What We Like
- Clean and attractive design.
- Solid hardware that works precisely and accurately.
- Rock solid performance no matter what you play.
What We Don’t Like
- Desperately needs a better user manual.
Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC is another simple yet elegant design from this popular brand. Actually, it is among the most attractive turntables you can get under $500 at the moment. Let’s check it out a bit closer.
It is no secret that Pro-Ject’s Debut series are leaning more towards a modern look. However, there is something ultimately vintage about how this turntable looks. In essence, they have cleared the base of everything, leaving only clean surfaces and essential hardware.
Build quality is about as good as it gets in this price range. Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC comes in a variety of colors, including some which are fairly bright. With that said, getting an all black one is a sure fire way to have it fit into whatever interior design you have. All of the finishes are high gloss, which is great in terms of appearance but also requires some maintenance unless you are fine with having fingerprints all over the place.
One quick glance at this turntable reveals exactly why it is so popular at the moment. Fortunately for all of us, the innards are not falling behind either.
At its very core, Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC features a DC driver AC generator that delivers super precise frequency of rotation. Motion is transferred to the platter via a well designed belt system, which does a great job at eliminating any vibrations or imperfections during cycling. Platter is a heavier piece that is paired with an 8.6″ carbon tonearm.
Pro-Ject has chosen Ortofon’s OM 10 or 2M red magnetic cartridges for this model, each one offering something different in terms of performance. Speaking of cartridges, you will have to get both if you want to play 78 RPM records. This is a fully manual turntable, but one which you have complete control over.
Quality of hardware is on a level higher than we have expected, which is a pleasant surprise. Overall, Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC is not packed with gimmicky features. Instead, they have focused more on pure performance and clean design.
Speaking of performance, Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC has a lot to offer. The sound with 2M Red cartridge is awesome right out of the box. Depending on how adamant you are about tone quality, you can definitely get even better results with a more refined cartridge.
Motor and drive system are both precise to a point where you don’t have to worry about speed fluctuations or anything similar. Pair this bad boy with a decent phono amplifier and you are looking at well saturated analog tone that has depth as well as clarity. Setting up the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC is easy for anexperienced user, but a beginner might need to check out various guides.
The manual you get with the turntable isn’t all too detailed when it comes to assembly. Overall, Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC is a truly solid performer that is completely devoid of unnecessary features.
Finding a pure turntable in this price range is tough. Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC is one of the few choices that’s as solid as they come. It isn’t without its quirks, but the whole experience is more than worth it.