Pro-Ject Phono Box S
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
I have been using this now for almost a year. I had previously been using the phono input on my Sansui AU-717 with my moving magnet cartridges (Shure M97xE and Audio Technica AT120). The rest of my system is a Technics SL-1700mk2 and Klipsch KG 4.2's. I decided I wanted to try moving coil and picked up a Denon DL-103. My Sansui didn't have a MC input so I found myself shopping for a phono amp that could support MC. My brother owned a Pro-Ject Tube Box S and after hearing that, I knew I wanted something similar. Not wanting to break the bank, I settled on the less expensive Pro-Ject Phono Box S. After much testing and break in time, I decided I like these settings best for each of my cartridge types: MM: 43dB gain, 47kohm impedance, 200pF capacitance. MC: 63dB gain, 100ohm impedance, 100pF capacitance (irrelevant). We have done back to back comparisons of the Tube Box S and Phono Box S on both my system and my brothers. The general consensus is the that Tube Box S is a bit warmer and the Phono Box S is punchier. Both sound very good and are very musical. If you switch cartridges often, it is a bit of a pain to flip the dip switches back and forth. If you don't switch often, that will be a non-issue. Also, the manual could provide more detail on setting options as I initially found it confusing. So overall, I highly recommend the Phono Box S for it sound quality, flexibility across different cartridges, and value.
Pros: Gain, impedance, and capacitance flexibility for both MM and MC cartridges. High quality. Good sound. Good value.
Cons: Dip switches are a pain if you switches cartridges often. Manual is short on information.