Pro-Ject aims for affordable high quality with Debut Carbon Evo turntable
Hi-fi gear maker Pro-Ject has announced the next generation of its affordable Debut line of turntables. The Debut Carbon Evo retains the company's minimalist design but brings improved damping, better motor noise elimination and built-in speed control.
At the close of the 1990s, Pro-Ject's CEO Heinz Lichtenegger and UK distributor Laurence Armstrong started thinking about a new line of turntables that offered high quality sound at a price that a new wave of young vinyl enthusiasts could afford. And so the Debut line was born.
The Austrian company has released a number of beautifully minimalist Debut editions since then, including the excellent Debut Carbon, and has notched up total sales of around a million units. For the Debut Carbon Evo, Pro-Ject says that it's focused on "the core aspects that make a turntable sound great: technically correct design; expert craftsmanship, handmade in the EU."
The Evo comes with the company's 8.6-inch (218-mm) one-piece carbon tonearm with a pre-adjusted Ortofon 2M Red moving-magnet cartridge (which is priced at €120 on its own). It features an electronically-controlled belt drive system, with the speed control switch for 33.3, 45 and 78 RPM hidden beneath the plinth, though if you're wanting to listen to your old 78s, you will need to change the belt (a 78 belt is included) and needle (Pro-Ject recommends an Ortofon 2M 78, which will need to be purchased separately) to do so.
The motor driving the belt naturally vibrates, not a lot you can do to stop that, though designers can suspend and decouple the unit from the plinth to isolate it from the sensitive cartridge and stylus. Pro-Ject says the new and improved design of the motor suspension system will ensure no mechanical noise makes it through to the speakers.
The company's engineers have added a thick elastomer ring to the inside of the platter for better damping, adding to its weight to tip the scales at 1.7 kg (3.75 lb), and the firm says that users can expect quieter operation than before, with even less wow and flutter (pitch variation).
Elsewhere, the turntable has been isolated from external vibrations with three aluminum/elastomer feet, compared to the plastic feet of the Debut Carbon, there are gold-plated RCA connectors, and the Evo comes supplied with a semi-balanced, low-capacitance phono cable "to guarantee a perfect connection to your amp."
The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo goes on sale in the (northern) fall for €499 (about US$575), including a dust cover, and will be available in a choice of nine finishes.
Product page: Debut Carbon Evo