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Pro-Ject announces ‘true-balanced’ X8 turntable

  • New from Pro-Ject Audio Systems: the X8 mass-loaded belt-drive turntable. X? It’s short for Xtension. The X8 lands below Xtensions 9 and 10 in Pro-Ject’s higher-end turntable line-up. Mass-loaded? This is a 15kg deck with over a third of its weight attributable to the 5.1kg platter, which Pro-Ject points out is cut from a single block of aluminium, damped with TPE and balanced by a neodymium magnet. That platter is mounted to a ceramic-tipped inverted bearing that is mounted to a plinth made from MDF. The feet fitted to the underside of the plinth are height-adjustable.

    The X8’s tonearm is Pro-Ject’s carbon 9cc Evolution which optionally comes factory fitted with a moving coil Ortofon Quintet Blue for an RRP of €2299. Bring your own cartridge and you pay €1999. The package is rounded out by an electronic speed control module and dust cover.

    That’s the news but what’s the story?

    Pro-Ject is hanging its X8 hat on “true-balanced” connectivity, all the way from the cartridge to the phono stage. According to Pro-Ject, any pre-mounted moving coil cartridge – including the factory-fitted Ortofon – will dispatch a balanced signal via the Austrian company’s 5-pin output jack when adapted to XLR with a 5P/XLR cable (sold separately). In the box, we get a semi-balanced Connect-it E 5P/RCA fly-lead.

    A balanced output then readies the X8 to be connected to a balanced-input-loaded phono stage – like Pro-Ject’s DS3 and S3 – for “increased dynamics, lower noise, and improved signal-to-noise ratio” (according to the press release).

    The X8 is handmade in Europe and is available in walnut, high-gloss piano black or high-gloss white.

    Further information: Pro-Ject Audio Systems

    Written by John Darko

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts and pens written pieces for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

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