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Pro-Ject Phono Box DS+

Phono preamplifier for moving magnet and moving coil cartridges (Black)

5 Reviews | 3 questions - 18 answers

Item # 252PBDSPB

This item is no longer available.

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Our take on the Pro-Ject Phono Box DS+

This phono preamp is all about giving you choices. It provides a super-clean phono stage to boost output from your moving coil or moving magnet cartridge, then offers a handful of adjustable settings and filters that help you fine-tune the sound.

The bright, clear screen on the Pro-Ject Phono Box DS+ helps you choose settings that get premium sound out of any cartridge.

The bright, clear screen on the Pro-Ject Phono Box DS+ helps you choose settings that get premium sound out of any cartridge.

Clean phono equalization for your turntable system

This phono preamp is all about giving you choices. It provides a super-clean phono stage to boost output from your moving coil or moving magnet cartridge, then offers a handful of adjustable settings and filters that help you fine-tune the sound.

Audiophiles get pinpoint control over input impedance, capacitance, and gain, and there's a subsonic filter that can eliminate any low-end rumble, too.

Find the perfect match

When you use the Pro-Ject Phono Box DS+, you can choose the phono cartridge you prefer, and use the preamp's settings to get the most out of it.

For instance, our customers love the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon turntable, which comes with an Ortofon 2M Red moving magnet cartridge pre-mounted. Pro-Ject recommends that you set input impedance at 47k, input capacitance at 147p, and input gain at 40dB. The preamp's bright, clear screen shows you how to dial in your choices, so your records sound their absolute best.

Then, if you upgrade your system in the future, the DS+ is ready to match up with your next 'table and cartridge.

Need a cable?

This phono preamp does not come with an RCA cable to connect to your receiver or amp.

Product Highlights:

  • compatible with moving magnet and moving coil phono cartridges
  • match preamp settings to your cartridge to get the best possible sound
  • vibration-resistant metal casing
  • bright, clear screen displays your settings
  • adjustable parameters:
    • input impedance: 10, 100, 1k or 47k ohms
    • input capacitance: 47, 147, 267 or 367 pF (picofarads)
    • input gain: 40, 45, 60 or 65 dB
    • subsonic filter on/off
  • retains settings while powered down
  • stereo RCA inputs and outputs
  • audiophile-grade linear RIAA equalization
  • RIAA response accuracy: ±0.3dB (20-20,000 Hz)
  • signal-to-noise ratio: 90dB
  • THD: < 0.005%
  • 4-1/16"W x 2-7/8"H x 6-3/16"D
  • weight: 2.25 lbs.
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Phono preamplifier (MM/MC)
  • AC power adapter (attached 5' DC cord)
  • 3 AC plug inserts (US/EU/UK)
  • Instructions For Use

Pro-Ject Phono Box DS+ Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(5 Reviews)

Big improvement, no buyer remorse

Sean from Taylorsville, NC on 7/7/2018

Having been a little underwhelmed by the phono soundstage on my otherwise excellent Yamaha A-S701 integrated amplifier, I came across a great deal on this preamp right here at Crutchfield. It was discounted as a "Scratch and Dent" item, and looks near perfect to me! I've had this for less than a week but have no regrets. My vinyl has come alive. Much richer bass. No need to turn the knob way up for adequate volume. I had to do a little research to figure out the correct preamp settings for my Audio Technica AT-120E cartridge, and it was a breeze to make the adjustments. I'm far from an expert or audiophile, but I know what I like, and I like what this preamp has done to the overall sound of my vinyl collection. Crutchfield is terrific to deal with. Customer services responds almost immediately to all questions, and this item was delivered two days earlier than originally projected. What a pleasant surprise. I only wish I waited for the silver to be available!

Pros: Significant improvement in sound quality compared to integrated amplifier phono soundstage; versatile (MM/MC option); setup was pretty straightforward

Cons: Would be nice to have a power on/off switch but that's a very minor complaint because the display looks great

Very Nice Mid-Range Phono Preamp

Mark from Monroe, WA on 4/8/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Compact, easy to set up and adjust. Clear display. DS+ has gain settings for both moving magnet and moving coil cartridges. Excellent audio quality with no noise. There are clear differences in audio performance as you adjust cartridge load and capacitance settings within the range specified by your cartridge manufacturer. Said differently, I'm pleased to have the ability to make minor adjustments rather than having just a fixed phono preamp. With my receiver, even with the gain set to the lowest setting (which wasn't right for my moving coil cartridge) I couldn't use the Phono input (it was over-loading/distorting). I tried another available line-level input, raised the gain 60db and it worked beautifully.

Pros: Excellent features, solid specs, compact form, easy setup and adjustment. Adjustable gain, impedance and capacitance.

Cons: Limited range of adjustments (four options for most settings). Button labelling isn't intuitive for all functions, you'll need the short product manual in order to use correctly.

Great Product, should provide a lifetime of enjoyment.

Robert from Oxford, MS on 1/8/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I recently purchased a used high-end turntable that came fitted with a very expensive, low output moving coil cartridge. As terrific as the turntable and cartridge are, the MM/MC phono input on my integrated amplifier just could not provide enough amplification. With a few moments of connecting the Pro-Ject DS+ I had set the adjustable impedance, capacitance and gain to match my cartridge and my new turntable was rocking the house! I was skeptical about the built-in subsonic filter, but it truly has no audible effect, cutting only those frequencies below 20hz.

Pros: Very flexible, sounds terrific, clean unobtrusive styling. Cost a fraction of comparable preamps with similar features, a real bargain!

Cons: Haven't found any cons yet!

Best Phono Pre Amp Yet For My Needs

Rick from IL on 12/7/2017

This is the best sounding, easiest to use multi setting phono pre I've used to date. The dual mono Phono Box S sounds great, but the dip switches underneath the unit are bit fiddly. The Phono Box DS is very easy to configure and also sounds very good. It just didn't sound as "consise" as the dual mono Phono Box S to my ears. Enter the DS+. Dual mono design, easy setup and GREAT sound with all my MM and HOMC carts. The unit itself takes up a bit of real estate but the smooth sound more than makes up for it. Enjoy!

Pros: Outstanding Sound Easy Setup For MM/MC Dual Mono Design Well Shielded

Cons: Display A Bit Bright Could Be A Bit Smaller

Good looking, but unexplained

Carmen from Lansdowne, PA on 9/11/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

It looks really good the reason for my review is that as nice looking as it is , it really didn't come with an explanation of its use or the best way to utilize it for its usage I'm sorry but if it had been more self explanatory then yes I would probably have given it a five star rating I searched you tube for some kind of way to learn about the uses and only found unpacking and looks for it nothing at all about the particular product and the best way to use it so if I can get some better usage explanations I could probably give it a better rating

Pros: Looks really good

Cons: Unexplained usage needs better owners manual

Crutchfield response on 9/12/2017 We forwarded this review to our Technical Support team for follow-up. They can help you solve the problem or set up a return/exchange within 60 days of purchase. Lifetime tech support comes with every Crutchfield purchase.

Hands-on research

Product Research


Phono Preamp: The Pro-Ject Audio Systems Box DS+ is a very high-quality phono cartridge preamplifier. This precision phono preamplifier benefits from outstanding circuit technology from Dr. Sykora and uses high-quality components. All components, including polypropylene capacitors, are audiophile-grade and guarantee a breathtaking sound experience.

MM/MC Compatible: The Pro-Ject Box DS+ phono preamplifier offers amplifications and RIAA equalization for MM and MC cartridges.

Front-Panel Controls: The  Pro-Ject Box DS+ phono preamplifier's front-panel consists of a LCD screen and four push-buttons. The following settings can be adjusted from the front-panel.

  • Input Gain: The phono preamp's input gain can be adjusted to 40dB, 45dB, 50dB, or 60dB.
  • Input Impedance Adjustment: The is a variable input impedance adjustment can be set to 10, 100, 1k, or 47k ohms.
  • Input Capacitance Adjustment: Input capacitance can between 47pF, 147pF, 267pF, or 367pF.
  • Subsonic Filter: The Subsonic filter (-12dB @ 20Hz) can be turned on or off, and helps to reduce low-frequency rumble and wasted amplifier power.

Gold-Plated RCA Connections: The Pro-Ject Box DS+ is equipped with a pair of gold-plated RCA connections for the output stage and input stage. The gold-plate RCA connectors offer corrosion-free signal transfer.

Metal Case: The phono preamplifier features a metal case that shields the electronics from vibration and electromagnetic interference.

Power Requirements: The Pro-Ject Box DS+ turntable preamplifier operates off of standard household current using the included external power supply. The outboard power supply helps reduce noise and interference.

  • Input: 100-240V~50/60Hz, 0.4A
  • Output: 18V AC, 0.5A

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.

Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

I did some research and this phono amp meets my requirements. . [ RALPH  May 23, 2018 ]
I was looking for a phono preamp and this was available at a great price and the reviews are good, so I thought I would give it a try. [ Gary  May 21, 2018 ]
Needed an adjustable gain amplifier, liked that it had other features to adjust as well. [ D  Aug 25, 2017 ]

3 questions already asked

I have the Project Debut Carbon and I've used the Ortofon Red and Bronze cartridges and both sound great. I haveen't tried any moving coil cartridges but that is one thing that drew me to this preamp. It can accommodate both MM and MC cartridges and the settings are easy to change. [ Charles  May 05, 2018 ]
The preamp has is adjustable and I doubt there is a cartridge on the market that this preamp can't handle. It works great with my Shelter 501 cartridge, which has a very low output and wouldn't work with me two previous photo preamps. [ Robert  May 05, 2018 ]
When looking at a phono pre-amp, it's all about the cartridge and with the exception of connections, not about the turntable. Said differently, if your turntable has a low output moving-coil or moving-magnet type cartridge, you would consider a phono pre-amp. Particularly important when you do not have a dedicated phono input on your [whatever]. This particular pre-amp allows you to select from different levels of signal boost and cartridge loading values (impedance and capacitance) which will allow you to choose those settings you think sound best with your cartridge. [ EEWdad  May 04, 2018 ]
Any turntable that doesnt have a built in preamp. And then some of those can be bypassed for a better phonostage. It supports moving magnet and moving coil cartridges. [ roger  May 04, 2018 ]
Any turntable you like with a MM Cartridge. [ Douglas  May 04, 2018 ]
This will apply the standard phono cartridge response equalization and also work fine with moving magnet or both high and low output moving coil cartridges. It has nice selectable loading also to make it compatiable with most if not all moving coil cartridges. No reason to be picky on the turntable. Anything from a $100 turntable to a $3500 turntable. Usually people who pay over $3000 for a turntable and still need a tonearm for several hundred to several thousand dollars more plus a cartridge for $500 up will likely buy a "higher end" preamp I would think. Worth a try at least. Price is exceptionally good for the quality of this product. [ William  May 04, 2018 ]
I think any turntable that doesn't have a built amp will benefit. These are the selected settings, which should cover any cartridge you choose. Input impedance: 10, 100, 1K, 47 K In capacitance: 47p, 147p, 267p, 367p Input gain: 40dB. 45dB, 60dB, 65dB Subsonic filter; On or Off The [ Charles  May 04, 2018 ]
Dual CS-5000 with a Ortofon M2 Blue [ John  May 04, 2018 ]
Pretty much anything! Both moving coil and moving magnet cartridges are compatible. This unit is very programmable, so you just need to find the correct settings for your particular cartridge, and you're good to go. The only turntables that wouldn't work with this are ones that include a phono preamp (like certain tables with USB output). [ Scott  May 04, 2018 ]
the output should work on any auxiliary input on any receiver. Your Onkyo may however have a terminal marked phono which does not apply the needed gain nor the phono EQ required, just gives you a place to plug it in with an identity that will work with your remote or read phono on the front panel. . Read the manual. Very few AVR's have the gain in an input called phono to use it for phono. It may just be marked to accept the phono preamp output. Check the manual. If the manual says it requires a phono preap, then it should be ok to use with the phono preamp and is really just another auxiliary marked phono. [ William  May 04, 2018 ]
I believe you can use this preamp on any input EXCEPT phono. The Phono input has it's own preamp built into the receiver and only allows a low level signal [ Eric  Feb 25, 2018 ]
Any rca jacks but do NOT use phono if has them. This unit if for amplifying and correcting output from a record. Use aux or tuner or some other device in like even cd if you want. If you have a high output cartridge for playing records you do not need the Phono Box DS It does the correction and you do not want to do that twice! [ William  Feb 25, 2018 ]
My Onkyo TX SR805 has direct input for the output of a turntable. I use the Pro-Ject device to connect a Pioneer turntable. Sorry but don't know much about your Onkyo. But in any regard the Onkyo manual for your model should address your questions R/Jonathan [ JONATHAN A  Feb 25, 2018 ]
Any non phono input, regardless of how it's labeled. [ NELS  Feb 24, 2018 ]
Auxilary input would work fine. [ Douglas  Feb 24, 2018 ]
I'm not familiar with that particular receiver, but you can plug the output of the phono box to any line level input on the receiver. Looking at that receiver's info, I would use either the CD or the DVD input. Make sure to NOT use the phono input. [ Scott  Feb 24, 2018 ]
Connect to audio in jacks [1-6] Your choice. Just do not use the phono jacks! I love my DS+ ,hope you enjoy yours. Joe [ Josef  Feb 24, 2018 ]
the only thing I can suggest to you is thatypucant hook it up to your phono pre amp connection you would have to try an auxiliary outlet to hook up your amplifier and the project phono preamp but if you trying to run two turntables you would have to have more than one preamp and neither could be hooked in your phono pre amp I had the same problem with mine it was very noisy and made the record sound like it was damaged with a lot of clicking and popping so that it was un recognizable you would be better off hooking into your phono preamp alone or if you want two turntables I would suggest another phono pre amp that is made for that type of hook up so that you could hook up the turntables together the money you spend on the project phono would be better spent on another preamp with two hook ups for turntables that also has built in filters [ Phyllis  Dec 18, 2017 ]