- separated by the aforementioned magnetic suspension. Like a mechanical spring suspension, you can feel the ‘springiness’ when you give the platter a gentle nudge.

Solid Acrylic Plinth & Sophisticated Isolation Feet

There’s a whole lot more at play here that lends itself to sound quality. Clear acrylic is used for the main plinth. It’s another dense, rigid, non-resonant material that looks sharp as a tack. Pulling out all the stops in terms of isolation, the entire assembly rests on 3 height-adjustable TPE-damped aluminum spike feet (spike plates included!).

High-End Platter & Bearing

Pro-Ject’s inverted stainless steel bearing with ceramic ball & plate provide frictionless, silent rotation of the record platter. It’s the same bearing that accommodates the high-mass platters found in the upper-end RPM, Xtension & Signature turntables. The 6PerspeX platter too is a carefully thought-out, unique & flawlessly executed design. MDF at its core and coated 4mm thick in vinyl, it’s meant to mirror the resonant properties of your records themselves. With the threaded record spindle and screw-down record clamp (included), the concept of record coupling is in full effect. Coupling the record to the platter thusly, you elevate clarity through the mids and enhance low-level texture & detail across frequency range (not to mention mitigating record warpage).

Regulated Outboard Motor, 33/45rpm Speed Control

Pro-Ject Audio Systems 6PerspeX SB Turntable Stand-Alone Motor w/ Pulley & Drive Belt

The motor is seated in its own cutout at the back corner of the plinth, far & away from the phono cartridge. The power supply converts the AC from your wall outlet to DC which then feeds the AC motor, decoupling your turntable from the usually-imprecise mains power. This translates to impeccable platter speed at 33 & 45rpm, adjustable with the push of a button.

EVO 9 CC Tonearm w/ Sumiko Amethyst MM Phono Cartridge

Pro-Ject 6PerspeX Showing Closeup of EVO 9 CC Carbon Fiber Tonearm & Sumiko Amethyst MM Phono Cartridge

Utilizing a one-piece carbon fiber armtube, a ABEC 7 quality Cardanic bearings, massive aluminum gimbals & a TPE-damped counterweight, the EVO 9 CC tonearm excels at ‘getting out of the way,’ as a tonearm should. The friction-free bearings with zero bearing ‘play’ in unison with a resonance-damping, ultra-stiff conical carbon fiber tube precipitate to supreme transparency, allowing all the musical information through. The optional Sumiko Amethyst moving magnet phono cartridge is a perfect physical match for EVO 9 CC. The line-contact stylus extracts every bit of detail from the record groove while lending a prevailingly smooth, somewhat ‘warm’ voice to the equation that blends beautifully with the suspended design of the 6PerspeX turnable.

Run it Balanced

Pro-Ject 6PerspeX SB Suspended Record Player - Rear View Showing Phono Outputs

Your eyes are not deceiving you. You’re looking at RCA (unbalanced) audio outputs. However, Pro-Ject terminates the tonearm wire in a balanced configuration within the RCA junction box. With the appropriate cable (Connect it Phono DS RCA > Mini XLR), you can send a balanced signal onward to the balanced mini XLR input of either the Phono Box S3 B or the Phono Box DS3 B phono preamps. Note: a moving coil cartridge is also required to achieve True Balanced operation. MC cartridges are balanced by nature while at this time, no moving magnet cartridges on the market send a balanced signal from their output pins.