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I recently stumbled upon Michael Fremer's review of the Pro-ject Essential in Analog Planet. The critique of said turntable is informative, but what I found most interesting is the comparison between it and the Carbon. Basically Fremer contends that the Essential is a decent entry-level turntable, but for $100 more, you get way more bang for your buck with the Carbon. I quote ... "Here's the thing: Pro-Ject was obviously trying to give folks a serious, well-made turntable for as little as possible and in that they have succeeded. However, the Carbon for $100 more is way better than $100 better. Listening to the Carbon without being able to see it, you'd neverknow it was a $399 turntable. But listening to the Essential without seeing it, you'd know it was inexpensive (not "cheap")." I've never heard either of these tables so I have no real opinion. Still, since both come up in the entry-level turntable discussion quite a bit on VC, I figured that some of you might find the review enlightening.