Pro-Ject X1B

True Balanced Turntable w/ Balanced Output, Electronic Speed Control, Sumiko Rainier MM Cartridge, and Carbon/Aluminum Tonearm

Item #PRO:X1B

Pro-Ject X1B

True Balanced Turntable w/ Balanced Output, Electronic Speed Control, Sumiko Rainier MM Cartridge, and Carbon/Aluminum Tonearm

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Astonishing sound at an accessible price point: That's exactly what you get with the Pro-Ject X1 B turntable. This elegant spinner illustrates how the proper execution of basic principles in turntable design can result in audiophile-caliber sonics at an affordable price. It offers height-adjustable TPE-damped aluminum feet, a massive plinth made of top-quality MDF, a solid acrylic record platter, and a one-piece, carbon-wrapped, aluminum tonearm tube.

High Notes

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High Performance Tonearm

The one-piece aluminum and carbon fiber wrapped arm is top class on the X1B. With upgraded bearings and adjustable azimuth and VTA, it will work well with a variety of phono cartridges.

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Massive Build

The X1B starts with a heavy piece of high-end MDF, with a substantial motor mount, capped off with a massive acrylic platter. It is extremely immune to external vibrations.

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Balanced Option Value

Should you want to go to the next level with a balanced feed for an upgraded moving coil cartridge, the X1B has you covered. It is the least expensive table we know of to offer this great future upgrade option.

Company & Product Overview

This article is on a new turntable from Pro-Ject, the X1B True Balanced Turntable. The X1 has been around for a few years and has been updated to the X1B version, which offers balanced connections.

When Heinz Lichtenegger founded Pro-Ject Audio Systems in the 1990’sm vinyl sales were at an all time low. He must have had a crystal ball as they have been breaking records every year for the past several years. His vision was to produce turntables and electronics that almost anyone could afford, that offered great performance for their cost. Pro-Ject is now the world’s largest producer of turntables with several factories across Europe.

Is the Vinyl Revival Real? Yes, And Here’s Why

Their first turntable was called the Debut, as it was their debut into turntables. This series of turntables has been one of our most popular ones at Audio Advice. But for those of you wanting a higher level of performance, that is where the X models come into play.

These are similar in design to their famous Debut turntables but take things to the next level in just about every aspect.

Pro-Ject X1B in Black - Front View

Design & Build Quality

Like all Pro-Ject turntables, the X1B is a manual, belt drive turntable. This means you need to flip a switch to start things up, move the tonearm over the record, lower the cue lever, then raise the cue lever when the record ends. This is how almost 95% of turntables made today are designed as there is no need to put a bunch of gears and parts under the tonearm which could reduce the performance.

Manual vs. Automatic Turntables: What Are The Differences?

You’ll be able to pick from gloss black, gloss white, or walnut for your finish on the X1B.

While the X1B sells for about double the price of the latest Pro-Ject Debut EVO, it is far from Pro-Ject’s most expensive turntable as they make some that reach into the $10,000 price range. But what is great about Pro-Ject is all of these are made in the same European factories to the same very high standards. Everything about the fit and finish on the X1B is just first class.

Pro-Ject X1B turntable being adjusted by a blonde worman

Features & Technology

Unlike a lot of tables where you need to change the belt to flip from 33 to 45, the X1B has an upgraded electronic speed control where you can change it at the push of a button. You can even change the belt to a different one if you want to play a 78.

Let’s take a look at all the great tech you’ll find on the Pro-Ject X1B starting from the bottom and working our way up.

Adjustable TPE-Damped Isolation Feet

The three feet that support the plinth are made from a combination of a thermoplastic elastomer and aluminum. These are also adjustable in height so you can get the X1B perfectly level. This elastomer or TPE for short does a really good job at damping out resonances. The fact they use three makes it much easier to get things leveled up.

Thick CNC-Machined Plinth of Top-Quality MDF

The plinth itself is a very heavy CNC machined piece of top quality MDF that gets finished with either eight layers of paint or a real wood veneer. This is one part that attributes to the almost 16 pound weight of the X1B.

Electronic Speed Changer & Stabilizer

The electronic speed control uses a precision crystal to generate the signal that goes to the motor. This means you will get great speed consistency giving the X1B an excellent sense of rhythm and pacing, a feature we always listen for on better turntables.

The models below the X1B, like the EVO and Pro-Ject Pro, both use the same motor, but the X1B gets a higher and larger motor that runs even more consistently. It is mounted in a large metal enclosure which prevents any electrical noise from making its way out. TPE grommets are used to mount it to the plinth and a round piece of TPE sits under it on the front and back to further isolate it. All motors make some form of vibration and this innovative isolation system will minimize any vibrations making their way to the platter.

Massive Acrylic Record Platter

The subplatter and main bearing are also a jump up from the other tables in the X1B. First, the subplatter is machined to tolerances of .001mm. That is super precise! They then use a stainless steel platter bearing with a bronze bushing and what they call teflon mirrors to reduce rumble and noise to the lowest level possible.

This great subplatter and bearing assembly supports their classic acrylic main platter. This is the same material they use for other platters but the X1B gets a big jump in thickness and mass. The platter is 20mm thick and weighs in at 3.3 pounds. The heavy platter will give you great rotational stability.

Pro-Ject X1B Turntable Tonearm

8.6″ Carbon-wrapped Aluminum Tonearm with Adjustable Arm Height (VTA)

The 8.6” tonearm on the X1B is also pretty special. It takes what they did for the less expensive Pro-Ject Pro and goes even further. We can’t say enough about how important the tonearm is. It has what might seem like a simple job of holding the phono cartridge above the record while it traces the microscopic grooves. It has to do this with minimal friction and resonances. This is why at the top end of tonearms, you can find some that cost more than a performance car!

With their own in-house CNC machines, the Pro-Ject engineers can make anything they want to very tight tolerances. The bearing housing begins as a single block of aluminum and is machined to extreme tolerances. It houses a Karden ultra low friction 4 pin point bearing that is far superior to the one used in the Pro model.

The tonearm itself is a one piece sandwich construction with an aluminum arm tube wrapped in carbon fiber for strength. The counterweight also uses TPE damping in their quest for zero resonances. And we like the fact you can not only adjust vertical tracking height but azimuth as well.

Speaking of adjustments, getting your turntable set up properly can make a world of difference in its performance. If your turntable came premounted with a cartridge, you do not have to worry much about anything other than simple set up, but if you start to venture into the world of buying the turntable and cartridge separately, getting the set up done right is critical. When you purchase your turntable and cartridge from Audio Advice, it will go into our setup lab where we use the latest testing equipment to make sure it arrives to you perfectly set up. All you will have to do are some basic things to be up and running.

You Got Your First Turntable… Now What?

Mini XLR Balanced Phono Output

Finally, and this is really one pretty big deal about the X1B, it has two types of output connections on the rear. One is the standard very nice RCA jacks, but the other is a mini XLR connector.

This connector lets you connect your X1B up in a balanced audio configuration. Balanced audio connections are the standard for recording studios, professional musicians, and live performances. The big advantage is that a balanced system cancels out any noise the cable may pick up. And in this day and age of wireless with all kinds of devices in our homes, noise is everywhere.

Reducing noise is actually the most important thing you can do for a phono signal as it is about 1,000 times less in level than that of say a CD player. When we first saw Pro-Ject was going to offer balanced on their turntables, we were so happy to see this as previously it had only been available on some of the most expensive turntables in the world.

The way balanced works is pretty simple. There are double the number of conductors for a signal feed. One side of the feed gets inverted so it's essentially out of phase with the other. At the receiving end, the inverted feed goes back to normal and the two feeds are then combined. This means anything other than the original signal disappears when the feeds are combined. Plus you get more output this way. It's why musicians love balanced cables as you can run them great distances without picking up noise.

The receiving end of this signal will need to be a phono preamp that can accept a balanced feed. Up until now, this was also a pretty high price barrier, but Pro-Ject has released several great value balanced phono preamps to use with their new balanced turntables.

Sumiko Rainier MM Phono Cartridge

The last fact to bear in mind for this great system to work with a turntable is you must use a moving coil cartridge. They are naturally balanced whereas a moving magnet is not.

This is why we were a little puzzled to see Pro-Ject offering the new X1B turntable with their very good Sumiko Rainier moving magnet cartridge. Granted, this is one heck of a great moving magnet. Sumiko spent years developing these in conjunction with some engineers in Yokohama, Japan. All of the models have the same body so you can even upgrade to better sound when you replace the stylus if you want, but it is a moving magnet.

They did present us with a pretty good explanation. The original X1, which the X1B replaced, was not balanced and was only $100 less than the new X1B. The X1B turntable on its own for its price with the Rainier is just a super good sounding turntable. Had they packaged it with a moving coil, the balanced cable, and the necessary balanced phono preamp, it would have been a lot more expensive and out of range of many people who would appreciate the X1B even without going balanced.

But, we have to tell you, after playing around with one of these and comparing balanced to regular RCA, the difference is amazing and we would like to see all better turntables offer this option.

Pro-Ject X1B Turntable in black


We set up the X1B with the low output moving coil from Sumiko called the Blue Point Special EVO III low output moving coil cartridge. We used their new Phono Box S3 B True Balanced Phono Stage which is their entry level at $499 balanced phono preamp.

The first cut we tried was “The Boxer” from Simon and Garfunkel. Playing the system using the RCA connections sounded fantastic and it really let you hear how great the X1B does with rhythm and pacing along with tracking. It also told us this upgraded tonearm is fully capable of supporting any serious moving coil cartridge with its outstanding bearings and anti resonant characteristics. This is a great turntable even without the balanced option.

But, when we disconnected the RCA cables, inserted the balanced cable and then used balanced outs to go into the Mark Levinson integrated driving the speakers, it was like a big veil was lifted off of the sound. Things got more effortless with tiny details emerging from what was a completely silent background. It was not subtle.

We then tried the classic “Come Away with Me” by Nora Jones and had the exact same experience. The X1B in RCA mode sounded great, but switching to running things balanced just made a huge improvement.

Black and white photo of vinyl being put on a Pro-Ject X1B Turntable

Overall Recommendation

The new Pro-Ject X1B turntable on its own is an excellent performer. For only $300 more than the Debut Pro turntable, it has a lot of technology that will extract more information from your vinyl and spin the platter at an even more consistent speed. You could buy the X1B as is and be happy with it for decades. But, if you want to delve into the world of moving coil cartridges and their far better sound, you have a turntable that will do them justice and at the same time allow you to go balanced. You would need to buy a moving coil phono preamp anyway if you went this route, so why not get one of the excellent new Pro-Ject models that offer balanced connections along with great sound.

The X1B will give you outstanding audio now, but open up a whole host of potential upgrades down the road. And let us tell you, this balanced thing with moving coil cartridges is a big deal and a great leap forward.

We’re here to help!

Audio Advice has been in the industry since 1978, and throughout the years, we’ve developed a team of professionals who live and breathe all things audio and video. We spend countless hours testing and reviewing every product we sell to be sure it stands up to our extremely high-quality standards. With our state-of-the-art testing labs, we can become product experts and provide our customers with in-depth, honest feedback.

When you buy from Audio Advice, you’re buying from a trusted seller since 1978. We offer Free Shipping, Free Returns, Lifetime Expert Support, and our Price Guarantee. We look forward to serving you!

Details & Specs

X1 B - Ready for the next step

Turntables look back on a long history. As technology continues to progress, many things have changed, not only from the technical possibilities but also from the environment. Wireless networks are omni present and countless electronic devices make your home "smarter". This means there are now a lot of additional electromagnetic fields, which could interfere with your turntable's signal. This was simply not the case 30 years ago. To ensure the best connection to your phono preamplifier, Pro-Ject designed their "True Balanced Connection“ product range.

Why True Balanced?

Balanced audio connections are usually known from the professional sector like recording studios or live concerts. It is very important to have a stable and interference free connection as these signals, especially microphone signals, will be highly amplified. The same applies to the connection from your turntable to the phono preamplifier. The big advantage of a balanced connection is its ability to remove picked up noise and interferences.

Balanced connections use three wires for one channel: ground, a hot and a cold wire. The cold wire carries the inverted (reversed in polarity) hot signal. At the receiving end, the cold signal is flipped and added together. The trick happens here: If the cable picks up any noise, the noise is added to both signals. So, a positive interference is a positive tick on the hot and on the cold signal. If you now flip one of them, the interference is also inverted, so you get the same interference once in a positive and once in a negative direction. If you now add these two signals, the noise will cancel out.

The X1 B is Pro-Ject's first turntable with a fully balanced mini XLR output, which offers you a symmetrical connection to the new Phono Box S3 B or Phono Box DS3 B.

Important: To use the True balanced connection to your phono preamp, your X1 B needs to be upgraded with an MC cartridge.

High-end tonearm and cartridge

The X1 B uses an 8.6" carbon/aluminum tonearm. The carbon layer gives the tonearm a high degree of rigidity, while the inner aluminum tube takes over the damping of the tonearm. The ultra-low friction 4-pin point tonearm bearing guarantees precise, stable, and accurate tracking. The one-piece design avoids vibrations caused by detachable headshells.

The higher mass makes the tonearm an excellent fit for low and moderate compliance MC cartridges. The TPE damped counterweight reduces arm-cartridge resonances by as much as 50%.

The X1 B is packaged to suit anyone who cares about how their vinyl sounds. Therefore, it comes with a high-quality pre-adjusted Sumiko Rainier MM cartridge.

The full aluminum tonearm base offers you real audiophile features. It allows you to adjust both the azimuth and the vertical tracking angle (VTA).

The tonearm height can be continuously adjusted by loosening the two grub screws. These settings give you the option of adapting the tonearm to height changes, allowing the use of different turntable mats or other cartridges to always achieve the best sound quality.

Setting and experimenting with the VTA and Azimuth is crucial in extracting every last bit of performance out of your cartridges.

Mini XLR and RCA output

The X1 B comes with the high-quality Connect-It E cable. It is a semi-balanced, low-capacitance cable, with superior shielding.

In order to be able to use the advantages of the balanced signal transmission, you need one of Pro-ject's new balanced phono cables. They offer a wide range of balanced phono cables with different connectors to fit all our phono preamps. If you want to use your X1 B with a Phono Box S3 B you need a "Connect-It Phono Mini XLR / Mini XLR".

Important: To use the True balanced connection to your phono preamp, your X1 B needs to be upgraded with an MC cartridge. You can find more details on our website or ask your Pro-Ject dealer for information.

Quiet and stable speed

The motor of the X1 B by itself is already very quiet. To get the best performance out of it, Pro-Ject designed a motor suspension that goes hand in hand. It allows the motor to run stable and free from outside influences. Remaining vibrations are damped and eliminated, so they are not transmitted onto the chassis, platter, and cartridge.

The X1 B‘s motor chassis is carefully balanced and suspended on a precision tuned TPE belt; this way the motor chassis is effectively decoupled from the main plinth for optimal performance. It is free floating, horizontally completely level, and able to operate at the highest performance levels.

The playback speeds are electronically controlled with a sophisticated DC/AC generator, which guarantees the most accurate and stable music reproduction. Change between speeds easily with just a press of a button.

Using the flat belt, you can switch between 33 and 45 RPM. If you mount the supplied round belt, you are able to switch between 45 and 78 RPM. Just swap the cartridge for a shellac capable one and enjoy your old records.

Perfect stand and beautiful finish

The X1 B has all the high-end features of modern turntable designs to maximize the music and listening experience. Due to the high mass, the X1 B allows the vinyl reproduction to become more detailed. The new X1 B stands on height adjustable damped aluminum feet to guarantee the perfect stand.

The X1 B's MDF plinth is covered with 8 layers of paint and polished by hand to receive this beautiful finish. It is available in four different finishes; a premium walnut wood veneer, and black or white 8-layer high gloss paint.

The new X1 B is handmade in Europe with only premium materials to fulfill Pro-Ject's high-quality standards.

  • NEW "True Balanced Connection" by Pro-Ject
  • NEW RCA phono and 5-pin mini XLR output
  • NEW Phono Box S3 B and DS3 B - a perfect balanced match!
  • Pre-adjusted Sumiko Rainier cartridge
  • Speed control with electronic speed switch
  • Carefully isolated motor for less vibration and noise
  • Sub-platter with low 0.001mm bearing tolerances
  • Stainless steel platter-bearing with soft bronze bushing and Teflon mirrors for lowest rumble and noise
  • 8.6” one-piece carbon/aluminum tonearm tube
  • TPE damped counterweight
  • Kardan ultra-low friction 4 pin point tonearm bearing
  • Resonance free, 1.5 kg heavy acrylic platter
  • Massive and heavy, precision CNC‘d MDF chassis
  • Luxury 8 layers of painting or real-wood veneer
  • Shielded, semi-symmetrical, low-capacitance cables
  • Height adjustable, aluminum feet
  • Handmade in Europe
Model X1 B
Speed 33, 45,78 (electronic speed change)
Principle Belt drive
Speed variance 33: 0.30%
45: 0.25%
Wow and flutter 33: 0.15%
45: 0.13%
Platter 20mm thick, 1.5 kg heavy acryl
Main bearing Stainless steel/brass
Tonearm 8.6” carbon/aluminum sandwich
Effective arm length 218.5 mm
Overhang 18 mm
Effective tonearm mass 10g
Tracking force range 0 - 30mN
Included accessories 15volts DC /0.8A power supply
Dust cover
Connect-It E Phono cable
Felt Mat
Power consumption 5.0 watts max
less than 0.3 watt standby
Dimensions 415 x 125 x 335 mm (WxHxD)
Weight 7 kg net
9.5 kg gross weight
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