Later version of the XL-55Pro, swapping magnesium for diecast aluminium for the integrated headshell.
Compared to the XL-55Pro, the 44 has lesser specs (frequency response, channel separation) and minimally harder compliance.
However, it is slightly lighter in weight, offers a higher output level and demands... a higher tracking force.
The 44 and 44B are identical but for the colors :
44 : grey and blue/purple,
44B : black and orange.
The 44 was first produced with a blue-ish body ; later production runs went for clearly purple, a color picked up for the XL-88 /XL-88D, even pushing to near-pink for the later XL-MC333E (high-end version of the XL-MC1 series).
The original 44B colors (black+orange) were reused by Wega for its XL-42S.
Clearly better and easier to set up and use, if not as pretty, is the XL-44L.