Pro-Ject Announces New Tube Phonostage Plus a Pair of SUTs
Pro-Ject's three new products include the Tube Box DS3 B phono pre-amplifier alongside the company's first-ever step-up transformers.
The Tube Box DS3 B is a dual-mono phono pre-amplifier with a 2 x ECC83 valve output stage. It offers plenty of adjustability, making it easy to optimise results with practically any particular cartridge.
Along with the usual unbalanced RCA connections, the Tube Box DS3 B also features balanced XLR input and output options – a first for a Pro-Ject phono stage. The company says using these outputs should result in a clearer presentation thanks to the reduced noise and higher gain typically associated with balanced connections.
On the topic of noise, an external power adapter should also assist in lowering any electrical inference.
Of further interest is that the front-panel accessed input settings for Loading, Gain, Capacitance, and the Subsonic Filter are stored in the unit's memory. So, if you switch between unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR inputs, you won't need to dial everything in each time. Joy!
More new ground is covered by Pro-Ject's first step-up transformers – aptly dubbed the MC Step Up Box DS3 B and the MC Step Up Box S3.
These passive units are designed to increase the output of moving-coil cartridges to a level comparable to a moving-magnet cartridge, enabling the use of your current integrated amplifier or MM phono stage. Furthermore, a transformer gives a more straightforward signal path than a conventional active design and so claims to deliver a purer sound.
We are told that the MC Step Up Box DS3 B boasts Lundahl LL1678 transformers and is particularly suited to balanced turntable connections. It offers both unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR inputs and outputs and offers selectable transformer ratio options of 24dB / 30dB depending on the level of gain required.
Meanwhile, the MC Step Up Box S3 is designed to be an upgrade solution for those looking to add moving-coil compatibility to an integrated amplifier's built-in moving-magnet phono stage. It features a 1:16 transformer ratio – which should suit a range of phono pick-ups – and offers unbalanced RCA inputs and outputs.
Pro-Ject's Tube Box DS3 B phono stage (€1,049), MC Step Up Box DS3 B (€899) and MC Step Up Box S3 (€449) are available this month.
StereoNET’s resident rock star, bass player, and gadget junkie. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.
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