Pro-Ject Debut III Review
The Pro-ject Debut III is a plug and play record player that takes less than five minutes to setup. If an individual has never set up a turntable, then it would take about 30 minutes. In fact, I took the Project Debut III apart and let me 14-year-old sister set it up. This was possible because the cartridge was already installed and aligned so you don’t have to worry about it.
The turntable is equipped with an Ortofon OM 5E cartridge and an 8.6” tone-arm. The Debut III supports 33 RPM and 45 RPM vinyl’s. It is important to note that the Pro-Ject Debut III needs to be manually stopped and requires manual change of RPM in order to play the appropriate vinyl.
Pro-ject did a fantastic job with their product packaging. The turn table was split into multiple different parts and was protected with foam. I highly recommend to keep the box as the package can be used later in case you need to move and store the turntable in a safe place. If you have a pet cat, then the box would serve as a fantastic bed. My pet slept in the box for a good week before he got bored of it.
To test the performance, I played the albums: Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd, Deep Purple in Rock by Deep Purple and Kind of Blue by Miles Davis. While listening to the Dark Side of the Moon, the vocals were crisp, clear and overall well balanced.
The genres that the Pro-Ject Debut III does extremely well on are Rock and Roll and Jazz which is why I picked these specific albums. There is some groove noise and humming, but it’s reduced with the belt drive and when you play music loud. One of my favorite songs, Child in Time by Deep Purple sounded fantastic as the mids were well balanced. However, the high’s could have been a bit better.
The OM5e produces a clear and consistent sound. Ortofon OM5E is a cartridge that will need to be upgraded. For an entry level turntable, the OM5E is a great cartridge. The OM5E can easily be upgraded to the OM 10, OM 20, or an OM 30 without replacing the full cartridge. Only the stylus needs to be replaced. My personal recommendation is to wear out the cartridge in a year and upgrade it to the Ortofon 2M series. You will notice a great difference in sound quality when upgraded.
The platter that comes with the Debut III builds a lot of static so I highly recommend to not wear socks when operating. One of the best upgrades that I made on the Pro-ject debut III was changing the platter. I bought the Pro-Ject: Acryl-It Platter and the sound performance was absolutely mind blowing. When listening, you can tell that the bass and mids were more clear and overall sounded better. Also the static disappears.
The Pro-ject Debut III is one of the best intro turn tables due to how easy it is to upgrade. There is no turntable that sounds this good under $300. If you are limited on cash and would like to have a lot of room to upgrade down the road, then this is the best entry level turntable on the market. The turntable has a simple, clean look that looks great placed anywhere in your home. Furthermore, you have the option to select many different colors.
Pro-ject Debut III vs Audio Techinica LP120 Verdict
Since most people at this stage are stuck between the Debut III and the AT-LP120, I decided to help you make that decision. The Pro-ject Debut III outperforms the Audio Technica LP120 in sound quality. However, the AT-LP120-USB outperform the Debut III in ease of use.
The AT-LP120-USB makes it easier for users to record and does not require a pre-amp. Also, the pre-amp has the option to be turned off. If you prefer sound quality over ease of use, then go with the Pro-Ject Debut III.