"Velvety Smooth and Flowing"
For vinyl lovers who want to go all the way with turntable performance, Pro-Ject brings back a classical analog concept from the eighties and combines it with advanced contemporary technologies. After eighteen years of turntable manufacturing for analog lovers on a budget, Pro-Ject designed its first turntable that is not constrained by budgetary limitations, And, boy, does the Xtension 12 deliver.
This special Superpack version of the Xtension 12 includes a Sumiko BlackBird high-output MC cartridge and an upgraded tonearm cable.
"It is completely straightforward to set up, requires no on-going adjustment and proves a pleasure to use," notes John Bamford and Paul Miller in a Hi-Fi News & Record Review magazine review for April 2009. "Given its delightful music making – velvety smooth and flowing in this incarnation – it can be highly recommended."
Mass Loading Meets Floating Design
Pro-ject's critically acclaimed 6PerspeX turntable demonstrated the genius of using magnets to isolate the subchassis. For the Xtension this technology has been re-developed to utilize new magnetic feet, which almost completely decouple the main plinth. Combine this with the weighty 55-lb. total mass of the turntable, and you benefit from minimal base resonance. This is a unique combination of 'mass loaded' and 'floating turntable' design principals.
In keeping with these principles, the platter is constructed of metal due to its higher mass than acrylic. However, the old standard adoption of pure metal has been abandoned because of its highly-resonant tendencies. Instead, Pro-Ject found a perfect alloy which it dampened on the inner side with Sorbothane. Next, Pro-Ject glued recycled vinyl records to the top to act as a "perfect" mat and then baked this sophisticated 'sandwich' before precision balancing it. The final product becomes a wonderfully resonance-free, heavy platter that runs ultra-silently.
Another consideration was the amount of energy the tonearm base would absorb from arm and cartridge movement. This vibration has to be controlled, as do those from the motor and the bearing, in order to keep any resulting distortion out of the music signal. Consequently, the Xtension tonearm base also benefits from 'high-mass' technologies and is isolated from the main board by a sheet of Sorbothane. This design feature still allows you to mount a wide range of tonearms.
Electronic Speed Control
The Xtension 12 offers electronic speed control at the push of a button, thanks to the built-in Pro-Ject Speed Box SE. No fumbling with belts and pulleys when you want to change speed. The quartz regulation and filter circuit used by the Speed Box SE deliver superior speed stability for smooth and undisturbed motor operation.
12cc Carbon Fiber Tonearm with High-Mass Tonearm Base
Included with the Xtension 12 is a 12cc Evolution tonearm with conical carbon-fiber armtube to eliminate standing wave reflections. The solid armbase permits accurate height adjustment of the armtube and the VTA (vertical tracking angle). The single-screw fixing of the armtube allows rotation for easy adjustment of the needle azimuth despite the fixed headshell. The 12cc Evolution uses highly flexible top-grade copper internal wiring.
The tonearm base benefits from high-mass technologies and is isolated from the main board by a sheet of Sorbothane. The tonearm accommodates a wide range of top quality phono cartridges, from 4g to 14g, and comes with a Sorbothane-damped counterweight.
Sumiko Blackbird MC Phono Cartridge
Designed for exceedingly low noise levels, wide dynamic range, and the highest possible fidelity in its price class, the Sumiko Blackbird MC moving coil phono cartridge is destined to become an analog classic. Each cartridge is assembled using time honored, labor intensive techniques, and then is hand calibrated and critically auditioned to meet the most rigorous standards of consistency.
The main advantage of high output moving coil cartridges is the elimination of any additional gain stages, resulting in an overall reduction of the noise floor. With 2.5mV directly driving a standard 47k Ohm RIAA phono stage, the best possible signal-to-noise ratio is realized. Nothing but music emerges from your most treasured recordings.
"Sumiko's Blackbird is a strong Class B cartridge. I highly recommend it," says Michael Fremer in Stereophile for January 2004. "If you're currently living with a $300-$500 cartridge, move up to this and your world will be rocked… Its sound is as sumptuous as its packaging."
"Sumiko's Blackbird is one of the finest cartridges I've heard in its price range, and it serves as a highly credible 'reference cartridge for the real world,'" notes Chris Martens in his October 2003 review for AVGuide.com.
Xtension 12 Evolution includes a beautiful dustcover with adjustable hinges. The turntable is available in your choice of three high gloss lacquer finishes: mahogany, piano black, or olive wood.
Pro-ject Xtension 12 Turntable
Pro-ject Xtension 12 Turntable
"Boasting the type of sumptuous finish common to high-end Japanese turntables of the ’70s, Project’s luxurious Xtension assures pride of ownership. Moreover it is completely straightforward to set up, requires no on-going adjustment and proves a pleasure to use. Given its delightful music making – velvety smooth and flowing in this incarnation – it can be highly recommended."
- John Bamford & Paul Miller, Hi-Fi News & Record Review, April 2009
"Sumiko's Blackbird is a strong Class B cartridge. I highly recommend it. If you're currently living with a $300-$500 cartridge, move up to this and your world will be rocked… Its sound is as sumptuous as its packaging."
Michael Fremer, Stereophile, January 2004
"Sumiko's Blackbird is one of the finest cartridges I've heard in its price range, and it serves as a highly credible 'reference cartridge for the real world.'"
Chris Martens, AVGuide.com, October 2003