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