Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO review: Audiophile features spin vinyl joy

How considerably do you seriously need to have to shell out on a new turntable? As I have uncovered from our testimonials of history gamers from $100 to $1,000, there are excellent products at just about every stage — but like most issues in life, paying far more will give […]

How considerably do you seriously need to have to shell out on a new turntable? As I have uncovered from our testimonials of history gamers from $100 to $1,000, there are excellent products at just about every stage — but like most issues in life, paying far more will give you far more. If you can break up the distinction and shell out all over $five hundred, some excellent designs exist out there to tempt any vinyl admirer. Just one of my new favorites is the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO.


  • Suberb characteristics for the income
  • Sweet, even-handed seem
  • Strong make excellent
  • Out there in nine shades

Really don’t Like

  • Uncommon tonearm ergonomics
  • Sounds less fascinating than the Fluance RT85

I in comparison the EVO to a further turntable in this price tag range, the Fluance RT85. Each outdo more cost-effective styles with sound make excellent and step-up characteristics, but in the close I desired the Pro-Ject over the Fluance — it sounded far more musical and felt far more pleasing to use. The EVO brings together excellent playback excellent with a assortment of extras that you is not going to see even on some far more highly-priced gamers like the Rega Planar 3

The original Debut Carbon has appreciated accolades at any time because its visual appeal over 10 years in the past. The new EVO version ($five hundred, £449 and AU$879) is a worthy update and one of the very best approaches to shell out up on a history participant. 

Are we not adult males? We are EVO!


Ty Pendlebury/CNET

The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO packs in the audiophile-helpful characteristics. It consists of a one-piece carbon fiber tonearm, adjustable feet and an digital pace assortment (no far more taking away the platter, far more on that soon). In addition, Pro-Ject delivers nine diverse complete choices, which includes forest environmentally friendly and canary yellow. My evaluation sample came in higher-gloss pink.

The turntable consists of a suspension procedure borrowed from the increased-close X1, supporting a hefty aluminum platter. The platter has been dampened with TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) lining the edge, which contributes to the turntable’s remarkable excess weight. Rapping with a knuckle on the platter still designed it resonate nevertheless, even with the felt slipmat on, and primarily to the middle. Carrying out the very same detail on the Fluance’s acrylic platter didn’t ring at all.


Ty Pendlebury/CNET

In the US the EVO will come pre-mounted with the Sumiko Rainier phono cartridge (little brother to the Olympia), even though in the United kingdom and Australia it can be equipped with the Ortofon 2M Purple. Notice that all of my listening exams beneath have been of the US version the United kingdom and Australia versions will seem diverse.

Though the carbon fiber tonearm seems to be spiffy, the actuality that it can be one piece can make it a little far more awkward to use. The finger elevate (the jutty-out bit at the close of the tonearm) is a little far too flat and broad, earning it trickier to seize than other styles. 

The Pro-Ject discounts with pace changes in an progressive way: with a a few-way ability rocker tucked underneath the plinth. The a few positions — Still left 33 ⅓rpm, Center Off and Right 45rpm — aren’t marked nevertheless, so you can need to have to work out your muscle mass memory when turning on the participant.

The turntable will come with two cables. Just one is flat, which you can in all probability use all of the time, and the second is a rounded cable for men and women who have aged 78s. The firm also consists of an admittedly beautiful RCA cable in the box, but tweakers may well still want to improve to a better one later on.

Yo DJ, spin that wheel

Tactility — taking away the history from its sleeve, placing it on the platter, choosing up the tonearm, putting the needle in the groove — is arguably far more than fifty percent of the encounter when you happen to be enjoying information. The Pro-Ject may well not pretty feel like legitimate a higher-close participant, but it was surely far more enjoyment to use than the Fluance. 

Compared to the Fluance’s plastic-y lever the Pro-Ject’s knobbed lever felt a little far more like you would expect in a merchandise costing fifty percent a grand. If you have not applied a Pro-Ject ‘table right before, the way you have to relaxation the tonearm vertically will take some receiving applied to — you cannot just swing the arm again over to the appropriate.  

When the two turntables have been basically spinning information, it was the Pro-Ject that that most carefully evoked the spirit of listening to vinyl. It had a relaxed, total presentation that was not as tiring as the Fluance could be. 


Ty Pendlebury/CNET

The Ortofon 2M Blue that will come with the Fluance is an fascinating-sounding cartridge, and with the appropriate content it can make you want to get up and dance. Compared to the Pro-Ject’s stately overall performance, Velvet Underground by Jonathan Richman sounded like a completely diverse recording on the Fluance — bass was further, tambourine crisper and there was a greater degree of slapback echo from the appropriate channel. 

By the very same token the Fluance can seem far too forward with some tracks, even though the Pro-Ject delivers far more of a feeling of space, which is primarily excellent for large home appears like Nils Frahm’s Spaces. The Pro-Ject improved the record’s ambient traits, earning the home look like it extended deep into the space in entrance of me. The Fluance designed the recording seem far more comprehensive but it was also two dimensional — it seemed to exist only on the aircraft among the speakers. Spaces is not accurately an edge-of-your-seat type of recording, so the Pro-Ject’s far more relaxed solution labored better below.

I read the Fluance’s forwardness all over again on Nick Cave’s Purple Right Hand, and below the bass also threatened to turn out to be boomy. Unless of course you have a mellow sounding procedure, the Fluance RT85 appears like one improve far too considerably. The OM10 cartridge in the less-expensive Fluance RT82 is a nicely balanced cartridge, but the step up to the 2M Blue in the RT85 will be far too considerably for currently-brilliant systems. The Pro-Ject all over again showed better stability and a finely honed delineation among Cave’s baritone and the deep bassline. 

I tried my reference Rega Planar 3 with the Ortofon 2M Blue and even though it made available a in the same way forward stability it was far more tempered, not steely like the Fluance could be. The Pro-Ject with its Sumiko Rainier still sounded better, nevertheless. And when I switched the Rega’s cartridge to the Goldring E3, I all over again desired the Pro-Ject, which demonstrates how tightly built-in the EVO’s cartridge/turntable mixture is.

Ought to you purchase it?

The Pro-Ject EVO delivers excellent playback, seems to be excellent and is a lot of enjoyment to use. It’s crafted nicely and the ability to modify the feet makes leveling a painless method. The EVO may well not be fantastic — the ergonomics of the tonearm consider a little receiving applied to, for illustration — but this is nevertheless a excellent way to get again into vinyl, or to improve from a starter desk.

Rosa G. Rose

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