Pro-Ject Primary Phono USB – Review

Pro-Ject Primary Phono USB – Review

This is a review of the Pro-Ject Primary Phono USB and I have got to say before I even start, I have not had this much fun for a long time, and it was my birthday only last Saturday!   Any misgivings or snobbishness (dictionary corner?) I may have had about a USB turntable have been exploded in a very short space of time this morning.   For all the years I have wanted to record one piece of vinyl, in particular, this was my morning.


One of the finest pieces of vinyl ever pressed!

One of the finest pieces of vinyl ever pressed!

I received the Pro-Ject Primary Phono USB in the morning and I was upstairs like a rat up a drain pipe, after a bit of unboxing and unplugging the multiple USB slots at the back of my iMac I was away.   Everything is in the box.  It is basically a turntable with a USB A Type block at the back.  I like the fact I can use my own interconnects if I was using them, this has always been something I have wanted Rega to do.   My set-up was the Pro-Ject Primary Phono USB into the iMAC and I am using the Audio Pro LV33 wireless speakers that I use and appreciate so much.  After reading the How to Copy our Vinyl link below I downloaded Audacity on my iMAC.

There were no drivers to install as such, I just had to go in and change my input source in ‘Sounds’ to Microphone USB audio CODEC from ‘in-built’ and set my Monitors to Audio Pro in the software.


The turntable is nicely constructed with a factory set counter-weight to the Ortofon OM 5E.  It is a very precise cartridge set-up that I like a lot.  Hitting the track is a fraction easier than the Rega cartridges I am used to.  The base and the platter are made of a heavy duty MDF construction that is totally functional.  The sensitivity of the turntables to me typing on the same desk is a testament to this, see the tips blow!

I read this link through first, it is very intuitive and it is worth a read alongside my own obvious tips.  The Click removal is remarkable in Audacity although I was keen to minimise fiddling with the recordings characteristics.

How to Copy your Vinyl


The Audacity software is fine to use but it takes a bit of patience.  Running  a track at a time, saving it then moving on was by far the best way to proceed than trying to muck around with Side A, Side B stuff, splicing, cutting etc.  One of the upsides of playing these tracks several times is you get the lyrics after a while, like this! Love it!

And when the girls see me comin’,
they just scream and pull out their hair.
And when the girls see me comin’,
they just scream and pull out their hair.
You know the reason for that is,
I’m so suave and debonair!

‘The Creeper’, written by Freddie Robinson, performed here by The Innes Sibun Blues Explosion, lead singer ‘Skimpy’


I have only the following tips, mainly based on my excitement and the Audacity software:

  1. Do not lean on the desk or search Safari if your Pro-Ject Primary Phono USB is on your work desk, you can hear it!  In other words, put it on a separate table or use a lap top!
  2. Do not touch your keyboard anyway in case you lose your recording (did it twice).
  3. Clean your records thoroughly with the Pro-Ject VC-S, see here.
  4. Do one track at a time, save it, label it and move on.  Don’t try and record a side and then save it  (did it twice).
  5. If the phone rings know where the mute button is on Audacity.



the clarity and presentation from this turntable is remarkable, I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending it to anyone who wants to get involved in ‘ripping vinyl’

Now,  many people may think that the greatest band of the early 90s was Oasis (strong case), or Blur (stronger), or Kula Shaker (strong) or even the well established Ocean Clour Scene (even

Ropey copy of the cover

Ropey copy of the cover

stronger case) but they would all be wrong.  Because, in Bristol, there was Skimpy (vocals), Tony Caddle (Bass), Mike Hoddinot (Drums), John(ny) Baggot (keyboards) and Innes Sibun (Guitar) who collectively were The Innes Sibun Blues Explosion.  They were good, really good and many of us followed them around the live scene.  In 1991 they brought out ‘That’s what The Blues can do’, a collection of original songs and covers that you could buy at their gigs but there were no CDs around in ‘them days’ so I have cherished my only vinyl copy for over 25 years now.

With all of this in mind and with a crystal cleaned copy of my cherished album I set about pulling it into the current decade and putting it on my phone.   The needle dropped and we’re off.  The Audacity software was a pain but my speakers were singing and I was transported back to Bristol at the height of Britpop.  That is the best thing I can say about this turntable, I was not searching for a soundstage, or peering about for lower frequency punch or rippling vocals, I was just there with the music, tapping my feet and it was joyous.

As I hinted at above, the clarity and presentation from this turntable is remarkable, I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending it to anyone who wants to get involved in ‘ripping vinyl’.   Audacity is a worthy companion.

The eventual files I have for this album are 16bit, 44.1kHz wav files and all of the detail is in there on my Nexus 6P smartphone.  I think my recording levels are a bit low so I will most likely have a play with that when I have some more time.

Phono performance

I will hook up the Pro-Ject Primary Phono USB to my Roksan K2 next week and see how this performs, so watch for the update.

More information here:

SRP – £229.00

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