It’s a well-known fact that no one gets everything, but what if I tell you that you can? In the world of turntables, you can get the best quality regardless of your budget with Pro-Ject Audio Systems.

Not just that, you can also get a significant upgrade for the model you enjoy. Pro-Ject Audio Systems fulfills your audio needs with the Project X1 and Project X2 turntables.

Don’t be overwhelmed with the similarities between the two models, for there are some noticeable differences as well. This article outlines a comparison of Project X1 vs. Project X2.

Project X1 vs. Project X2 – Overview

Project X1

Project X1

  • Light chassis and plater
  • High Resonance
Project X2

Project X2

  • Heavier chassis and platter
  • Sharper sound
  • Quieter motor

Project X2 builds on the fantastic features of Project X1. It comes with a heavier chassis and platter for reduced resonance. The X2 also offers a sharper sound and a quieter motor thanks to the new suspension system. Besides, the X2 has a longer tonearm for better control.

What Is Project X1?

Project X1 is a world-class turntable manufactured by Pro-Ject Audio Systems. It follows the Debut model that first appeared in the 90s.

Project X1 is made with the notion of “less is more” in mind. With its sleek and simple design, it offers you more than what meets the eye. It combines features such as strength, durability, and beauty.

What Is Project X2?

As the descendent of Project X1, Project X2 looks a lot like its predecessor. With the same design and close-enough specs, some people might mistakenly confuse Project X2 with Project X1.

However, delving deeper, you’ll notice vivid differences between the two models. In fact, this model features a number of improvements that help it secure its position among the top turntables in the market.

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How Are Project X1 and Project X2 Different?

1. The Suspension System

The two models feature the same motor. Despite that, Project X2 is more sophisticated since it has an improved suspension system. This new system suspends the motor of the Project X2 on a free-floating TPE belt.

According to Pro-Ject Audio Systems, this new technique decouples the chassis from the plinth more efficiently. This is an important factor because decoupling the motor means less distortion and more stable sound.

2. Chassis

The chassis of Project X2 is considerably thicker than that of the X1. In fact, if you put Project X1 and Project X2 side by side, you can see the big difference in size.

A heavier chassis promises better performance. The thicker the body of the turntable, the less vibration it produces, which means better sound quality.

3. Platter Mass

In addition to the beefier chassis, the Project X2 also features a thicker platter. This increases the mass of your device, resulting in less resonance and vibration.

This means that the sound of your turntable won’t suffer with every step your children or pets take around it. The increased mass of the platter gives Project X2 more reliability and better performance.

4. Tonearm Size

The tonearm in Project X2 is slightly different from that of Project X1. At nine inches, it’s a bit longer than the 8.6 inches tonearm on Project X1. Such increased length decreases the chance of mistakes while placing your cartridge and reduces distortion.

Moreover, the tube of Project X2’s tonearm is wider in diameter with a carbon-aluminum construction that causes better internal damping. The extra weight of the tonearm makes it a perfect fit for MC cartridges of low compliance.

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5. The Sound Quality

Project X1 offers an amazing sound with great dynamics, deep bass, and a strong focus on details. However, Project X2 raises the bar with a deeper, more detailed sound.

Project X2 offers a soundscape with more prominent micro details. For instance, it features a more raw and crisp guitar sound. The bass is also a lot deeper and more dynamic with Project X2.

On top of that, the acoustic jazz instruments come out clearer and more defined, and the lowest octaves of the piano are stronger and better in Project X2.

6. Finish and Color

Each model offers a variety of finishes and colors to give a final touch that caters to different tastes.

You can get the Project X1 model in a piano black or walnut finish. The Piano Black finish is made of eight layers of paint. Besides, it’s hand-polished for a radiant and sophisticated look. For a more natural feel, go for the Walnut finish that adds an elegant touch to spaces with warm decor.

On the other hand, Project X2 comes in four different finishes. You can choose from high-gloss black, satin black, satin white, and real wood. No matter what your decor and style are though, you still get a matching look from your Project X2.

How Are Project X1 And Project X2 Similar?

1. Ease of Set Up

Both models come fully calibrated with their cartridges and are pre-installed. All you need to do is take your Project X1 or X2 out of the box and plug it in.

This ease of installation and use makes the two models equally handy for those who aren’t experts on that front. It also works well for those who want to skip the hassle of setting up the new device.

2. Motor

Each of Project X1 and X2 has a plinth with a DC/AC generator board to support the motor. They both include three alloy/polymer sandwich isolating feet. These isolation feet decouple the motor from the main plinth, which gives you a free-floating effect.

Such isolation is important to eradicate distortion issues. For instance, you might get poor sound quality due to the vibration of the motor that causes the platter and cartridge to move. In this case, the isolated, or decoupled, motor on the Project X1 and X2 eliminates this problem.

3. Tonearm Adjustment

The tonearm is fully adjustable in either model. You can set it for azimuth or VTA, which gives a high level of flexibility that many people seek.

On top of that, the tonearm is supplied with a TPE-damped counterweight. This can further reduce cartridge-tonearm resonances, resulting in better sound quality and less distortion.

4. Platter Material

Both Project X1 and X2 have acrylic platters, which allow users to get rid of the felt mat. With an acrylic platter, you can put your record directly on top of its surface. This eliminates the use of felt mat as was the case in the past with glass platters.

Some people still prefer to use a record clamp to fasten the record, flattening the platter’s surface further. This step gets rid of the air between the record and the platter, and in turn, eliminates resonance.

5. Warranty

The two turntable models come with a two-year warranty on parts and labor. In addition, the included cartridge gets a one-year warranty.

This feature gives you peace of mind as you know you can still get the best quality and service from a reliable manufacturer even after purchase.

What’s Better About Project X1?

Pro-Ject - X1 Turntable (White)

Project X1 is the base model on which Project X2 was built. Therefore, you can hardly find an edge for Project X1 as Project X2 is an improved version with the same amazing features and more.

However, Project X1 offers two finishes that you can’t find in the X2. For instance, while the piano black finish adds a touch of sophistication, the walnut finish gives a natural feel unmatched by the finishes available for the X2.

What’s Better About Project X2?

Pro-Ject X2 Turntable with Sumiko Rainier Cartridge (Walnut)

Generally speaking, Project X2 is an extension of the X1 model. This means that you’d find it better in numerous aspects.

For starters, it has a heavier and chunkier chassis and platter. This helps reduce resonance and give out better sound quality.

Project X2 also has a longer tonearm for better control. Plus, it features a new improved suspension system that effectively decouples the motor and eradicates any distortion.

Who Should Get Project X1 (and why)?

Project X1 is ideal for those on a budget who want the best sound quality. It offers a lot more than other turntables within its price range. For a clear sound and a sleek design, opt for the Project X1.

Who Should Get Project X2 (and why)?

Project X2 is for those who want to leap into the deeper side of the turntable world. If you’ve enjoyed your turntable for quite some time and are ready for an upgrade, the Project X2 is for you.

The Project X2 is the ideal turntable for those who appreciate turntables with a sharp sound, sturdy construction, and premium-quality material.

SpecsProject X1Project .X2
Size16.3 x 4.9 x 13.1″18.1 x 5.9 x 13.3″
Weight15.4 lbs22 lbs
Platter Acrylic 3.3 lbs Acrylic 4.4 lbs
TonearmCarbon AluminumCarbon Aluminum
Tonearm Length8.6’’9’’
Speed ControlElectronicElectronic
Speed33 – 45 – 7833 – 45 – 78
Signal to Noise Ratio6870
Wow and Flutter33:0.15% 45:0.13%33:0.12% 45:0.10%
Speed Variance33:0.30% 45:0.25%33:0.25% 45:0.20%
Power Consumption5 watts max/ <0.3 watts standby4.5 watts max/ 0.3 watts standby