Pro-Ject Debut Carbon TurnTables

5/5 (1 Reviews) MSRP : $399.99


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Product Description

Gloss Blue Turntable w/Dustcover low-vibration belt-drive design ,one-piece carbon fiber tonearm for superior rigidity and low resonance


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User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Peter Charles a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 6, 2014

Bottom Line:   
This review pertains to the Debut Carbon DC Esprit only! (model year 2014!).

I was looking for a easy-to-use turntable for my second system, for outside the main listening room, which has a VPI mark III, with Origin tonearm, VPI quartz power generator, and high-end moving coil from ZYX , played through a Musical Surrounding Nova II.
I have not decided yet on a inexpensive phono amp for my NAD T748 AV receiver (very fine sounding for an AV amp, and highly recommended!), so I have hooked up the Nova II, which is way overkill, but should bring out finest qualities of the Carbon and the Ortofon Red, which I believe it does!
The turntable sounds terrific, both through my Monitor Audio AV speakers and even better through the NAD AV receiver's headphone output! Basically, I would rate the value for this unit through the roof! Please note, I have not tweeked or checked cartridge alignment yet, but everything sounded so good out of the box, I am delaying this extra step!

However, there are some issues to address:
1. Set-up manual has some omissions! (probably can be overcome with online video tutorials!)
2. Phone connection wires - although sounding good - had some loose connectors which caused me to loose my right channel a few times! (will tighten or upgrade wire, for this reason!)
3. Had to redo and rearrange all my power cords to loose terrible hum issues. Most originated from the subwoofer being plugged in! Some residential hum remains, but it is very minimum. Note, my best combination so far has been to plug both the phono stage and turntable into a separately attached and ancient power-line filtration system I happened to have lying around!
4. Very minor quibble - when I use the tonearm lift, the tonearm lifts up in a diagonal, about 1/3 inch from former play area.

Things I love about this turntable:

1. Steadiness of play and pitch!. I have a trained ear as a former student sound technician in film school. There is no discernible wow and flutter! The new, built-in and regulated DC motor works like my VPI quartz power supply!
2. 45 and 33.33 speeds at the push of a button. I have several audiophile 12" records I love and I really hate changing belt pulleys! I will now buy more...
3. Compact size - fits a much tighter space than my VPI setup!
4. Everything that is important to make great music is included!. Only real tweak that remains in upgrading either the cartridge or needle. To my 50+ year ears though, the sound is already wonderful! Having spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours tweaking systems, replacing tonearms and cartridges, this is not to be underestimated for those individuals who just want to enjoy music and have better than CD and regular uncompressed, ITUNES download sound!!!

To those that are considering this fine component, please read other reviews online about hum problems and channel distortion with the Ortofon Red mounted, factory cartridge misalignment out of the box, and buyer beware! Note, a cartridge alignment protractor is included with the TT!

Lastly, I would have preferred to buy the VPI Nomad - and American made, high quality turntable, but the cost is $400 higher, but includes built-in phone amp, which saves about $200 to $300 dollars of additional expense that I will have to eventually come up with. My decision to not pursue this option was, primarily, because one cannot bypass the built in phonostage at this point, something VPI or a third party will likely remedy at some point! I would assume that a good value, $250 phono stage will better the existing stage that is built in, but may be in error on this point!

Next I will try out the Parasound Zphono USB, Cambride P651, and the Musical Fidelity VPS90, so I can put my MS Nova II back in my main system...

Probably will upgrade the needle at some point too, just because! (with blue or black!), although I am astonished by the detail and performance of the Red! Previous cartridges: Grace 9, Denon 110, Shure V15 , Sumiko Virtuoso Boron, etc.).

One last thing - bought this turntable at the turntable lab, who included a good record cleaning brush and good turntable mat (which this particular turntable does not need, due to upgraded acrylic platter!).

Two additional items I would recommend, besides tons of vinyl records, are the following:

1. A stylus cleaning brush and/or solution!

2. A stylus gauge, just to verify the adjustment method by Project, either cheap electronic or a Shure.

Optional item three - a Spin-clean, Nitty Gritty or VPI record cleaning machine with plenty of extra fluid!

All the above to be had for less than a grand!

Cheers,

Peter S.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2010




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