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Pro-Ject Debut III

Manual belt-drive turntable with dust cover (Gloss Black)

6 Reviews

Item # 252DBT3GB

This item is no longer available.

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Our take on the Pro-Ject Debut III

Pro-Ject knows that turntable setup can be a challenge for the novice. That's why the Debut III comes out of the box virtually ready to play. Its pre-matched, factory-mounted phono cartridge and tonearm take the guesswork out of installation, and give you optimized sound quality with minimal effort. A few simple steps to dial in key settings like tracking force, anti-skating, and platter speed are all it takes to get this player primed and ready to deliver spacious, detailed music.

Unwind with analog

If you've never experienced the warm and natural sound that vinyl is famous for, the Debut III is a great place to start. This acclaimed Pro-Ject turntable makes an excellent choice for seasoned audiophiles and vinyl newcomers alike who want to get outstanding sound quality without spending a fortune. Pro-Ject's minimalist design philosophy focuses on the features that benefit sonic performance — no unnecessary bells and whistles here. With its simple, elegant appearance and handsome high-gloss finish, this table will look and sound fantastic perched on your audio rack.

Crafted for serious sound

The Debut III's 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. The motor mount and belt drive system are designed to isolate 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.

Get the best sound, without the hassle

Pro-Ject knows that turntable setup can be a challenge for the novice. That's why the Debut III comes out of the box virtually ready to play. Its pre-matched, factory-mounted phono cartridge and tonearm take the guesswork out of installation, and give you optimized sound quality with minimal effort. A few simple steps to dial in key settings like tracking force, anti-skating, and platter speed are all it takes to get this player primed and ready to deliver spacious, detailed music.

Product Highlights:

  • 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
  • frequency range (with included cartridge): 20-20,000 Hz
  • channel separation (with included cartridge): >22dB
  • attached 39" RCA audio cable
  • 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: 12.125 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
  • requires a phono preamp or phono input on receiver or preamplifier

Very easy to set up, good and quality product

Tony, Los Angeles, CA

What's in the Box:

  • Turntable (tone-arm and cartridge installed)
  • Hub (installed)
  • Platter
  • AC power adapter (with attached 6.5' DC cord)
  • Drive belt
  • Dust cover
  • Counter weight
  • Anti-shake weight
  • Felt pad
  • 45 RPM adapter
  • Hook tool
  • Hex-key
  • Instructions for Use
  • Two-Point Cartridge Alignment Protractor

Pro-Ject Debut III Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(6 Reviews)

Good product, worth for the money

Tony from Los Angeles, CA on 11/19/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Very easy to set up, good and quality product



First TT

DaveH from Savannah, GA on 4/29/2012

I had been in the market for my first TT for about 6 months. Everywhere you look the Debut gets outstanding reviews for bang vs buck and I have found it to be true. I was considering some more expensive TTs, but opted for the less expensive Debut (saved $40 at Crutchfield with some credit points and a gift card plus no tax and free shipping) which gave me more options to upgrade and still spend less than the other ones. Plug n play out of the box was pretty nice with decent sound and gorgeous looks, but I made some upgrades after a couple weeks which really paid off. First was the cartridge in which I added an Audio Technica 120 at the recommendation of my local shop and I couldn't be happier. The OM5E that ships with the Debut sounds flat and muffled, but the AT120 really opened up the sound showing me what vinyl was all about and did it at a great price. I also added the acrylic platter and speed box II(floor model from the local shop at a big discount) both of which complimented the Debut with the AT120 nicely and in the end I couldn't be happier with the sound. Highly recommend the Debut, good sound out of the box with the ability to make upgrades resulting in excellent sound plus great looks to boot.

Pros: Excellent bang vs buck with decent upgrade options Classy, subtle good looks will compliment any room and system

Cons: Wall wart power supply Interconnects are fixed to the table which may be a turn off to some

Pro-Ject Debut III

Russ C from Cuyahoga Falls, OH on 2/4/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This table is replacing a Micro BL-91 with a Magnepan tonearm that was quite high end in the early 1980s. I used a Joseph Grado cartridge but over the years the tonearm developed a short and subsequent hum. The replacement cost of the arm is prohibited at the present time so I opted for the Pro-Ject due to it's reviews and the overall cost and simplicity.

Pros: The performance is excellent and the Ortofon cartridge is quite acceptable. My other choice was a Denon model but the supplied cartridge is sub-par for my requirements. The Pro-Ject model is a high value package and highly recommend!

Cons: The Ortofon cartridge is a little on the bright side and is upstream of a 5.1 Klipsch surround system that on older recordings induces some additional record noise...on a quality recording the system is great.

Excellent Value

AreGee from SE Pennsylvania on 1/4/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is a fine turntable for my young son as he discovers the beauty of analog sound reproduction. It far surpassed other entry level turntables in its price range and the moment we listened to the music it replaced another brand new popular direct drive turntable that had numerous speed controls and illumination features. My son clearly wanted a belt driven manually operating component. He liked the straight forward style and more refined construction of the Pro-Ject Debut. He has no interest in DJ style and functions. We heard no rumble like we did with the direct drive models. In hearing the Pro-Ject the first time, my son joyously exclaimed, "All the screechy highs are gone!" We like the gravitational anti-skating device which seems much more consistent and reliable than the more common spring mechanism normally found on entry level turntables. The cartridge was setup well and sounded great right away. The placement of the on/off switch on the underside will probably keep dust from causing it to fail over time. All-in-all this turntable is a great value and a keeper for certain. It only took my son 15 seconds to hear the difference in the music and start packing up the other turntable we were auditioning for its return it to the online warehouse.

Pros: The quality of construction was excellent and the setup and instructions were clear, intuitive and provided thorough background information for an inexperienced user.

Cons: The cover hinges are not sprung well. At anything less than full up angle they really just hold by screw tension and the lid may not stay up. There are no rubber stoppers on the lid front edges causing a crisp plastic snap when you put it down. That's the only feature that seems less professional.

great Turntable

TC from Bethesda MD on 11/9/2010

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

My old turntable died a few years ago and I finally decided to replace it. I did some research and found the Project Debut III. It is a fantastic turntable. I have been enjoying my 500 + albums again. Originally I was planning to buy it from another website until I found out about the free shipping from Crutchfield. Ordering was very simple and the salesperson was very knowledgeable. This is a beautiful turntable and sounds great. It is very easy to set up. Only took about 10 minutes to set up. I got the red one and I love it. I recomend this turntable to anyone who wants a good affordable turntable. Crutchfield has the best ervice.



First class sound all the way!!!

Giang from Arlington, TX on 10/13/2010

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Not too long ago, people thought that LP records are obsolete and would be extinc in no time. Recently, LPs had made its way back into the audiophile world and numerous current albums are being released on LP records. It is really hard in this digital age to find a quality turntable that could play your records correctly the way it's meant to be heard. Most audiophile turntables would cost thousands of dollar and would be out of reach for most people. Anyhow, Pro-ject did a really good job in releasing the Debut III into the affordable audiophile segment and this will give more people a chance to experience LP records. If you just want to listen to quality music on a turntable, this turntable is a great starting place and it won't disappoint you. The sound is clear and very neutral without any harsness to the ear. Soundstage is wide with very pricise imaging. The cartridge that came with the unit is very good for the price and it should be more than enough for most people. This unit had been reviewed by many professional reviewers and I've seen no bad one so far. I highly recommend this product and I personally enjoyed it very much. In fact, I am listening to it as I am writing this review...




Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Operation Manual
Speeds 33-1/3, 45
Cartridge Type MM
Phono Preamp No
USB Output No
Pitch Control No
45 RPM Adapter No
Signal to Noise Ratio 65
Wow and Flutter 0.12
Weight 12.125 lbs.

Product Research



Overview: The Pro-Ject Debut III 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. A silicone-damped arm-lift is also supplied.

Belt Driven: The Pro-Ject Debut III 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 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 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 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 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.

Note: If your amplifier does not have a suitable Phono MM input, a separate phono pre-amplifier (such as 252PBIIB, sold separately) is required to connect the turntable to your amplifier.

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

Fixed Connection Cable: The fixed connection cable (39") has gold-plated RCA jacks and appropriate capacitance and inductance values.

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


Filter Cartridge: Ortofon OM5e (output voltage: 4.0mV)

Amplifier Connection: MM-input (recommended load resistance: 47 kohms)

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

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: 12.125 lbs (5.5kg)

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.