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Pro-Ject MaiA Pre

Compact stereo preamplifier with built-in DAC and Bluetooth® (Silver)

3 Reviews | 2 questions - 3 answers

Item # 252MAIAPRS

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Overview

Our take on the Pro-Ject MaiA Pre

With its built-in digital-to-analog converter, Bluetooth streaming, and wide array of analog and digital inputs, you might think that the MaiA Pre was a full-size stereo preamplifier. But when you see it in person, it's astonishingly small — easily capable of being tucked away in a bookcase or used in a versatile desktop system.

Pro-Ject MaiA PRE compact stereo preamplifier

The Pro-Ject MaiA Pre can handle all your analog and digital music sources, plus Bluetooth for wireless music streaming.

A full-featured preamp in miniature

With its built-in digital-to-analog converter, Bluetooth streaming, and wide array of analog and digital inputs, you might think that the MaiA Pre was a full-size stereo preamplifier. But when you see it in person, it's astonishingly small — easily capable of being tucked away in a bookcase or used in a versatile desktop system.

The MaiA Pre's compact, all-metal chassis boasts connections for up to nine audio sources, including a high-quality phono input for your turntable. Just connect this little puppy to your favorite powered speakers, headphones, or power amp, and prepare to enjoy exciting, lifelike sound.


High-res audio

High-resolution sound, and more

The MaiA Pre's built-in DAC faithfully renders your digital sources, including high-res music files. There's also an asynchronous USB input for using your computer as a high-fidelity music source. One coaxial and two optical digital audio inputs means this amp is also ready for CD and Blu-ray players, network streaming devices, and more. 

Product Highlights:

  • built-in 24-bit/192kHz digital-to-analog converter
  • asynchronous USB input for playback of high-resolution digital music files from a connected computer (up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution)
  • Bluetooth wireless connectivity for streaming music from compatible smartphones, tablets, and computers
    • aptX® encoding provide high-quality music streaming from compatible devices
  • 3 stereo RCA audio inputs, including a phono input (for use with a moving magnet cartridge)
  • minijack analog input for connecting an iPod or other portable player
  • 2 Toslink optical digital audio inputs (supports music files up to 24-bit/96kHz)
  • coaxial digital audio input
  • dual-mono design for maximum stereo separation and imaging
  • built-in headphone amplifier with full-size (1/4") output
  • THD: 0.01%
  • frequency response: 20-20,000 Hz (+0dB, -0.5dB)
  • signal-to-noise ratio: 95 dB
  • credit card-style remote control
  • 8-1/8"W x 1-7/16"H x 7-15/16"D
  • weight: 2.43 lbs.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Preamp/DAC
  • AC power adapter (w/ attached 5' DC cord)
  • 3 AC plug inserts (US/EU/UK)
  • Remote control
  • CR2032 3V battery
  • Bluetooth antenna
  • CD-ROM w/ USB Driver
  • Instructions

Great way to integrate older amps with new equipment that have fiber optics or digital coaxial cables

Bill, Muncie, IN

Reviews

Pro-Ject MaiA Pre Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(3 Reviews)

ONE KNOB TO RULE THEM ALL

Kerry from Makawao, HI on 6/7/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I'm in a category apparently now known as a "two-channel" guy, so my opinion is based strictly on the audio performance and cannot comment on all the inputs and bluetooth capabilities. So, audio only, this is a fantastic performer: excellent detail, control, soundstage. Easily manages and reveals even subtle dynamic changes. Impressive presence. Functionality is a delight: simple and effective. The volume control is smooth and even up and down the range. And don't let these little photos fool you: the images might make you think it's constructed of plastics. it's all metal, excellent tooling, razor sharp demarcation, brilliant, precise LEDs. All genuinely stunning for the price.

Pros: -Audio quality -Compact size -Workmanship -FInish

Cons: no obvious or even subtle issues

Big Things Do Come in Small Packages

Art from Madera, CA on 9/13/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This audio component is incredibly awesome for a multitude of reasons. First, it was super easy to install, especially for a non-technical hardware layperson. Second, the ports on the back are easy to understand: lines for audio equipment, USB jack, and ports for optical cables. And third, the operational use is intuitive. My CD player and TV never sounded better!

Pros: Compact unit, easy to install, and even easier to use.

Cons:

Preamplifier

Bill from Muncie, IN on 7/8/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great way to integrate older amps with new equipment that have fiber optics or digital coaxial cables

Pros: Small Easy to setup Great range for bluetooth

Cons: None

Details

Hands-on research

Features and Specs

General
Signal to Noise Ratio 95
THD 0%
Number of Inputs
USB Connections Type-B
Ethernet Connections None
Phono Inputs 1
Preamp Outputs 2
Network Streaming Services N/A
Bluetooth Built-in
AirPlay Compatible None
Dimensions
Width (inches) 8-1/8
Height (inches) 1-7/16
Depth (inches) 7-15/16
Weight (pounds) 2.43
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year

Product Research

Features

Preamp & DAC: The Pro-Ject MaiA Pre is a small preamplifier/DAC combo with ultimate input flexibility, that is designed to be used with either active speakers, headphones, or any high quality power amplifier. Despite its small size, 9 source devices can be connected simultaneously offering analog & digital input options. A high-quality 24-bit/192kHz DAC is used for its USB, digital, and Bluetooth connections. No matter which input you choose, you'll get a natural & lifelike sound.

Low Output Impedance Preamplifier: The MaiA Pre offers a special low output impedance pre amplifier output stage (< 100ohms) to drive long NF cable lengths without loosing quality.

24-Bit/192kHz DAC: The Pro-Ject MaiA Pre utilizes a Cirrus Logic 24-bit/192kHz multi-bit delta-sigma type DAC (CS4344) for exceptional sound quality from the unit's USB-B input, optical & coaxial digital inputs, and built-in Bluetooth.

Asynchronous USB-B Input: The Pro-Ject preamplifier/DAC provides a USB-B input to connect your Windows PC or Mac computer for playback of compressed and high-res music files stored on your laptop or desktop. The unit's USB-B input bypass the inferior DAC in your computer and utilizes the 24-bit/192kHz DAC of the MaiA Pre for exceptional sound quality. Asynchronous technology allows the digital clock inside MaiA Pre to control the flow of data coming from your computer. This method of communication leads to less jitter (timing errors) for the unit's built-in DAC to deal with which results in clearer more defined sound.

Note: Windows PC will require a USB Class 2 driver that is installed on the included CD-ROM. Mac computers do not require a separate USB driver.

Built-in Bluetooth: The MaiA Pre offers built-in Bluetooth for wireless music streaming of stored music and music apps on your Bluetooth-enabled Apple iPod/iPhone/iPad, Windows PC/Phone, Mac computer/laptop, and more. The MaiA can pair with up to 8 Bluetooth devices, but only one can be used at a time. You'll still continue to use your Bluetooth device to control music playback and view song/artist information.

Note: Due to the differences in Bluetooth technology, some Bluetooth enabled devices may be incompatible, function improperly, or may not support all features when used with the Pro-Ject MaiA Pre.

Optical & Coaxial Digital Inputs: The Pro-Ject MaiA Pre features two optical (toslink) digital inputs and one coaxial (RCA) digital input to connect your Blu-ray/DVD player, cable/satellite box, game system, or TV. These digital inputs will accept 2ch PCM only. The optical digital inputs support up to 24-bit/96kHz, while the coaxial digital input supports up to 24-bit/192kHz.

Line-Level Inputs: The MaiA Pre includes two sets of stereo RCA inputs for connection of an analog audio device, like a CD player, AM/FM tuner, or tape deck. There is also a stereo minijack (3.5mm) input for connection of a portable music player.

Phono Input: The Pro-Ject preamplifer/DAC is equipped with a Phono input for connection of a turntable with an MM or MC cartridge.

Line Output: The Pro-Ject MaiA is fitted with a stereo RCA line output to connect to a power amplifier or powered speakers.

Headphone Jack: There is a 1/4" headphone jack on the front-panel for connecting a set of headphones (16-600 ohms).

Simple Control: The Pro-Ject MaiA Pre includes an IR remote control for wireless operation of the preamplifier/DAC. Control options include Power On/Off, Input Select, and Volume Up/Down. These same controls are also located on the unit's front-panel.

Metal Chassis: The MaiA Pre features a metal casing which effectively protects against interferences. The MaiA Pre is available with silver or black faceplates.

AC Power Adapter: The Pro-Ject MaiA Pre operates off of standard household current using the supplied external AC power adapter.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

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Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

Compact. Variety of inputs. [ Stephan  Nov 11, 2016 ]
I prefer preamps to integrated. We'll about the quality. [ Gregory  Oct 20, 2016 ]

2 questions already asked

There is only one set of outputs to an amplifier. You could try use RCA splitter to run output signals to two amps. [ WILLIAM  Feb 13, 2018 ]
Variable. Volume knob front and center. [ A Brett  Aug 30, 2017 ]
Output is fixed. [ Gilbert  Aug 30, 2017 ]
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