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Pro-Ject Introduces X1 B and X2 B Balanced Turntables

The Pro-Ject X1 B and X2 B Balanced Turntables will be available in September and solve an important issue for some.

Pro-Ject X2 B Turntable Walnut

Pro-Ject Audio Systems have announced the Pro-Ject X1 B and Pro-Ject X2 B Balanced Turntables which will be available for purchase in North America in September 2022; both tables are designed to work with the recently released Phono Box DS3B and Phono Box S3B Phono Pre-amplifiers.

Does balanced really make a difference?

My experience suggests that it does if you have to contend with certain noise issues.

Almost 22 years ago, I invested in a very expensive turntable and felt that I had reached vinyl nirvana. I paid a professional $200 to properly install the cartridge, setup the table which had a finicky suspension system, and help me mount the turntable shelf to the wall.

My building at the time was a pre-war in downtown Toronto that needed an upgrade on the electrical front. Noisy to say the least. 

No matter what I tried, my turntable setup always sounded noisy; ground loop issues, constant hiss, and it became a a source of depression (first world problems). Why bother spending almost $8,000 on such a system if it sounded terrible. 

A local dealer suggested that I have my arm and table modified so that I could run a fully balanced rig; which also included upgrading to a balanced phono stage. I sold a few other items to facilitate the changes. 

Extreme? Perhaps. 

But when I listened to the same records that mattered to me — I was stunned by the differences in clarity, noise floor, and overall dynamics of the sound. 

Does a balanced setup always sound better? Not necessarily and I’m not convinced that every manufacturer who markets “balanced” is really offering that.

I have faith that the two new Pro-Ject turntables will deliver what they are advertising.

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Pro-Ject X1 B Turntable Black
Pro-Ject X1 B
Pro-Ject X2 B Turntable Black
Pro-Ject X2 B

Handmade in Europe, the Pro-Ject X1 B and X2 B are designed to deliver the best possible performance for under $1,700 USD; the new lineup of truly balanced connection products are the brand’s first turntables with dedicated, fully balanced mini XLR outputs.

This connection optimizes the performance of moving coil cartridges when used with a compatible phono preamplifier. A Sumiko Rainier Moving Magnet cartridge ($149 value) is factory installed for immediate use through the turntables’ RCA unbalanced outputs.

Can a balanced version of the Pro-Ject Debut PRO be far behind? I was very impressed with the new turntable and my review makes it rather clear that this is the table to consider right now if your budget ceiling is $1,000 USD.

Pro-Ject X2 B Turntable White with Rainier
Pro-Ject X2 B

Key Features

  • New True Balanced Connection by Pro-Ject 
  • New RCA phono & 5-pin mini XLR output 
  • New Phono box S3 B & DS3 B 
  • Pre-adjusted Sumiko Rainier MM Phono Cartridge 
  • Electronic speed control with 33/45 rpm speed change 
  • New dedicated mini-XLR output jack 
  • 9“ carbon/aluminum tonearm 

Pro-Ject is also releasing complementary Connect it True Balance phono cables to support the range. The E, S, DS, and RS lines will be released to maximize your connection from the Pro-Ject turntable to the Phono Box of choice. 

Price & Availability

Both turntables will be available via authorized Pro-Ject dealers in September 2022 for $1,299 (X1B) and $1,699 (X2B) USD. Both models are available in black, white or walnut finishes.

For more information:

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  1. ORT

    August 19, 2022 at 6:06 pm

    I finally went to minor pain the bum that is going the “balanced” route with a couple of my headphones. Along with buy the necessary (“Of course it’s nessa!”) cables for two of my Sennheisers and I even bought a Schiit Magnius just because.

    I heard NO sonce difference. But,’tis time for the bug BUTT.

    The headphones look cooler with those foo-foo-bootique cabes! I will be chucking my Magnius as it is no better than the other headphones amps, including a THX smurtified one with a balanced ‘phone jack that I already owned.

    Either my son or my older brother are welcome to Magnius. If they turn me down then I’ll likely grab Mjöllnir and hammer it to pieces. Or keep it. Once I smash something, that is it. I can not un-smash.

    My Emotiva XDA-2 works fine via the SE outs. As does the THX amp I got from Drop. And…So does the Mew-Mew from Schiit. I gave my son my Valhalla 2(?) because I like it but not enough to keep it and so he took it because I would have just crushed it with ease. I have never heard a difference between tube a solid state but I like the looks of tubes so bought the Valhalla 2(?) and used it for years, often in the dark to highlight the light!

    I am becoming grumpier in my dotage. Too bad I am not becoming wiser! Then I would not listen to rhapsodic (albeit,well meaning!) tomes on the sonic benefit of balanced in/out puts. Yes. Even with the Magnius I did not hear a Schiit of a difference.

    The Magnius looks “okay” but “okay” ain’t enough.


  2. ORT

    August 19, 2022 at 6:08 pm

    Dammnit! I am fast slipping into dotage. Sorry for the numberous fuqueups, folks. I would blame it on not having opposable thumbs…

    La ORT que es una estupidez.


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