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Pro-Ject - Phono Box RS Phono Preamp

Pro Ject

  • $ 89900

Pro-Ject Phono Box RS Phono Preamp

Compatible with Virtually All MM and MC Cartridges

True Dual-Mono Design Boasts On-the-Fly Impedance Loading Plus RIAA and Decca Equalization options

Pro-Ject elevates what's possible in an affordable phonostage with the groundbreaking Phono Box RS. Compatible with virtually all moving-magnet and moving-coil cartridges, the Phono Box RS is incredibly flexible allowing the user a wide variety of customization options. The front panel alone is host to an extremely wide array of features, including an "on-the-fly" impedance loading knob, choice of (F)ixed or (V)ariable impedance, selectable gain, selectable equalization curves and an incredibly useful mute switch. That's only half the story, though; turn the Phono Box RS around and on the rear panel there is another full set of options; selectable RCA or XLR inputs, RCA and XLR outputs (see specs), subsonic filter control, capacitance settings and "final" impedance loading options. A solid chassis, dual mono construction and great sound round out this exceptional phono stage.

The Phono Box RS is a vinyl lover's dream, use the front panel controls to try literally thousands of different impedance loading options, switch between RIAA and Decca equalization on the fly and use all the different settings to dial the Phono Box RS in to perfectly match your analog rig. The dual-mono design keeps cross-talk to a minimum and the fully balanced architecture ensures noise is kept to a minimum even when used single-ended. The chassis is mechanically damped for optimum vibration control, the high-voltage DC power supply delivers gobs of clean power and high quality parts abound.

The Phono Box RS can be configured to achieve optimum performance with virtually any cartridge and every record. Whether you use an MM, MC, High-Output MC or a low output MI cartridge, the Phono Box RS has a setting that'll make your analog rig sing. Three different gain settings on the front panel allow selection of 40, 50 or 60dB of gain (+6dB to each when XLR output is used). If you are lucky enough to have any Decca records from the '50s, selecting the Decca curve will be a revelation. Most records from the 60s on will use the RIAA curve, but the option's there to try. The F/V switch is an interesting addition; in (F)ixed mode the impedance is set via DIP switches on the rear panel, either 10Ω or 47kΩ. However, in (V)ariable mode, the front panel's infinitely-variable impedance dial allows the MC user to select any impedance between 10Ω and 1200Ω. Which mode to choose? Since the V setting can really only be used on MC cartridges, this switch offers no advantage to an MM user. The Mute switch, on the other hand, is absolute genius and we're surprised so few companies have thought to include this; use mute before you turn the preamp off, or before you turn it on; use mute when picking up or dropping the stylus to avoid pops or bumps, use mute when making changes to the DIP switches on the rear panel or use Mute when a friend's playing a record you don't like... the possibilities are endless.

On the rear panel, the Phono Box RS offers both RCA and XLR inputs as well as RCA and XLR outputs. The RCA/XLR toggle on the top right hand corner selects which input is being used. Although both RCA and XLR inputs may be connected at the same time, the owner's manual cautions against using both the RCA and the XLR outputs simultaneously. The Subsonic Filter offers 12dB of low frequency attenuation at 20Hz; in an ideal world nobody would need one of these, but it's great to have one if you need it.

MM cartridge users take note; the Phono Box RS offers five different capacitance choices. By simply flipping DIP switches on the rear panel, capacitance can be adjusted to 100, 200, 300, 420 or 520pF. Most phono preamps don't even offer a single capacitance choice, from a sonic standpoint having five different settings to choose from is equivalent to an MC user having a variable impedance control. Just as impedance loading is largely irrelevant to MM users, capacitance loading is largely irrelevant to MC users; fortunately the Phono Box RS gives both sides plenty to gloat about.

Whether you favor old vinyl or new, MM or MC, infinite choice or the simplicity of a switch, the Phono Box RS is the preamp for you. It offers an unparalleled suite of features, excellent build quality, outstanding flexibility and sound quality that vastly outstrips its reasonable price tag.


Input impedance: 10Ω or 47kΩ (Rear Panel Selectable)
Loading Options: 10-1200Ω (Front Panel adjustable)
Capacitance options: 100, 200, 300, 420 or 520pF
Gain Settings:
RCA: 40, 50 or 60dB
XLR: 46, 56 or 66dB
S/N Ratio: 80dB (91dB@IEC-A)
THD: <0.019%
RIAA accuracy: ±0.3dB (20-20kHz)
Subsonic Filter: -12dB @ 20Hz
Inputs: RCA(pr) & XLR(Pr)
Output: RCA(pr) & XLR(Pr)
Output impedance: 50Ω

Power supply:

Input: 120VAC@60Hz
Output: 2x18VDC@300mA
Dimensions: 8.1x2.9x8.3" (WHD)
Weight: 4.5Lbs, without PSU


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