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Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Phono USB (DC)

Manual belt-drive turntable with pre-mounted cartridge and USB output

9 Reviews | 6 questions - 11 answers

Item # 252DBDCUSB

This item is no longer available.

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Our take on the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Phono USB (DC)

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 Carbon (DC). 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 Carbon Phono USB (DC) directly to almost any 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 Carbon (DC). 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 Carbon Phono USB (DC) directly to almost any audio system.

What's new with the Carbon Phono USB (DC)?

The first thing Pro-Ject did was to give the Debut Carbon Phono USB (DC) a new power supply with a precision built-in frequency generator (like their Speed Box) - increasing the turntable's speed stability while decreasing unwanted motor vibration. This extra degree of accuracy and smoothness gives you a more focused stereo image, tighter bass, and greater detail than before. Then, Pro-Ject added new TPE (ThermoPlastic Elastomer) dampers to the motor mounts to better decouple and isolate it from the 'table's chassis, reducing motor noise and rumble to a bare minimum. The result is a turntable that delivers sonic performance rarely found on models in its price range.

Crafted for serious sound

You've probably seen cheap, plastic 'tables equipped with USB, but the Debut Carbon Phono USB (DC) 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. Finally, the table's one-piece carbon fiber 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 Carbon Phono USB (DC) 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.

Product Highlights:

  • built-in phono preamp (non-defeatable) with line-level audio and USB output (Windows® and Mac® compatible)
    • recording software not included (Pro-Ject recommends Audacity, a free sound recording and editing program available at
  • DC power supply with ultra-precision frequency DC-driven AC generator for outstanding speed stability
  • upgraded motor suspension with TPE (ThermoPlastic Elastomer) damping for silent operation
  • one-piece 8.6" carbon fiber tonearm for superior rigidity and low resonance
  • heavy 12" steel platter with felt mat provides excellent speed stability and protects records from scratches
  • precision stainless-steel bearing system for smooth, quiet platter rotation
  • includes pre-mounted Ortofon OM-10E 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 (manual speed change)
  • speed variance: ±0.8%
  • wow and flutter: ±0.10%
  • signal-to-noise ratio: 68dB
  • frequency response (with included cartridge): 20-22,000 Hz
  • external power supply reduces likelihood of electro-mechanical interference
  • weight: 13.2 lbs.
  • 16-3/8"W x 4-11/16"H (with dust cover down) x 13-1/8"D
  • warranty: 2 years (1 year warranty for the supplied cartridge)
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Turntable (tonearm and cartridge installed)
  • AC power supply (w/ attached 6.5' DC cord)
  • 3 AC plug adapters (US/UK/EU)
  • Metal platter
  • Hub (installed)
  • Drive belt (installed)
  • Felt mat
  • 47" Stereo RCA cable (w/ ground wire)
  • Female RCA to male 3.5mm adapter
  • 6' USB (type-B) to USB (type-A) cable
  • 45 RPM adapter
  • Anti-skate weight
  • Counter weight
  • Dust cover
  • Plastic hook-tool
  • Hex-key
  • Instructions For Use
  • Two-Point Cartridge Alignment Protractor

Fantastic sounds emanating from my man cave since the arrival of my new phonograph player.

Old School, Rochester, MI


Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Phono USB (DC) Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(9 Reviews)

great turntable

david john from Bemidji, MN on 10/6/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

sounds great, looks good easy and for the most part easy to set up. i have 3 duals that i left with my son and needed a new turntable for the new house. I have a fair amount of vinyl so getting a quality turntable that i could use in a regular set up and as a usb turntable with computer was a necessity. this one hits the mark on all fronts.

Pros: sounds great.

Cons: tracking set up could be a little clearer

Great turntable at a reasonale price

Jeff from Knoxville, Tennessee on 3/5/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I had caught the LP bug again after buying a set of powered Klipsch speakers for my Son's turntable. I had forgotten the pure sound from the turntable so I researched a powered turntable for my vintage Bose Lifestyle system. The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon came highly recommended for the audiophile for looking for great sound at a reasonable price. I was certainly not disappointed. The pure sound and easy set-up of the Pro-Ject is fabulous. I have enjoyed rebuilding my LP collection while enjoying the high end features of the turntable. It works beautifully with the old Bose unit and delivers great sound through an excellent stylus. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a higher end listening experience at a reasonable price point.

Pros: Attractive design Ease of set-up and operation Excellent sound quality


Great value and sound quality

Howard from Virginia Beach, VA on 2/8/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is a review of both Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Turntable (120) and the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Phono USB (DC) turntable (PJ). 1. Order process: Efficient. 2. Pricing: PJ about more expensive. 3. Delivery: Both arrived in 1 day. 4. Packaging: Both well protected. 5. Setup: Written instructions on both for a newbie were too sketchy. Find a well done YouTube. 6. Features: The 120 is about as heavy as the PJ. Both have a dust cover. Both arm you lower to to allow the tone arm to slowly lower and engage the record. The 120 has three speeds, 45, 78, and 33. The PJ has 45 and 33. The PJ is belt drive while the 120 is direct drive. The legs of the 120 is about 3" bigger than the PJ, although their overall dimensions are essential equivalent. The 120 is more high tech looking while the PJ has a far more simple appearance. Both have USB output. 7. Sound: I had initially ordered the 120. The sound was good to my non audiophile ear. But, at high receiver volumes, I heard a low level rumble that I thought was motor noise. That's when I called Crutchfield and ordered the PJ. I made a direct comparison on the same album. The PJ has a better, brighter sound. And so I returned the 120. I'm very happy with the PJ even though it cost more.

Pros: Great value and sound quality. I hear musical elements I've never appreciated before.

Cons: Low level motor noise at very high receiver volumes.


Daniel from Winter Springs, FL on 12/27/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I know this section is supposed to be only for reviews but I am a little disappointed with Crutchfield. I ordered this item (opened box) for a x-mas present to my daughter. When we tried to set it up, the unit would not turn on. After trying different things, I decided to test the power supply with a voltage meter and realized that it was not working. My first reaction was that if it was an opened box why the unit was not tested before allowing to be sold ...then, we I called, as always, the customer support was extremely nice, however I had to "ask" to please had the power supply overnight. I had to deal with a similar or comparable issue with a different online retailer and I really did not have to ask for that. It was understood. Also, the person said that they did not have the item on stock and that they could not simply open a new unit to extract the power supply. I thought to myself, due to the disappointment and the fact that it was their mistake (not from the manufacturer, since it was opened) and the fact that it was x-mas present, that's the least I would have expected. ....

Pros: ...

Cons: ...

Good Turntable.

Peter from Chapel Hill, NC on 9/25/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Good turntable, great sound, and very pleasing to look at. Couple of minor issues, first was the weight balance is not accurate. Record kept skipping didn't want to put too much weight on the needle. Went to what I thought was 2 g. Still skipped on minor vibrations such as someone walking by the stand. Purchased a digital scale designed for turn table calibrations fund it was at 0.7 g. Set it to the 1.7 g called for by the manufacture and it worked great. Second issue is that the arm doesn't automatically return. Seemed strange to me but been awhile since I owned a turn table, my last three that I did own, although 30 some years ago, all had an automatic return. Didn't know this was something one had to look for when specking out a table. Overall, I'm very happy with it.

Pros: Great looks. Superior performance. Line out pre-amp, big plus.

Cons: No auto return. Weight calibration is not accurate per instructions provided with the unit.

Heavenly sounds

Old School from Rochester, MI on 9/20/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Fantastic sounds emanating from my man cave since the arrival of my new phonograph player.

Pros: Makes my old vinyls sound like new.

Cons: Not so great looking ...plain.

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Phono USB (DC)

Crutchfield customer from Hercules, CA on 9/4/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Easy to set up. Sounds great. High end features at reasonable cost.



Pro-ject debut carbon turntable

Crutchfield customer from New Hampshire on 6/28/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great turntable and easy to set up with excellent service and support.

Pros: Looks good and plays great

Cons: Arm doesn't automatically lift at the end of the record. But I find not that big of a deal.

Great Turntable

JDS from Kentucky on 5/22/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Recently purchased this turntable to replace a mid 1970's vintage Pioneer turntable. The line out feature is outstanding. the usb works as advertised with my Dell/Windows 8 set up. Set up on the anti-skate was straight forward, the cartridge came installed on the tonearm head and required no adjustments. Tracking on some very old vinyl is accurate and clean. Newer vinyl (only 15-20 yrs old) is crisp.

Pros: Easy set-up. No issues!!

Cons: None so far.


Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Operation Manual
Speeds 33-1/3, 45
Cartridge Type MM
Phono Preamp Built-in
USB Output Yes
Pitch Control No
45 RPM Adapter Yes
Signal to Noise Ratio 68
Wow and Flutter 0.1
Weight 13.23 lbs.

Product Research


Integrated Phono-MM Preamp w/ USB Output: Because the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Phono USB turntable includes a built-in phono preamplifier with USB output, connection to both line-level input of your HiFi system and USB port on your computer can be done simultaneously.

  • Built-in Preamp: The built-in phono equalizer preamp allows you to connect the turntable to an integrated amp or receiver that does not have a dedicated phono input. You cannot disable the built-in phono preamp. Plinth mounted RCA output jacks allow for the use of higher quality interconnects for even better sonic performance.
  • USB Phono Stage: The Debut Carbon Phono 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). Compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. Pro-Ject recommends Audacity, a free sound recording and editing program available at

Resonance-Reducing Construction: The attractive resonance-reducing MDF plinth supports a heavier 12" (300mm) diameter metal platter for smoother rotation and lower wow and flutter. Additionally, a felt record mat is employed for superior record support and coupling. The platter and plinth assembly sits upon four-point "O"-ring feet designed for energy absorption and the plinth-mounted motor is isolated by a new TPE suspension keeping unwanted noise and vibration to a bare minimum. The motor is even decoupled from the plinth to reduce vibration transmission.

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.

High-Fidelity Sound: The 8.6" single-piece tube carbon fiber tone-arm that increases stiffness while decreasing unwanted resonances resulting in a higher fidelity presentation of your vinyl recordings. Fitted to the carbon fiber arm is the OM-10E moving magnet (MM) phono cartridge by Ortofon. This arm/cartridge combination is capable of exceptional tracking and recovery of the musical nuance found within the record's grooves.

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

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

AC Power Adapter: The turntable operates off of standard household current using the supplied external AC power adapter.

  • Input: 100-240V~50/60Hz, 0.35A
  • Output: 15V - 0.8A (0.5A)


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 verify what’s in the box, 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.

Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

I Still Have well over 500 LPs --- most of which I would like to transfer into a digital format. I wanted a Simple Turntable designed for the task (and also good for just listening) and this one seemed to fit the bill. Too often, they are built for One or the Other, but not both. The proof is yet to be seen, but I am optimistic. [ Robert M.  Dec 28, 2017 ]
High quality, entry level audiophile turntable, looking to digitize USB and analog outputs. [ Jeffrey  Nov 06, 2017 ]
conversation and questions answered by sam a few weeks back and conversation with a friend who bought the same item a few weeks ago [ DAVID  Sep 21, 2017 ]
Seems to have options I require at a good price. [ Keith  Jun 06, 2017 ]
Great reviews and needed the pre amp. [ Jeffrey  Feb 20, 2017 ]
Gift. [ John  Dec 22, 2016 ]
Best price I could find. [ Robert  Dec 20, 2015 ]

6 questions already asked

This model turntable is not Airplay capable; however, there is a USB output that may work thru a Mac computer. [ Jeffrey  Sep 21, 2018 ]
I have used the Pro-Ject Debut built in USB connection to pass turntable output to my Win 10 PC running Audacity audio capture software. In that way I have successfully captured vinyl recordings as digital files in lossless FLAC format in 48K 16 bit format (which is the best the Pro-Ject hardware will do). Presumably this same USB output could be passed to an Apple Airplay compatible device for wireless broadcast to other devices but I've never tried that. The Pro-Ject Debut turntable does not have this capability built in. so you would have to identify the appropriate Apple Airplay compatible device and purchase it separately. [ LEONARD J  Jul 17, 2018 ]
The turntable User Manual recommends connecting the ground wire to the amplifier. I have this turntable connected to the AUX input of my amp (the presence of a turntable preamp prevents you from connecting to the PHONO input). I connected the ground wire also. This configuration produces wonderful sound. [ LEONARD J  Jul 17, 2018 ]
I Only attached the usb to the computer without the ground attached and it sounded great. [ Gregory g.  Dec 23, 2016 ]
I did, though I'm not sure I had to. Everything works fine this way. I haven't tried it without attaching. On my Denon, the ground is called Signal Ground. You can try it both ways, make sure to keep your volume low in case you get some loud hum. See which way sounds best. They may sound identical. In that case, I'd leave it connected. [ Robert  Dec 23, 2016 ]
The highest sampling rate for this turntable is 48k Hz @ 16 bits. I have run tests to see how much actual percievable difference there is between this sampling rate and 48K @ 24 bits and 48K @ 96 bits. To be honest, I can't really tell the difference in any reliable, repeatable way. My conclusion from this is that one's perception of recording quality is influenced more by the quality of the original sound engineering (type and placement of microphones, track editing, etc.) than on different sampling rates in the final digital file.. [ LEONARD J  Jul 17, 2018 ]
We have not received any answers from other customers on your question. I would recommend reaching out to an Advisor by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. They should be able to help answer your question. [ Jeff  Jun 19, 2015 ]  Staff
Yup. You have to do all that. This is typical of higher end turntables, since the mechanisms needed to automatically manipulate the tonearm add to the cost without adding to the sound quality. Worse, they can introduce vibration which is something you definitely don't want in a turntable. [ LEONARD J  Jul 17, 2018 ]
For better or worse, this turntable is, completely manual and has no automatic function. [ JOE  Dec 18, 2014 ]
I forwarded your question to an Advisor and they responded with the following: That is actually going to depend on your amplifier. You'll need to make sure that whatever amplifier or receiver you're connecting the turntable into has the ability to bypass the turntables phono preamp. If you would like to discuss further you can contact an Advisor directly by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. [ Krissy  Nov 08, 2014 ]  Staff