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Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC Turntable Review [with Ortofon 2M Red Cartridge]

The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Turntable definitely catches your eye with its stylish minimalist design, but does it sound as good as it looks? Find out in our expert review!

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC Turntable Review

The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC Turntable In Review. Does It Sound As Good As It Looks?

The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC Turntable at a glance:

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC Turntable with Ortofon 2M Red Cartridge (Red)

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC Turntable with Ortofon 2M Cartridge


3.8 out of 5 stars

3.8 / 5

Requires manual setup which may be a challenge


4.5 out of 5 stars

4.5 / 5

Quality materials, elegant design, tons of colors


4.9 out of 5 stars

4.9 / 5

Produces excellent sound quality with high accuracy


4.6 out of 5 stars

4.6 / 5

A high-end audio product which is priced accordingly

Pro-Ject, the Pros of Analog

Pro-Ject Logo

When the whole world was switching to compact discs and CD Players back in 1991, there was one company founded with the objective of bringing back analog.

After all, nothing can replace vinyl records when it comes to the quality of music. This company was Pro-Ject.

Today, we’re going to review one of their flagship units, the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC Turntable. We’ll share with you its premium features, walk you through its set-up, compare it to other similar turntables out there, and more.

We certainly hope you benefit from the information we provide in this article! Just so you know, we may receive compensation if you use the links on this page. If you do, thank you so much!

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC Turntable Overview

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC Turntable with Ortofon 2M Red Cartridge (Blue)

Debut Carbon DC Turntable – Blue

This unit is considered as one of the company’s iconic models, having been released way back in 1991 when the company was also starting out.

Pro-Ject’s main objective back then was to bring back the dying industry of vinyl records and record players and provide music lovers of a quality turntable that’s packaged for “mass market”.

The Debut Carbon model has undergone technological advances ever since. In this particular piece, it was the inclusion of a carbon tube tonearm; hence, the name.

This material has been used by other brands for tonearms before, but they have never produced it for a unit in the same price range that Pro-Ject offers.

However, it’s still important to note that this unit is still higher in price compared to other average, record players out there.

Who Is The Debut Carbon For?

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC with Ortofon 2M Red Cartridge (Matte Walnut)

Debut Carbon DC Turntable – Walnut

This unit is for music lovers who know their way around turntables already. Absolute beginners might find this piece a bit complicated to set-up and use, especially with the absence of automatic features.

However, this effort is definitely paid off by the higher quality of music you’ll get to enjoy.

If you’re looking for a piece that can upgrade your experience from an entry-level turntable, and you’re willing to pay for the extra price, then we definitely recommend this model.

What’s Included?

If you do decide to purchase one, you will receive the turntable equipped with an Ortofon 2m Red phonograph cartridge. This unit will also come with a dust cover. To learn more at what you can expect from the product, here’s a quick unboxing video:

DC Turntable Features

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC Turntable with Ortofon 2M Red Cartridge (Yellow)

Debut Carbon DC Turntable – Yellow

Anyway, now that we know a little bit more about the product, let’s move and discuss its features starting with the carbon tonearm.

  • Carbon Tube Tonearm: This is where this unit got its name. As we mentioned above, this construction has already been made by other units, but not in the price range that Pro-Ject offers. This tonearm provides extra stiffness, efficiently decreasing resonance for higher sound quality.
  • Better Platter: Another notable feature is its wider, heavier platter that allows your records to rotate a little bit more smoothly.
  • Eight Different Color Variants: We also love the fact that this unit is available in eight different colors: blue, piano black, purple, silver, gloss white, red, walnut, and yellow. We just want to give you a heads up that some colors are more expensive than others.

It would have been nice, however, if the unit was equipped with more user-friendly features given the price that it’s being sold in. In this way, even the more novice users will be able to enjoy the excellent sound quality that this unit provides.

How to Set-up and Use the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC Turntable

To learn how to set-up your new Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC Turntable so that it’s ready for use, you may follow the following video:

Pros and Cons

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Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC Turntable Review

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What We Like

      • Well-known brand
      • Excellent sound quality
      • Different style options
      • Durable

What We Don’t Like

      • Relatively expensive
      • Not user-friendly for beginners

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC Turntable with Ortofon 2M Red Cartridge (Piano...

What are Owners of Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Turntables Saying? >>

Comparing the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Turntable vs. Similar Units

Now that we know all about the unit, how does it measure up compared to other similar models out there? Is it better? Let’s find out.

  • Denon’s DP-300F Analog Turntable

The first unit we’ve found similar in terms of sound quality is Denon’s DP-300F Analog Turntable. What we love about this product is that it has all the user-friendly features that Pro-Ject’s unit lacks.

Denon DP-300F Fully Automatic Analog Turntable with Built-in Phono...

It has an automatic start-up button that allows you to just push and play, and more impressively, it’s also equipped with an automatic tonearm that rises and returns to place after completing the track.

What’s more, is that the price is a bit lower. The only problem is that Denon’s piece has limited rotation speeds.

  • Fluance’s RT81 Vinyl Turntable

For those looking for an even more affordable, yet still high-quality piece, you can look at Fluance’s RT81 Vinyl Turntable.

Fluance RT81 Elite High Fidelity Vinyl Turntable Record Player with Audio...

While it doesn’t have the carbon tube tonearm that Pro-Ject takes pride in, it’s still made of premium components such as gold-plated RCA line outputs. Both Denon’s and Fluance’s units are limited when it comes to design options, though.

  • Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB Direct-Drive Turntable

Finally, there’s the Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB Direct-Drive Turntable. We love that this product offers three-speed options, and the lowest price of al the turntables we have featured here.

Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB Direct-Drive Turntable (Analog & USB), Silver,...

It also comes with various add-ons such as different cables and other accessories. It also comes with an audio conversion and recording feature that you won’t find in the other record players we’ve mentioned.

Don’t expect the product to be made from premium components, though. You would have to check out Audio-Technica’s higher-end models.

FCT bar stars grey

Final Thoughts: Is The Debut Carbon DC The Right Turntable For You?

In the end, it will depend on your priorities. If you want to an upgrade from your usual fare, and you’re willing to invest a little bit of money and effort, then we definitely recommend Pro-Ject’s Debut Carbon DC Turntable.

For those who want a unit with a lot of user-friendly features, then we recommend Denon DP-300F Analog Turntable. It’s the easiest to set-up and use of all the units we’ve featured here.

Finally, if you’re looking for a unit that provides the best value for money, then we recommend the Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB Direct-Drive Turntable. It has a lot of features and accessories, combined with a brand renowned for its quality audio appliances.

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC Turntable with Ortofon 2M Red Cartridge (Red)

What Do Pro-Ject DC Turntable Owners Think? >>

  • Ease of Use
  • Build Quality
  • Sound Quality
  • Value Factor


Overall Score:

Follow Steve Bee:

Senior editor at fatcityturntables.com

Steve Bee is a musician, audiophile, author and publisher. Drawing on his extensive experience with audio equipment and music, Steve and his team share insight into the world of vinyl and audio.

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