Pro-Ject Audio Systems was founded in 1990 in Vienna, Austria, by Heinz Lichtenegger – a young audio enthusiast who believed that analogue playback was the most cost-effective way to listen to music in audiophile quality.
Heinz’s belief in the importance of the turntable came to prominence during a time when vinyl was at death’s door – with the CD revolutionising the wider audio market. However, Heinz stood firm and argued the case for not only analogue replay – but also for the pride and sense of ownership and interaction you simply do not get with digital media. So with this belief, he produced his first turntable – the Pro-Ject 1.
The Pro-Ject 1 was a cost-effective true hi-fi turntable, made at a time when other manufacturers were reverting to cheap plastic alternatives in order to satisfy the dwindling demand. The 1 was made at Pro-Ject’s factory in the Czech Republic (SEV Litovel), at a time when the factory owner was just in the process of shutting down all turntable production. Heinz convinced the factory to make his products, and to this day the same factory is used to produce Pro-Ject’s extensive range of coveted hi-fi turntables.
From the Pro-Ject 1, all turntables – regardless of price – were made with the same basic principles:
Great Sound, Great Value, Ease of Use, Reliable Build
These core principles have inspired a modern-day product range that spans price points up to £7,000+, with specialist models designed to suit a multitude of technical and “taste” requirements for any audio enthusiast.
Today, analogue music reproduction is once again an important part of the music industry, with vinyl records taking on a new significance. All of Heinz’s efforts over 25+ years of work have been rewarded; but the mission is not over. Pro-Ject Audio Systems will continue to push the importance of quality analogue audio with every new product they develop.