Pro-Ject The Classic SB Includes Electronic Speed Control, Sumiko Blue Point No. 2 Cartridge, Record Clamp, and Platter Mat: Superb-Sounding Turntable Also Has Adjustable VTA and Azimuth
An instant classic: Pro-Ject's aptly named The Classic SB turntable is all that and more, a high-end analog instrument loaded with the Speed Box electronic speed control, a factory-mounted Sumiko Blue Point No. 2 phono cartridge (one of the world's best-reviewed cartridges), top-grade Clamp It record clamp, and a Leather It platter mat for enhanced record stability. Engineered from top to bottom to offer incredible-sounding playback for a relatively modest price, the Classic SB serves as a souped-up and better-sounding version of its Classic sibling. And Classic SB's benefits go further than just adding $600 worth of improvements for only $400 extra in cost. On the Classic SB, everything starts with superb mechanical isolation via an aluminum and MDF subchassis floating above the main wooden chassis by way of six thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) balls. The result: Vibrations are basically killed dead. It only gets better from there.
The Classic SB features a radical, nine-inch carbon-fiber/aluminum sandwich tonearm touting fully adjustable azimuth and VTA – user-friendly adjustments usually only found in much higher-priced ‘tables. The arm tube's construction allows it stiffness, speed, and damping, while its Cardan gimbal with pinpoint zircon bearings permit unfettered low-friction movement and stellar tracking. Japanese ball bearings at the tone arm base further decrease friction and enhance routing. A chrome-finished counterweight includes even more TPE damping to reduce tonearm-cartridge resonance by half. And still, the Classic SB has more for discerning listeners.
A precision-machined aluminum-alloy platter boasts inert materials, more TPE damping, and no audible ringing noise. For the subplatter, an enhanced mirror-polished stainless-steel spindle resides within a Teflon-coated, high-tolerance bronze bushing. Pro-Ject's efforts in this realm give way to whisper-silent platter operation and an absence of unwanted coloration. Add in the Classic SB's striking retro-modern appearance and wooden frame – a throwback to the famous ‘tables of the 50s and 60s – as well as its low-noise AC synchronous motor, speed-stable DC-driven frequency generator, and handy dust cover, and the audio world is witness to a genuine Classic. 100% Music Direct Guaranteed.
"It has no glaring additive deficiencies and its main one is pleasing slight warmth, which if you don't care for you can probably eliminate with a more 'analytical' cartridge. Otherwise, its 'issues' (if you can call it them that) are subtractive. However, I suspect most buyers will be more than happy with the Classic SB 'as-is.'"
– Michael Fremer, Analog Planet, August 2017