With the news of the new 30th Anniversary Pro-Ject Debut PRO coming this September, I was keen to hear my first Pro-Ject turntable in anticipation of the new turntable release. As a Rega RP3
owner, I have unboxed the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO noting the differences in design but reflecting that the two are similar in price and tactile operation, though they are an audio generation apart.
Pro-Ject has a century-old relationship with Ortofon and the turntable is supplied with their well-established Ortofon 2M Red moving magnet cartridge.
The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO has a classic turntable look with the single piece 8.6” carbon fibre tonearm looking every inch the part. The carbon fibre offers a stiff but lightweight tonearm for the cartridge, claim Pro-Ject.
The turntable is mounted on three adjustable circular metal feet making levelling a simple task. The metal feet have a felt pad on the underside. The motor for the turntable is suspended below the plinth to prevent mechanical noise transference to the cartridge and tonearm assembly. On the front underside is an ON (33.3 RPM) – OFF – ON (45 RPM) switch that controls the speed, and this clever idea avoids changing the belt to adjust the speed. The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO can turn to 78 RPM if required, with a belt change.
The metal-based platter is heavy at 1.7kg, it features a thermoplastic elastomer damper on the inside rim that creates a flywheel effect. Pro-Ject claim this delivers a “quieter and noiseless operation with less wow and flutter”.
Finally, the phono output cable is detachable (and therefore upgradeable?) with a grounding wire alongside it. There is also a clear plastic dust cover included that slots on the plinth elegantly.
The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO is boxed cleverly, and you are immediately reassured by the well-packed lid and protection for the preassembled tonearm that everything is thought of. There is a high quality feel to the satin blue steel plinth that I have. There are several colour choices and finishes, satin golden yellow and the high gloss red finish stand out to me.
The turntable itself is 415 x 118 x 320 mm, and with the dust cover open 415 x 365 x 405mm (W x H x D). It weighs in at 5,6 kg.
The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO turntable is retailing at £449.00 with Henley Audio.
With the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO, I’m using a Musical Fidelity MM phono stage into the brilliant T+A PA 2000 R integrated amplifier. I’m still using the stunning Tellurium Q Ultra Black II speaker cable into the Kudos Cardea C10 standmounted speakers and I am using a REL T/5i to support them in the low end.
Physically and Setting Up
The turntable was easy for me to set up, taking about 10 minutes. The setup guide was as clear as a bell, pointing out the risk points, the tonearm fragility, for example. Setting up and balancing the tonearm with the counterweight was a simple process and it is hugely satisfying. The only fiddle was the anti-skating weight but again it is a pretty simple process. I happen to have an RPM App to measure the accuracy of a turntable’s speed and the accuracy I have is within the specified tolerances on the site with the speed variance of 33.3 RPM being near ±0.1% and the wow and flutter estimated at 0.09%. The results for the 45 RPM speed were even better.
the Pro-Ject really digs into the bass as I realise that I have a very accomplished and capable turntable on my hands
Turning to my 10” copy double LP copy of Radiohead’s Amnesiac, I immediately have a sense of an energetic presentation from the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO. It has a clean delivery too in Packt Like Sardines. My favourite track, The Pyramid Song, is towering, wide and emotional. The only problem with a 10” double album, is I’m up and down every 10 or 12 minutes or so flipping the vinyl over in a trance. I will add the bass presentation from the Pro-Ject is excellent with the REL supporting the Kudos speakers. Notably, with the emphasis on the low end, there is no sign of rumble, which is often associated with noise and vibration from the motor arrangement, and this is a positive observation.
For a 45 RPM record, I chose Ed Sheeran’s multiply which is a double album. Listening to The Man, the Pro-Ject really digs into the bass as I realise that I have a very accomplished and capable turntable on my hands.
The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO is a fine piece of engineering that will fit well in the highest quality HiFi systems
The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO has an energic and vibrant presentation that can do justice to a well-balanced stereo system. In this high-quality system, there is no hint of the source letting down the musicality of this set-up. Of note for me is the bass presentation that is controlled and well delivered. The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO is a fine piece of engineering that will fit well in the highest quality HiFi systems. I can only conclude I’m in need of a turntable upgrade, this could be it!
Ease of Setup
At this price, nothing
Full details of the Specification are on the company’s site.