The turntable category has not been this competitive in a few decades and there are more tables available in 2021 than we can ever remember. Consumer interest in vinyl has not waned for a second during the pandemic and every brand is looking for a way to differentiate itself from the competition. The brand new Pro-Ject Debut PRO Turntable looks to be a real threat to the Rega Planar 3 and everything below $1,000 in the market.
Pro-Ject have been very aggressive with the launch of the new Debut EVO turntable, new electronics, and it would appear that their connection to Sumiko through the McIntosh Group has created another opportunity to collaborate.
While the vast majority of turntable sales are below $500; a price point where Pro-Ject commands substantial marketshare, there are a growing number of consumers who have taken the vinyl plunge that are now looking at $1,000 as the next level in their hi-fi journey.
Pro-Ject has the distinct advantage of making most of their components in-house and the R&D resources to develop better sounding turntables for less money. When you run a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, you can experiment with different materials and setups and get the final product to market much quicker; even with the current supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic.
For the company’s 30th anniversary, Pro-Ject is going back to their roots, focusing on premium analog reproduction. The Pro-Ject Debut PRO Turntable brings a new design to Pro-Ject turntables, enhancing all respects – not only visually, but also in terms of sound quality.
The Pro-Ject Debut PRO Turntable extends the tradition of the Debut collection with a new striking design, featuring a satin black and brushed-nickel color scheme that emphasizes the strengths of the technologies within the turntable.
In a departure from the other turntables in the lineup, the new Debut Pro features an all new 8.6” tonearm that features a one-piece carbon fiber wrapped aluminum arm tube for excellent rigidity and reduction of harmful resonances.
A heavy-duty, nickel-plated machined aluminum bearing block ensures the tight tolerance tonearm bearings move freely, allowing the tonearm to track precisely across the entire surface of the record. The Debut PRO also features a die-cast aluminum platter with integrated TPE damping.
In another new change, the tonearm height and azimuth are now both adjustable, allowing for the use of a wider range of cartridges. The Sumiko Rainier phono cartridge is included with the Debut PRO and is pre-mounted and precision-aligned at the factory.
Height adjustable leveling feet with integrated resonance damping, electronic speed selection, a detachable acrylic dust cover and a premium semi-symmetrical phono cable (Connect It E) round out the Debut PRO’s robust feature set.
Like all Pro-Ject Audio Systems turntables, the special-edition Debut PRO is hand crafted in Europe and will be available in the US in limited quantities at select Pro-Ject dealers beginning in August 2021, with a suggested retail price of $899 USD.
The obvious competition for this table comes from Rega and MoFi who have two very competitive turntables in this price range that include well-engineered tonearms and better quality MM cartridges.
One thing for sure — the Rega needs to make sure the Pro-Ject Debut PRO doesn’t steal the Planar 3’s thunder in the $1,000 category because Pro-Ject has the marketing resources and extensive dealer network to get this new turntable in front of a lot of interested consumers just in time for Q3 and Q4 2021.
For more information: pro-jectusa.com