“Do you even red, bro?” asks Pro-Ject at CES 2016


ces2016AudioQuest’s DragonFly Red USB DAC, KEF’s red LS50 and Blade Two, Spatial Audio’s red M3, Dynaudio’s red Xeo 2. Can you sense a theme developing? I sense a theme developing.

The argument for marketing departments and more progressive engineers to coat their gear in the colour of blood and fire is clear. Red’s historical and cognitive associations are numerous: courage, danger, passion, desire, love, power, dominance and prosperity. Red is considered a lucky colour by the Chinese.

However, asking “Do you even red, bro?” at CES 2016 were Austria’s Pro-Ject Audio Systems. Their second room was less focussed on their stock-in-trade – turntables – and instead took a primary coloured micro audio system to retina-roasting levels. On display inside and atop a red (of course) IKEA Kallax rack were: MaiA integrated amplifier (US$499) and MaiA CD player (US$399) in a single wrap; Streambox DS Net streamer (US$899); Debut Carbon DC Esprit SB (US$599); Speaker Box 5 bookshelves (US$299). Completely bonkers (but in a good way).

Rest assured, even more red hifi gear will feature on these pages in the coming months and maybe – just maybe – some of it will come from Pro-Ject. The message? Wood veneers and metal chassis don’t have a monopoly on audio hardware’s attractiveness.


Also being introduced Stateside was Pro-Ject’s all new ‘wet’ vacuum-based record cleaning machine that promises to suck harder than Adam Sandler’s Pixels. Looking quite by comparison, the Vinyl Cleaner S will sell for US$499 and lands right into Okki Nokki territory but looks a little less home-brewed than the Nederlanders’ unit. The Pro-Ject machine’s metal clamp keeps the record’s label from getting wet and that metal suction arm promises a dry record after two full rotations; at 2 (two) seconds per rotation, it’s a zippy performer.

Further information: Pro-Ject Audio Systems



Written by John H. Darko

John lives in the NOW + HERE = NOWHERE. He derives an income from the ad revenues of DAR. John is also an occasional staff writer for Stereophile, 6moons and TONEAudio.

Twitter: DarkoAudio
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  1. Glad to see pro-ject offering a not unattractive record cleaner. Also happy to hear some pro-ject reviews may be forthcoming from this site.

  2. My sis has the exact same table (and color) she got for ~$80 less, open box but unused.. Built-in speedbox is a good move by Pro-ject.. It’s an okay deck, but the real bottleneck is the Ortofon 2m Red that came with it.. It deserves a a much better cartridge IMHO.