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This is a journey into vinyl sound… Record care and tips from Henley Audio – Completing your system

Our vinyl journey has covered how to maintain and upgrade vinyl gear. Now we select three excellent hi-fi systems to get you going. All three come in under a grand, include wireless music streaming, and deliver great sound. Our first system is uber compact, ideal for smaller spaces, even your desktop. The second blends ultimate ease of use with audio quality – proper hi-fi doesn’t get simpler than this. Our final pitch is a traditional separates system, but one that demands little in the way of living room acreage


The Straight-Up System

Pro-Ject Audio VT-E BT (£449.00) + Klipsch ProMedia Heritage 2.1 (£359.00)

System price £808

The Pro-Ject Audio VT-E BT is a vertical design complete with a tripod stand so that it can sit upright. Pro-Ject also includes a mounting kit so that you can fix the deck to the wall. Based on its maker’s excellent Elemental deck, the VT-E comes with a pre-set tonearm and Ortofon OM SE cartridge. You just need to install the belt and platter. The result is a turntable with the substance to back up its style statement. The Klipsch ProMedia Heritage 2.1 speaker system cuts a dash, too, channelling the US maker’s mid-century vibe. The speakers are powered, so you don’t need a separate amp, and its Bluetooth smarts let it wirelessly connect with the Pro-Ject – outstandingly handy if you do attach your deck to the wall. It’s a 2.1 speaker configuration (the ‘2’ represents the two stereo speakers, and the ‘.1’ signifies the subwoofer), and its powerful subwoofer backs up the two little speakers. That Klipsch sub houses the electronics, including the amplification, helping this system remain svelte and desktop, or indeed wall, friendly.


The Automatic Choice

Pro-Ject Audio A1 (£369.00) + Klipsch R-41PM (£439.00)

System price £808.00

As his excellency Prince spelt out for us, “A-U-T-O-matic, just tell me what to do, ooh.” The answer with this system is “hardly anything”. The Pro-Ject Audio A1 is a fully automatic turntable design, meaning you simply set the speed – 33 or 45 RPM – and press start. The tonearm lifts, gently drops on to the beginning of the record, and, once finished playing, returns to its rest. However, don’t mistake this deck for a ropey sounding “turntable in a suitcase”. The A1 is the real deal, handmade in Germany, complete with solid engineering and equipped with a high-performance Ortofon OM 10 cartridge. The Klipsch R-41PM speakers also demand little in the way of physical exertion when it comes to set-up and usability. The package includes a remote control, and though only 25 cm tall, the R-41PM cabinet houses amplification (so, no need for an external amp), including a phono pre-amp. The Klipsch speakers receive Bluetooth, meaning that when you’re not spinning your vinyl library, you can stream your digital playlists.



We Go Our Separate Ways

Pro-Ject E1 Phono (£299.00) + Box-Design Stereo Box S2 BT (£269.00) + Jamo S 805 (£399.00)

System price = £967.00

Pro-Ject designs the E1 Phono around a wood main plinth – wood is an excellent material for audio acoustics – and the deck’s aluminium tube tonearm and Ortofon OM SE cartridge add further to its audiophile credentials. We have chosen the E1 Phono model, which has a built-in phono amp. Pro-Ject also offers the E1, which doesn’t include a phono amp, and the E1 BT, which adds Bluetooth to the E1 Phono’s spec. The Box-Design Stereo Box S2 BT stereo amplifier brings the power. For a hi-fi amp, it’s only little – just 103cm wide – but it’s potent enough to drive most modern speakers. The S2 BT also features Bluetooth, so you can stream music from the likes of your computer, phone, or tablet. Jamo’s S 805 speakers complete our separates trio. It’s a floorstander design, so there is no need to buy speaker stands, and the cabinet’s modest 787cm height means that the speakers don’t take over your room. The S 805 employs a front-firing tube port, letting you place them close to the rear wall without fear of the bass bloating and spoiling the sound. Delivering beyond the sum of its compact parts, this is a separates system that doesn’t dominate your pad.

Visit for all of your hi-fi needs. See the Pro-Ject X2 and Phono Box DS2 on our editorial page. The Ed loves it!


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