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Pro-Ject Debut III Esprit - upgrade options?

Hello all,

I have just bought my first turntable and I very much like what I am hearing Smile 

It is a pro-ject Debut III Esprit, fitter with an Ortophone Alpha cartridge and the acrylic platter.  I am already thinking about some upgrade options (new motor, cartridge, arm etc?).  But I would like to hear your opinions over what would be the most effective upgrade for this model.  For example, the external speed control box would give me the possibility to play 78s, which I am guessing would be a plus, but it seems that as an added bonus the sound quality may improve due to the more reliable electronic speed control.  Ideas or any other advice to get the most out of this turntable? Thank you!

Foscolo84

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RE: Pro-Ject Debut III Esprit - upgrade options?

May I ask which phono preamp/amp you've connected the pro-ject too?

Anonymous
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RE: Pro-Ject Debut III Esprit - upgrade options?

Hello NHL,

thank you for posting.  I am feeding the Pro-Ject directly into the Marantz 6003 amp.  So I am guessing it is using the onboard Marantz phono preamp...

Anonymous
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RE: Pro-Ject Debut III Esprit - upgrade options?

Hello everybody,

I'd be sad to let this thread die out so quickly, so I am hoping someone could still contribute to it... I would appreciate any input on the matter... :help:

What would likely improve the performance of this Pro Ject turntable... a speedbox, a new cartridge, a separate phono preamp...?  Thanks!

 

foscolo84

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RE: Pro-Ject Debut III Esprit - upgrade options?

I would never ever buy another project turntable. Bought the entry level tt two years ago. was unable to listen to a lot of vinyl for a year. ( No time )

When i started listening to my vinyl collection there was a very intrusive hum. ( Well documented on line ) This was without a doubt a motor vibration problem. I tried everything ... Blutac ..... rubber isolation washers ... the list is long. After looking on line i sent for the upgrade kit, £25 + £4 postage. This consists of a new pulley, sticky isolating rubber domes, round belt as opposed to the flat belt prefitted. The rubber domes made the problem worse. ( Not happy )

After resting motor on sponge platform in a dish shape to reduce motor vibration then sponge stuffed in on one side this reduced the hum to almost acceptable level. I pressed on one part of rubber suspension band and it got less again. Stuck a piece of tape on this spot to secure it to baseboard, better but still there. Moved lid down a couple of inches from upright position.    GONE COMPLETELY !

This product was praised by Hi FI mags ............. Don't upgrade  ..... Swap to another brand after selling the project.

Am i extremely annoyed at having wasted money ? YES !

 

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RE: Pro-Ject Debut III Esprit - upgrade options?

Weird, I've got two pro-jects, never had any trouble with either of them.

Anonymous
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RE: Pro-Ject Debut III Esprit - upgrade options?

Thank you for your comments!  Luckily my Pro-Ject has been performing very well, and the setup was nice and easy.  It is the "deluxe" version of the Debut III so there are cheaper Pro-Jects out there which may indeed be more problematic, but this one is working out great.  So for now I have no plans of getting rid of it.  Anyone has had any experience with the Pro-Ject external speed control box??  Thank you!

 

Foscolo84

Anonymous
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RE: Pro-Ject Debut III Esprit - upgrade options?

Any comments on the speed control box made by Project?  A good investment?  Thank you!

 

foscolo84

Anonymous
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RE: Pro-Ject Debut III Esprit - upgrade options?

Yes there is lots out there on this subject:

The external Speedbox allows you to change from 33-45  it does not include 78, for that you need a different pulley.  

Also I also had massive hum from the motor as mentioned above - it is because the suspension rubber band can touch the plinth if the rubber stretches or the motor drops for any reason, taping it to the plinth surely can't help!  

I have made a little suspension tower from a coke bottle top, blu-tack and felt, in the shape of a cone to put underneath the motor to lift it up, the rubber bands are nowhere near the plinth now -- all the hum has gone now.

As for whether the Speedbox is an improvement,  well in the US  (60 hz) you have to use the larger pulley, which then makes the motor rotation very slow when playing 33's it causes chugging so is totally unacceptable - so I still use the speedbox but it is always set for 45, and to play 33's I move the rubber band to the lower pulley - this defeats the push button speed change, but I still have the regulated speed control.  Is it better?  I don't know since I had the hum period between my 2 set-ups and have not tried to compare them.   I think the motor is a weak point for sure, but may not be worth changing?

In the UK and other 50 Hz locales, I believe the Speedbox is used with the smaller pulley, so for 33 the speed should not be too low and motor chugging should not occur.  YKMV. 

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RE: Pro-Ject Debut III Esprit - upgrade options?

Yes, weird indeed...I have a much loved one too and used to own the pro-ject genie 2.

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RE: Pro-Ject Debut III Esprit - upgrade options?

" taping it to the plinth surely can't help!"  It did and the only explanation must be that my motor vibrated if only a miniscule off vertical. By pushing down that portion of the band just a fraction, even if touching the plinth, did the trick.

I think if someone is thinking of buying the entry level project it would pay to buy from a shop dealer (Non internet)

and ask to hear it plugged in. There is no doubt that if working correctly then its a bargain and you will enjoy your vinyl.

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