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Audio

Pro-Ject Audio's tiny, affordable components wow the Audiophiliac

Pro-Ject celebrates its 25th anniversary with a bevy of audiophile treats!

Time flies, I can't believe Pro-Ject Audio is 25 years old! Heinz Lichtenegger's company now makes an assortment of terrific, mostly affordable turntables and compact, lifestyle friendly audiophile components. Pro-Ject is based in Austria and manufactures its designs throughout Europe.

A Pro-Ject 2Xperience SB turntable partnered with Box Design RS Line components.

Gani Pinero Photography

I recently met with Lichtenegger in New York City, and I have to say the man loves his work! His enthusiasm over the two hour presentation never lagged, and he could have easily gone on for hours more! Lichtenegger has a passion for making great sounding designs, and insists on using high quality materials. Pro-Ject designs also have a great sense of style, even the entry-level turntable, the Elemental ($249 including an Ortofon cartridge), looks snazzy, and the Stereo Box S integrated 30 watt per channel amp ($299) was a charmer, and incredibly tiny at just 4 inches x 1.4 inches x 4.8 inches. Even the top of the line Stereo Box RS ($1,199), 120 watt per channel stereo integrated amp is a very manageable 8 inches x 2.8 inches x 9.4 inches! All Box Design components are small enough to fit in even the most cramped city dwellers apartments.

These audio components come from Box Design, a division of Pro-Ject, and Lichtenegger covered his extensive line of amplifiers, phono preamps, headphone amps, digital converters and streamers. The slim line CD Box S player ($399) intrigued (I hope to get one in for review) and maybe one of his pint-size amps. Again, these electronics are all designed and made in Europe, and they're small enough to fit in even the most cramped city dwellers' apartments.

Lichtenegger had a bunch of turntables on hand, including his new vertical turntable the VTE ($349 including an Ortofon cartridge). The turntable can hang on the wall, or set up vertically on a table to save space. The new Classic turntable ($1,199 with a Blue Point cartridge) looked particularly elegant.

Lichtenegger has more tricks up his sleeve, and I'm sure he'll be keeping us up to date with all of his new "projects" as they come online.

You can see more Box Design components and Pro-Ject turntables right now in this gallery.