Pro-Ject 30 Years of Experience: Debut PRO
Pro-Ject Audio Systems, one of the world’s leading hi-fi stereo companies, celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2021, and to mark the occasion the Austrian company have released a turntable that demonstrates their many years of experience, the Debut PRO
Since 1991, Pro-Ject have been offering high-quality audio products at a reasonable price for discerning music lovers. The Debut, which came into existence during 1998, was the perfect example of this objective, but after 23 years and various iterations, Debut PRO enters the range at a new price point to set a new standard of affordable audiophilia.
Debut Pro in detail
The Debut PRO was released to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Pro-Ject Audio Systems. However, it is far more than a special edition; it’s a new premium addition to the Debut range, exhibiting the very best technical design, elegant aesthetics and true high-end sound from an affordable audiophile device.
The Debut PRO takes the basic Debut design and improves on every aspect, with each component reengineered for a more high-end performance. Starting with the tonearm, the Debut PRO is the first Debut model to feature Pro-Ject’s coveted Carbon-Aluminium one-piece tonearm technology. The 8.6” tube is incredibly light and rigid, utilising the light-weight, 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 is supplied with the new Pick-IT PRO moving magnet cartridge pre-installed and aligned. For the Pick-IT PRO, Pro-Ject worked closely with Ortofon – the world-renowned manufacturers of premium pick-up cartridges – to develop something new. Thanks to their excellent manufacturing skills, Ortofon were able to produce a very special cartridge, designed to deliver a more lively and robust sound with a big dynamic range. The Pick-IT PRO is based on the classic Ortofon 2M body, but its sound is inspired by traditional SPU designs with its 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 is most recognised by its expertly finished main chassis, available in a luxurious satin black paint. The traditional rectangular footprint has a timeless minimalism, and is made of MDF for its excellent anti-resonant properties, and this 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, but to further eliminate any potential interference the motor is decoupled from the main chassis by a mounting plate with TPE-damped fixing points. 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
The Debut PRO is equipped to play 33 and 45 RPM records with a simple switch of the elegant topmounted 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 for total 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 brand 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 were 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. But, thanks to their decades of experience in engineering, the Debut PRO also has an eyecatching and sophisticated appearance.
Supplied with the Pick-IT Pro cartridge pre-installed, all of the accessories you need, a dust cover and a Connect-IT E phono cable in the box, the Debut PRO is ready to play once it’s connected to a hi-fi system with a moving magnet phono stage.
Debut PRO: £699.00 (SRP)
Available in the UK from September 2021 in Satin Black finish