My experience with a Pro-Ject Debut Carbon TT

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by BKphoto, Aug 30, 2015.

  1. BKphoto

    BKphoto JazzAllDay Thread Starter

    This TT has driven me crazy since day 1...I'm sure others have different experiences...

    First things first- I fell for the "tests" by several mags not realizing that just after were a full multi-page ad spread...Before you tell me that the 2 don't have any effect on one another, save it, my wife has been in ad sales for 20 years...

    This is a pretty good entry level deck, nothing more. But when you read the rave reviews you would think that this is the bargain of the century...

    So, the motor vibrates like a paint mixing machine...I made it much better by using 2 neoprene washers and a metal washer on each of the 2 mounting screws...unlike the music hall 2.2, which shares a lot of components, you can't just take these out...the motor will tilt towards the platter and the belt won't ride right...


    The speed box S upgrade made the vibrations better by using the 45 rpm pulley and slowing the motor down to 331/3...

    Rumble, holy cow can this make some rumble/feedback...adding some vibrapods and a butchers block under it helped a bit but I needed to use a filter...didn't want to, but gave in...the KAB RF-1 is the best one I've tried so far...[​IMG]

    I upgraded the platter to the acrylic one made by project...It raises the platter a lot and with a 180 gram record the cart is a little past the level point...after a long A/B test with the original metal platter with cork mat the acrylic sounded D E A D, and was sold...I then changed the stylus to a 2M Blue...(uses same cart as red)...and after 2 months realized that the better bass response wasn't worth the added record conclusion is that all the better stylus does is reveal the limitations of the my speakers are very revealing so it was a lose-lose situation...

    I've been saving my pennies for a nicer deck...

    If you were thinking of this TT my advice is don't bother...My brother in law has the music hall 2.2 and its much better for pretty much the same price...
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2015
    Plan9, dmckean, G E and 3 others like this.
  2. David B.

    David B. Well-Known Member

    San Francisco
    Bought one for my kid . . .

    Not impressed. The thing hums, and the IGD is just about intolerable and cannot be adjusted away. Emphatically not "break-in" issues.

    Part of the fault may lie with the 2M Red, or with the combination of the 2M red and the Pro-ject carbon arm. I'm just not sure.

    Anyway, I agree with BKphoto: don't rely on the reviews, and try to get an audition before you buy.

    --David B.
  3. BKphoto

    BKphoto JazzAllDay Thread Starter

    maybe the arm needs mass....
    Daniel Thomas likes this.
  4. krisjay

    krisjay Psychedelic Wanderer

    I haven't touched my Debut Carbon since I got my U-Turn Orbit Plus. It just get's out of the way of the music. Sadly the DC kind of involves itself in the music. It is still obviously an entry level table, but I prefer it over the DC, by a wide margin. Can't wait to get my JICO stylus to put on it.
    Joe Spivey likes this.
  5. Isaac K.

    Isaac K. Forum Resident

    I had a certain amount of hum, but nothing as bad as you describe, and certainly nothing I could hear through my speakers. I also did the neoprene washers as well as the speed box (and the acrylic platter) but by far the easiest solution to excess vibration was to simply remove the dust cover (which I do whenever I listen to 45s).
  6. malco49

    malco49 Forum Resident

    i have a ten year old debut pro-ject.upgraded platter.and maybe that is why it makes all that noise with 180gram vinyl.might use old platter and see.and just switch out with thicker records.i also have a speed box and an OM20 stylus.not sure what i will go for next if i ever change.TT sounds good when not getting that grinding sound and it only occurs on 180gram far as advertising goes in the audio world,i don't think i have ever read a negative review on any product? and back to TT my local hi end audio shop keeps pushing the music hall might check one out in their shop!
    CARPEYOLO likes this.
  7. Isaac K.

    Isaac K. Forum Resident

    Out of curiosity, when was the last time you checked your tracking force?
  8. BKphoto

    BKphoto JazzAllDay Thread Starter

  9. malco49

    malco49 Forum Resident

    it is set at 1.5 grams which is correct for this TT no? maybe it should be different for 180gram lps?
  10. Isaac K.

    Isaac K. Forum Resident

    i have no idea what weight your particular cartridge is supposed to be set at, but what I'm suggesting is that what you *think* the tracking force is set at may not actually be what it's set at. I found myself in a similar situation recently with a similar symptom.
  11. BKphoto

    BKphoto JazzAllDay Thread Starter

    om20 is 1.5
    malco49 likes this.
  12. sportzdad

    sportzdad Well-Known Member

    Athens, GA
    I had a project debut . Horrible hum, bad vibration. Sold it after one month for a loss. Bought a rega p3. Very happy with it. I expect to upgrade it someday, but for now it is all I need.
  13. Isaac K.

    Isaac K. Forum Resident

    Yes, but is the tracking force properly set to that? That's the question.
  14. katstep

    katstep Forum Resident

    I agree that this TT is not worth your time or money. My cousin tried one as an entry level and it turned out that his old trusty 1975 Yamaha (which he foolishly gave away) was far better. Hum, hum and more hum. The other totally lame thing was that when he upgraded to the 2m Blue, the tonearm wouldn't balance, even though it claimed that it was compatible with that cart (same weight as the Red it replaced). Turns out they're too damn cheap to ship the unit with a second weight that will properly calibrate a larger mass cart. Good luck finding the heavier weight too. He finally upgraded to another table and GAVE the Debut Carbon to me. Basically good riddance. I tried every mod mentioned in the numerous, various complaint pages on different forums to rid this table of hum. No dice. Hum, hum and more hum again. It amazes me that a supposedly respectable company like Project is ripping people off with this garbage turntable. You'd be better off with a Crosley (not an endorsement, just a point:laugh:). At least they don't pretend to be something they're not. Anyone want it for $100? LOL! Maybe you'll have better luck than me.....
    Daniel Thomas likes this.
  15. Isaac K.

    Isaac K. Forum Resident

    It could very well be that the turntable had a defect with excess hum, but a tonearm that wouldn't balance after replacing the red with a blue? That just sounds like incompetance, no offense. Ive never heard anybody else here with that problem.

    Honestly, reviews like this annoy me and I see them all of the time on Amazon. There isn't a single company in the world that has a 100% perfect track record. There will always be defective models that will reach the marketplace damaged, and I don't care if we're talking turntables, toasters, or tablesaws. If you get something that doesn't work right, send it back to the place you bought it and get another one. If the second one works just as badly as the first then you may very well have something there. But saying that Pro-Ject is worse that Crosley is nothing more than severely hyperbolic bull.
  16. katstep

    katstep Forum Resident

    Sorry that you take such offense to one man's opinion/experience Issac, but respectfully, all you need to do is google "Project Debut Carbon hum" and you'll see that this is a major manufacturing defect plain and simple. This aint coming from a novice reviewing on Amazon, so kindly don't paint me with that broad brush. The Debut Carbon that I dealt with was defective, plain and simple and many others have experienced the same as me, including others in this very thread.
    Using years of experience, a pro grade protractor, and a calibrated stylus tracking force gauge, the Debut Carbon I dealt with would not balance with the weight that was intended for a 2M Blue, and I've set up many turntables and carts. I'm no Project hater and never intended my personal experience with this specific product to be a blanket statement about their esteemed brand. I've got a Pro-ject Tube Box and love it, but the Debut Carbon is a mess. Yeah, the sarcastic hyperbole was intended (you missed the laughter apparently), my bone of contention is that Project/Music Hall knew this TT had issues and continued to sell them. I respect your right to love it, but the Debut Carbon clearly not their finest product, and that's no bull.
    RubenH likes this.
  17. George Blair

    George Blair Forum Resident

    Portland, OR
    The 2M Red and Blue are the same cart, different stylus. There should be no balance difference at all.
    Vinylsoul 1965 and Dennis0675 like this.
  18. vinylfilmaholic

    vinylfilmaholic Well-Known Member

    Orange County, CA
    I have a Carbon and the only problem I have with it at the moment is the cartridge. Not a big fan of Ortofon. Lot of IGD on this cart. I'm planning on grabbing a 440mla to throw on it see if that improves anything. There is hum but only at certain times. Mostly if I crank the volume up really loud (not very often as I listen through headphones and have sensitive hearing) and its quieter music. I've had hum on every table I've used so I can block it out now. If I could I would go vintage but at the moment that's just not feasible.
  19. Graham

    Graham Forum Resident

    London, UK
    I've had a Carbon with a blue Ortofon stylus for 18 months and have had zero problems.
    500Homeruns and George Blair like this.
  20. Opeth

    Opeth Forum Resident

    My table has been pretty tight. Took a replacement however. First one was tweaked. Been happy with it. Once you figure out how to control the noise floor you'd be surprised at how good it can sound.
  21. Isaac K.

    Isaac K. Forum Resident

    I didn't take offense to your opinion, but on first viewing it looks to me as if your friend received a defective player in the mail and made a rash judgement on all Debut Carbons, and on top of that didn't know how to properly set up the arm. I'm well aware of the hum issues that these turntables have having gone through this myself. But "hum, hum and more hum" sounds to me like something that should have been returned right away rather than going ahead and upgrading the stylus. The whole story sounds highly suspect.
  22. Telegramsam

    Telegramsam Forum Resident

    Never had a problem with a carbon too.
  23. Jack Flannery

    Jack Flannery Forum Resident

    Houston, TX
    I had a ProJect Xperience that exhibited some hum. It was a problem with the stand, not the table. I have a Thorens TD166 on the same stand with my second system and there is no hum. Apparently ProJect tables require better isolation. Your setup looks like it should be pretty isolated, it would seem. I will say the Td166 is a nice budget table. Vinyl Nirvana had (has?) one for $450 or so. That is what I paid for mine on eBay.

    Edit: yep. He has a TD165. If I were you, I would give Dave a call and jump on it, Sell the ProJect and you will be happy. He is a great guy.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2015
    Daniel Thomas likes this.
  24. BKphoto

    BKphoto JazzAllDay Thread Starter

    by the way, this is my second....first got sent back because of excessive hum...and the 2nd i've been trying to make work...which is what this thread is about...

    ha, hey Jack, my cousin just bought it...

    like i said at the beginning, this is just my experience...
  25. Isaac K.

    Isaac K. Forum Resident

    It's like one of those things about retail: A happy customer is one that you almost never here back from, but if there's an unhappy one you'll be darned sure to hear back from them. This conundrum is compounded when you have a very popular model that has sold well. More sales means more complaints. The Debut Carbon comes with a cartridge that is far more sensitive than the ones that come with most other entry level tables. You're likely going to hear things that you're not used to. I'm not trying to make excuses, but maybe I am. Clearly the DC isn't the right rig for people with overly sensitive ears or for people that like to blast their music at high volume.

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