How much do you really need to spend on a new turntable? As i found from my reviews, There are great products at every level – but like most things in life, paying more will give you more. If you can split the difference and spend around $ 500, some excellent designs exist to tempt any vinyl fan. One of my new favorites is the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO.
- Suburb features for money
- Concrete build quality
- Available in nine colors
do not like it
- Unusual tonearm ergonomics
- Seems less exciting than the RT85 fluent
I compared the EVO to another turntable, the Fluance RT85, in this price range. Both cheap models with solid build quality and step-up features, but in the end I preferred Pro-Jake on the Flunes – it sounded more musical and felt more enjoyable to use. EVO combines excellent playback quality with a selection of extras you won’t see even on some of the more expensive players.
RealIt has received acclaim ever since its appearance ten years ago. The new EVO version ($ 500, £ 449 and AU $ 879) is a worthy update and the best way to spend on a record player.
Are we not men? We are EVO!
The Pro-Jake Debut Carbon EVO packs in Audiophile-friendly features. It includes a one-piece carbon-fiber tonearm, adjustable feet and an electronic motion pick (not removing the platter, more shortly after). In addition, Pro-Ject offers nine different finish options, including One Green and Canary Yellow. My review sample came in high-gloss red.
The turntable includes a suspension system borrowed from the high-end X1, which supports an aluminum platter of 3.7 pounds. The plate is covered with TPE (thermoplastic elastomer), which contributes to the impressive weight of the turntable. Wrapping with a knuckle on the platter still echoes it, even if it has a slipmat, and especially the middle. Fluence’s acrylic platter did not do the same thing at all.
EVO in the US has Sumiko Rainier Phono Cartridge (younger brother two)), While in the UK and Australia it is fitted with the Ortophone 2M Red. Note that all my listening tests were of the American version; The UK and Australia versions will look different.
Although the carbon fiber tonyram looks spiffy, the fact that it is a piece can make it a little more awkward to use. The finger lift (jatted-out bit at the end of the tonometer) is a bit too flat and wide, making it harder to grab than other models.
The Pro-Jake deals with speed changes in an innovative way: tuck under the plinth with a three-way power winding. The three positions – left 33 pmrpm, center off and right 45rpm – are not marked though, so you’ll need to use your muscle memory when turning on the player.
The turntable comes with two cables. One is a flat, which you will probably use all the time, and the other is a round cable for those who have older 78s. The company also includes an eye-catching RCA cable in the box, but Tweaker still wants to upgrade better later.
Yo dj spin that wheel
Tactileness – removing the record from your sleeve, placing it on the fillet, picking up the toner, placing the needle in the groove – is arguably more than half the experience you’re playing the record. The Pro-Ject probably doesn’t feel like a high-end player, but it was definitely more fun to use than the Fluans.
Compared to Fluence’s plastic-y lever, the Pro-Ject’s knobed lever felt a bit more like you’d expect for a product that would cost half a grand. If you haven’t used a pro-ject table before, the way you have to rest tonight is a habit of doing something – you just can’t swing the arm back to the right.
When the two turntables were actually spinning records, it was the pro-ject that developed the sense of listening to vinyl very closely. It had a relaxed, full presentation that was not as tedious as a snort.
The Ortofon 2M Blue that comes with Fluence is an exciting-sounding cartridge, and with the right materials it can make you want to get up and dance. Compared to Pro-Jake’s plush performance, Velvet Underground by Jonathan Richman sounded like a completely different recording on fluent — the bass was darker, the tamburine crisper and there was a greater degree of slapback echo from the right channel.
By this same token, Fluence can sound far ahead with some tracks, while the pro-ject gives more of a sense of space, which is especially great for large room sounds such as Nels Fram’s space. Pro-Jake enhanced the ambient qualities of the record, making it seem like it stretched deep into the space in front of me. The fluanes made the recording sound more elaborate, but it was also two-dimensional – it was only present on the plane between the speakers. Space isn’t exactly an edge-like recording, so Pro-Jake’s more relaxed approach worked better here.
I heard the front voice of Fluence on Nick Cave’s red right hand, and the bass here threatened to get bored. Unless you have a melodious sound system, the Fluent RT85 sounds like an upgrade. OM10 cartridge in less expensiveThere is a well-balanced cartridge, but the step up to 2M Blue in the RT85 would be too much for already bright systems. The pro-ject again showed better balance and delimited a thinner criterion between the baritone of the cave and the deeper baseline.
I tried my reference Rega Planner 3 with the Ortofon 2M Blue and while it offered an equally forward balance, it was more temperamental, not like Fluence. The Pro-Jake looked better still with its Sumiko Rainier. And when I switched Reza’s cartridges to the Golding E3, I again preferred the Pro-Ject, which shows how strongly the EVO’s cartridge / turntable combination is integrated.
Should you buy it
The Pro-Ject EVO provides excellent playback, sounds great and is a lot of fun to use. It is well built and the ability to adjust the feet makes the process a painless process. EVO may not be perfect – tonight’s ergonomics, for example, takes a little time to get used to – but it’s still a great way to get back into vinyl or upgrade from the starter table.