Pro-Ject Turntable has been making high-end audio components for over 20 years. Their Debut Carbon turntable has had a major influence on the hi-fi market, making it more affordable to ordinary people. Furthermore, their modular Box components (Phono Box, Tube Box) are space-saving, high-performance pieces that, like the vinyl records they enhance, can be collected obsessively like Pro-Ject Turntable vs Audio Technica.
Audio-Technica was founded in Tokyo in 1962 and quickly became a market leader in the production of high-quality phono cartridges. Fast forward to today, and this venerable company continues to command a sizable share of the turntable market, despite a long history of renowned professional audio products. With a wide selection of turntables to satisfy both the adventurous vinyl newbie and the experienced vinyl aficionado, each model offers a wealth of features and spectacular sound quality. Audio-Technica really has a turntable for all, with prices to fit all budgets!
The Audio Technica vs Pro-Ject Turntable is going to elaborate a detailed summary of what the major differences are between the two, with each of their models compared against one another.
Pro-Ject Turntable vs Audio Technica Turntable comparisons – At a Glance:
The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon, Essential 3, Audio Technica AT-LP5, AT-LP120 turntable.
Overview and the what and whys that you should look out for:
A little about the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC Turntable: An Overview.
The launch of the first Debut turntable in the late 1990s was a landmark moment in the hi-fi industry. The latest Debut Carbon DC was created to set new industry standards for the next decade. The addition of a carbon tube for the tonearm, which improves stiffness and eliminates unnecessary resonance, is the most noticeable change. The overall sound quality has significantly improved, thanks to other enhancements such as an increase in platter size and weight to achieve even smoother rotation.
The Debut Carbon is, at its heart, a resurrected version of the very first Pro-Ject player, with only the essentials in its system to recreate the high-quality analog sound. The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC specs are unique because they were produced by Pro-Ject in the 1990s when trendy technology was lacking. Despite the fact that Pro-budget Ject’s turntable has its own set of high-end features, it definitely has its own features within the price range.
The Pro-Ject vs Audio Technica Turntable provides a detailed clarification of the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon’s pros and cons.
- The Pro-Ject Carbon DC is user-friendly. It is rather easy to use and a good tonearm and cue lever that makes cueing simple and painless.
- Pro-Ject Carbon has better and superior sound quality compared to those of its competitors.
- The Turntable has a minimalist and elegant design, making it attract consumers of interest.
- The Pro-Ject carbon might tend to be responsibly expensive, considering there might be better alternatives out there in the market. It even requires a purchase of an external preamp, which results in a more inflated price.
- The Turntable does not have the best vibrant resistance compared to others in the market.
- The Pro-Ject Turntable is not very user-friendly, especially for the owners putting it into use for the first time.
A little about the Pro-Ject Essential III Turntable: An Overview.
The Pro-Ject Essential III Turntable has a diamond-cut aluminum drive pulley, a resonance-optimized MDF key platter, and an MDF frame, among other improvements over its predecessor. The refined, high-precision platter bearing has significantly lower tolerances than Essential II.
The Ortofon OM10 high-quality pickup is included with the Essential III. Connect it E, the included Phono RCA cable, is a high-quality semi-balanced interconnect cable with gold-plated RCA connectors that ensure a flawless connection. The turntable is also isolated from the surface it is placed on by special decoupling feet, resulting in the best sound possible.
The sound is bright enough and very friendly thanks to sonic balance, strong dynamics, and incredible treble. The soundstage is wide open, and the instruments sound good in all areas of the venue. The bass is firm but not boomy, and it blends in well with the other frequencies.
This mid-range record player has a stylish design and decent sound, as well as upgrade options, RCA cables, Connect It E, and a dust cover included in the package. It may be a useful system for those who have a vinyl collection and prefer analog sound without having to fiddle with complicated settings. Any home audio system can be connected to the Pro-Ject Essential III.
- The Pro-Ject Essential III has a superior sound quality for the price range it is offered at.
- Essential III has a notable advantage with exhibiting excellent musical fluency and flow. Moreover, it can be linked up with any home audio device, unlike other turntables.
- This Pro-Ject Essential III turntable’s most striking feature is the finishing. The red glossy touch, in the end, makes it look polished further and just makes it very elegant to the eyes.
- Essential III requires a manual control rather than an automatic. The power switch for the Pro-Ject Essential III is located underneath the chassis, but there is no speed control. Manually changing the speed between 33 and 45 RPM is possible
- The Turntable might be a little light on the features that it provides. Since there are others in the market that would provide much greater features at its price range.
A little about the Audio Technica LP5 Turntable: An Overview.
The AT-LP5 direct-drive turntable combines cutting-edge technology with sleek, modern styling for a look that’s as good as it sounds. The AT-LP5 features a J-shaped tonearm that is inspired by classic A-T models from the 1960s and 1970s and is a product of Audio-rich Technica’s analog heritage. To reduce tracking errors, the tonearm has a metallic gimbal suspension system and precision bearings, as well as an adjustable counterweight and anti-skate control. It comes with an AT-HS10 headshell that weighs just 10 grams and a high-performance AT95EX Dual Moving Magnet stereo cartridge that was designed especially for this turntable.
The AT-LP5 model from Audio Technica is not new, but it continues to outperform its closest competitors thanks to the adjustable counterweight and anti-skate power, as well as the anti-vibration and damping materials used.
The Pro-Ject Turntable vs Audio Technica provides a greater insight at whether the turntable is both reliable and useful. It’s because, in addition to providing additional technology that will be immensely useful to many people, Audio-Technica has nailed what matters: this is a turntable that is both enjoyable to use and listen to.
- Easier installation process. It is rather conventionally easier to set up the Audio Technica LP5 turntable compared to that of others.
- The Audio Technica comes with loads of details. The Turntable has not failed to put attention to every possible detail, that might come in handy and make it easier to access.
- The AT-LP5 offers a USB output, making it feasible to be used through BlueTooth and across various devices.
- The dust cover provided by the Audio Technica LP5 Turntable might not be of a quality standard. However, a better standard dust cover will be offered but only at a premium price.
- Not have the best of designs. Users looking for a more elegant look for their turntable might end up not insisting on the Audio Technica LP5 turntable.
A little about the Audio Technica LP120 Turntable: An Overview.
Audio-Technica, a Japanese company with over 50 years of experience in the production of audio devices, has developed itself as a leading manufacturer of a broad range of products. With the introduction of a vinyl record player, the company has given its fans yet another reason to rejoice, as it provides high-quality equipment at an affordable price.
For nearly a decade, the Audio-Technica AT-LP120 Turntable has been the industry standard direct-drive turntable in the entry to mid-price range. The AT-LP120X (2019) has been revised to include many key enhancements and refinements while also lowering its price point.
Offered in two various colors black and silver, the Audio Technica LP120 Turntable comes with a high-torque direct-drive motor for quick start-ups and a USB output for direct connection to your computer. Other features include forward and reverse play; a cast aluminum platter with a slip mat and a start/stop button; three speeds (33, 45, and 78); High-accuracy quartz-controlled pitch lock and pitch shift slider control with +/-10% or +/-20% adjustment ranges; and a reversible hinged dust cover.
- Higher quality tonearm. The AT-LP120 features a higher quality tonearm than most entry-level turntables. The S-shaped tonearm is modeled after the Technics SL-1200 turntable and features adjustable counterweight and anti-skate controls.
- The Audio Technica LP120 offers the most convenient drive method in this price range. The LP120 series is the only one with a direct-drive engine. Direct-drive motors do not use belts and are attached to the platter directly.
- No speaker or headphone jack. The AT-LP5 does not provide the speaker or headphone jack that could be used conveniently with other speakers.
- The anti-skating feature in the Audio Technica LP120 does not perform efficiently. This might result in an inferior channel balance, and increase wear and tear in the sound quality.
Key Features of Pro-Ject Turntables
Pro-Ject Debut Carbon
- For ultimate speed stability, a new DC power supply with an ultra-precision frequency DC-driven AC generator (similar to Speed Box) has been added.
- Ortofon 2M Red Cartridge
- Increased platter size with more weight
- Asynchronous motor drive with a precision belt drive.
- New TPE motor suspension
Pro-Ject Essential III
- Motor vibration is reduced and speed stability is ensured thanks to integrated DC-powered motor control.
- Ortofon OM10 cartridge pre-mounted
- Diamond cut aluminum drive pulley
- Low tolerance platter bearing with stainless steel spindle
- Belt drive with silicone belt and synchronous motor
Key Features of Audio Technica Turntables
Audio Technica LP5
- AT95Ex Dual Moving Magnet Stereo Cartridge with replaceable Stylus is a one-of-a-kind product.
- Connection to components with or without a dedicated phono input is possible thanks to the switchable built-in pre-amplifier.
- For better low-frequency reproduction there is a heavy rubber damping pad installed.
- J-shaped tonearm, modeled after original Audio-Technica designs from the 1960s and ’70s, are engineered to minimize tracking errors
- Dust cover and mounting hardware are included
Audio Technica LP120
- Professional anti-resonance, die-cast aluminum platter with slip mat.
- Audacity software helps digitize the records, which is both PC and MAC compatible.
- Ease of converting vinyl records into digital audio files.
- Built-in switchable phono pre-amplifier with RCA output cables
- Variable pitch control and forward/reverse operation with quartz speed lock
Comparisons of subtle differences between the Pro-Ject Turntable vs Audio Technica Turntables.
1) Audio Technica LP5 vs Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC
There are few subtle differences between the LP5 and Debut Carbon. The Pro-Ject Turntable vs Audio Technica makes it easier to conclude these significant differences. Firstly, the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon uses an Ortofon 2M stylus model and Audio has the AT95EX as their stylus. The driver method for both differs as well since the Audio Technica has a direct drive mode and Pro-Ject utilizes the belt-driven model.
This is one of the features that allows Audio Technica to provide the USB connection method. However, there are no subtle differences between these two pairs in their speed, torque, and flutter. Audio Technica once again has a better frequency response with up to 22000 Hz that is against 20000 Hz of Pro-Ject. The Pro-Ject however has a better signal-to-noise ratio and also is considered lighter than Audio Technica. The only potential difference that makes Audio Technica people’s choice is the output level. The Pre-amp phono 3.5 mV allows a much better sound quality than that of others.
2) Pro-Ject Essential III vs Audio Technica LP120
Thanks to the built-in preamp of 2.5 mV nominal at 1 kHz, the Audio-Technica AT-LP120 is a ready-to-use solution in the Pro-Ject Essential III vs Audio-Technica AT-LP120 efficiency comparison. Both manufacturers use different types of cartridges; compare the Pro-Ject Essential III’s moving magnet form to the Audio-Technica AT-dual LP120’s magnet type. The Audio-Technica AT-LP120 has a 2.5 g headshell, while the Pro-Ject Essential III has a 5.5 g headshell.
The AT-LP120 has three speeds: 33.3, 45, and 78 RPM, while the Pro-Ject Critical III has three speeds: 33.3, 45, and 78 RPM. The design contrast between the Audio-Technica AT-LP120 and the Pro-Ject Essential III reveals the Pro-Ject Essential III’s modern approach and the AT-“skilled” LP120’s style. Both versions have dust covers that are translucent. The tonearm on the Pro-Ject Essential III is lightweight and straight. This model is well-built and stands on four legs.
3) Audio Technica LP120 vs Pro-Ject Debut Carbon
The Audio-Technica AT-LP120 vs. Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC comparison reveals that the AT-LP120 has a built-in preamp – 2.5 mV nominal at 1 kHz phono pre-amp – making it a perfect ready-to-use solution. The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC uses a moving magnet-style cartridge, while the Audio-Technica AT-LP120 uses a dual magnet-type cartridge. Compare the AT-three-speed LP120’s options (33.3, 45, and 78 RPM) to the Carbon DC’s three-speed options (33.3 and 45 RPM). The AT-LP120 uses the direct form, while it uses the belt drive method. The design solutions for the Audio-Technica AT-LP120 vs. Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC indicate that the Carbon DC manufacturers wanted to keep it basic, while the AT-LP120 manufacturer wanted to make it look more professional.
A straight lightweight carbon tonearm is featured on the Carbon DC. The motor suspension maintains a steady rotational speed. However, the Audio Technica might be a bit hefty in terms of weight, but they feature various knobs and buttons, making it easier to navigate around.
Comparisons of Pro-Ject and Audio Technica Turntable series with other dominant competitors.
Rega Planar 1 vs Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC
The Rega planar 1 vs debut carbon clarifies the questions which hassle out the buyers. The higher you go up the price ladder with turntables, the more likely you are to spend some of your money on a nice-looking design. Despite the “entry-level” moniker, the RP-1 and Debut Carbon are unquestionably more appealing and attention-getting than the average piece of gear. Both turntables are belt-driven, which means that a thick rubber band underneath the platter rotates with the aid of a pulley system. Attaching the belt under the platter is part of the setup. Both turntables can play records at speeds of 33-1/3 RPM and 45 RPM. While some turntables allow you to adjust speeds with a single button press, the RP-1 and Debut Carbon require you to raise the platter again and manually loop the belt around a particular part of the motor assigned to that speed.
However, none of these turntables has a built-in phono preamplifier, which amplifies the signal from the low-output cartridge, so if your receiver or amp doesn’t have a Phono input around the back, you’ll need to purchase an external one. Moreover, the Pro-Ject Debut carbon comes with the pre-fitted Ortofon 2M Red cartridge, which otherwise has to be purchased separately.
Rega Planar 1 vs Audio Technica LP 120
The performance level must be compared between the Rega Planar 1 and the Audio-Technica AT-LP120. Pre-amp “PHONO” on the AT-LP120: 2.5 mV nominal at 1 kHz, 5 cm/sec. Pre-amp “LINE”: 150 mV nominal at 1 kHz, 5 cm/sec, vs 2.5 mV nominal at 1 kHz for the Rega Planar 1.
Respectively moving magnet (MM) and dual magnet (DM) cartridges were introduced by two manufacturers, Rega Planar and Audio-Technica. A high-quality tonearm with a holder for the Audio-Technica AT-HS10 pickup is included with the Audio-Technica AT-LP120 player. A Dual Magnet configuration is used in the high-performance head. A micro-lift is included with the tonearm player for ease of use. The player has a dust cover and height-adjustable feet.
Moreover, unlike the Rega Planar 1, the Audio Technica LP120 features to digitize your LPs, it comes with a USB cable and adapter cables, as well as Mac and PC-compatible audacity applications. Therefore, it is tough to choose the best among the two. It again comes down to personal preferences on weight, height, and likes. Individuals insisting on a heavier look should pursue Audio Technica and if otherwise, the Rega Planar is a much humble choice given the price range.
Denon DP 400 vs Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC
After comparing the Denon DP-300F to the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC, I liked the concept of Denon being completely automatic because the convenience factor is very important. It includes anything you’ll need to get started without having to go out and buy something new. Debut Carbon versus Denon, on the other hand, proved to be well-built, robust, and already fitted with a high-quality cartridge (Ortofon 2M Red), so it doesn’t need any upgrades in my opinion. But, before we compare these TTs in-depth, let’s look at some other variables.
The construction quality and materials used by DC are superior to those used by the orbit. When this model’s predecessor, the AC motor version, wasn’t playing a song, many people complained about an audible motor hum. I can assure you that there is no hum at all. Furthermore, superior build quality combined with Denon expert re-engineering makes this table a clear winner among turntables in its price range and a must-have for any home entertainment system’s vintage vinyl collection. Moreover, if users prefer to just hit a button and walk away, the Denon DP 400 might be more of their preference, as it is fully automatic which, however, is not present in Debut Carbon DC.
Pro-Ject T1 Vs Rega-Planar 1
Both the Pro-Ject T1 and Rega Planar 1 have their own subtle differences. Beginning with their weights, the Pro-Ject – Debut Carbon DC is a heavyweight, weighing in at 12.35 lbs. Since this system has no external bells and whistles. The Rega Planar 1 appears to be lightweight at 9.26 lbs. To be honest, however, longevity is not a problem. They may have saved weight by using modern building methods or by using lighter materials in general. However, in comparison to their prices, the Rega Planar might be a bit inflated than Pro-Ject T1. The higher price can have a favorable argument as Planar 1 is known to have its high-end turntable.
In the case of noise during playback, the weight of the Rega Planar 1 appears to be a disadvantage in this group. During playback, users notice noises and strange unwanted sounds coming from it. In this group, the Pro-Ject excels. There is no movement, and nothing vibrates, except for the stylus. Or, at the very least, nobody seems to be causing unwanted noises that might distract from the music being played.
<h1>FAQs of Pro-Ject Turntable vs Audio Technica</h1>
This section is going to discuss some of the problem and their solution. These problems are collected from the most asked questions all over the internet, regarding this subject matter.
Which to buy?
Both Pro-Ject and Audio Technica Turntables have gained a reputation as low-cost alternatives for those looking for a true hi-fi experience on a shoestring budget. Each is a high-quality record player that will bring you years of pleasure and allow you to rediscover your music in a truly unique way.
Having said that, it is insisted that people preferring modern designs and the looks would be more tilted towards the Pro-Ject as there are many alternatives in colors and individuals insisting on quality and more knobs and buttons for easier navigation is recommended towards the Audio Technica.
Regardless of the path you choose, you can rest assured that you’re about to embark on an insane, ever-deepening rabbit hole of audiophile bliss. It will seem overwhelming at first, but if you are really passionate about music, it will be the best money you have ever spent.
Does having USB or Bluetooth connectivity give an edge?
You can turn your vinyl records into digital audio files using a USB record player. This can be done in two ways. Some record players need a USB cable to link to a Mac or Windows PC, which then transforms the analog signal into a digital signal using the software. Other record players simply have a USB port through which a USB stick can be inserted to convert vinyl. In addition to recording, the USB input can also be used to play MP3 files so that you can listen to them via the recorder’s speakers. Not to be confused with a USB output, which only allows you to record vinyl to MP3 format.
When it comes to Bluetooth record players, it’s important to know if they’re Bluetooth-in or Bluetooth-out. A Bluetooth-in record player ensures that the signal is received by the record player, allowing you to wirelessly connect your smartphone or MP3 player and listen to your digital music via the record player’s internal speakers. The signal from a Bluetooth-out turntable is sent out, allowing you to connect it to Bluetooth speakers.
Does Turntables record sizes and speeds matter?
Vinyl records are divided into three categories. They spin at different speeds on the turntable, measured in revolutions per minute (RPM). You must manually adjust the speed switch on record players depending on the type of record you’re playing. The speed of a seven-inch record is 45 RPM. This is used for singles and usually suits about five minutes of music on each side. The rotational speed of a 12-inch record is 33 RPM. On each side, this can store up to 22 minutes of audio. Almost every 12-inch record you see in a store is a 12-inch record. The 10-inch disc is the third and most uncommon size of the record. The majority of these are 78 RPM records from the past.
However, it is to bear in mind that the fact that a player is set to 33 RPM does not guarantee that the record will spin at that speed. The speed can be affected by a variety of factors. Some players can run slightly slower, and some may even run slower when the needle is on the record’s outer edge and then speed up when it approaches the middle.
Differences between the manual and automatic record players?
The method varies depending on whether you select a manual, automatic, or semi-automatic record player. This is the procedure for inserting and removing the needle from the record. It happens at the click of a button on an automatic device. You must raise the arm and position it on the record yourself with manual systems. The needle is manually positioned on a semi-automatic table, but it lifts off on its own. The majority of mid-to-high-end turntables are operated by hand. It’s not a big deal in either case; if you don’t have a steady hand, you could end up scratching the record, but you’ll pick up the technique quickly. It isn’t complicated at all.
However, there might be some downsides to automatic turntables. Due to all of the additional components needed to make those mechanisms move automatically, fully automatic turntables are usually more costly. Another disadvantage is that the turntable’s many moving parts will degrade sound quality. All of those extra attachments will make it difficult for a tonearm to monitor perfectly.
Are the turntables upgradeable?
The degree to which a turntable can be upgraded is normally determined by its price range. Entry-level systems are ready to use right away, while higher-end versions are likely to be expanded with additional parts. There are few things that can be replaced or upgraded for a better quality sound.
Tonearm: The part of the needle that swings across the album, allowing it to make contact with the disk. The accuracy and precision with which the record rotates can be greatly influenced by the tonearm’s efficiency.
Stylus: The stylus, also known as the needle, is the simplest and most worthwhile component to update. The stylus is in charge of sound reproduction accuracy and detail, and it should be replaced every 1,000 hours or so.
Platter: The spinning plate on which the record is placed. Since vibration is reduced by a heavier platter, it is preferable. A platter mat may provide additional dampening.
That’s not everything, though. Almost any other component on a record player can be replaced with a newer, better model.
Isolation feet beneath the turntable’s base are a common (and relatively simple) upgrade. These can be as inexpensive as a few dollars and will help to minimize vibration.