Following on from the Xtension 12 and the 10 Evo, Pro-Ject has now released the youngest of the bunch, the X-tension 9 vinyl turntable! As the names suggest, the concept for this range is based on tonearm length. So, following that logic, this most recent model has a 9” tonearm, namely the 9CC Evolution, which is also featured on the RPM9.2 and a certain Scottish vinyl turntable… It comes with several different counterweights so that it can be used with cartridges ranging from 3-16g in weight. Like SME, Ortofon and Linn tonearms, the base of the tonearm is fitted with a 5-pin DIN connector. Unusually for the industry, Pro-Ject delivers this vinyl turntable, with a phono cable, namely the Connect-It E.
The huge platter is made out of solid polished aluminium. Its damping system consists of a TPE-damped ring and a layer of recycled records on top of the platter. This gives the turntable a high mass and therefore good stability and neutrality to ward off vibration and resonance. It also removes the need for any kind of platter mat, and also opens up the possibility of using a heavy record clamp (Record Puck, provided). It sits on an inverted bearing with a stainless steel spindle and a brass bearing with a ceramic ball. The sub-platter is damped via a magnetic repulsion mechanism. A powerful ferrite ring within the platter is placed next to a second ring with an opposing magnetic force in the vinyl turntable. As a further decoupling measure, the feet use the same TPE-damping mechanism. The new DC motor is controlled electronically, and the speed can be changed between 33⅓ and 45 RPM using two buttons. The vinyl turntable is moderately thick, giving it remarkable rigidity, mass and mechanical prowess. It is available in three striking finishes: glossy piano black or varnished olive or mahogany.
And at such a reasonable price, we’re likely to hear a lot more about the Xtension 9CC Evolution in the weeks and months to come - we can’t wait! And here at MaPlatine.com we have received one to preview! Like higher-end and Signature models, it comes in a wooden box which is a very nice touch. Assembly is relatively simple and you don't need to be an engineer to get your head around it! With a turntable of this calibre, it is very tempting to install a cartridge to match, and we’re hardly short of options! We chose an MM and an MC cartridge by Danish company Ortofon.
We were immediately impressed - not only by the remarkable dynamic range, exceptional transparency and excellent timbre quality, but also by the emotion the Xtension 9 manages to convey. Listening to L’Aigle Noir by Barbara, we were impressive by the natural-sounding vocals and presence and subtlety of the guitar, which goes too often unnoticed by most turntables in this price range. The sound stage is incredible, particularly in its depth - it was as if the wall between the speakers had been moved back several metres! Playback is full of expression and nuance. For the more dynamic passages, this turntable really keeps you glued to your seat! The weight of the notes creates a sound with exceptional substance and remarkable presence. We listened to record after record without finding any flaws to speak of.
This turntable is a real triumph of balance and musicality. Its production quality and user-friendliness places it well above its competitors in our eyes, outshining many a more ambitious turntable on the majority of objective and subjective markers. Congrats to Pro-Ject, which is clearly no longer content with just being the market leader for turntables under €500, making its high-end ambitions known
with this instant firm favourite! Very highly recommended
EISA - Best Product 2014-2015 in the "Analogue source” category
HiFi News Highly Commended - 2014
Best Buy award from Haute-Fidélité
Choc de Classica
Haute fidélité Franck
Speeds: 33, 45 RPM
Speed change: Electronic
Drive principle: Belt
Platter: Polished and damped aluminium 300mm/5.5kg
Bearing: Inverted with ceramic ball
Spindle: Stainless steel with magnetic repulsion
Tonearm: 9 CC Evo
Permissible cartridge weight: 4-14g
Counterweight: 4 x different EVO models
Speed variation: +/- 0.10%
Rumble: -70 dB
Feet: Magnetic + TPE isolation
Record clamp: Record Puck
Dust cover: Yes
Phono cable: Connect It E
Dimensions: 465x185x35 mm
Weight: 16 Kg