The X8 is a mass-loaded high-end turntable with features more commonly found at premium price points. From its over-sized, heavyweight wooden plinth, through to the precision-lathed, TPE-damped aluminium main platter, and on to the 9” Evolution tonearm finished with a Quintet Blue, it is a complete turntable solution for high-end audio systems in one box.
The X8 draws inspiration from other high-end turntables in the Pro-Ject range. The thick, heavy MDF chassis is expertly shaped and finished to provide both a stylish aesthetic and a sturdy platform from which the key performance parts of the turntable can do their work.
The main platter is precision-cut from a single piece of aluminium and lined with a ring of rubber TPE damping to produce a heavy non-resonant base that contributes to highly accurate speed stability with very little fluctuation. The platter is mounted on an inverted ceramic-tipped main bearing, bolstered with magnetic support, for fluid rotation without resistance.
The platter is driven by a perimeter drive belt, connected to a low-noise AC motor. The motor is controlled by an AC generator with adjustable speed control for convenient switching between 33 and 45 RPM as well as a clean, low-noise power signal.
The X8 is pre-installed with Pro-Ject’s popular 9CC Evolution carbon fibre tonearm. The 9CC EVO can been found on many popular high-end turntables, and features a one-piece, tapered carbon fibre tonearm tube, mounted in a heavy-weight bearing block with high-quality ABEC 7 ball bearings. The tonearm is also VTA and azimuth adjustable for perfect cartridge mounting.
In the UK, the X8 is also supplied with the award-winning Ortofon Quintet Blue moving coil cartridge, as standard. The Quintet Blue is recognised for its detailed musical performance, and perfectly complements the X8’s own high-end ability.
As the X8 is supplied with a Moving Coil cartridge, it is also part of Pro-Ject’s True Balanced Connections concept. By upgrading to a 5pin > XLR cable, and connecting to one of the company’s balanced phono stages (such as the Phono Box DS3 B), you can benefit from increased dynamics, less noise and improved signal-to-noise ratios. Going true balanced is like hearing parts of your music that were not there before.
The X8 is supplied with height-adjustable TPE-damped feet, a removable dust cover, a felt mat and a semi-balanced Connect-IT E 5P > RCA phono cable for easy set-up out of the box. It’s available in high gloss black, high-gloss white or real-wood walnut veneer finishes.
True Balanced Connections
The interconnect cable between a record player and a phono stage is prone to pick up noise on the way. That noise and interference can stem from a lot of unavoidable sources, such as household applicances, wi-fi and bluetooth devices, other power cables and audio amplifiers. Unshielded (i.e. RCA) interconnects can amplify the picked-up noise and make it audible through your speakers, interfering with the pure musical signal.
Balanced (typically XLR) cable connections double the wires carrying the musical signal – with one side inverted. In this case noise still gets picked up by both wires, but with one side reversed. When the signals are re-joined at the phono stage, the picked-up noise is cancelled out by the opposing signals. The benefit of this is a louder, cleaner musical signal that has doubled in size with almost no remaining noise.