Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO turntable $499 Review

February 28, 2021 § Leave a comment

Ultimately, what this record player demonstrated—clearly— is the all-important distinction between sound and music. While listening to it, I was aware of how different it sounded from my much more expensive Garrard 301. What do you give up with a budget turntable compared to a no-holds-barred one? Well, a bit of everything, really—it sounds less precise, less lifelike, less dramatic. But, importantly, while I was aware of the considerable sonic differences between the two turntables, I didn’t really miss the Garrard. That’s because the Pro-Ject was equally adept at playing music.

One of the records I’ve been listening to most is Lou Reed’s New York (1-25829). For me, its exasperated, end-of-the-world mood resonates with the present moment. I started listening to it constantly in the spring, when I was home alone and sick with COVID; something about the ferocity of Reed’s singing and lyrics—some of his best—felt cathartic and freeing. The spare instrumentation—two guitars, a six-string electric upright bass, and drums—allows the lyrics to come to the fore, and the 14 songs on New York unfold like a short story collection. After I lowered the tonearm onto the first track, “Romeo Had Juliet,” I sat down and listened to the entire 58-minute song cycle with my eyes closed, getting up only to flip the record.

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