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Pro-Ject X1 B: A sleek and sophisticated turntable

PRO-JECT X1 B
PRO-JECT X1 B

The Pro-Ject X1 B is a top-tier record player that offers exceptional performance and is packed with advanced technological features. One standout feature is its fully balanced signal path – True Balanced – which allows for optimal performance with a high-quality Moving Coil pickup (MC) when paired with a compatible balanced RIAA amplifier (sold separately).

While the X1 B comes equipped with a premium Ortofon MM pickup out of the box, it is fully prepared for an upgrade to a balanced MC setup, such as Ortofon’s Quintet series. Even if you initially opt not to invest in a balanced Phono Box RIAA, you won’t be overspending on unnecessary features. The transition to a balanced setup simply requires the addition of XLR connectors and extra cable.

Design

The X1 B boasts a sleek and sophisticated design that can seamlessly blend into any interior decor. Whether you prioritize sound quality or aesthetics, the X1 B is a fantastic choice.

PRO-JECT X1 B
PRO-JECT X1 B

The plinth is meticulously finished with eight layers of lacquer for a luxurious appearance. Additionally, you have the option to select a stunning real walnut veneer finish. Convenience is also a priority, as the X1 B offers electronic speed switching between 33/45 rpm, eliminating the need for manual belt adjustments.

The X1 B comes equipped with the Ortofon Pick it S2 MM pickup, specially developed and manufactured by the legendary Ortofon for Pro-Ject. When the needle wears out, you have the option to purchase a new needle insert separately, such as the Ortofon 2M Blue, which not only saves you money and trouble but may also enhance the sound quality. Additionally, the X1 B offers numerous options for fine-tuning, allowing you to optimize it for most pickups available in the market.

While the supplied RCA signal cable is of high quality, you have the flexibility to upgrade to an even better type if desired. If you decide to install an MC pickup in the future and want to fully utilize the balanced signal path, you can opt for a balanced phono cable, which is available as an optional accessory and works seamlessly with Pro-Ject’s matching RIAA amplifiers.

The X1 B is available in either a lacquered finish or real walnut veneer. It comes with a dust cover, Ortofon Pick it S2 MM pickup, felt mat, and RCA signal cable included.

The balanced design of the X1 B is specifically created for moving coil (MC) pickups. By implementing a balanced signal path, all radiated noise can be minimized to an absolute minimum, as MC pickups are naturally balanced. The ultra-weak signal from an MC pickup is highly susceptible to noise, making the addition of extra measures crucial. However, it’s important to note that a balanced setup requires twice as many components in the signal path of the RIAA amplifier. As a result, it is typically found in high-end hi-fi equipment and professional gear, where functionality takes precedence over price.

The plinth on the X1 B is made of heavy and resonance-damping MDF, which provides a stable base for the other components. The very quiet motor is connected to the chassis by a precision-tuned TPE belt, and the speed is controlled electronically via a built-in DC/AC generator, which provides superbly clean and stable power to the motor.

The solid acrylic plate board helps to stifle resonances and vibrations while still looking good. The strong aluminum feet insulate against vibrations from the ground, and they can be adjusted in height, so you can easily get your X1 B perfectly level.

The tone arm is an exclusive and resonance dead sandwich construction of carbon fiber and aluminum with pickup housing and arm tube built into one. The base is in aluminum for maximum stability, and you can adjust both the azimuth and vertical tracking angle, so that the needle makes perfect contact with the plate groove.

EXPERT ASSESSMENT

BENEFITS

  • Prepared for fully balanced signal path using Moving Coil pickup and matching RIAA amplifier (optional)
  • Ready to use with factory-fitted Ortofon Pick it S2 MM pickup
  • Exclusive finish in 8 layers of lacquer or real wood veneer
  • Resonance dead record plate in acrylic
  • 8.6″ carbon fiber/aluminium tone arm
  • Electronic switching 33/45 rpm
  • Adjustable aluminum feet
  • Dust cover and high-quality RCA cable included
  • Replacement needle for the included pickup can be purchased separately
  • Hand built in Europe

LIMITATIONS

  • Balanced build-up requires MC pickup, balanced cable and balanced RIAA amplifier for full benefit
  • Non replaceable pickup housing
  • No built-in RIAA amplifier

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