Project Debut III or Technics 1200 MK5?


About to get my first TT in a long time and am on a tight budget. I have narrowed it down to a brand new Project Debut or a used, though not very muchl, in great condition, Technics 1200 MK5 for a similar price. What would people recommend? I seem to be reading conflicting things. Some people say go for the Project Debut as the it will sound better as the Tecknics is a 'DJ' turntable and not a 'audiophile' turntable. Others say the opposite and say a good Technics 1200 outperforms pretty much any entry level audiophile turntable. The other issue I guess in one is brand new and the other is used.

I'm leaning towards the Technics, I've used them before and like their robustness and the fact you can change speed at a touch of a button
Yeah, I would like a Rega P3 but even second hand they seem to be out of my price range at the moment. The reason Its between the Debut III and Technics MK5 is because a shop is doing £45 of the Debut 3 and have been offered an Technics 1200 MK5 at a similar price (slightly) cheaper then the Debut III. Most people seem to be saying the Technics outperforms the Debut III and with some upgrade in the future I can make even better so think I will go for that.
The Technics is a better table stock, and it has an upgrade path that the Pro-Ject simply does not. As time and budget allows, you can experience dramatic improvements by doing the following:

1. Add a Herbie's Way mat. Makes a very noticeable difference. Around $70.

2. Substitute a Sumiko HS-12 headshell for the stock shell. About $50. Adds mass to the arm, gives you a more stable and adjustable mount for high-quality cartridges.

3. Add the KAB Fluid Damper. Around $100, I think. Or perhaps change out the arm entirely for a Rega, Jelco or...SME 309!!!

4. Swap the feet or put it on an isolation platform.

5. Rewire the stock arm, if you decide to keep it, and it is good enough.

My SL-1200 makes music. It has the Herbie's Way mat, Sumiko headshell, AT disc stabilizer, KAB fluid damper and a Denon DL-103 cartridge.

I highly recommend the Denon DL-103 cartridge if your phono stage can handle it, but if not, get a Denon DL-110 or DL-160. Over the years, I've found those to be the best bang for the buck in terms of performance and synergy.

Good luck!
I pretty much concur with everything E Kobesky recommended. I consider the Sumiko headshell (also available as LPGear and other brands; actually sourced from Jelco) a must. In addition to the improvements he mentioned, the tonearm wrap I mentioned (Teflon pipe thread tape) will kill the midrange glare and give a more linear, relaxed presentation.

The Denon DL-110/160 carts are a nice match, especially when mounted in a Sumiko/LPGear/Jelco headshell to better match compliance to effective mass. Recent reviews indicate that the Orotofon 2M Blue is also a great match at the same price range. I upgraded my DL-160 to an Audio Technica AT150MLX when they were only $50 more than the DL-160. Now the best price I've seen on the 150 is $299 from LPGear, but it IS a significant upgrade in speed, neutrality, transparency, and inner detail.

I also have the KAB fluid damper. They're $150. I also recommend getting a tube of spindle oil and oiling up the spindle. Some probably leaks out during shipping. I found a slight but noticeable improvement in noise floor and speed smoothness when I oiled mine up.

Technics SL12x0 'tables are ridiculously well built for the money compared to the competition. You only need to update the handling of vibration and resonances to get a very nice table in the bargain.
I agree with Ekobesky and Johnnyb53. If you even want to take it one step further you can upgrade the bearing to a nitride silicone ball bearing in a brass housing.