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The newest Pro-Ject X8 Evolution turntable

Pro-Ject X8 Evolution turntable

For over 30 years now, Austrian brand Pro-Ject has been offering quality analogue products. From turntable to speakers, without forgetting all of the Hi-Fi equipmentPro-Ject  allows you to set up a whole High-Fidelity system. With more than 20 turntables divided into different ranges, the manufacturer provides a diversity of products meeting everyone’s needs and desires at a reasonable price. All products are designed and assembled in Europe, another quality assurance.

One of the brand’s latest productions is the X8 Evolution turntable. This brand-new turntable is part of the X-line series proposing uncompromising high-standard products. It’s one of the most prestigious from Pro-Ject, and considered as an exceptional turntable. Providing outstanding listening quality, it stands out for its massive appearance and cutting-edge technology. On, you may have looked up its sisters: the X1 and X2 turntables of the X-line series, and the Xtension 9 CC EVO, the Xtension 10 EVO as well as the Xtension 12 EVO of the Xtension-line series. The newest X8 Evolution is positioned between the X2 and the Xtension 9 EVO, a strong position in this big family and its features will certainly please you, to say the least!

The solid body of the X-line

Let’s get into the details of this new X8 Evolution turntable. From an aesthetic point of view, it’s positioned in the continuity of the Xtension range, providing a solid MDF chassis available in three finishes: High Gloss Piano BlackHigh Gloss Piano White and Real Wood Walnut. Not only is this chassis aesthetic, it also has a technical function: thanks to its imposing size, it allows to reduce fluctuations and, therefore, prevent distortion. The entire turntable stands on three aluminium and sorbothane feet. Once again, this combination aims at reducing the risk of acoustic and mechanic perturbation, and allows to adjust the turntable. The acrylic dust cover is pretty classic.

The platter is equally imposing. It consists in 5 kg solid MDF made from a carefully balanced single aluminium block. Yet again, the intended goal is to provide rigidity to prevent fluctuations. Despite being TPE damped, this X8 turntable does not feature a glued vinyl platter, contrary to its big sister the Xtension 9 turntable. This turntable comes with a standard felt platter mat, also allowing you to experiment with different material mats in the future and tailor the sound to your taste. One of this turntable’s many assets is adaptability, by providing lots of potential upgrades.

The X8 Evolution turntable allows you to play 33 and 45 rpm vinyl records. It’s really easy to change speed: you only need to push the button on the device’s plinth.

High-quality tonearm and cartridge

The X8 Evolution features the famous 9CC Evo tonearm. It’s the same tonearm as on its big sister, the Xtension 9 turntable. For the record, it’s a 9” single piece tonearm made of carbon fibre. It also features a gyroscopic pivot allowing it to be balanced with horizontal and vertical movements and therefore adjustable. Thus, it’s easy to set up and requires little maintenance. As for the counterweight, the X8 Evolution turntable is provided with the N°46, making it compatible with 7 to 10 g cartridges.

The turntable can be delivered as standard with a cartridge or not. As a long-standing partner to Pro-Ject, an Ortofon cartridge was obviously selected for the X8 Evolution turntable. More specifically, it’s the Quintet Blue MC cartridge, categorised as “high-end”. To sum up its characteristics, it’s provided with a Nude Elliptical stylus and its magnetic circuit is composed of high-power neodymium magnets. The timbres are rich and neutral, the noise level is limited. In other words, playback seems aerial and without any aggressiveness. Of course, it’s possible to change the cartridge as you wish; like I said before, this X8 Evolution turntable is designed to be user-adjustable.

The technology of the X8 turntable

Once again, Pro-Ject provided cutting-edge technology to all parts of the turntable. Firstly, let’s focus on the platter. It lies on an inverted bearing, meaning that the spindle exits the turntable to host the platter. It consists in a stainless-steel spindle as well as a brass bearing with a ceramic bead. In order to maintain stable playback speed, it features magnetic repulsion damping. This means that the platter is provided with a ferrite ring placed in opposition to a second ring placed in the chassis. To put it simply, there’s no direct contact between the chassis and the platter. Of course, the goal is to reduce load on the bearing and obtain smooth playback despite the total weight.

The X8 Evolution turntable’s platter uses a silicon drive belt. It’s driven by a new electronically controlled DC motor. Like I said earlier, the turntable is able to play 33 and 45 rpm records. In addition to the system implemented to obtain stable playback, speed regulation remains precise due to a built-in electronic speed control.

A new connection system at the forefront of balance

The newest X8 Evolution model offers a brand-new phono connection system: the True Balanced Connection system. As Pro-Ject explains, this system was born following a discovery: connected appliances in the house can interfere with the phono equipment. This new technology has several purposes: limiting interference that could disturb the turntable’s signal transmission by providing improved signal-to-noise ratio, but also providing unbeatable listening balance.

To reach these objectives, Pro-Ject used this new system on the X8 turntable. The goal is to receive the entire signal transmitted from the stylus of the cartridge to the phono preamplifier to which the turntable will be connected. To achieve this result, the Austrian brand recommends using XLR cables rather than the standard semi-balanced Connect it 5P/RCA cable. The result is incomparable and provides a less noisy reproduction, a much clearer sound and enhanced dynamics. In the words of Pro-Ject: “You can imagine it, like hearing parts of your music that literally were not there before.” The goal is achieved, the entire signal is transmitted.

In order to obtain this outstanding reproduction, Pro-Ject recommends associating this X8 Evolution turntable with their Phono Box DS3 B , or one of their RS  or RS2 phono stages  via the Connect It Phono CC 5P/XLR configured to use this new True Balanced Connection.


The X8 Evolution turntable can be sold with a cartridge or not. In addition to your turntable that we personally set up and adjust, the package contains a dust cover, a felt mat for the platter and a semi-balanced Connect It E 5P/RCA phono cable. This 1.23 m cable is easy to install.

The expert opinion of

As you know, our experts do not propose a product without testing it first. Before getting into the details of the test, it’s important to note that we listened to the product with some small modifications. Despite the high-performance cartridge mounted as standard, we put an Ortofon 2M Black cartridge (MM)  and an Ortofon Quintet Black S cartridge(MC) to the test. Then, we replaced the felt mat with a Pro-Ject Leather It leather mat which is less affected by static loads.

From the first few measures, the listening experience is fascinating. When listening to it, we realise that this turntable is clearly placed just before the Xtension 9 turntable in the X-line series! Indeed, we notice that dynamics and the tempo are a lot more respected and realistic than with the X2. Due to its inner mechanism, there’s the balance we’ve been promised, and excellent timbre. The reproduction sounds very “analogue” without being too dark. It’s quite the opposite: the turntable has a clear and transparent sound; low frequencies are clearly present but not excessive. Sound is measured, it resonates with natural power.

The overall appearance is very seducing. The quality of the materials is high, and the finish is flawless. There’s clearly the desire for continuity of the X-line series without being excessive. The benefit of this new X8 Evolution turntable is that its conception and tonearm were designed to allow many upgrades and combinations, whether in terms of cartridgesphono preamps or speakers.

Now, you have all the necessary information to fall in love with this turntable, just like we did. Pro-Ject offers once again a quality product meeting the expectations of experienced audiophiles, and then some. This new True Balanced Connection technology ensures hours of quality listening experience, yet it seems to be at an early stage. Excellent compromise of the X-line series, this turntable was designed to be user-adjustable depending on the experience and needs. Platter mat, cartridgecables and even phono preamps, everything is adaptable, but the standard version is already very good. The price is very affordable, especially considering everything that it offers. Indeed, we recommend the X8 Evolution turntable!

To help you make your choice, we’ve elaborated a shopping guide for turntables and, of course, we are at your disposal via the contact form or by telephone.