Pro-Ject Audio Systems, one of the world’s leading Hi-Fi stereo companies, celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2021. To mark the occasion, the Austrian company has released a turntable that demonstrates its many years of experience, the Debut PRO (SRP £699.00).
Since 1991, Pro-Ject’s aim has been to offer high-quality audio products at a reasonable price for discerning music lovers. The Debut, which came into existence in 1998, was a strong perfect of this objective. Still, after 23 years and various iterations, Debut PRO enters the range at a new price point to set a new standard of affordable audiophilia, says the company.
Available in the UK from this September from Henley Audio, the unit comes in a Satin Black finish.
As well as a special edition to celebrate 30 years of the company, its also a new premium addition to the Debut range, exhibiting the best technical design, elegant aesthetics, and true high-end sound from an affordable audiophile device, says the maker.
The Debut PRO takes the basic Debut design and improves on every aspect, with each component re-engineered for more high-end performance. Starting with the tonearm, the Debut PRO is the first Debut model to feature Pro-Ject’s Carbon-Aluminium one-piece tonearm technology. The 8.6in tube is incredibly light and rigid, utilising the lightweight, sturdy characteristics of carbon fibre and combining it with aluminium for its added damping properties and better electrical shielding, resulting in improved resistance to external interferences.
The Debut PRO tonearm can also be adjusted for accurate azimuth and VTA (vertical tracking angle) settings, allowing more experienced audiophiles to fine-tune their Debut better than ever before. The arm is then finished with a new CNC milled aluminium bearing block with special bearings, high-purity copper internal tonearm wiring, and a shielded junction box with gold-plated RCA output connectors. The tonearm comes with the new Pick-IT PRO moving magnet cartridge pre-installed and aligned.
For the Pick-IT PRO, Pro-Ject worked closely with Ortofon manufacturers of premium pick-up cartridges – to develop something new. Thanks to its excellent manufacturing skills, Ortofon produced an exceptional cartridge designed to deliver a more lively and robust sound with an extensive dynamic range, says Pro-Ject. The Pick-IT PRO is based on the classic Ortofon 2M body, but traditional SPU designs inspire its sound with lower compliance, lower capacitance, and slightly higher output. When installed on the Debut PRO, the result is a high-performance sound with true character.
Structurally, the Debut PRO delivers an expertly finished main chassis, available in a satin black paint. Its creator says the traditional rectangular footprint has timeless minimalism, made of MDF for its excellent anti-resonant properties and a tendency to minimise vibrations continues throughout the design.
The in-house designed and manufactured AC drive motor is made to fine tolerances for minimal noise. The motor is decoupled from the main chassis by a mounting plate with TPE-damped fixing points to eliminate any further potential interference. The mounting plate isolates the motor while still keeping it perfectly level with the sub-platter drive system for absolute speed stability. The turntable plinth also sits on three height-adjustable metal feet with TPE-damping in a unique nickel-plated finish for the Debut PRO. The result is a platform free from unwanted vibrations, ideally suited to record playback.
The maker enables the Debut PRO to play 33 and 45 RPM records with a simple switch of the top-mounted rocker switch. When setting to 45 RPM playback and manually adjusting the drive belt to a larger pulley ring, the turntable can also play 78 RPM records. As well as bringing convenience to the overall design, the speed control system also ensures the motor rotation is electronically regulated, meaning more accuracy and stability.
The motor drives a sub-platter system for a more elegant overall aesthetic. The sub-platter is mounted into a precision-engineered main bearing with bronze bushing. The sub-platter sits beneath the new heavy aluminium platter, which has a ring of TPE damping, held in place by an additional stabilising ring of aluminium, effectively damping all resonances. The high mass of the platter also minimises wow and flutter for a cleaner sonic performance.
Intensive research, development, and listening tests have been necessary to gain the exact sound that Pro-Ject was looking for in producing the Debut PRO. By adding more high-end features than ever before to a Debut design, the result is a still-affordable turntable that delivers like nothing else at the price point, claims the company.
The Debut PRO comes with the Pick-IT Pro cartridge pre-installed and all the accessories needed. Bundled with a dust cover and a Connect-IT E phono cable in the box, it is ready to play once it’s connected to a Hi-Fi/AV system with a moving magnet phono stage.
Debut PRO features include:
NEW pre-adjusted Pick-IT PRO cartridge
NEW 8.6in one-piece carbon-aluminium tonearm with fully adjustable VTA and azimuth
NEW nickel-plated aluminium tonearm bearing block
NEW precision aluminium platter with TPE damping
Motor suspension with better damping
Precision belt drive system
Height-adjustable metal feet
Stylish electronic speed change rocker switch (support for 33, 45, and 78 RPM playback)
Eight-layer hand-painted MDF chassis in elegant Satin Black finish
Premium semi-symmetrical Connect-IT E phono cable included
Gold plated RCA output connectors
Dust cover included
Debut PRO: £699.00 (SRP)