Better than the Project Carbon TT for $ 500.00

I sold my Rega P3-24 and Ortofon. I have remaining about 18 favorite LPs, and don't expect to buy more. I was recommended the Project Carbon T/T with Ortofon 2M Red cartridge to occasionally play the few LPs I have left and are in decent condition The Project Carbon is currently on sale by few internet dealer for $399.00

I am curious that for $100-$150 more what would you recommend for a table/cartridge package or separate table and cartridge that would be a step up from the Project Carbon. Really would prefer to stay at $500.00, but am open to suggestion. Please no black bases and plinths!!

BTW, I realize there may not be a step-up from the Project for so little money. Thanks
Or you could replace the LP's with CD's and just get out of the analog game altogether.
Project Carbon TT with Ortofon 2M Blue is a step up. Maybe
add a Project Speedbox.
The Project Carbon is a best buy.
Also what are you using for a phonostage?
I agree with Bdp24. 18 LP's,why even bother?
I didn't understand your issue with black. Is it an offensive color? Is black the epitome of bad taste or ???
I agree with the others -- 18 albums, just get out of analog it's more trouble, than worth at this point.
If I were to buy a table at $500, I would get a vintage Thorens or AR. Either would likely sound better than a current sub %500 table, & they look cool too.
Why not just rip those remaining 18 LPs down to digital and create CDs? No need for a table (given your initial statement).
Let me see if I can quickly address those responses which I appreciate.

I have thought about getting out of analog altogether, and that just may happen. The reason I sold the Rega is I like the offer I got for everything: table, speed controller, and Ortofon

My phone stage is an MM built into the Rogue Sphinx integrated. It sounds nice but could use a bit more gain for high output MC's

Unless it is glossy black, for me black is dull and reminds of a graveyard. In addition many TT brands on the market have an array of attractive color, even Rega. I prefer red

Bpoletti .Good idea, but I would have to get a table with a USB output to transfer the LP's to my computer to rip and burn.....OR AM I MISSING SOMETHING ABOUT TRANSFERS. I don't want to buy an inexpensive table to transfer the LP's, and then have to sell it Plus, I want the copies to sound decent. Please advise if there is another way TO DO IT. I still have the Rega P3-24 but it has NO USB output Thanks,guys
You don't have to get a USB turntable. You can use any turntable you want to rip MP3s as long as you have something like this. Besides this Behringer, there are many ADCs with USB output at various prices.

Right now Audio Advisor has the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC on sale for $399. It comes with an Ortofon 2M red and is available in seven different glossy finishes--black, white, red, blue, green, yellow, and silver.

Bear in mind that the new Debut Carbon is the Debut Carbon *DC* with some improvements, including a AC-DC-AC power supply, heavier platter, and better suspension. With the sale price it's also the same or cheaper than the previous model.

I heard the earlier version of the Carbon a couple of years ago and was very
impressed. It was playing through a Naim preamp into a Perreaux amp and
did a nice job of playing music. I have a friend who bought one on my
recommendation and he's really pleased.

For me, the next notch up would be the Pioneer PLX-1000 at $697, but that's
a bit more than you wanted to spend.

Thanks for the info and the link. I just got to determine if it is worth the time to convert those LP's to CD.

The guy who bought the my Rega T/T wants it shipped out this week Nevertheless,I appreciate your advice

BTW, I got a quote for the $399.00 from Acoustic Sounds for the Project Carbon, but he made no mention of the DC version you noted. They probably want to blow out the older pieces before taking the new models
Sunnyjim, you don't have to determine if it's worth the trouble to convert the LPs. If you get the Debut Carbon DC, you get possibly the best TT you can get at $399, and you can get an outboard USB converter if and when you decide to rip your vinyl. In the meantime you get exactly what you were looking for--something to play your remaining LPs on a sub-$500 TT that's worth listening to.

And yes, the $399 for a Carbon DC is a true discount. The $399 everywhere else for the old model is just a closeout.

My friend paid the extra $50 to get the DC on my advice (it wasn't on sale then) and he's really happy with his decision.

Besides, SunnyJim, why limit yourself to your final 18 albums? There is a lot of wonderful vinyl out there. The bulk of my collection is from thrift shops and used record stores, mostly at $1 to $5 each. They really light me up. I also got the new Beatles Mono all-analog LP release, and it is simply fabulous. I have many recent-issue LPs that move me as no CD ever has.
Totally agree w/ Johnnyb. How do you know you'll never want to buy another record, especially when you have a nice sounding analogue system?

Debut Carbon DC...The first thing Pro-Ject did was to give the Debut Carbon (DC) a new power supply with a precision built-in frequency generator (like their Speed Box)
Thanks again for your input.
BTW, I'd peg the significant step up from the Debut Carbon DC as the Pioneer PLX-1000, but it's $300 more, not $150, and you'd probably want a different cartridge than the one included. Still, it has way more torque, way more accurate speed, and is way more rugged and smoother to operate.
I think Johnnyb os spot on. Buy the Carbon DC. Upgrade to the 2M Blue cartridge after wearing out the red. Enjoy your vinyl as is.
Even if you were to rip your LPs, that doesn't mean you get rid of them. For me, playing vinyl is like eating gourmet, HD downloads and better CDs are like Outback Steakhouse, and mp3s are McDonald's. You might want to hear the music on your vinyl in your car or on a player, but you'd still like to hear it at its best on a turntable.
Is there a difference between DD turntables and belt-driven turntables(foot tapping?)? Is there a difference between DC motors and AC motors? I would suggest you look into these(for yourself) before deciding.
Sunny....sounds like you have little real interest in LP. Here's a thought....get your LP's digitized onto CD's and take the money that's left from the 500 and go to live concerts.
08-22-15: Mmakshak
Is there a difference between DD turntables and belt-driven turntables(foot tapping?)?
Very much so. To quote VPI founder Harry Weisfeld in an Absolute Sound interview:

After studying the operation of belt-drive ’tables for 30+ years and the sound of direct- and rim-drive ’tables it was determined that the only way to get perfect (or as near to perfect as possible) speed accuracy was to go direct-drive. Spending many years listening to Denon DP-80s, JVC TT-101s, Kenwood LO-7s, etc. hardened my viewpoint on this.

No machining accuracy can make up for the fact that in belt-drive you deal with motor-shaft error, motor-pulley error, belt elasticity, and platter and bearing run-out and roundness errors. While on their own they are small, when added together it is impossible to get as accurate a speed as with direct-drive. All these errors compound and produce more errors in the belt motion. The DD is roughly three times lower in speed error than any belt- or rim-drive we have measured, with numbers running around +/-0.008% and noise levels near –100dB.

And Herb Reichert, writing for Stereophile, had this conclusion after listening to the DD Pioneer PLX-1000 vs. the VPI Traveler and decades of experience with belt drive turntables:

Yes, people, the Pioneer PLX-1000 plays music like a high-torque direct-drive record-playing machine. That is why I enjoyed it so much. It gave tangible force and soulful energy to pop, R&B, jazz, and electronica. Belts can't touch the PLX-1000's excitement, naturally formed detail, and clearly expressed forward momentum. And who could have imagined? This new Pioneer also showcases the complex tonal character and elegant structures of classical music better than any affordable belt-drive I've experienced.
This is an interesting thread which reminds me of something that got me thinking about "archiving" LPs (an ad for phono stage with a USB plug is to blame)…I have a bunch of LPs from recent stuff to decades ago (I'm old) and they seem to be self archived. Not a single one has erased itself, become de-laminated (some of my CDs are doing that), or lost their original sound in any meaningful way. Who knew?
Wolf...good storage practices; low humidity, records stacked vertically? Or is it that we worry too much about the longevity of a vinyl record?
My heap of LPs all (or most) have cat scratches on the spines from a house my band lived in for 7 years in the 70s, they were used with a KLH model 20 with a Pickering cartridge (with that little brush…remember those?), and abused by crazed hippy chicks and drunk revelers often (as were we). I had an OK Dual table later that died in the mid 90s and the LPs were stored after that, until about 6 or 7 years ago…now I clean anything I want to listen to with a Spin Clean, separating my LPs into 2 categories: cleaned and not cleaned. Also, all the LPs I've cleaned (including new ones) get a Mofi anti static sleeve. Surprisingly, the KLH didn't hurt these things, and stuff like my original Tull "Stand Up" still sound great.
Getting rid of one's vinyl records is indicative of a serious mental illness. Seek help immediately.
Johnnyb53, while it is good to know what others(especially a turntable manufacturer who makes both) think, I don't think it's that hard to audition for yourself-especially at that price-point, and inherent deficiencies(I should phrase that differently.) due to cost.
Mmakshak, I don't get your point. Is this thread so narrowly focused that the latest conclusions of a long-time turntable designer are irrelevant?

My opinions pretty much match Weisfeld's and I've been enjoying a DD turntable for 8 years, but my experimental experience can't begin to match his.