Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC Turntable Review
There’s no good in having high-quality records, if you don’t have a high-quality system to play them on! Here’s where I like to brag about this.
I have a large record collection, and classic rock is something I was introduced to when I was about 10 years old. My dad bought me Guitar Hero, and I played that game for too many hours per day. I started memorizing the songs as I played them, then I would request to have them played in the car and I even began to buy them to put them on my iPod. My dad loved to see this, but had the nerve to tell me that I was doing it all wrong. What do you mean?
This is where my dad realized I was hearing all of these songs on the wrong format, and that my ears were about to be opened and my mind blown. My dad soon rebuilt (yes, rebuilt) a record player-stereo-speaker system for me. I had 3-foot tall floor speakers, a giant stereo, and a turntable, housed by a big wooden cabinet that also kept my new record collection in one place. I started out with 6 amazing albums, and I cannot tell you how many I have now.
“Do not turn this up past the third or fourth level, unless you want the cops called to the house for a noise complaint.” Sure, dad. He helped me put on a Rolling Stones album, and my jaw dropped. I was hearing instruments I swore I had never heard before. The sound from a vinyl record blew anything digital out of the water. And my dad had bought everything broken and fixed it, which made the sound that much more impressive.
Well, as you can imagine, that turntable didn’t last forever, especially with the amount I played it. So, it was time to get a new one. Considering the amount that I play my collection, I was willing to pay a decent price for a good turntable. After a little exploring, I found the Pro-Ject Carbon DC.
The Debut Carbon DC has several components that set the bar high for turntables of this kind. Each piece of this turntable was designed and engineered to produce the most pure and clear music.
One of the best features of this turntable is the tonearm, which is made of a 8.6-inch carbon tube. This material is typically used in high-end, very expensive turntables, upwards of $600. This carbon tube tonearm increases the firmness and decreases the wanted resonance that some turntables have. At the end of the tonearm is an Otrofon 2M Red cartridge, which employs Ortofon’s trademark, split pole pin technology and is built with a tipped elliptical diamond. This pair creates a sound that pays more allegiance to the grooves in the record. This is a huge improvement above other turntables and for analog delivery of music. I always say that records are the superior way to enjoy music, and having a steady arm and quality cartridge on your turntable makes a huge difference in their sound.
Second, the table on this system has also been improved with the music in mind. Pro-Ject increased the weight and size of the platter. This paired with the heavy, balanced carbon tube creates the perfect tension on your vinyl record, creating an even smoother and higher quality sound.
Spinning this turntable is a precision belt drive with a synchronous motor. This system has thermo plastic elastometers (TPE) suspension, which helps to decrease the vibrations caused by the motor, and overall causes a low-noise motor operation during play. There is no reason why the pure music from your records should be even slightly drawn away by the mere sound of the turntable being powered. The combination of these features will perform better by creating more accurate playback of the records, without distortion.
The last, and very notable, feature of this turntable is its physical appearance and design. This turntable is simple, modern and has a sleek black finish like a piano. Its design is very minimal, and it will fit into your décor very well while still being a point of conversation. The turntable comes in different colors and you can purchase upgrades for it, but it looks sophisticated as is.
I have gone through a few record players that I would consider inexpensive, or even cheap, and definitely not the best quality. It was well worth saving up and leveling up to the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC. Honestly, for the quality of the sound that comes out of this turntable, it was worth every single penny. I’d consider it to be a high-end, entry level turntable. As a bonus, setting up this table is easy and so you can start listening to your records within minutes of opening the box. The low-noise motor, large platter and heavy arm work together to create a beautiful sound with no unnecessary distraction from the machine. I’d say that this turntable produces a better sound than some other models at higher price points. However, buyer beware: because this turntable is more accurate to the record it is playing and is more sensitive, you will be able to hear any dust, scratches, and little damages in your vinyl records. Do remember that records in good shape will sound amazing.
Once you have this system set up, adjust everything properly, and spin a few albums on it, you will see why it is one of the best turntables under $400. The components that make up this system are some of the best quality on the market, and create a beautiful, clean sound that holds true to the nuances in your records. You will be blown away by the silence between tracks, and the detail and dynamics that comes from the noise produced. I recommend this gift to anyone who has a decent collection of records, and really appreciates listening to music this way. The turntable is certainly built to last, making it even more so worth its value. I would love to tell you more about it, but I’d rather go listen to my records instead.