Test: Pro-Ject Debut PRO Turntable With Pick It Pro Cartridge
30 Years And Not A Bit Tired
The Pro-Ject brand is no stranger. We would even go so far as to say that the international hi-fi market, especially the phono segment, cannot be imagined without it. At a time when everyone else had long since declared the record dead, in the middle of the era of the first usable digital converters, someone had completely different ideas. Pure analog happiness at a fair price. It began with tinkering, tuning and handicrafts and, over the years, has become one of the most renowned manufacturers and the market leader in the turntable industry. Chapeau!
What is the secret of success? Less prestige, more sound. Less shine, more functionality. Less mystery, more revelation.
Pro-Ject products are usually convinced with their outstanding price-performance ratio and excellent product management. You already know The assembly of the components, the coordination and the selection of the functionality. It should be straightforward, simple. The device must not steal the show from the music but must serve it. We are sure that Pro-Ject has incorporated these properties again into the new 2021 record player model Debut PRO.
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The Pro-Ject Debut PRO Turntable
The new PRO follows on from the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO model in terms of development. If you look closely here, you will find many parallels. The differences lie in the details, which are very fine. First of all, it is noticeable that the Pro-Ject Debut PRO has been given new silver feet. These are stored on TPE, a special material, and are decoupled from vibrations compared to the EVO version. The three-point mounting is also the type of installation we prefer, as it nips any tilting movement in the bud.
The platter is also visible at first glance and is now made of finely balanced cast aluminum instead of sheet steel. The next noticeable feature compared to the colleagues in the series is the toggle switch on the top of the front.
The desired rotation speed can be selected via this. By removing the main plate and placing around the belt on the pulley, 78 rpm can also be played. If you look very closely, you will see that a new or different tonearm base has been installed. Not only the Cardan suspension has been revised compared to its predecessor, but the PRO version of the Pro-Ject Debut turntable now also has a tonearm height adjustment.
The turntable’s tonearm is also new. Pro-Ject now uses a composite material. Carbon on the outside, aluminum on the inside. This results in the advantages of both worlds. Lightness and cushioning. Whether this variation is reflected in the sound? The Debut Carbon EVO still sits well in our ears. Before we get to that point, a few more details caught our eye. At the end of the tonearm, there is no
on the Debut PRO, as is the case with the “smaller” models, but a “Pick it PRO” pickup specially manufactured and adapted for Pro-Ject. An MM system with a high dynamic range promised audiophile qualities and was specially designed for the greater mass of the arm. It has a comparatively low level of needle compliance.
An optionally available power supply unit rounds off the birthday arrangement by Pro-Ject. Of course, a power supply unit is included in the scope of delivery, but we would still like to personally recommend this special upgrade to a “High Power it” power supply unit from Pro-Ject.
It is not simply a normal 15 V / 1 A switched-mode power supply, as is often found, but a power supply in which the ground is looped through internally. A rarity and for many a real problem solver because it is not uncommon for turntables and preamplifiers or integrated amplifiers to collide with each other in an unforeseen way, and hum loops form. As a rule, the amplifier has a different ground potential than the turntable and leakage currents arise that are buzzing and buzzing. Always remember: Merge the mass in a star shape.
Pro-Ject Turntable In The Sound Test
What better way to celebrate an anniversary than with ABBA. The ten-year difference: free. We put on “Waterloo”. A title that many of you know by heart. We also. It becomes clear in the first few bars: Despite its economic construction, the Pro-Ject Debut Pro gets an astonishing pound of pressure on the needle. In a direct comparison with other turntables in this price range, it becomes clear that more of the foundation remains than with other turntables.
This means that the Debut PRO can be perfectly combined with “thin” systems, leading to a fuller sound image when you have a rather reduced ambience in your familiar surroundings. Few carpets and plants, an environment that sounds rather bright or full of information per se, you don’t need a turntable, which feeds the concrete box even more with heights. You need more body here. The rather darkly tuned Debut PRO offers this from all perspectives. If we were to compare it with the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO, the EVO is more lightly tuned, so the perfect addition to rather dark-sounding systems or rooms in this case.
To check the high-gloss capabilities of the Debut PRO, we, of course, also applied one or the other 180-gram pressure to 45 revolutions. Here, too, the specialties in the basic tone come into their own. Kari Bremnes’ “Coastal Ship” sounds warm, round and open on its own. Due to the successful black stage that the Debut PRO builds, the title shines again beautifully.
Our test song “Seeker” by Hiromi from the album “Alive” was also convincing in 45s HiRes. The piano’s keyboard and its attack naturally swing through our listening room. Microdynamics are remarkable for an MM consumer. But here, too, it’s best when the rhythm section finally kicks in after the long piano intro. The sonority and grip of the bass are heartwarming and touching. You must accept that the Debut PRO does not have a built-in subsonic. That means a lot of depth and a little susceptibility to swing and bass feedback when the plate is in room mode. Please be careful here. In addition: Let’s get this party started!