New stylus for Project III Debut

Oct 1, 2016
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Hi,

I've had a Project Debut III for coming on 13 years now and it's had quite a bit of use, much more than the recommended 1,000 hours of use before changing the stylus. Anyway, the sound has deteriorated to a point where I'm getting a lot of noticable distortion of viny listening isn't a pleasure anymore.

Just wondering what people recommend in terms of a replacement. It has a Ortefon OMB5E fitted at the moment. Is it best to go like-for-like or are them some good upgrades that suit this deck well? Even in its younger days I did get some IGD with it.



Cheers,

Rob.
 
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myrrhman

Active member
Apr 24, 2020
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I have the same deck / cartridge, more like 9 years old and stylus still sounds OK, but I did recently see that Project do a Pick-it cartridge with the same dimensions as the OM5E, manufactured for them by Ortofon. Should be as close as you can get to a like for like replacement with upgrade, I think the tracking weight is different but otherwise should be a straightforwards swap.
 

Al ears

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Nov 23, 2008
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As stated above you can change the cartridge or simply buy a replacement stylus. The cartridge route is obviously going to be more expensive. Did you have a budget in mind?
 

Al ears

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Nov 23, 2008
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As bigfish786 says it's a good cartridge and would make a good upgrade. I'd ask if you are competent changing and setting up a cartridge, if not a replacement stylus might be way to go until you can get your deck to a dealership.
 
Oct 1, 2016
12
3
4,525
Thanks all for the replies. I've never attempted a cartridge change before, and whilst I don't mind getting my hands dirty, fear I would not optimise the installation (or worse). Lockdown may dictate waiting for a while or going with a more straightforward stylus replacement. I can get a small upgrade to an Ortofon 10 for a reasonable price (acually almost identical to the 5E). Ortofon 20 and 30 go beyond what I would like to spend right now.
 

myrrhman

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Apr 24, 2020
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Just an added point in case you don't go down the 5/10/20... stylus replacement route. The instructions for my Project Debut III states the counterweight is designed for cartridges of 3.5 - 5.5g weight. The OM5e (and Project Pick-it derivative) are 5.0g, so no problem, but the 2M series are 7.2g, and the Goldring E3 6.9g, so you'd also need to budget for a new counterweight (about £20.00 I think).
 
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myrrhman

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Apr 24, 2020
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Apologies for bumping this thread again, but thought it would be useful to relate my recent experiences with a Debut III OM stylus upgrade.
Realised it was probably time to replace my own 10 year old stylus when I fell asleep after a 'virtual pub' session with some friends on Zoom and left the record on all night...after a little research concluded that an OM20 stylus was probably the best upgrade, not cheap at £145 but I was interested to see what difference it would make.
Had to reset the tracking weight - discovered I had set the 5E on the heavy side at just over 1.9g - the 20 is recommended to track at 1.5g, but otherwise straightforward. I thought my turntable sounded fine before, maybe lacking a little definition in the bass but engaging and easy to listen to. The 20 is significantly better - the soundstage has opened up and is much better defined; I'm hearing percussion, cymbals in particular with more precision; and the bass is much stronger without being at all boomy - I find it much easier to follow bass guitar lines in a song than I did. If the OP is still thinking about an upgrade along similar lines, IMHO it would be well worth doing so.
 
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