Turntable Pro-Ject X2-B: Pioneer in terms of balancing

Heinz Lichtenegger, head of the analog world power Pro-Ject, shared one of his favorite concepts with the audience at HIGH END 2022: balancing the phono transmission is a very simple step towards much superior sound reproduction.

Turntable Pro-Ject X2-B: Pioneer in terms of balancing

Photo Credits: ProjectAudio/Promo

He is, of course, correct. The issue is that the symmetrical transmission only works if an MC system is coupled to the tonearm. These generators emit a symmetrical signal by default.

Furthermore, MC cartridges are typically substantially more expensive than MM cartridges. So Lichtenegger promised a variety of low-cost turntables with MC, beginning with the Pro-Ject X2-B for 1,500 dollars, swiftly followed by the X1-B for 1,000 dollars.

The name of this new Pro-Ject series is "True Balanced Connection," and it includes these symmetrical connection possibilities as a basic differentiator from most other turntables on the market. However, for both newbies, there is a variation without an XLR output. The "B" for balanced is then missing from the name.

What are the benefits of this technique, which is commonly employed in the studio? Each channel of a balanced cable has three conductors: ground, plus, and minus. At the end of the connection, the polarity of the negative conductor is inverted and rotated by 180°.

Interference signals picked up by one or both conductors along the long cable route are thus mutually removed. Opening up this technology, which has been borrowed from the high-end or professional sector to lesser budgets is thus a very excellent concept.

While we're on the subject of constraints, the phono stage must also be capable of processing symmetrically provided signals. And it gets considerably narrower in the entry-level segment: Pro-Ject is also making strides in this area, with inexpensive (symmetrical) phono stages starting at 400 dollars.

Many components will be familiar to anyone who is familiar with the Pro-Ject modular system: Among other things, the 9-inch carbon/aluminum tonearm, which, with its low-friction 4-point tonearm bearing, is very similar to our own 9cc.

The tonearm on the X2-B, on the other hand, is made of composite material and cannot be unscrewed. Nonetheless, you may set the azimuth as well as the vertical toe angle (VTA) on it. You may also alter the tonearm height by freeing the two grub screws. Furthermore, because of its increased mass, this tonearm is suitable for MC pickups. As a result, the B version comes with a pre-adjusted Ortofon Quintet Red pickup.

The Pro-Ject X2's sturdy chassis is made of MDF, the surface of which is available in matt black, matt white, piano black, or walnut veneer. 

The cross-section reveals the X2-B's highly intricate structure. The speed can be set electrically between 33 and 45 rpm, with the belt manually moving to 78 rpm. However, because the headshell cannot be removed, this is most likely a very rarely used option.

The X2 B's engine is believed to be quite quiet in and of itself. However, Pro-Ject has also created an engine mount that keeps the engine free of external resonance. Vibrations are not conveyed to the chassis, turntable, or cartridge in this manner...

Because Pro-Ject employs its tried-and-true modular approach here, the X2-B is expected to offer a good price/performance ratio. Above all, the capacity for symmetry could be the deciding factor in sound when compared to competitors in similar price ranges.

The Pro-Ject X2 B is now available from authorized dealers. 

Post by Bryan C.