Sony's unsung masterpiece, arriving too late to defeat the Technics SP-10MKII on the pro market.
Probably not "esoteric looking" enough either to satisfy the "audiophile & trendy" market and steal sales off the Pioneer Exclusive P3...
The PS-X9 however had expanded onboard electronics and audio stages, a PLPS power supply, the Magnedisc/XTAL lock system and was delivered with a hand-picked version of the XL-55 MC cart : the Sony XL-55Pro.
Beyond rugged looks, the 5,8kg / 38cm aluminum platter is what makes the PS-X9 look like an oversized monster. Said platter is completely covered with a yellow damping material which is is the same as on the Sony PS-8750 and Sony TTS-8000.
The brownish barium-ferrite magnetic imprint is, unlike on the TTS-8000, safely placed inside the platter (...outside of the inside rim/rib) to avoid damaging it too easily.
The manual insists on not powering the PS-X9 without the platter on : the motor would otherwise run at uncontrolled speed and burn itself off - available torque on the X9 is enormous.
The two red dots on the left (next to the protection rim of the base) are cue indicators for quick startups, one for each speed - the PS-X9 really was meant as a studio workhorse, not as a plush showpiece.
The front opening of the base allows the RM-90 wired remote to be hooked up - rare accessory, just like the (optional ?) dark acryl dustcover, which, like that of the TTS-8000's TB-2000 base, is un-hinged and has to be entirely taken off to play a record ; the four shiny corner posts are for centering the dustcover.
Available separately a few months after the PS-X9, the PUA-9 tonearm was specifically designed for the X9 although it clearly was a much upgraded version of the PUA-7.
Myth has it that there were only fifty PS-X9 ever made but that is myth and myth only : I have spotted serial numbers as high as 569 in Japan and 250 in most export zones. This should put the total production run around 2000 units.
Even if not as remembered as the Denon DP-100M or the Pioneer Exclusive P3, many X9s found their way into radio stations and in a few audiophiles' rigs.
I know of someone who has critically listened to all of the usual suspects for a magazine (Kenwood L-07D, Denon DP-100M, Marantz Tt 1000, Luxman PD555, Technics SP-10MK3, EMTs et al) and finally settled for his own deck on... a PS-X9.
The red badge next to the power-on switch says Sony Professional, pointing at the other units of the "9" series : the sadly unproduceed EL-D9 Elcaset, the PUA-9 tonearm, the TA-N9 power amplifier and the planned APM-9.
The latter was finally released as APM-8 and thus sort of ended this (never officially mentioned) professional "9" lineup.
In typical Sony quirkiness, if the PS-X9 was meant as a professional broadcast machine, it was christened with a consumer name (PS-X), while the contemporary consumer audiophile model was named with Sony's staple TTS "pro" name : TTS-8000 !
This notwithstanding, the PS-X9 is one of the best LP record players ever made.