Absolute Sound Editor's Choice Award-Winning turntable is a big step up from the entry-level, and competitive with turntables at up to twice the price. This is a thoroughly thought-through product, a substantial advance over the earlier RPM 9 and 9.1, and taking it within striking distance of the 10. Good as the reviews are for this 'table, what they don't tell you is that, because Pro-Ject is the largest manufacturer of audiophile turntables in the world, it enjoys economies of scale that you don't find from small and boutique manufacturers. There are tonearms of similar quality to the 9cc EVO that sell for nearly the price of this entire turntable combination.
The RPM line represents Pro-Ject's highest-performing products within their price class. A deconstructed plinth and motor assembly removes unwanted sources of noise, while there is an intelligent use of mass and different materials in the chassis, arm, and platter for effective resonance damping across a broad frequency band with measurably superior results according to Pro-Ject's testing. I would describe the sound as neutral with perhaps a slight hint of warmth. It has good pace and timing, a liability of many mass-loaded designs from other manufacturers. In a high-end setup with good cables, it is capable of outstanding palpability on small-scale jazz vocalists and instrumentalists, with wide soundstaging, and good depth. It has the drive and bass weight that lighter 'tables typically lack, yet doesn't fall behind the beat. Its sound is also reflected in its minimalist Bauhaus design: European elegance and refinement, with low noise and low-level detail needed for classical LPs.
This is a beautifully-finished luxury product at a real-world price, featuring Pro-Ject's 9cc EVO tonearm, 4 counterweights for precise cartridge-matching, and a 2-lb. brass record clamp. Taking a page from the 10, the chassis on the 9.2 is filled with resin-coated steel pellets for resonance control. Magnetic levitation of the turntable feet provide isolation from the environment. It works! If you tap the stand with a record playing, the needle stays in the groove with no feedback. The translucent acrylic platter spins on an inverted ceramic bearing in a brass bearing sleeve. This places the center of gravity of the platter below the bearing for excellent stability. A a square-section belt drives the platter from its rim, yielding greater torque (and immunity to stylus drag) than entry-level 'tables that rely on small subplatters. An external motor keeps vibrations away from the platter.
The cable junction box at the tonearm base lets you choose your own cables. Although a good-quality cable is included, this 'table is worthy of high-end wire. I used it successfully with AudioQuest Columbia and Colorado, and Cardas Golden Reference and Golden Presence.
Comes with all accessories, including a spirit level, allen wrenches for tonearm adjustments, 45-rpm adapter, phono cable, and even white gloves (to avoid fingerprints on the gloss finish and acrylic platter during setup).
I am the original owner of this turntable. It is less than a year old and in near-mint condition. The only reason I am selling is because my dealer gave me a good deal on the 10.1 with the new RPM Carbon models out. Frankly, I prefer the elegance of the acrylic platter and piano gloss finish. In my opinion, the carbon fiber look is a bit played out, and the new metal platters are more susceptible to finger prints.
This is a near-mint condition unit that, from the day it arrived, sat atop my rack in a child- and pet-free environment. You are unlikely to find a more pristine example on the used market. If my asking price is met, I will include Fedex ground shipping and Paypal to the lower 48 States.
- Absolute Sound Editor's Choice 2014 - The RM-9.2 is remarkable in ways that will appeal to both the music lover and the audiophile. Notably easy and relaxed, it is also rhythmically incisive and dynamically explosive. The 'table comes with Pro-Ject's 9" EVO carbon-fiber arm.
- Stereo 2012 - RPM 9.2 Evolution convinces with a very spacious, homogeneous and clearly arranged sound that was driven forward by hefty, but well defined smooth bass, which most of all is airy and has a lot of swing. This is what you will call authority and everyone who experienced how natural and colourfully rich voices can be reproduced, will distinguish clearly that the RPM 9.2 Evolution forms a perfect and coherent symbiosis.
- What Hi-Fi - The pictures do not lie: this is a superbly finished turntable with plenty of attention to detail and the tonearm is particularly inspiring, thanks to the chunky bearing housing. Pro-Ject have delivered a masterclass in turntable design - and highly listenable, too. A smooth, yet engaging sound is what most people demand from their vinyl playback, and its hard to argue with the Pro-Ject's compelling style.
- Soundstage Reviewer's Choice Award - Delicacy and overall lack of coloration. Although the RPM 9 is almost completely free of that loosey-goosey, I-love-vinyl romanticism that LP detractors love to hate, it isn’t the slightest bit bright. The RPM 9 simply sounds so transparent and focused that comparisons to other ‘tables within its price range reveal colorations such as additive rhythmic drive or an overly crisp treble, which, in turn, can sound nice and all, but inevitably deviate from neutrality."