This month we are taking a look at our newest product in Cardiff, something ideal for those who want to play vinyl but want to save on space and avoid having cables about the place and it's a great talking point too - the Pro-ject VT-EBT.
The VT-E BT is far from the first vertical turntable that has existed but could well be considered one of the first audiophile ones. Based on the Project Elemental the turntable includes the same pre-mounted Ortofon OM5E cartridge, low vibration synchronous motor & DC power supply but that is where the similarities end.
The turntable can be either mounted on a wall or placed on a flat surface - both wall brackets and an attachable stand are included. Of course this means the size of the turntable is reduced but this does not impact the performance, in fact the shape of the turntable means that a left handed version with the arm on the other side of the usual setup is also available.
Of course for a turntable to play vertically a normal arm won’t cut it, so while the armtube and headshell are the same as on an Elemental the VT-E BT requires a unique bearing housing, counterweight and base, with the secret to the whole thing being a spring specially placed to allow the stylus to track vertically and not just flop down towards the floor! A clamp is also included in the box, which is again an absolute requirement to use when you're playing vertically so that the record stays flat against the platter.
This turntable gets very interesting when we talk about connectivity, like its brother in the range the VT-E it has a normal phono output to link up to a phono stage, however the VT-E BT also features an on board phono stage and its party trick Bluetooth. This means you can play your records with no cables needed other than a power cable. Once the turntable is powered up it will latch onto the strongest available Bluetooth signal and stay connected unless you unplug it from its power. The opportunities this lends itself too are huge, the BT-E BT can be placed anywhere in a room within range of a Bluetooth speaker, creating a minimalist and very tidy setup.
We tried the VT-E BT on a multitude of Bluetooth devices including the new Ruark MR1’s, the Naim Mu-so QB and the Auralic Aries Mini streamer. Connection was quick and easy and we were thoroughly impressed every time. Even with a relatively basic cartridge the turntable is just pure fun to listen to, bass is punchy enough and the mid range detail is great, even via Bluetooth. We also found the concept of a wireless turntable an intriguing conversation starter with everyone who has come into the shop and are sure it would be at home as well! As always we are available to demonstrate this great turntable at any time, so do please come in and have a listen.