Looking for a manual turntable? You cannot miss the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon…

I was lucky to have my hands on one of the best selling turntables all over the globe. Most of you might have already heard of this model, due to its friendly price and yet fantastic quality – the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon (DC). This model gives you one of the best values on vinyl records, so far in the market (few models could beat it!). It was first rolled out into the market in the 1990s and after the many tremendous improvements in performance, its price has remained modest since the beginning, giving many other TTs a run for their money.

Simple set up… 

When I first received it, it came in a well packaged cardboard box, well designed to protect it from potential damages through the perils of delivery. Setting it up is like a walk in the park, you can even do it within two or three minutes, when you make use of the video tutorials online. The box is pretty sturdy so you might not want to throw it immediately but just have it somewhere so when you need to transport it for whatever reason, you have it covered.

Great improvement with new investments

The amazing DC is fitted with the well known Ortofon cartridge so you do not have to worry about its quality. Furthermore, the moving magnet cartridges work well with any phono stage, producing neutral music and their precision stylus tip do not pose the risk of wearing out your precious vinyl records.

With the rise of popularity in using carbon fiber components, the DC model comes with an upgraded carbon fiber tonearm as compared to the original Debut. This is because carbon fiber comes with light weight, but is very strong and about absolutely resistant to resonance. Usually one can only find carbon fiber used on higher end models on the tonearm, but this DC turntable is already equipped with the carbon fiber arm brining greater stiffness and resonance rejection compared to its competitors.

Speaking of performance

The ability to maintain perfect speed can be considered to be one of the most crucial factors of a TT. Turntables depend on the motor, bearing and platter to guarantee perfect speed. This is because the moment your ears detect turntables that produce speed that has variation, you cannot help but become disappointed that it no longer resembles live music. The old carbon model comes with an optional speed box to help build on speed stability. But with this DC model, the speed box is fitted straight direct into the deck. It leverages on a generator such as the one from the speed box to drive the AC motor, that in turn lessens vibrations and perfects speed.

When it comes to acoustic isolation, you have to give it to this DC model, as it does a fantastic job with regards to this. Should you have huge speakers that are able to give you great deep bass performance, better sound can be derived should you not put the turntable close to them. In general, the DC will have good performance for most speakers on the same surface.

Some drawbacks here

Of course when it comes to bass performance, I have experienced deeper bass performance from other higher end turntables. But to note the price and its offerings, the DC is a true bang for the buck. The carbon tonearm works with the Ortofon to track the grooves of your albums without moving here and there, giving you lesser distortions. I have also noticed my vinyl records producing quieter sounds compared to my previous older turntable.

This DC is a manual turntable, so when you want to play the 45 rpm records, you need to just lift off the platter and move the belt to the 45 pulley, which is a quick movement. Also because its manual, there is no device to lift the tonearm at the end of the LP. You will however be required to lift it up.

Suitable for me?

With the latest improvements, if you are looking to upgrade your TTs, look no further for you cannot ask for more based on this price. This DC comes with carbon fiber tonearm, coupled with great speed control and fitted with the Ortofon cartridge, gives you one of the best sounds for this price. For the manual turntable lovers, you have a tough decision to make now. Want to consider more options that cost you less than $500? Check it out here. 

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