Pro-Ject Debut EVO Banner Dezember 2020

Pro-Ject Phono Box RS2 – Reference class phono preamplifier

Pro-Ject Phono Box RS2

No other phono preamplifier on the market offers such a wide range of possibilities to be adapted to different pickup systems, says Pro-Ject Audio Systems about the latest addition to the Pro-Ject Box Design RS2 Series, the Pro-Ject Phono Box RS2. With its fully symmetrical, discrete design and linear power supply, this is a solution in the reference class.


It is obvious that Pro-Ject Audio Systems, the undisputed world market leader in the field of record players, has always played a major role in the electronic components of the Pro-Ject Box Design Series phono preamplifiers. The most diverse product lines offered by the aforementioned Pro-Ject Box Design Series therefore always include a wide variety of phono preamps. The so-called Pro-Ject Box Design RS Series is of course particularly ambitious, since it represents the high-end series from Pro-Ject Audio Systems, whose solutions clearly claim the role of flagship in their respective categories.

Now, Pro-Ject Audio Systems presents the latest phono preamplifier of the Pro-Ject Box Design RS Series, namely the latest generation Pro-Ject Box Design RS2 Series and thus the new Pro-Ject Phono Box RS2. The company is talking about nothing less than a high-end phono preamplifier, but more than that, it is a reference-class solution that offers unique possibilities and outstanding quality. The new Pro-Ject Phono Box RS2 has a completely symmetrical design, the electronics are completely discrete and the user can make adjustments to his drive in more detail than anywhere else.

Of course, the new Pro-Ject Phono Box RS2 also presents itself in the style of the Pro-Ject Box Design RS Series, which is based on an elegant cabinet with a stainless steel frame covered by aluminium panels.

Although it is the largest product line in the entire Pro-Ject Box Design Series, the Pro-Ject Phono Box RS2 is an extremely compact solution, measuring 206 x 72 x 200 mm and still far from those normally considered the standard dimensions in hi-fi. Without power supply, the Pro-Ject Phono Box RS2 weighs 1.6 kg, and this detail should also be mentioned.

A special feature that distinguishes the new Pro-Ject Phono Box RS2 can be recognised at first glance by the numerous controls on its front panel. The developers at Pro-Ject Audio Systems have endeavoured to create a solution that can be optimally adapted to the drive or the pick-up system mounted on the record player in all relevant aspects, and in the simplest possible way. This means that the Pro-Ject Phono Box RS2 offers rotary encoders, push-buttons and status LEDs directly on the front panel, where other solutions either leave no intervention at all or display this with more or less hidden rows of DIP switches.

Of course, the new Pro-Ject Phono Box RS2 is designed for both MM and MC pickup systems and offers corresponding setting options for both “worlds”.

For example, Pro-Ject Audio Systems states that no other phono preamplifier has so far offered such good possibilities for setting the gain as the Pro-Ject Phono Box RS2 does. Very large ranges of 40 dB up to 70 dB are possible here, which corresponds to a voltage amplification of 100 times up to 3,690 times. This high amplification, however, requires that the phono preamplifier works absolutely free of interference, especially when it comes to noise.

Pro-Ject Audio Systems therefore first of all relies on a completely balanced circuitry, from input to output, and speaks of a true dual-mono design. This guarantees the best possible signal-to-noise ratio, even at such high gain levels. In addition, the developers did without integrated circuits during the complete construction and thus designed the electronics to be fully discrete. This means that no operational amplifiers are used and a split passive RIAA and DECCA equalization is also used.

This split passive equalization is much more complex and extensive in its structure, and of course costs much more, but it allows much more precise signal processing and thus delivers an ideal EQ curve with the smallest deviations.

It should also be emphasised that the new Pro-Ject Phono Box RS2 allows infinitely variable adjustment of the load impedance via a potentiometer, so that the effects of the various charging options can be assessed immediately during playback.

A completely new feature of the Pro-Ject Phono Box RS2 is that the balance can be corrected here. This is intended to directly compensate for any imbalance of the pickup between the left and right channels. This is a feature that has not been found in this price class so far, says Pro-Ject Audio Systems.

Specifically, the new Pro-Ject Phono Box RS2 for MM pick-up systems allows the gain to be set between 40, 43, 46 and 50 dB, while MC pick-up systems offer 60, 63, 66 and 70 dB. The input impedance can be fixed at 10 ohms or 47 kohms or variably adjusted between 10 ohms and 1 kohm. The capacitance can be adjusted between 50, 100, 150, 200, 250, 300, 350 and 400 pF.

The new Pro-Ject Phono Box RS2 offers both – inputs and outputs – with RCA and XLR sockets.

Of course, the new Pro-Ject Phono Box RS2 comes with a matching power supply unit, so Pro-Ject Audio Systems once again offers scope for future upgrades. The Pro-Ject Power Box RS2 Phono, an external power supply unit with a linear design, will soon be available. In contrast to the standard version, this is a transformer with very low core saturation and a particularly effective shielding between the primary and secondary windings. This naturally causes higher costs, so that this solution is offered as an optional extension. Space is also required here, so that the Pro-Ject Power Box RS2 Phono ultimately has exactly the same dimensions as the Pro-Ject Phono Box RS2 itself. A further major advantage of this upgrade is that many record players from Pro-Ject Audio Systems can also be supplied with power at the same time, thus achieving an increase in quality.

The new Pro-Ject Phono Box RS2 is offered in two design variants, as has always been the case with all solutions from the Pro-Ject Box Design Series. The customer can choose between a silver and a black version.

The recommended retail price without obligation is stated by the manufacturer as € 1,499.

Getting to the point

Pro-Ject Audio Systems presents the latest phono preamplifier of the Pro-Ject Box Design RS2 Series, the new Pro-Ject Phono Box RS2. The company is talking about nothing less than a high-end phono preamplifier, but more than that, it is a reference-class solution that offers unique possibilities and outstanding quality. The new Pro-Ject Phono Box RS2 has a completely symmetrical design, the electronics are completely discrete and the user can make adjustments to his drive in more detail than anywhere else.

Manufacturer:Pro-Ject Audio Systems
Distribution:Audio Tuning Vertriebs GmbH
Price:€ 1.499,-

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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