Professional-Ject Debut Carbon EVO evaluate: Audiophile options spin vinyl pleasure

How a lot do you actually need to spend on a brand new turntable? As I’ve discovered from our opinions of file gamers from $100 to $1000, there are nice merchandise at each degree — however like most issues in life, paying extra offers you extra. For those who can cut up the distinction and spend round $500, some glorious designs exist on the market to tempt any vinyl fan. One in all my new favorites is the Professional-Ject Debut Carbon EVO.

LikeSuberb options for the moneySweet, even-handed soundSolid construct qualityAvailable in 9 colours

Do not LikeUnusual tonearm ergonomicsSounds much less thrilling than the Fluance RT85

I in contrast the EVO to a different turntable on this value vary, the Fluance RT85. Each outdo cheaper fashions with stable construct high quality and step-up options, however in the long run I most well-liked the Professional-Ject over the Fluance — it sounded extra musical and felt extra pleasing to make use of. The EVO combines glorious playback high quality with a number of extras that you just will not see even on some more-expensive gamers just like the Rega Planar 3. 

The unique Debut Carbon has loved accolades ever since its look over ten years in the past. The brand new EVO model ($500, £449 and AU$879) is a worthy replace and probably the greatest methods to spend up on a file participant. 

Are we not males? We’re EVO!
Ty Pendlebury/CNET

The Professional-Ject Debut Carbon EVO packs within the audiophile-friendly options. It features a one-piece carbon-fiber tonearm, adjustable toes and an digital pace choice (no extra eradicating the platter, extra on that shortly). As well as, Professional-Ject gives 9 completely different end choices, together with forest inexperienced and canary yellow. My evaluate pattern got here in high-gloss crimson.

The turntable features a suspension system borrowed from the higher-end X1, supporting a hefty 3.7-pound aluminum platter. The platter has been dampened with TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) lining the sting, which contributes to the turntable’s spectacular weight. Rapping with a knuckle on the platter nonetheless made it resonate nonetheless, even with the felt slipmat on, and particularly in direction of the center. Doing the identical factor on the Fluance’s acrylic platter did not ring in any respect.

Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Within the US the EVO comes pre-mounted with the Sumiko Rainier phono cartridge (little brother to the Olympia), whereas within the UK and Australia it is fitted with the Ortofon 2M Pink. Word that every one of my listening assessments under had been of the US model; the UK and Australia variations will sound completely different.

Although the carbon fiber tonearm appears spiffy, the truth that it is one piece could make it a bit of extra awkward to make use of. The finger elevate (the jutty-out bit on the finish of the tonearm) is a bit of too flat and broad, making it trickier to seize than different fashions. 

The Professional-Ject offers with pace modifications in an progressive method: with a three-way energy rocker tucked beneath the plinth. The three positions — Left 33 ⅓rpm, Middle Off and Proper 45rpm — aren’t marked nonetheless, so you may have to train your muscle reminiscence when turning on the participant.

The turntable comes with two cables. One is flat, which you may most likely use the entire time, and the second is a rounded cable for individuals who have previous 78s. The corporate additionally contains an admittedly enticing RCA cable within the field, however tweakers should need to improve to a greater one later.

Yo DJ spin that wheel

Tactility — eradicating the file from its sleeve, placing it on the platter, choosing up the tonearm, inserting the needle within the groove — is arguably greater than half of the expertise whenever you’re enjoying data. The Professional-Ject might not fairly really feel like true a high-end participant, nevertheless it was undoubtedly extra enjoyable to make use of than the Fluance. 

In comparison with the Fluance’s plastic-y lever the Professional-Ject’s knobbed lever felt a bit of extra such as you’d count on in a product costing half a grand. If you have not used a Professional-Ject ‘desk earlier than, the best way you need to relaxation the tonearm vertically takes some getting used to — you possibly can’t simply swing the arm again over to the fitting.  

When the 2 turntables had been really spinning data, it was the Professional-Ject that that the majority intently evoked the spirit of listening to vinyl. It had a relaxed, full presentation that wasn’t as tiring because the Fluance might be. 

Ty Pendlebury/CNET

The Ortofon 2M Blue that comes with the Fluance is an exciting-sounding cartridge, and with the fitting materials it may make you need to rise up and dance. In comparison with the Professional-Ject’s stately efficiency, Velvet Underground by Jonathan Richman seemed like a totally completely different recording on the Fluance– bass was deeper, tambourine crisper and there was a larger diploma of slapback echo from the fitting channel. 

By the identical token the Fluance can sound too ahead with some tracks, whereas the Professional-Ject gives extra of a way of area, which is particularly nice for large room feels like Nils Frahm’s Areas. The Professional-Ject enhanced the file’s ambient qualities, making the room seem to be it prolonged deep into the area in entrance of me. The Fluance made the recording sound extra detailed nevertheless it was additionally two dimensional — it appeared to exist solely on the aircraft between the audio system. Areas just isn’t precisely an edge-of-your-seat sort of recording, so the Professional-Ject’s extra relaxed method labored higher right here.

I heard the Fluance’s forwardness once more on Nick Cave’s Pink Proper Hand, and right here the bass additionally threatened to develop into boomy. Until you may have a mellow sounding system, the Fluance RT85 looks like one improve too far. The OM10 cartridge within the less-expensive Fluance RT82 is a effectively balanced cartridge, however the step as much as the 2M Blue within the RT85 will probably be an excessive amount of for already-bright techniques. The Professional-Ject once more confirmed higher stability and a finely honed delineation between Cave’s baritone and the deep bassline. 

I attempted my reference Rega Planar Three with the Ortofon 2M Blue and whereas it provided a equally ahead stability it was extra tempered, not steely just like the Fluance might be. The Professional-Ject with its Sumiko Rainier nonetheless sounded higher, nonetheless. And once I switched the Rega’s cartridge to the Goldring E3, I once more most well-liked the Professional-Ject, which demonstrates how tightly built-in the EVO’s cartridge/turntable mixture is.

Do you have to purchase it?

The Professional-Ject EVO gives glorious playback, appears nice and is a number of enjoyable to make use of. It is constructed effectively and the flexibility to regulate the toes makes leveling a painless course of. The EVO is probably not excellent — the ergonomics of the tonearm take a bit of getting used to, for instance — however that is nonetheless an effective way to get again into vinyl, or to improve from a starter desk.

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