Logo Pro-Ject

Pro-Ject: Quality Record Players – Sustainable Manufacturing

Do you love vinyl so much that Vinyl Record Day (August 12th) is has occupied a spot on your calendar for years? Then you’ve made it to the right place! Because this summer, Teufel has expanded its offering with three new models from the Austrian turntable manufacturer Pro-Ject, which makes high-quality record players with modern design. And we are such big fans of our new partners, we wanted to write you an introduction.

Pro-Ject: Pioneer of the Analog Revival

First and foremost, the driving force behind Pro-Ject is a vinyl enthusiast from Lower Austria named Heinz Lichtenegger. He founded the company 1991 – a time when CD sales were booming, and the Eastern European economy was in decline. At the time, Lichtenegger believed vinyl records and analog sound were due for a comeback.

In his youth, Lichtenegger sold his first HIFI devices to friends and acquaintances out of his mother’s gas station. After making a name for himself, he moved to Vienna and carved out a niche in the HIFI industry.

The story of Pro-Ject started soon after, at a party where the daughter of the Czech ambassador mentioned a turntable brand called Tesla. That was when Lichtenegger became aware of the recently shuttered factory in Czechia, which previously belonged to a state-owned enterprise. There, Lichtenegger found out about the Tesla NC 500 record player, which he thought had great potential. It went on to become the basis for the development of the Pro-Ject 1, their first model. It was at that location, where they still operate today, that Lichtenegger’s nascent vision of manufacturing high-quality record players took flight.

The Pro-Ject 1, their first production model from 1991
The Pro-Ject 1: a 1991 HIFI record player

In surprisingly short order, trade publications found out about the hand-assembled record players from a Czech factory and began praising their quality. One German HIFI magazine lauded the Pro-Ject 1 as one of the top 10 high-end audio devices. The reverberations of that success were so promising that Lichtenegger put it all on the line and moved his company’s headquarters to Vienna, driven by a confidence that audiophiles like himself would preserve analogue sound into the digital age and that a vinyl renaissance was on the way.

From Selling out of a Gas Station to the Forefront of the Global Market

The history of Pro-Ject’s success reads like a master class in patience, devotion, and conviction. While the Discman lost ground to the MP3 player, Lichtenegger went on the hunt for more manufacturing partners in Europe who shared his faith in the analog revival. His search took him back to Eastern Europe, as well as over to Germany. Through it all, he has always remained true to the principles of his company: their record players are, for the most part, assembled by hand using high quality materials while avoiding unnecessary features. That’s how they have remained affordable to the consumer without losing sight of their modern, minimalist design.

Heinz Lichtenegger then and now
Heinz Lichtenegger then & now (left: 1995, right: 2022)

It is this philosophy that makes Pro-Ject brand record player so attractive – and not only for HIFI purists. In the end, his years of perseverance paid off: a backlash to the wave of digital sensory overload did eventually take hold and lead to the comeback of vinyl.

“Our products are part of what made analog hip again.”

Heinz Lichtenegger

His company, Audio Tuning Vertriebs GmbH, now sells up to 200,000 record players every year, which makes them the market leader in high-quality turntables worldwide. And now, their headquarters is back where it all started, in Lower Austria, a town called Mistelbach.

Pro-Ject record players from Teufel

Pro-Ject A1

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Pro-Ject E1 BT

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Pro-Ject Debut S Phono

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Long-Lasting Products for Audiophiles

Pro-Ject manufactures at 4 European locations – in Czechia, Slovakia, and Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Meanwhile, 97% of raw materials and advertising materials used at those plants are locally sourced. Pro-Ject record players are not only produced sustainably, they have particularly long lifespans. And that – along with the best possible sound quality – has always dictated their choice of materials.

Pro-Ject's manufacturing process
Pro-Ject’s record players are primarily assembled by hand

That is where Teufel and Pro-Ject overlap. Both brands rely on high-quality manufacturing processes to produce audiophile products that last a long time.

Teufel & Pro-Ject: HIFI at its finest

When you buy a Teufel speaker and Pro-Ject record player bundle, you’re getting the optimal quality for your vinyl stereo setup. Get ready for the absolute finest in HIFI sound!

Bundle THEATER 500 KOMBO + Pro-Ject Debut S Phono
HIFI set-up for vinyl fans: the THEATER 500 and Pro-Ject Debut S Phono

THEATER 500 KOMBO + Pro-Ject Debut S Phono: the THEATER 500 floorstanding speakers, bundled with the KOMBO 62 receiver and the Teufel exclusive Pro-Ject Debut S Phono make for a high-performance audio team. They will leave you enthralled with the natural, balanced sound of their three-way design including down-firing bass reflex system. The record player is belt driven, has a high-quality cartridge, and an adjustable pre-amp. Antiskating and tracking force can also be configured at different levels manually.

ULTIMA 40 KOMBO + Pro-Ject A1: The legendary ULTIMA 40 comes ready to play with receiver and fully automatic record player. That means powerful, bassy sound production due to its three-way construction and double midwoofer. The Pro-Ject A1 can be controlled with the push of a button, after which its mechanics automatically take over.

▶ Check out all the record players in the Teufel Webshop

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Record player advice from the Teufel blog

Get all the most up to date and important information on vinyl and analog sound. These articles might be of interest:

PS. If you’re a Metallica fan, don’t miss out on this Pro-Ject special edition:

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Teufel Editorial

All about headphones, Bluetooth speakers & home cinema. Plus, practical tips and tricks for amazing audio quality from our team of in-house experts.