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Pro-Ject launches X2 B turntable with balanced XLR outputs

Pro-Ject X2 B turntable
(Image credit: Pro-ject)

Pro-Ject has launched a new record player in its True Balanced Connection range, the X2 B turntable. It features a moving coil cartridge and, unusually for domestic hi-fi kit, a balanced XLR output.

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.

Pro-Ject X2 B

(Image credit: Future)

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 X2 B

(Image credit: Pro-Ject)

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)

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Mary is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi? and has over a decade of experience working as a sound engineer mixing live events, music and theatre. Her mixing credits include productions at The National Theatre and in the West End, as well as original musicals composed by Mark Knopfler, Tori Amos, Guy Chambers, Howard Goodall and Dan Gillespie Sells.