Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo Turntable.

After a short break I return with my first review under The Audiophile Cafe for Pro-Ject and Henley Audio, I get to grips with this new evolved turntable and share my thoughts with you…

Disclaimer:
Henley Audio / Pro-Ject have kindly sent this turntable out to me for review.
I have not been paid or sponsored to write this.
The thoughts and views in this publication are my own honest and unbiased opinion.
To integrate the Debut Carbon Evo with my system, Henley Audio sent out the High Power It psu and I am running the turntable without a ground cable.
You may find you probably need to use the ground cable in your system so please take this into consideration.

The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo retails at £449.00 at the time of this review.

You can pick one up at the following link:
https://www.henleyaudio.co.uk/products/Debut-Carbon-EVO?DepartmentIds=1&BrandIds=2

Review equipment:
Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo.
Pro-Ject High Power It psu.
Ortofon 2M Red cartridge.
IsoKinetic acrylic platter mat.
Origin Live “Gravity One” record weight.
KECES Audio ePhono phono stage.
KECES Audio ePhono Power low noise linear psu.
Airpulse A200 active speakers.
STAX SRM-700S & SR-009 SE electrostatic ear speaker system.
Audiowalle TP1000 mains conditioners.
Qucheng high fidelity mains cables.
Custom Cans and EDGE interconnects.

Music:
Jean Michel Jarre – Revolutions.
Jean Michel Jarre – Les Chants Magnetiques.
Jean Michel Jarre – The Concerts In China.
Pink Floyd – The Wall.
Gustav Mahler – Symphony No.5.
Phil Collins – In The Air Tonight.
Peter Gabriel – So.

What’s in the box:
1x Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo turntable.
1x Ortofon 2M Red cartridge pre installed.
1x wallwart power supply.
1x Lid.
1x Platter.
1x Felt platter mat.
1x 33.33/45rpm belt.
1x 78rpm belt.
1x Counter weight.
1x Anti skate weight.
1x Semi-balanced RCA cable.
Documentation.

Spec:

Nominal speeds33/45 r.p.m.. *** 78 r.p.m. optional
Speed variance33: ±0.50% 45: ±0.60%
Wow and flutter33: ±0.17% 45: ±0.15%
Signal to noise68dB
Effective tonearm mass6g
Effective tonearm length8.6 ” ( 218.5 mm)
Overhang18,5 mm
Power consumption4 W/ 0 W in Stand-By
Outboard power supply15V / 0 – 0.8 mA DC (set at 0.5 mA), universal power supply
Dimensions (W x H x D)415 x 118 x 320 mm, dust cover open 415 x 365 x 405mm
Weight5,6 kg
Dimensions packaging (W x H x D)488 x 235 x 393 mm

Build and finish:
True to other Pro-Ject products I’ve either owned or reviewed, the build quality here is yet again superb.
It’s great to see Pro-Ject have been able to improve on an already very good platform, namely the Debut Carbon DC.
Pro-Ject offer plenty of upgrades to the Debut Carbon Evo, however I think you’ll find you’ll be extremely satisfied with this deck straight out of the box.
In contrast to the still available wood grain and high gloss finishes, The Evo is also available in a mix of satin colourways. Henley Audio originally sent me the yellow satin Evo. If you want a turntable that’s going to stand out against the rest of your system then you can’t go wrong. With so much choice in colour, Pro-Ject are spoiling us.
Out of the box we find a heavy 1.7kg steel platter with an integral TPE dampening ring that equates to quieter moving parts and additional weight.
It doesn’t end there. The 3 feet are a new improved metal construction height adjustable design ensuring a level deck.
The Semi-balanced RCA and ground cable is very well made and against other cables I tried, carries it’s weight effortlessly.
The Carbon Fibre tone arm is audibly dead and adds an exquisite style to the overall aesthetic. Pro-Ject have now included a dual speed selector rocker switch fitted to the underside of the plinth. So no more lifting off the platter and moving the belt for speed changes. Note: Pro-Ject include a 78rpm belt in the box. When this is used the 45rpm position is now used for 78rpm.
The lid is solid and uses the standard Pro-Ject mounting brackets.

Setup:
Pro-Ject’s Debut Carbon Evo only requires minimal setup out of the box.
Fit the belt in place, place the platter on top.
Plug the RCA and ground cable in at both ends.
Here I would advise using the included cartridge protractor just to be sure the cart is set right. In my case on *both turntables I found I didn’t need to make any adjustments.
Plug in the power and start spinning your favourite records.
*I would like to make a note here that although Henley Audio were very helpful over the phone and quick to send out a replacement, it turns out they didn’t need to do so.
My system in its configuration was generating a feedback loop. At first I thought it was the turntable, however upon a more detailed inspection of my kit and removal of the ground cable, it remedied the issue. Or Non-issue in this case. Do not take this as a recommendation as each system is unique and will behave in a different manner than mine did.


Sound:
The Evo is vibrant, full bodied and dynamic in its presentation.
With a hefty low end, neutral midrange and shimmering high frequencies with snappiness and detail, it’s an exciting listening experience.
Every genre I played performed flawlessly and the Evo brought every note, every symbol crash, fret sweeps, background sounds on quieter parts of classical pieces and punchier percussion sections to life in a way that put a grin on my face!
My Jean Michel Jarre records were a particular delight to listen to. I’m pretty OCD about how my system delivers Jean Michel Jarre’s unique sound and the Evo exceeded expectations.
Live recordings sound great and don’t get lost in the busier parts of those records.
Phil Colins “In The Air Tonight” hits like a freight train in all the right ways and Peter Gabriel’s “So” is bouncy and full bodied.
Gustav Mahler is possibly one of my favourite classical composers and Symphony No.5 gets played the most at The Audiophile Cafe “HQ”. The Evo performs this record in a way that sounds natural and organic and doesn’t colour the piece in any discernible way.

Summery and recommendation:
At this price tag I can’t find anything about this deck to find fault with or complain about.
In fact there is a lot going on here that make the Debut Carbon Evo a compelling investment.
Solid build with a stunning and elegant finish. Sound characteristics that engage the listener and induce prolonged listening sessions.
Sure there are competitors out there at this price, however at this point I have not had them here with me and so cannot comment on any other deck.
I would happily go out tomorrow and buy an Evo if I was in the market for another turntable, which unfortunately I am not.
However, my son is looking for his first decent turntable and the Evo just made the shortlist.

Thanks:
Many thanks to Simon and Molly at Henley Audio for making this review possible, their patience and for all of the help and advice over the phone.
And thank you to all of my readers. As always, I appreciate your ongoing support!

Sponsors and partners:
The Audiophile Cafe is sponsored by a number of sponsors who help me bring better content to the blog as well as being in a few partnerships. I mention each sponsor and partner on rotation per review or article.
This once I’d like to take a moment to thank all of my sponsors and partners.
Without their support over the past few years and some more recently, the blog wouldn’t be where it is now.

Thank you in no particular order to:

STAX.
Airpulse.
Custom Cans.
Meze Audio.
Silver Note Tonearms.
Qobuz.

Published by The Audiophile Cafe

40 something audiophile, writer, disabled carer, bookworm, gamer, parent, uncle... I love listening to great music on great gear.

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