To celebrate their 30th anniversary, Pro-Ject Audio Systems is introducing the Debut PRO turntable. This beautiful turntable is a true audiophile-level turntable for far less than you might expect with an amazing upgrade path as well. We were bowled over when we tested it for both its build and sound quality....
PRO-JECT TURNTABLE COMPARISON
Debut Carbon DC
Debut Carbon EVO
Company & Product Overview
While the EVO shares some of the technology found in the Debut Carbon DC, there were so many improvements, we thought it would be fun to share them with you. Read our full review of the EVO or our review of the Debut Carbon DC for a more in-depth look at each table.
We will start from the bottom of the EVO and work our way out, going over each part of the turntable and pointing out what is new and what remained the same. To keep things simple we will refer to the Debut Carbon DC as “DC” and the Debut Carbon EVO as “EVO” throughout the rest of the comparison.
Debut Carbon EVO Review
Debut Carbon DC Review
The DC had some vibration resistant feet, but the EVO takes a huge step up. First, the new feet are height adjustable making it simple to get your turntable level. Next, they are much wider on the EVO, offering a more stable platform.
But the big news is the use of TPE or Thermoplastic Elastomer. This is a damping material Pro-Ject uses on their more expensive turntables.
The feet on the EVO are made using TPE damped aluminum. This is a big improvement and something you do not usually see on turntables in this price range.
The plinth is the big flat piece everything mounts to. These are the same on both models, although the color choices are somewhat different on the new EVO. We go over those in the review.
While the same motor is used, the way it is mounted is entirely different. The motor in the DC used a system that worked well for isolation, basically hanging the motor on what looked like small rubber bands. EVO takes things to a whole new level. First, the motor gets a big round steel shield over the top of it to prevent any electrical energy from interfering with what the cartridge is picking up. Then, they mount the motor to this shield, which is mounted to the plinth using TPE isolation washers on both the top and bottom of the plate. Motors always make some kind of vibration and this system keeps those vibrations from getting transferred through the plinth and back into your stylus.
A lot of this tech came from their much more expensive X1 turntable and it is very impressive to see it in a turntable that is under $500
Motor Speed Control
On the DC, switching from 33 to 45 involved taking off the platter and moving the belt. The EVO has a new electronic speed control that not only makes it just the flip of a switch to go from 33 to 45, but also provides a more stable signal to the motor, resulting in more consistent speed.
Inner Platter and Platter Bearing
These appear to be the same to us on both the DC and EVO.
One of the few complaints we ever had about the DC was the stamped steel platter had no damping. If you tap it, it would ring a bit. The new EVO uses a slightly thicker stamped steel platter with a large TPE damping ring around the inner perimeter. It weighs in at almost 4 pounds with the TPE ring added. This change is huge! You get a better flywheel effect and there is less chance of the platter vibrating with the sound from your speakers.
The tonearms are identical on the two models. We really like the Pro-Ject arm as it has great sapphire bearings that are almost friction-free with no bearing play. It’s such a great tonearm for the money there was not much they could do to improve it.
The DC came with an Ortofon Red, which is actually one of the best selling cartridges in the world today. (Major reason is that it has been standard on the Debut for a decade!) It is a great performer and you can even upgrade it by purchasing the stylus for an Ortofon Blue.
The US version of the EVO will be different from the models sold in Europe, where they will keep the Ortofon Red. Sumiko is the importer of Pro-Ject Audio Systems in the US and they have been designing their own phono cartridges for decades. Sumiko spent 3 years developing a new line of Oyster cartridges recently. These have gotten great critical acclaim, including a review of the $300 model from a very famous analog reviewer who just loved it.
The US EVO will come with a Sumiko Rainier cartridge pre-mounted. This is a $150 cartridge compared to the $100 Ortofon Red. In our testing, this is one very sweet sounding phono cartridge. The even better news is you can simply replace the stylus and upgrade to the $299 Sumiko Moonstone model that the reviewers are loving.
The wiring on both the DC and EVO is one continuous run from the connections to the RCA jacks on the rear, providing a pure signal path.
Debut Carbon EVO
Debut Carbon DC
Rear RCA Jacks
These are the same on both models, but we have to point out, these are incredibly nice jacks for an entry-level turntable. They are solid and gold plated and completely insulated from the shielding junction box. You can use the great cables supplied with the EVO or later upgrade to an even better set of tonearm cables.
The cables supplied with the EVO are a model we recommend people use to upgrade those supplied with the DC. We should point out Pro-Ject did start supplying these on the DC model in early 2019. They have very low capacitance and almost perfect shielding. They are handcrafted in their European factory using great materials for the leads, plugs, and dielectric. The Pro-Ject team even did listening tests to determine the best materials. They went so far as to listen to different lengths and decided the 1.23-meter cable length was ideal for phono level signals.
Both models have many great options to take the performance to even higher levels, which we just love. You can start out with the basic model, and should you desire, turn it into a pretty serious turntable with all of the options.
Debut Carbon EVO vs Debut Carbon DC - Main Differences
- EVO uses Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE) damped steel record platter & isolation feet
- EVO has an upgraded & re-designed motor, motor shielding & suspension
- EVO feet are height adjustable, making it simple to get your turntable level
- EVO steps up the cartridge with the Sumiko Ranier MM ($150), while the DC utilizes the Ortofon Red ($99)
- EVO has an electronics speed changer & stabilizer, DC requires removing the platter & moving the belt
- EVO offers new satin finishes and includes a real walnut veneer option
We hope this comparison has been interesting for you. Many of you who own a Debut Carbon DC might be thinking of a friend who needs a turntable so you can move up to the EVO. We can say from our listening tests, you will have a big smile on your face when you play your first record on the EVO!
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