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Pro-Ject T2 Super Phono

Pro-Ject takes a firmly maximalist approach to making turntables, electing to build a variety of models that, while similar in overall functionality and pricing, are targeted at a different group of buyers. The T2 Super Phono is just such an example of this line of thinking. Developed from the T2 Wireless model, it’s designed to be more plug-and-play than the similarly priced Debut Carbon. 

This means that it benefits from a new tonearm - 8.6 inches long and made from aluminium - but the key difference compared with traditional Pro-Ject models is the abandonment of the line-and-weight style anti-skate in favour of internal, spring type anti-skate. This is one of the first times I have encountered such a thing on a Pro-Ject design. It comes preset to the correct weight for the Sumiko Ranier moving magnet cartridge that is supplied as standard. This is one of the first times a Pro-Ject turntable has been supplied in the UK with a Sumiko cartridge and, given that the cartridge sells for £110 on its own, it feels like strong value in the context of the £550 total price of the turntable.

The arm is fixed to an MDF plinth that mounts the motor and platter. The motor uses established Pro-Ject methodology, taking a feed from a wall wart power supply (i.e. one in which the plug also contains the power adapter) and converting it to DC onboard the unit itself. This rotates a sub-platter beneath the glass main platter which is topped with a felt mat. This is unusual to find on a Pro-Ject turntable, where acrylic and metal are more commonly encountered. The density of the glass means the platter can be thinner, which makes the T2 look more elegant and keeps it distinct from the Debut Series models.

As the name suggests, the T2 Super Phono is usefully equipped with a phono stage - but Pro-Ject regards this as more than a simple convenience feature. By using the chassis that accommodates a phono stage and the wireless transmitter in the T2 Wireless version, Pro-Ject can increase the space available for the phono stage and fit higher-quality components in the signal path. If you decide later on that you have no need for the internal phono stage and would prefer to use a separate one, you can bypass it from the circuit completely. 

Sound quality

If we accept the reality that absolutely every part of a turntable makes a difference to the performance, the material and design choices in the T2 Super Phono threaten to leave it sounding rather different from the company’s other products. This does come to pass in some key areas of the T2 Super Phono’s presentation - but at its heart it is still a Pro-Ject. 

Key to this is a ‘flow’ in the way music is handled that works to the benefit of all genres. Yes, you can buy turntables with a more ballistic presentation - and such designs delight in high tempo material, - but they often sound restless and forced with more relaxed material, while the Pro-Ject continues to deliver an effortless musicality. 

The T2 Super Phono is entirely capable of delivering this flow, but it is faster and more agile-sounding than other Pro-Ject models. It handles complex time signatures and fast-moving basslines with an energy and dexterity that is immediately apparent, and it does this while still sounding entirely happy when you slow things down. The cost of this extra energy is slightly less bass extension than some other turntables at a similar price - but this is more a case of the T2 Super Phono being lean, rather than actively bass light. 

Many other traditional Pro-Ject virtues are retained, as well. As a result, this turntable never struggles to create space and three-dimensionality in the material you play, and the tonal balance is extremely convincing. The Sumiko cartridge plays a considerable role in this area: it manages to be refined while still bringing the energy that voices and instruments need to be convincing, and at the same time ensuring that less-than-perfect mastering is handled without sounding merciless. I feel that this is a superior option to the Ortofon 2M Red that’s fitted to other Pro-Ject models. 

Finally, the onboard phono stage of the T2 is more than a simple convenience feature. It has no unwanted noise, delivers plenty of gain, and possesses a sweetness to how it goes about its business that is a cut above many built-in units. One other clever party piece (not unique to the Pro-Ject, but far from universal) is that, despite being a two-wire mains product, you can run the T2 via the internal phono stage with no ground cable connected and it is dead silent under all conditions. Even if you have a phono stage in your existing equipment, you may find the Pro-Ject will outperform it. 

Living with

Pro-Ject’s claim that the T2 Super Phono is ‘plug-and-play’ is entirely accurate. Assembly is minimal, limited to fitting a belt around the sub-platter, dropping the platter over it and fitting the lid. The arm comes with the counterweight fitted and, on my review sample, it was set very accurately too. Even if this is the first turntable you’ve ever attempted to get up and running, the experience is likely to be a pleasant one. 

And I can’t argue with the build and finish. Everything on it (and indeed items you attach, such as the supplied interconnects) are very well made. It sits on another set of very pliant isolating feet, and seems to be largely immune to footfall. You get a lid and electronic speed control to switch between 33.3 and 45 RPM too. 

It also looks superb - perhaps the prettiest Pro-Ject turntable I have ever spent time with. Black, white and wood finishes are available - and it looks attractive in all of them. 

The only hiccup to be aware of is that, compared with Pro-Ject’s Debut models that have huge upgrade potential, what you can do to the T2 Super Phono in order to improve performance in the future is limited - but I suspect most owners will be perfectly okay with that. 


The T2 Super Phono looks at first as though it treads on the toes of other Pro-Ject designs, but the more time you spend with it the more sense it makes. This is a plug-and-play model that combines ease of use with an attractive design, and enough hi-fi sensibilities to delight. The result is a very fine turntable indeed. 

Listening notes

My Baby Live! 

Recorded as a ‘band jam session’ rather than a true ‘live in front of an audience’ album, the result is dynamic and packed with detail - and the flow and nuance of the T2 Super Phono results in a genuinely exciting listen.

Boards of Canada Geogaddi 

The fastest and most ‘human’ of the Boards of Canada portfolio is the perfect foil for the agility and engagement that the T2 Super Phono brings to material, and the combination is hugely enjoyable. 

Ray Charles Genius Loves Company 

Not all the collaborations on this late work from Charles are as good as others, but when it’s good it’s very good - and the T2 Super Phono captures the sheer brilliance of the participants extremely well. 

What the press say

Why you should buy it

If you want a turntable that comes out of the box without the need for a single tool, that looks good and sounds genuinely compelling (into most equipment, whether it has a phono stage or not), this is a sensational place to begin looking. 

Video review

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