PRO-JECT GOES BACK TO DRAWING BOARD WITH NEW CD PLAYER
We all know Pro-Ject builds value-for-money, mainstream turntables, right? Just as rightly Pro-Ject also makes revolutionary audio gear as well.
An example of this case in point is the brand’s new upmarket CD BOX RS2 T transport.
A model that called for Pro-Ject to invest big money in a proprietary CD drive mechanism that is a good as any of the legendary drives built by Philips over the years.
Before exploring the fascinating history of this new drive mechanism, it’s worth asking why an audio brand not bereft of its business sense would want to invest in Redbook CD players now?
Pro-Ject is fully aware that recorded music is all about hard drives and streaming services right now. This direction will continue unabated for years and years as more music lovers ditch older formats to jump into the new.
Pro-Ject loves to swim against the tide. It promoted turntables as everyone else was getting into bed with CD. And look at Pro-Ject now.
The company is the world’s largest selling turntable brand and one now enjoying the rewards of the vinyl revival now underway.
Pro-Ject knew something we didn’t about the turntable’s future when it launched in 1991. You can now take it to the bank that Pro-Ject’s investment in CD will also pay off big time.
Pro-Ject is backing the desire of many music lovers and audiophiles to hang on to the best of their CD collections. And rightly, these people want — demand and desire, a proper CD player that is top quality but not stupidly expensive.
The RS2-T fits this bucket list to a tee.
When it went on the drawing board, available drives were those used as DVD or PC drives requiring a bundle of servo electronics and software to read CD. Most of these drives, says Pro-Ject, are so bad that they’re lucky to read 10Bits from Redbook CD’s standard of 16Bits.
Time, according to Pro-Ject, to create a perfect, top class CD transport from the ground up.
In a rare bit of audio serendipity, the best chappies to give Pro-Ject a wholly new transport were the very people who had worked in Philip’s development department in Vienna.
Heinz Lichtenegger, Pro-Ject’s founder and CEO also lives in Vienna, and he called on Mr Michael Jirousek, the man he describes as The Pope of the CD player today, to create the ultimate CD player.
The result is the svelte CD Box RS2-T CD transport based around the StreamUnlimited CD-Pro 8 mechanism and CD-84 servo system. A high-end design solution, all the way.
The CD-Pro 8 mech has the servo system directly integrated into its sturdy aluminium body. The entire structure is suspended on a proprietary anti-vibration system that allows Pro-Ject to control the level of outside vibrations reaching the insides of the RS2-T.
The drive’s chassis is fitted with vibration dampers is made from carbon fibre. This top loading mechanism employs an improved disc clamp made from a new aluminium alloy to provide smooth rotations and perfect disc reading.
The RS2-T has optical and coaxial S/PDIF outputs. There’s also an AES/EBU digital output via XLR and a 1-2 S+ Masterclock output via HDMI.
Pro-Ject is the first brand to use the new, Hi-end CD0-Pro 8 drive fitted with the Blue Tiger CD-84 servo board.
It all totes up to a CD transport we can’t wait to review here at StereoNET. The CD BOX RS2 T arrives in late 2019 with an RRP of $3890.
For more information visit Pro-Ject.
One of the veterans of the Australian HiFi industry, Peter was formerly the Audio-Video Editor of the Herald Sun for over two decades. One of the most-respected audio journalists in Australia, Peter brings his unparalleled experience and a unique story-telling ability to StereoNET.