The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon has quickly become our turntable of choice. In this article, we will review it exhaustively and find out why it is one of the best in the market today.
- Excellent inbuilt phono preamp
- High-quality audio performance
- Easy to set-up
- Sleek design
- USB connection for recording via a PC
- Default Windows USB Audio Device drivers cause problems when using it
- Poor documentation
- Identifies as both a USB output and input
The Pro-Ject is an excellent-sounding package which comes with a pleasing level of clarity. It is a clean, intuitive sound which digs deep to uncover all manner of nuance and texture in the sorrowful guitar fiddling. The deck maintains a firm grip on the musical structure, with an outstanding level of musical meticulousness. That is not to say that its performance is clinical but rather it is animated and clearly displays a good deal of intricacy and fairly extensive dynamics.
In case we had to nit-pick about something, we will conclude that the Rega RP1 Performance Pack provides more power, and a greater sense of authority in the low end, however, it does not have the striking lucidity of the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon.
Setup of virtually every turntable is moderately sophisticated; however, Pro-Ject makes it as simple as possible by just delivering the Debut Carbon together with Ortofon 2M Red cartridge already pre-installed. If you check the cartridge’s azimuth and alignment, you will find that the two have been adjusted well enough, and there will be no need for you to mess with them. VTA (Vertical Tracking Angle), which is the angle at which the tonearm rests when it is sitting on a record, is not adjustable. This is something some users will see as a downside.
You will have to install the felt mat, the platter, and the drive belt. You will also have to mount the counter-weight at the tone arm’s end, then set the VTF (Vertical Tracking Force). That is more sophisticated; however the manual precisely guides you through the stages. With the use of a Shure SFG-2 gauge, you can easily set VTF at the recommended 1.75 grams (17.5 millinewtons). You will finally install the anti-skate weight, and then you will be ready to start spinning.
Though it may never feel like these parts are going to fall, they still feel dangerous. The tonearm rest does not possess an appropriate locking clip, thus, you should never knock this turntable. The speed change is manually operated and therefore, you will have to remove the platter and then gently move the belt with your hand to move from 33 1/3 to 45rpm. The whole set-up process may take only a few minutes. Nonetheless, you might want to pay close attention to placement. Ensure that the deck is kept level and away from the speakers.
Build and Design
Pro-ject is skilled in turntables and that is no secret. The company has made many great turntables, but the Debut range is one of the best. In this range, the Debut Carbon is the unusual type because of its super-strong and super-light tonearm.
The turntable is made of carbon fiber, which is a materially typically set aside for far more glamorous offerings that come with four-figure price tags. It comes factory-fitted to the fixed headshell that makes the set-up process a lot quicker. The counter weight is a component that looks standard while the bias weight is an old school element which hangs from the back of the tonearm and winding through a small hook.
This turntable can be used to record to your PC by using the analogue outputs. However, the USB connection appears to be the most appropriate way to do, as you are not just keeping all analogue audio away from the stew of electric fields within the PC, but also using $110 value of Pro-Ject’s own analogue-to-digital conversion and phono preamplification.
With its stock Ortofon 2M Red Cartridge, this turntable gives a vibrant and clean sound quality. The Debut Carbon can reach the RP6’s performance at just 20 percent of its price, and this fact makes it a remarkable turntable. For those purchasing a budget table, Pro-Ject Debut Carbon is the perfect one.