Pro-Ject wants to make the sonic advantages of balanced signal transmission more widely used as this technology is somewhat rarely found in the phono section.
The new Pro-Ject X8 is said to come at a moderate price while still combining the advantages of subchassis- and mass-load-drive-concepts. The platter weighs 5.1 kg and is additionally damped as well as precision-machined from a single piece of aluminum to ensure high running smoothness.
According to the manufacturer, the platter bearing combines precise guidance on a ceramic bearing ball and ceramic tipped bearing with magnetic support. The high-quality Pro-Ject 9cc Evolution tonearm on it features a carbon fiber rod and headshell. Instead of magnetic feet, TPE dampers are said to guarantee optimal decoupling from the base. The 5-pin connector jack is ready for fully balanced output using a separately available XLR cable. With its "True Balanced Connection", the Pro-Ject X8 is said to become the perfect partner for phono stages with fully balanced inputs, such as the also new Phono Box DS3 B from Pro-Ject.
New Phono Box from Pro-Ject
Pro-Ject's new Phono Box features a dual-mono design with balanced XLR outputs, and is thus a fully balanced phono preamp. The front panel offers extensive adjustment options for different pickups. Two turntables – or cartridges – can be connected simultaneously and adjusted with gain factors between +40dB and +65dB.
In addition, the DS series phono box from Pro-Ject is said to offer features that are rare even in more expensive devices: inputs and outputs are equipped with balanced XLR jacks, and the input impedance comes with a stepless adjustment. It has a discrete design and does not require any operational amplifiers. The cabinet is a steel chassis with aluminum panels, which aim to suppress interference. Magnetically adherent wooden side panels are available separately.
The new Pro-Ject X8, Phono Box S3 B and Phono Box DS3 B are available immediately*. The Pro-Ject X8 drive costs just under €2,000*, in a bundle with the Ortofon MC Quintet Blue €2,230* (available in high gloss white, high gloss black or real wood walnut). The two phono boxes are priced at €400* (Pro-Ject Phono Box S3 B in black or silver) and €600* (in black or silver, side panels sold separately), respectively.
*Availability, offers and prices for Germany.