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Pro-Ject CD BOX RS2 T
Pro-Ject CD BOX RS2 T

Pro-Ject CD BOX RS2 T – The ultimate CD transport

Most CD players have never seen more than 10 bits, Pro-Ject Audio Systems provocatively puts in the room, so it is not surprising that Audio CD does not have a very good reputation. But there is another way to do this, namely with a solution that is designed to read the Audio CD with all its 16 bits accurately, as is the case with the new Pro-Ject CD BOX RS2 T.


The Austrian company Pro-Ject Audio Systems states that since the beginning of the company’s existence, investments have been made in products that are not necessarily part of the mainstream. This is of course primarily a reference to the fact that Pro-Ject Audio Systems launched the first record player at the very time when the rest of the industry was celebrating the rise of the audio CD.

It is therefore not without a certain irony that Pro-Ject Audio Systems is now talking about a CD player, namely the new Pro-Ject CD BOX RS2 T.

As the name suggests, the new Pro-Ject CD BOX RS2 T is not really a CD player in the conventional sense, but rather a so-called CD transport, whose sole purpose is to read the data on an optical data carrier as accurately as possible and to forward them to an external D/A converter for actual signal processing. Pro-Ject Audio Systems is convinced that the new Pro-Ject CD BOX RS2 T performs this task brilliantly.

But why is it that the company is now devoting particular attention to a technology that many consider to be outdated? After all, the whole world is talking about streaming, which has long since conquered the world of consumer electronics.

Pro-Ject Audio Systems is convinced that people still prefer physical media. It was this fact that led to the renaissance of the vinyl record, and even to a large extent to the ongoing vinyl hype. Of course, this cannot be put on CDs one-to-one, but for many hi-fi enthusiasts and music lovers, the CD is still an important medium that they certainly do not want to do without.

Especially not if you can actually achieve the best quality with CD, which is exactly where the problem lies, says Pro-Ject Audio Systems.

It is quite provocative to think that most CD players have never seen more than 10 bits, far from what an audio CD with its 16 bits would actually contain. However, developing a solution that actually makes the most of what is technically possible is now more difficult than ever, as the developments of recent years have meant that the necessary components have become rare on the market.

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One is lucky that the company originated in Vienna, where Philips once had its development department, which was abandoned some time ago, but many developers found their new home with the company StreamUnlimited, above all the pope of the CD player as described by Pro-Ject Audio Systems, Michael Jirousek, who was also involved in the development of the new Pro-Ject CD BOX RS2 T.

The Pro-Ject CD BOX RS2 T is the latest development in a series of ultimate top-loading CD transporters based on the CD-Pro 8 StreamUnlimited CD mechanism and the Blue Tiger CD-84 servo system. These two are essential components in order to ultimately develop a CD transport that actually exploits the full potential of an audio CD. Pro-Ject Audio Systems is the first manufacturer to use the new high-tech CD-Pro 8 drive with the Blue Tiger CD-84 servo card.

In the construction of the new Pro-Ject CD BOX RS2 T, the manufacturer speaks of a so-called gravitational design with a central mass point. The servo system is integrated directly into the aluminium housing of the CD Pro-8, and the entire chassis is suspended from a proprietary anti-vibration system, so that the level of external vibrations reaching the inside of the unit can always be controlled. The entire CD mechanism is thus stabilised and secured, independent of external influences.

This is also ensured by vibration dampers mounted on a very rigid carbon fibre chassis, with the entire chassis firmly attached to the Pro-Ject CD BOX RS2 T cabinet. According to the manufacturer, such a construction gives the entire system outstanding rigidity and at the same time excellent insulation against the entire external vibration spectrum.

The solid chassis can never misalign or deform, even at high temperatures. The gear wheels for the carriage run on precision steel axles and the chassis is milled from a solid aluminium block with the highest precision. This is important for transport and ensures that it will last a lifetime.

The suspension system consists, as already described, of a stiff carbon fibre plate and carbon fibre tubes, plus springs, silicone dampers and screws. In conclusion, the manufacturer explicitly emphasises once again that the suspension, the lid and the turntable of the Pro-Ject CD BOX RS2 T are thus made of 100 per cent real carbon.

The turntable is supplied with an improved clamp, which is made of an aluminium alloy and is perfectly balanced. According to Pro-Ject Audio Systems, it ensures perfect contact between the disc and the drive and smooth rotation.

There are several reasons why the decision was made to use a CD transport system rather than a CD player in the conventional sense. On the one hand, it allows the developers more freedom to concentrate on the really essential, i.e. the complex mechanical construction mentioned above, and on the other hand, no other components such as converters and pre-amplifier electronics would interfere with the actual CD reading function. Moreover, this would offer customers the possibility to use the D/A converter of their choice, whereby the company is convinced that with solutions from the Pro-Ject Box Design series, it already has a wide range of high-end DACs in its portfolio that can be used as perfect gaming partners.

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In any case, the new Pro-Ject CD BOX RS2 T does not lack interfaces. A coaxial S/PDIF output is available as well as an optical S/PDIF interface. In addition, the new Pro-Ject CD BOX RS2 T has an AES/EBU and an I2S interface, which is implemented via HDMI, and offers the option of also transferring the master clock signal for perfect synchronisation with an external converter.

The front of the drive is initially adorned with a generously sized display, to the right of which are the buttons for playback control, and the main switch is designed as a toggle switch, as befits Pro-Ject Box Design RS Series solutions.

Of course, as already mentioned, the cabinet is made completely of aluminium and is available in silver or black.

The new Pro-Ject CD BOX RS2 T is supplied with a matching infrared remote control, which is also made of aluminium and thus rounds off the high-quality overall impression of this solution with an attractive feel.

The new Pro-Ject CD BOX RS2 T is powered by an external power supply unit with 20 V and 3,000 mA, which is of course included in the scope of delivery.

The new Pro-Ject CD BOX RS2 T should already be available in specialist shops these days at a recommended retail price of € 2,500.

Getting to the point

The Pro-Ject CD BOX RS2 T is the latest development in a series of ultimate top-loading CD transporters based on the CD-Pro 8 StreamUnlimited CD mechanism and the Blue Tiger CD-84 servo system. These two are essential components in order to ultimately develop a CD transport that actually exploits the full potential of an audio CD. Pro-Ject Audio Systems is the first manufacturer to use the new high-tech CD-Pro 8 drive with the Blue Tiger CD-84 servo card.

Manufacturer:Pro-Ject Audio Systems
Distribution:Audio Tuning Vertriebs GmbH
Price:€ 2.500,-

About Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and sempre-audio.com, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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