The Pro-Ject X1B and X2B turntables follow the company’s true balanced concept from cartridge to phono output.
In the balanced version, the weak and, therefore, easily vulnerable signal from the phono cartridge is much better protected from any interference. Therefore, the Pro-Ject true balanced product family uses a special mini XLR connector (in addition to the usual RCA connectors – they are also provided). This symmetrical connection allows the use of fully balanced phono stages, such as the brand new true balanced Phono Box S3 B or Phono Box DS3 B.
The Pro-Ject X1B and X2B turntables are similar in appearance, although the first one is one and a half times cheaper than the second.
It’s all about the tonearms and the cartridges pre-installed on them. The X1B cartridge is Ortofon Pick it S2 MM. X2B has a more advanced Ortofon Quintet Red. Both are made in a balanced ideology.
Accordingly, the tonearms are different – the X1B is 8.6, and the X2B is a 9-inch carbon-aluminum “arm” with improved internal damping, equipped with a 4-point bearing gimbal with ultra-low friction, full azimuth and VTA adjustment is available. Both tonearms received dampened TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) counterweights.
Acrylic disk X1B weighs one and a half, X2B – two kilograms. In the first case, its stainless steel axle rotates in a brass, in the second – in a bronze bearing, both use Teflon inserts.
Otherwise, both new items are similar to each other. Speeds of 33 and 1/3 and 45 rpm are switched and controlled electronically. Power is traditional for Pro-Ject, from an external source of 15 V. The drive is a classic belt, coming from an engine carefully vibration-insulated with the same thermoplastic elastomer.
All this is housed in a massive CNC-milled MDF chassis. Surfaces – natural veneer or varnish in 8 layers. The enclosures rest on height-adjustable aluminum legs. Both kits use low capacitance shielded semi-balanced cables. According to Pro-Ject, the X1B and X2B turntables are handmade in Europe.