The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon is often considered one of the top-notch turntables on the market. Not only it has a very attractive and elegant look, but in terms of sound quality, this is one of the best you can get. It is not the cheapest option ($399 new from Amazon), but if you’re looking for top sound quality and high-end materials, the Pro-Ject Debut Canon goes well beyond its price. If you are looking for more affordable options, go to the homepage and check out which turntables I recommend.
Besides from its excellent sound quality and design, the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon is built of good and long-lasting materials. The base is made of MDF (Medium-Density Fiberboard), and the platter is metal. One of its most characteristic qualities is the one from which it takes its name: the carbon tone arm. Carbon fiber is very strong but at the same time it is very light, which makes for even better sound quality. CF is a quite fine material, and even though its use in turntables has increased recently, it’s still not very common to see, the Debut Carbon being one of the few that use it.
This turntable conveniently comes with a cartridge included, the Ortofon 2M Red cartridge, which when bought by itself costs around $100. This cartridge is a major improvement on the ones included in earlier models, and it generates a very clean sound.
It is also belt-driven, a more affordable choice than direct-driven turntables, which are more commonly used for DJing. This makes The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon an excellent choice for those of you who just want to enjoy listening to records, no matter if you’re a vinyl veteran or a beginner.
The only real downside is that to change the speed from 33 to 45rpm and vice-versa you have to lift the platter and move the belt manually. However, this can be solved by purchasing a Pro-Ject Speed Box ($129 on Amazon) which is an accessory that will make the change for you with the touch of a button.
Now, without further ado, let’s get into the ratings!
Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Design (5/5)
The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon is a beautiful, modern-looking turntable. Its sleek and minimalistic design makes it almost unique in the world of record players, and it has a very high-end look to it. The base comes in seven different, glossy colors to choose from. It also includes a smooth transparent lid, perfect for protecting your turntable without having to conceal it. If you want a fresh alternative to the more common vintage-looking record players, this is the perfect product for you!
Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Sound Quality (4.5/5)
This turntable offers a very clear and fluid sound with very little background noise. Its Sorbothane AC motor and the fact that it is belt-driven are both elements that make for great speed stability, a key aspect in achieving ultimate quality. According to most users, the sound quality is not compromised even with a few years of use. It is also widely considered to have a highly improved performance in comparison to its predecessor, the Debut III.
You may be wondering why I don’t give it a full five-star rating. Well, despite being widely considered to have an excellent sound, there is a common complaint of an audible hum that appears when the as soon as you turn it on. This humming sound can supposedly be heard even when a record is playing. Few people have reported this problem, and many have been able to solve it using methods that are posted online (such as buying the Project Speedbox, but I have not personally tried this solution). It is a small flaw that not many users have experienced, but is still important to have in consideration if we want to do an honest review.
Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Price (4/5)
Granted, at around $399 new (with used ones for no less than $300), it is probably not the best option if you’re on a tight budget. Yet it’s also nowhere near being among the most expensive, so we could say the price is mid-range.
However, the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon is well worth every dollar, and is even considered by some to be a budget product if you take into account its advantages over other turntables and the superior overall quality of the product. You would save money purchasing a cheaper product, but if you are serious about having top sound quality, you should not hesitate to get this one.
Bottom line: Definitely go for this turntable if you want outstanding sound quality with a modern, elegant and minimalist style. For its price, it’s the best you’re gonna get! Buy it here, and check out other Pro-Ject products here.