The Pro-ject Primary E turntable is the improved version of the original Primary and has been on the market for a while. At a glance, it looks simple, devoid of unnecessary decorations found in other turntables. This gives a straightforward functionality vibe. That said, should you buy the unit? To help you decide, I review the turntable, focusing on its features, sound quality, and design. Read on to understand what I think.

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Pro-ject Primary E Turntable Overview

Hand-made in Europe, the Pro-Ject Primary E turntable boasts intelligent construction that produces pure sound. It offers useful features like an aluminum tonearm, RCA phono cable, Ortofon MM cartridge, gold-plated contacts, silicon belt, etc., at an attractive price. Customers praise the turntable for its simplicity and ability to produce engaging sound.

Technical Specifications

These are the features the turntable provides:

  • Ortofon MM cartridge
  • Aluminum tonearm
  • Vibration absorbing feet
  • Gold-plated RCA phono cable
  • Composite fibre chassis
  • Sapphire tonearm bearing

There are a couple of features which I think are well-executed. One is the tonearm design, which is set to work right out of the box with the preinstalled cartridge. The turntable’s feet are nice, too. They do a significant job of mitigating unwanted vibrations that could interfere with the device’s sound quality. 

However, I don’t think the manual speed change system is ideal; it’s inconvenient. The process can be cumbersome, especially when needing to change records with different playing speeds frequently. You won’t find features like a USB output for digitizing records, Bluetooth connectivity, or automatic operation on Primary E. It truly doesn’t get any simpler than this. All it does is rotate records—nothing more!

Pro-ject Primary E Turntable Drive Mechanism

Primary E is among the many turntables that apply the belt-drive mechanism to operate. In this system, an elastic belt connects the platter to the motor, enabling smooth spinning of records. This design normally helps decrease motor noise and vibration so you can experience better sound quality.

Is Pro-ject Primary E Turntable Automatic or Manual?

I am never shy about expressing my love for the manual feature in some turntables. Therefore, I commend Pro-ject for not including the automatic mode. As a result, you and I can experience the authentic vinyl experience. There is an immense satisfaction that comes from personally cueing the needle, not to mention the increased connection one feels to the music. However, it’s still okay to like the convenience of auto features. It has advantages, although you won’t get that with Primary E.

Usability and Portability of Pro-ject Primary E Turntable

The turntable is user-friendly, with a simple installation process and straightforward operation. You just have to hit the power button for the device to start playing your collection after setting it up. This unit is not specifically designed for portability. Yes, it is compact, and you can move it effortlessly from one place to another. However, the turntable is mainly intended for stationary use rather than prioritizing mobility.

Pro-ject Primary E Turntable Design & Build

If you have an affinity for sleek-looking turntables like me, you will be disappointed by Primary E’s overall appearance. The design is fairly plain whether you opt for the white, black, or red version. Anyway, this is no big deal as long as the turntable gets the job done. Moreover, the minimalist look allows it to blend nicely with any home décor.

The unit has a composite fiber plinth, which doesn’t have the assuring weight of higher-end turntables, but it’s definitely better than the cheap plastic designs. A standard cover is featured to keep the chassis clean when you are not using it.

Connectivity & Sound Performance of Pro-ject Primary E Turntable: Sound quality good but…

Primary E lacks a built-in phono preamp. Therefore, it depends on an external preamp or a receiver with a dedicated phono input to amplify the turntable’s sound signal. The device performs well in terms of sound. As such, users have confirmed it delivers engaging sound that presents a confident, dynamic playback experience. The pitch stability is also good, and the distortion is minimal. However, the bass isn’t as resounding as you would want. That’s expected for a turntable at this price bracket, but on the plus side, it’s at least warm and crisp.

Main Technology Perks of Pro-ject Primary E Turntable

The main technological advantage of this turntable that I feel is worth mentioning is the preinstalled Ortofon cartridge. This not only offers convenience but also contributes to a better quality audio reproduction.


Primary E is currently available for a price of $299. This makes sense for an entry-level turntable that offers simple yet effective features.

How to Setup & Use Pro-ject Primary E Turntable?

Primary E is often termed as a ‘plug and play’ device because it’s easy to set up. The cartridge is factory-fitted, while the tracking force and anti-skating are preconfigured. All you have to do is:

  1. Place on the felt mat on the platter.
  2. Put the drive belt on one of the two pulleys.
  3. Turn on the power switch, which is situated under the chassis, and connect the RCA cable to an external phono or phono input of an amplifier.
  4. Take out the tonearm twist tie.
  5. Cue up the tonearm after placing your record, and just enjoy your music!

You can do a few things to optimize your overall vinyl experience. One is to ensure the unit is well grounded to reduce hum and interference and avoid putting it close to sources of electromagnetic interference. Two, utilize a good quality external phono preamp for good sound production. Lastly, regulate the belt tension regularly to ensure smooth and uninterrupted playback speed.

Overall Impression About Pro-ject Primary E Turntable?

This unit performs well, which sets it apart from turntables costing this price. The look, while minimalist, may not be that big of an issue since the device compensates for this by delivering a satisfactory sound performance.


The turntable offers good sound for the price, is simple to use, and comes preset.


It doesn’t include a built-in phono and lacks USB/Bluetooth connectivity.

Who Is It For?

Primary E is an entry-level turntable, so it’s an ideal choice for novices. Audiophiles on a tight budget can also benefit from this turntable.

Buy Pro-ject Primary E Turntable on Amazon
Buy Pro-ject Primary E Turntable on Ebay

Final Verdict

As I conclude, it’s fair to say that Pro-ject really had the user in mind when creating this product. Its simplicity is just wow; any newbie can effortlessly install and use the turntable. The sound is great, though not excellent. But what matters is that you will enjoy your collection with few distortions or interruptions. Moreover, the turntable is budget-friendly, and with the great features available, you will surely get value for money.