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Pro-Ject CD Box S3 – Ultra-compact CD player

It is the first product of the new Pro-Ject Box Design S3 Series, which is now presented with the audio CD player Pro-Ject CD Box S3. This presents itself with a new circuit design, but also a significantly changed housing, the new Pro-Ject Box Design S3 format.

With the new Pro-Ject CD Box S3, Pro-Ject Audio Systems opens a new chapter in the long success story of the Pro-Ject Box Design Series, as it establishes the latest generation of the smallest product line, the Pro-Ject Box Design S3 Series. This new product generation has a surprise in store, namely a new form factor. The manufacturer speaks of the Pro-Ject S3 format.

But besides the new look, the new Pro-Ject CD Box S3 shall of course also present itself with a newly conceived circuit design and thus once again appear as a fine audio CD player for music enthusiasts.

Pro-Ject Box Design Series – A Success Story

For years, Pro-Ject Audio Systems has not only been the market leader in the field of record players, but can also point to an immensely impressive product range of electronic components. What once began with phono preamplifiers many, many years ago has long since become a wide range of amplifiers, streaming clients, D/A converters, headphone amplifiers, phono preamplifiers and CD players.

The Pro-Ject Box Design Series is divided into different product lines, whereby the most important by far is the Pro-Ject Box Design S Series. These solutions are best suited to the philosophy that Pro-Ject Audio Systems has always pursued, “Best sound at the best price”, and are thus aimed at a particularly broad target group.

Pro-Ject Box Design S3 Series – The third generation

It is remarkable that the third generation of the Pro-Ject Box Design S3 Series has already been launched, namely with the presentation of the new Pro-Ject CD Box S3 and thus the audio CD player of this product family.

Pro-Ject CD Box S3 – Audio CD player with slot-in mechanism

Even in its latest generation, the Pro-Ject CD Box S3 presents itself as a specialist for only one task, namely the playback of audio CDs. This underlines Pro-Ject Audio Systems’ conviction, which has always been pursued in this product class, that a drive designed solely for audio CD playback is clearly superior to universal drives that can play DVD or Blu-ray in addition to audio CD.

The Pro-Ject CD Box S3 is designed to guarantee 1:1 bit-accurate CD playback, thus providing the best possible results.

The drive of the new Pro-Ject CD Box S3 is also designed as a slot-in mechanism; in this respect, too, nothing has changed compared to the previous generations. By the way, the manufacturer particularly emphasises that the mechanism is designed in such a way that playback is quite fast.

What is new, however, is that the Pro-Ject CD Box S3 now has a once again improved D/A converter, which, even though it would not be necessary for audio CD, works in the form of a Texas Instruments PCM5102 DAC with 32 bits and 384 kHz.

  • Foto © Pro-Ject Audio Systems | Pro-Ject CD Box S3
  • Foto © Pro-Ject Audio Systems | Pro-Ject CD Box S3
  • Foto © Pro-Ject Audio Systems | Pro-Ject CD Box S3
  • Foto © Pro-Ject Audio Systems | Pro-Ject CD Box S3
  • Foto © Pro-Ject Audio Systems | Pro-Ject CD Box S3

Analogue and digital output

In the proven manner, the new Pro-Ject CD Box S3 offers not only an analogue output in the form of a pair of cinch sockets, but also a coaxial S/PDIF interface.

The power supply is provided by an external 9 V 2A power supply unit, which is of course included in the scope of delivery. However, this can be replaced by an optional power supply, such as those offered by Pro-Ject Audio Systems themselves in the Pro-Ject Box Design series.

Simple operating concept

In principle, an audio CD player is not too complex, but Pro-Ject Audio Systems has chosen a particularly simple operating concept. Apart from the standby button, there are only four buttons on the front panel, which, in combination with a newly designed 1.54 inch colour display, serve to control playback directly on the unit.

A matching infrared remote control is also included with the new Pro-Ject CD Box S3.

Pro Ject CD Box S3 11Pro Ject CD Box S3 10
Foto © Pro-Ject Audio Systems | Pro-Ject CD Box S3

New Pro-Ject Box Design S3 format

As already described in the introduction, the new Pro-Ject CD Box S3 not only heralds the third generation of the Pro-Ject Box Design S Series, it also establishes a new form factor for the cabinet, the Pro-Ject Box Design S3 format.

With dimensions of 205 mm in width, 55 mm in height and 153 mm, it has turned out a tad higher than previous solutions. This offers the decisive advantage that the developers at Pro-Ject Audio Systems have a little more leeway to design new solutions in the future.

Of course, nothing has changed in the fact that they rely on impeccable workmanship with aluminium as the material. The surface is brushed and you can choose between a silver and a black finish.

Prices and availability

The new Pro-Ject CD Box S3 should be available in specialist shops soon. As just mentioned, this solution is available in silver as well as black in the proven manner. The recommended retail price is stated by the manufacturer at € 399.

Getting to the point

It is already the third generation of the Pro-Ject Box Design S Series, which Pro-Ject Audio Systems now heralds with the new Pro-Ject CD Box S3. The fact that the first unit of this new product generation is a CD player, a CD player that is explicitly designed for the playback of audio CDs only, shows the high importance that the company still attaches to this format. The fact that the new generation of the product series, in addition to once again optimised circuit design, also comes with a newly designed, more generously proportioned housing, comes as a surprise, but gives the developers more room for manoeuvre in many other solutions of the successful product series, which will probably not be too long in coming.

PRODUCTPRO-JECT CD BOX S3
Price€ 399,-
BrandPRO-JECT AUDIO
ManufacturerPro-Ject Audio Systems
Distribution AustriaAudio Tuning Vertriebs GmbH
Distribution GermanyAudio Trade Hi-Fi Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH
Distribution SwitzerlandMarlex GmbH – Audiophile Produkte
More about this manufacturer at HiFi BLOG

Michael Holzinger

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

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