Pro-Ject Debut III USB

Manual belt-drive turntable with USB output

  • Pro-Ject Debut III USB

    Dustcover open

  • Pro-Ject Debut III USB

    Built-in phono preamp with line-level and USB output

  • Pro-Ject Debut III USB

    Dustcover closed

  • Pro-Ject Debut III USB

    Front (dustcover not pictured)

  • Pro-Ject Debut III USB

    Tonearm (detail)

Item #: 252DBT3USB

Review Summary

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Original price $399.99
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Our take on the Pro-Ject Debut III USB

by Dave Bar
builtin preamp

A built-in USB phono preamp lets you connect easily to virtually any computer or audio system.

Bring your record collection into the digital age

The task of transforming your treasured LPs into audiophile-quality digital files requires a great-sounding turntable. That's why the folks at Pro-Ject added a high-fidelity phono preamp with a built-in analog-to-digital converter and USB output to their acclaimed Debut III. This potent playback combination makes it a breeze to transfer music to your computer for easy archiving. Save your tunes as MP3, WAV, or other music files that you can store on your computer or download to your portable player. The built-in preamp means you can also connect the Debut III USB directly to almost any audio system.

Crafted for serious sound

You've probably seen cheap, plastic 'tables equipped with USB, but the Debut III USB is in a completely different league. Its sturdy MDF chassis rests on shock absorbing rubber feet that provide a solid, low-resonance foundation. Its heavy steel platter spins on a precision axle and bearing for excellent speed stability and smooth, silent rotation. A decoupled motor mount and belt drive system isolates the motor's vibration from the chassis to prevent noise from being transferred to the cartridge. An external AC power supply helps reduce the chance of hum, and can even be upgraded with Pro-Ject's Speed Box II for enhanced performance. Finally, the table's one-piece aluminum tonearm includes a silicone-damped lift for gently raising and lowering the arm — protecting both the stylus and your records.

Enjoy the rich sound of vinyl without the hassle

Pro-Ject knows that turntable setup can be a challenge for the novice. That's why the Debut III USB comes out of the box virtually ready to play. Its pre-matched, factory-mounted phono cartridge and tonearm take the guesswork out of installation, so you can enjoy optimized sound quality with minimal effort. A few minutes to dial in key settings like tracking force, anti-skating, and platter speed are all that's needed to experience the best sound you've ever heard from your record collection.

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  • built-in phono preamp with line-level audio and USB output (Windows, Mac, and Linux compatible)
    • recording software not included (Pro-Ject recommends Audacity, a free sound recording and editing software program available at audacity.sourceforge.net
  • heavy two-piece 10" steel platter with felt mat provides excellent speed stability and protects records from scratches
  • precision bearing system for smooth, quiet platter rotation
  • one-piece aluminum tonearm for superior rigidity and low resonance
  • includes pre-mounted Ortofon OM-5E moving magnet cartridge
  • medium density fiberboard (MDF) base with four shock absorbing rubber feet
  • AC motor decoupled from base for reduced vibration transmission and better sound
  • manual operation with silicone-damped tonearm lift
  • 33-1/3 and 45 rpm speeds
  • speed variation: ±0.8%
  • wow and flutter: ±0.12%
  • signal-to-noise ratio: 65dB
  • external power supply reduces likelihood of electro-mechanical interference
  • compatible with Pro-Ject Speed Box II electronic speed regulator for enhanced sound and speed-changing convenience
  • weight: 15 lbs.
  • 16-3/8"W x 4-3/4"H (with dust cover down) x 13-1/16"D
  • warranty: 2 years (1 year warranty for the supplied cartridge)
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Turntable (tone-arm and cartridge installed)
  • Hub (installed)
  • Platter
  • AC power adapter (with attached 6.5' DC cord)
  • Drive belt
  • 47" Stereo RCA audio cable (with ground wire)
  • 6' USB cable (with a USB type-B connector on one end and a USB type-A connector on other end)
  • RCA-to-minijack adapter (has two female RCA jacks on one end and a male 3.5mm connector on other end)
  • Dust cover
  • Counter weight
  • Anti-shake weight
  • Felt pad
  • 45 RPM adapter
  • Hook tool
  • Hex-key
  • Instructions for Use
  • Two-Point Cartridge Alignment Protractor

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.



Overview: Project's Debut III is now available in a new configuration designed for the "digital age". Fitted with an onboard moving magnet phono preamplifier, A/D converter and USB output, this turntable is capable of performing the digitalization of analog signals for recording direct to your computer via a USB interface and suitable music recording software (not included). The Pro-Ject Debut III USB is a manual belt-driven turntable which includes a pre-mounted Ortofon OM-5E moving magnet phono cartridge. A felt-covered steel platter mates to a chrome plated stainless-steel axle running in a brass bearing housing for exceptional speed stability and accuracy. The aluminum tone-arm employs inverted hardened stainless-steel points for superior tracking with the supplied phono cartridge.

USB Phono Stage: The Pro-Ject Debut III USB turntable allows you to transfer treasured vinyl records to any digital file format on your computer (software not included) with audiophile sound quality via its moving magnet phono preamplifier, A/D converter and USB (type-B) output (USB cable included). The Debut III USB provides the ability to enjoy your favorite records via portable digital playback, computer network, or server based media systems.

Note: Compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.

Moving Magnet Preamplifier: High-fidelity audio is ensured by Pro-Ject's use of dual-mono low-noise preamplifier circuitry, accurate RIAA equalization and the exceptional performance of the Debut III tone-arm/ phono cartridge and drive mechanism.

Belt Driven: The Pro-Ject Debut III USB features a quiet running AC motor with a two-step pulley which drives the hub and platter via a flat-ground belt. The Debut III USB supports 33-1/3 and 45 rpm speeds.

Note: The optional Pro-Ject Speed Box II (252SBIIB, sold separately) can be connected to the turntable to change speeds electronically between 33-1/3 and 45 rpm.

Decoupled Motor: The motor is decoupled from the plinth to reduce vibration transmission.

MDF Plinth: The medium density fiber (MDF) plinth stands on four special, resonance damping feet for exceptional stability.

Note: The turntable should be positioned on a low-resonance surface such as wood or multiple layer ply-board to avoid structural vibrations disturbing replay.

Steel Platter: The Debut III USB features a 10" balanced steel platter (2.86lbs/1.3kg) with felt mat. The platter's low-tolerance chrome-plate stainless-steel axle run on a polished ball bearing in a brass bearing housing.

8.6" Aluminum Tone-Arm: The Debut III USB features an 8.6" tone-arm with aluminum headshell made out of one piece. The single-screw fixing of the arm-tube allows rotation for easy adjustment of needle azimuth despite the fixed headshell. The inverted tone-arm bearing is comprised of inverted hardened stainless steel points and sapphire thrust-pads. The Debut III USB also employs a silicon damped tone-arm-lift.

MM-Cartridge: The turntable is supplied with a Ortofon OM5e fitted MM-cartridge. The cartridge has an output voltage of 4mV and its recommended load resistance is 47kohms.

Internal Wiring: The turntable's internal wiring consists of high-grade flexible copper from the headshell right through to the RCA connection jacks.

RCA Connection with Grounding Screw: Connection to your amplifier can be made with connecting cables of your choice through the turntable's gold-plated stereo RCA phono jacks and grounding screw. Since the turntable has a built-in pre-amplifier, it should not be connected to a receiver's phono input. Instead, it should be connected to a line-level input, such as an auxiliary input.

Note: The Pro-Ject turntable comes supplied with a 47" stereo RCA cable with ground wire. It also comes supplied with a RCA-to-minijack adapter to connect to your PC.

Dust Cover: The Pro-Ject Debut III USB comes supplied with a dust cover to prevent dust build-up on the turntable.


Filter Cartridge: Ortofon OM5e

Amplifier Connection: MM-input

Output Voltage: 160mV/1kHz @ 4mV/1kHz input

Input Impedance: 47kohms/100pF

Gain: 32dB

Noise Floor: -88dB

THD: 0.005%

RIAAA EQ Curve Accuracy: 20-20,000Hz , >0.5dB

Nominal Speeds: 33-1/3, 45 rpm

Tone-arm Length: 8.6" (218.5mm)

Tone-arm Mass: 0.335oz (9.5g)

Overhang: 0.728" (18.5mm)

Counterweight: 0.123-0.194 oz (3.5-5.5g).

Speed Variance: +/-0.8%

Wow & Flutter: +/-0.12%

Signal-to-Noise: -65 dB

Down-force Range: 10-30 mN

USB Output: Digital Serial Data Protocol USB (type-B) 1.1

Power Consumption: 2W

Outboard Power Supply: 15V/550 mA AC (AC 120V / 60Hz, 13.0W)


  • Dust Cover Closed: 16.375" (wide) x 4.75" (tall) x 13.0625" (deep)
  • Dust Cover Open: 16.375" (wide) x 14.375" (tall) x 15.6875" (deep)

Weight: 15 lbs (6.8kg)

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Pro-Ject Debut III USB Reviews

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5 out of 5

Fabulous Turntable

Written By audiologist, united states on Sunday, February 06, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
This is a fantastic turntable. I highly recommend it. It is well-built, sounds great, has tremendous functionality, and is relatively inexpensive. All the turntable I will ever need. Perfect for someone who isn't a vinyl fetishist, but wants a quality piece of equipment to play a few hundred choice pieces of vinyl with for years. The USB output means it can be played straight through a computer into powered speakers, or a quality USB dac/headphone amp. At the same time, the signal can be permanently digitized with the free Audacity software. Finally, the built in phono pre-amp means it can be run directly into an integrated amp, pre amp, or headphone amp. What more functionality could you even need? I had very high expectations, given the rave reviews in audiophile mags. It still exceeded my expectations. I love it so much, I ordered the Pro-Ject Head Box II to go with it. Buy it, and do it from Crutchfield, the greatest retailer on the internet.
9 out of 9 people found this helpful
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