The X2 B joins a suite of products from Pro-Ject that are capable of forming completely balanced systems. Alongside standard phono RCA outputs, it sports a five-pin mini-XLR, which can also be found on the previously launched Pro-Ject X8 turntable and the S3 B and DS3 B phono boxes.
Available in four finishes: walnut wood veneer, black gloss paint and black or white satin paint, the X2 B is supported by a large, rectangular CNC-machined MDF chassis, sat upon three vibration-absorbing feet to reduce unwanted resonances.
Inside, it houses a DC/AC generator board, which combines with the speed control board for automatic switching between 33 and 45 RPM and additional 78 RPM support. The motor itself is balanced and suspended on a precision-tuned TPE belt to decouple it from the main plinth and drives a heavy, non-resonant Acryl platter via a sub-platter drive system.
An Ortofon Quintet Red moving coil cartridge comes pre-installed, while the nine-inch tonearm is made from a carbon-aluminium sandwich with an integrated headshell and a TPE-damped counterweight. Designed to be light and stiff, Pro-Ject says that it has improved resistance to external interference and can also be fine-tuned for azimuth and VTA settings.
We asked Pro-Ject about the decision to upgrade to balanced XLR outputs – standard in pro audio but less so in the domestic turntable world – when we had an advanced look at the X2-B and its sibling, the X1-B, at the High End Munich show earlier this year.
Pro-Ject says the connection does a better job than an RCA cable at removing the noise or "electrosmog" that wireless networks and electronic devices create. This noise can be easily picked up and amplified when using a standard phono cable where a single wire carries the audio signal. Whereas in a balanced connection, the signal travels down two cores, one of which is inverted, and, when recombined, cancels out unwanted interference for an improved signal-to-noise ratio.
The result? Pro-Ject describes the X2 B as "a musical turntable that delivers deep, detailed lows, crisp high frequencies and an engaging well-presented midrange."
The Pro-Ject X2 B turntable will be available in the UK this month priced at £1,399 (around $1705, AU$2460)