If you are an audiophile like me, you will agree that turntables actually never went out of the market. Better still, appreciate a collection of some of the most commendable turntables. Rega and Pro-Ject are some of the best turntable brands, and the most admirable pieces from the companies today are Rega Planar 1 from Rega and the Debut Carbon Evo from Pro-ject.
Are you stuck between the two competitive turntables, hence looking for a final solution between the Rega and Pro-ject turntables? Well, out of sheer curiosity and satisfaction, I already have both. With both recorders' features, similarities and differences are brought to the table, and you can have an easier time making a decision.
Let's have a look at each turntable before merging their comparative features. So, shall we get the bus on the road?
Rega Planar 1
If you have been following the company's products, you must know that Rega has had two Planar productions. The original one was its heartbeat because it shared many features with its high-end cost sisters despite being relatively inexpensive.
- Colors: black and white
- Material: brass
- Weight: 9.26 pounds
- Dimensions: 14.73 x 17.6 x 4.61 inches
- Voltage demands: 24 volts
Amazingly, each part of the new Planar 1 is designed to enhance the system's performance, other than improving the general outlook. With a 24 volt, the turntable runs efficiently with reduced noise and vibration. Besides, with its over 9 pounds of weight, the achieved stability further enhances its extraordinary music production.
With this model, you have two color options; white and black. Whichever color appeals to you, you get a posh gloss finish that adds class to the value turntable. Actually, the gloss finish is the newest, labeled in 2021. My review Planar 1 is gloss white, blending perfectly with its table and house furniture. The switch is on the lower side, which keeps the upper conspicuous space more attractive.
Moreover, the turntable features the newest arm that the company is launching, which has a ball-bearing assembly that is zero play. It couples with the sturdier vertical housing of the bearings for minimal friction. Then there is the even stiffer headshell, which improves performance and the elegant outlook.
On top of that, you get phenolic resin for the platter, facilitating speed stability for more refined music production. Adding the latest EBLT belt technology, you get even more improved accuracy. The advanced flywheel effect booms it all with enhanced speed stability.
If you are idle and looking forward to long hours of the track playing, the Planar 1 has features that will favor you. Primarily, the motor cover tray integrates efficient cooling for a more extended period of performance. Secondarily, the foot assembly, which is in the trendiest design, prevents vibration transfer and reduces the potential energy transfer.
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- Value cost of the legendary model
- Minimal noise and vibration during the performance
- Facilitates speed stability for better performance
- Wired connectivity, which gets competition from the wireless technology
Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo
I considered Pro-ject's Debut Carbon Evo due to its speed selection, which is electronic and 78 capable. I will also not deny that I fell in love with the competitive features at half the price of its competitors. And there's still more;
- Colors: black, red, and white in high gloss finish, satin black
- Connectivity: wired
- Weight: 1.7kg
- Dimensions: 12.6 x 16.3 x 4.5 inches
- Material: steel
I got a beautiful satin walnut turntable color, which resembled a refined wooden furniture piece for an exquisite outlook. Nevertheless, you have other high gloss color options, such as black, red, and white. There is also a black satin option that you can consider. The white recorder cover keeps the turntable clean and safe from dust and debris when it is not used.
This model, just like the Planar 1 model, is an improvement of an older design, which means modification for better performance. Essentially, it comes with the newest model of motor suspension, which honestly reduces the vibrations to the bare minimum.
Then there is the 8.6-inch one-piece tonearm, whose quality carbon fiber material facilitates its durability. Its lightweight feature ensures that you get top-quality sound. On the other hand, its sapphire bearings ensure that the turntable has low-friction precision.
Furthermore, the steel platter is heavy, at 1.7kg, which helps keep the vibrations low while bringing stability on the board. Talking about stability, the turntable sits on aluminum feet, which have three height adjustments. Hence, you get the perfect thermoplastic elastomer isolation stand that keeps the turntable even more stable. Another TPE ring is included in the platter, amazingly offering noiseless performance.
Like I mentioned earlier, an electronic stabilizer manipulates the turntable's speed. It features a rocker switch, which, luckily, is located underneath the turntable. With a single push of the button, you will efficiently manage your preferred speed.
More importantly, the turntable recorder uses Rainier replaceable stylus. You can upgrade it at wish to any Sumiko Olympia, or if you are a fan, a Moonstone! It is easy to remove and install, taking you less than a couple of minutes.
The cartridge delivers balanced signal output, which is a result of the copper wiring that is quality. Basically, the wires transmit directly to the RCA connectors, yet on a completely different ground.
Using a unique Connect It E: the turntable recorder brings forth a semi-balanced cable with optimal shielding. Its prominent role is to transport the fragile phono signal.
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- Electronic speed control
- Lightweight tonearm for more efficiency
- Available in a variety of turntable colors
- Less weighty compared to its competitor Rega Planar 1
Rega Vs. Pro-Ject Turntable
If you have noted, both turntables are an evolution from an original model, which is actually part of the reason I adored them. The fact that the original models were already rated with high-end turntables told me that I couldn't get better at the cost.
A point to note; if the origin of the turntable intrigues you, both turntables are made in Europe. However, they hail from different countries, with Rega calling the United Kingdom home, while Pro-ject comes from Austria.
Now let's dive into the intricate differences and similarities that I have witnessed between Rega Planar 1 and Project Debut Carbon Evo;
Both the Rega and the Pro-Ject are budget turntables in their respective companies. Despite the low cost, they have acquired some high-quality features that are found on their expensive counterparts. Essentially, they pose competition to high-end turntables due to their surprising capability at their cost.
Colors and material
First off, the two turntables give you the luster that adds a graceful outlook to the high-fidelity products. They, however, have a few differences;
Rega is available in two gloss colors, black and white. On the contrary, Pro-ject comes in a broader range of color options, ranging from satin to high gloss colors. The satin colors are black and walnut, while the high gloss colors are red, black, and white. Also, my general opinion is that the Debut Carbon Evo displays a fancier outlook, which could actually pass for a piece that is worth double its price.
For durability, both turntables use metallic materials. The Rega uses brass, which adds to its weight, while the Pro-ject uses steel metal as its primary material.
Weight and Dimensions
When it comes to overall mass, the Rega Planar 1 turntable is heavier than the Pro-ject Debut Carbon Evo. It boasts of 4.2kgs of mass, whereas the latter is 1.7kgs. Therefore, if you are looking for something heavy and stable courtesy of the weight, the Rega Planar is an amazing choice.
To make up for the weight, though, the Pro-ject turntable has adjustable aluminum feet for a sturdy stand.
When it comes to the size, the Pro-ject turntable is more compact than the Rega, so with a smaller space, you can consider it more. However, the difference is not that much, as the Pro-ject is 12.6 by 16.3 by 4.5 inches, while the Rega is 14.73 by 17.6 by 4.61 inches. Anyway, if looking for a sleeker and smaller turntable, the Pro-ject is incredible.
The Pro-Ject tonearm is a one-piece carbon fiber, which is approximately 8.6 inches. However, a drawback of the tonearm is that it rests flat on the platter, making it slightly different to lift. It was not that bad, though, because I don't even realize that it was initially a challenge after some time. On the other hand, Rega uses an RB110 hand-assembled tonearm, which is a little heavier than the Pro-ject tonearm. The best part about the Rega Planar 1 is that it has a lever that lies underneath the tonearm, making it easier to lift the tonearm while keeping the vinyl clean.
A cartridge is one of the most important parts of a turntable, enhancing music production. For this reason, Rega comes with a quality cartridge that is basically a carbon-moving magnet, which is factory-fitted. Likewise, the Pro-ject turntable uses an expensive Sumiko Ranier for its cartridge, whose wide frequency range will amaze you.
Both turntables come with a replaceable stylus, and the replacement options are allowed to vary depending on your taste and preference.
Other than that, the two turntables have optimized the feet technology, coming with feet stands that are highly stable. This minimizes vibration, which could affect the performance and general durability.
Essentially, both turntables use wires for connectivity. While I really don't mind the wiring, I feel that Bluetooth connectivity could be more appealing. It is also easier to manage and keep the place tidy without the wires.
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For the price, it is expected that both turntables will use belt drives for functionality, which is actually true. However, the impressive bit is that both belts are an upgrade from the initial models, whose quality you will otherwise get at a higher cost. The only challenge here is that you will have to install the belt yourself, which requires utmost care. But don't worry about it; the manuals are crystal clear for a clean job.
The phono preamplifier? Unfortunately, both turntables do not feature the phono preamplifier, so you have to purchase it separately. It's quite a drawback, but if you already have one with your current receiver, you don't need a new one.
Finally, both have their operation buttons out of the vicinity, underneath the turntables, which serve to bring out a tidier vinyl piece.
Does a warranty give you confidence in a product? You are not alone because I also find myself attracted to products with higher term warranties, especially in electronics. Surprisingly, Rega offers a lifetime warranty on the Planar 1, which is really relieving. While the Pro-ject Debut Carbon Evo does not match up to this, it also comes with a warranty worth a couple of years.
When it comes to performance, both turntables are excellent. I actually don't have an idea which one I would advise one to choose over the other.
While there are high-end turntables that these two cannot compete with, they emerge top between their cost and slightly higher cost turntables.
Unlike in most turntables at the price where the speed is power-controlled and prone to wrong changes, these two have better speed control. The Pro-Ject is electronically controlled with the touch of a button, while the Rega is auto-controlled. This gives you better music production and a sound distribution that you will appreciate.
To add to the stability, both feature stability feet keep the turntable from vibrating or moving, regardless of the music playing.
In a Nutshell
Rega Planar1 Vs. Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo? Despite the notable differences between the two turntables, they remain top-quality audio systems for consideration. At the budget cost, they pose as a fantastic entry to mid-level hi-fi options.
Nevertheless, if you are looking for a classy piece for the Pro-Ject, but if you want less tasking tonearm performance, the Rega wins the case.
HI, John Andrew here. I’ve been an audiophile since I was a little kid. I’m an original member of myaudiolover . It emerged as a way for me to share my passion and knowledge for audio technology. If you’re looking for tips, techniques, and insights about audio-tech, that can enable your productions that professional edge, then MyAudioLover is the place for you!
1 thought on “Rega Vs. Pro-Ject Turntable; Rega Planar 1 and Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo”
The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo weighs in at 6 kg NET, not 1.75 kg as listed. It’s significantly more substantial than the Rega- both in the solid MDF plinth (not fiberboard as in the Rega) and in the heavy, damped steel platter (the Rega has a lightweight “Phenolic resin” plastic platter)