Pro-Ject Phono Box S3 B Phono stage
The Pro-Ject Phono Box S3 B is a compact, affordable moving magnet and moving coil phono stage with dual-mono layout, discrete circuitry and balanced inputs and outputs. With its spacious, minimalist design layout, it is easily customisable to suit any connected cartridge, and offers unrivalled value for money and performance when connected to any matching analogue hi-fi system.
- NEW 5-pin mini XLR balanced input
- NEW balanced XLR outputs
- NEW fully symmetrical & discrete gain stage
- NEW easy settings adjustment on the faceplate
- MM & MC capable
- Dual mono design
- Semi-passive RIAA equalization
- Superior low noise / low distortion
- Aluminium casing protects against interference
- Available in silver or black
- Made in Europe
The Pro-Ject design team took the decision to employ fully symmetrical and discrete circuitry in the gain stage of the Phono Box S3 B. Discrete circuits involve no operational amplifiers (op-amps), and the result is a more neutral, natural, dynamic, and vivid sound. They are more complicated to put together and involve a greater variety of components, but the result when utilised in a well-organised electrical layout is a true high-end sound.
The Phono Box S3 B is extensively customisable so suit the moving magnet or moving coil cartridge it is connected to. With five Impedance (Ω), four Capacitance (pF) and four Gain options on offer, there are very few cartridges this box of tricks cannot accommodate.
As the Phono Box S3 B is equipped with both balanced inputs and outputs, it is also part of Pro-Ject’s True Balanced Connections concept. By connecting to a turntable with a moving coil cartridge and using one of Pro-Ject’s balanced connection cables, your analogue system can benefit from increased dynamics, less noise and improved signal-to-noise ratios. Going true balanced is like hearing parts of your music that were not there before.
This requires engineering that has never been seen at this price point and opens up iconic mid-level turntables, such as the Debut Pro, to the benefits of True Balanced Connections.
Elsewhere in the Phono Box S3 B design, the semi-passive RIAA equalisation stage is optimised for absolute accuracy and signal integrity. Depending on the outputs you are using, this stage is then either directly fed to the output stage (when using RCA outputs) or is connected to a balancing stage for onward balanced connections.
The Phono Box S3 B is finished in a steel chassis, covered by silver or black aluminium panels, for extreme rigidity and good electrical isolation. The neat minimalist aesthetic allows for good spacing between controls on the front panel and connections on the back panel, despite its smaller size. It also features an external power adapter, to keep the sensitive internal signals free from any interferences.
True Balanced Connections
The interconnect cable between a record player and a phono stage is prone to pick up noise on the way. That noise and interference can stem from a lot of unavoidable sources, such as household appliances, wi-fi and Bluetooth devices, other power cables and audio amplifiers. Unshielded (i.e. RCA) interconnects can amplify the picked-up noise and make it audible through your speakers, interfering with the pure musical signal.
Balanced (typically XLR) cable connections double the wires carrying the musical signal – with one side inverted. In this case noise still gets picked up by both wires, but with one side reversed. When the signals are re-joined at the phono stage, the picked-up noise is cancelled out by the opposing signals. The benefit of this is a louder, cleaner musical signal that has doubled in size with almost no remaining noise.
|Input impedance:||10, 50, 100, 1k, 47k ohms|
|Input capacitance:||50, 150, 300, 400 pF|
|Gain (+ 6dB using XLR Out):||40, 45, 60, 65 dB|
|SNR MM (40dB):||103dBV, 110dBV - ‚A‘ weighted|
|SNR MC (60dB):||85dBV, 90dBV - ‚A‘ weighted|
|THD at 1 kHz:||<0,001% MM, < 0,005% MC|
|THD (20Hz-20kHz):||<0,008% MM, < 0,01% MC|
|RIAA-equalization curve accuracy:||<0,3dB / 20Hz - 20kHz|
|Subsonic filter:||at 20Hz with 18dB/octave|
|Input:||1x 5-pin mini XLR / 1x pair RCA phono sockets|
|Line-level output:||1x pair RCA, 1x pair XLR|
|Power supply DC:||18V/500mA|
|Power consumption:||18V/170mA DC, <0.5 W in standby|
|Dimensions:||206 x 55 x 153 (164 with sockets) mm|
|Weight:||930g without power supply|