Made by Pro-Ject, a niche Austrian hifi company based in Mistelbach, the Juke Box E looks, on the surface, like a very elegant high-performance turntable – tout court. It is, in fact, all that and more, although rather eccentrically, given its name, the one thing it is not is a 1950s-style juke box.
I do believe that this beautifully built piece of kit is a one-off in the wide world of audio. First, it is a belt-driven record deck with an Ortofon OM5E cartridge and a 22cm aluminium tonearm with sapphire bearings. If you are vinyl-ly inclined, as half the world seems to be today, it’s certainly one to have on your radar as a turntable alone. But the Juke Box E is not just a turntable – it’s a fully integrated music system, albeit a very modern take on that unwieldy living-room dinosaur. For hidden within its minimalist shell is also a pair of twin 50-watt amps (all you need do is wire up a pair of speakers) that can be – and here’s the real USP – accessed via groovy modern Bluetooth to stream music from a mobile device. The Juke Box that isn’t a juke box is a delightful 21st-century take on the old-school home stereo and comes in glossy black, white or a terrific red.