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Pro-Ject Tube Box DS

Vacuum tube phono preamplifier for moving magnet and moving coil cartridges

4 Reviews | 1 question - 1 answer

Item # 252TBBXDSB

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Was: $699.99

Special Purchase: -$300.00

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Our take on the Pro-Ject Tube Box DS

The ideal phono preamp for audio perfectionists

If you're like me, the warm, relaxed sound of vacuum tubes and vinyl is hard to resist. Also, if you're like me, you probably spend a good deal of time tweaking and tuning your rig to get the sound just right. Pro-Ject gets it. They designed the Tube Box DS just for people like us. This versatile vacuum tube phono preamp provides highly flexible options and settings for a wide range of phono cartridges — from moving magnet, to high- or low-output moving coil — to ensure top-notch performance that's tuned perfectly for your system. So go ahead, tweak it to your heart's content. 

High-quality sound you can custom-tune to match your gear

The secret to the Tube Box DS's dramatic sound starts with its audiophile-grade circuitry. Your music will jump out at you from a dead-quiet background thanks to this preamp's ultra low-noise design. Its vacuum tube output stage delivers the kind of silky smooth texture and spaciousness that tubes are famous for, keeping you glued to your chair late into the night. A continuously variable input impedance loading control on the front panel allows convenient adjustment for your low output MC cartridges to ensure a flat frequency response. You can even make adjustments on the fly while your records are playing, to fine-tune the sound.

Other features include adjustable input capacitance settings for moving magnet and high-output moving coil cartridges, plus gain-setting options to better match your cartridge to your system. A switchable subsonic filter protects your amplifier and speakers from power-wasting low-frequency rumble below 20Hz.

Product Highlights:

  • dual-mono design using two dual-triode ECC83 (12AX7A) vacuum tubes for optimal channel separation
  • compatible with moving magnet and moving coil phono cartridges
  • pre-mounted Cool Dampers reduce vacuum tube vibration for lower distortion and provide better heat dissipation for longer tube life
  • front-panel input impedance control for low output moving coil cartridges (continuously variable from 10-1000 ohms)
  • adjustable input capacitance and gain settings for more accurate cartridge matching
  • audiophile-grade polypropylene capacitors
  • switchable subsonic filter to reduce low-frequency rumble and wasted amplifier power (-18dB/octave at 20 Hz)
  • all-metal chassis for improved shielding from vibration and electromagnetic interference
  • external power supply for reduced noise and interference
  • gold-plated RCA connectors for corrosion-free signal transfer
  • capacitance settings: 47pF, 147pF, 267pF, and 367pF (for MM and high-output MC cartridges)
  • gain settings: 40dB, 50dB, and 60dB
  • RIAA response accuracy: 0.5dB (20-20,000 Hz)
  • THD: less than 0.1%
  • signal-to-noise ratio: 93dB
  • 4-1/16"W x 2-15/16"H x 6-1/16"D
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

This little phone amp made a big difference in the natural sound quality of my sound system. A little spendy, but well worth the investment.

Anonymous, Kirkland, WA

What's in the Box:

  • Turntable (MM/MC) tube pre-amplifier
  • AC power adapter (w/ attached 5' DC cord)
  • 3 AC plug inserts (US/EU/UK)
  • 2 Metal plates
  • 10 Jumper caps
  • (2 pre-installed)
  • Instructions For Use

Pro-Ject Tube Box DS Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(4 Reviews)

Pro-Ject Tube Box DS

Mick from Newton, IA on 5/10/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Sounds great right out of the box, Quality/Value. This Tube Box DS seems to be a perfect match for the Project RM5 that I've had Since 08. I have Listened to vinyl since 1974 and still have some of those same albums today, It is really like hearing them for the first time again. Only thing else I can say is I consider this a real bargain at the price ,Thank You.

Pros: Price/quality. Plug and play right out of the box.

Cons: Users Manual not very user friendly. Says you can make tweaks but so far none of the changes sound as good as the original settings

The Tube Box DS is LEGIT!!!

Dana from Memphis, TN on 2/18/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I recently upgraded my 2 channel system. I bought another main amp and have them both bridged to essentially have mono blocks now. I bought a new TT also. The amps tightened the bass and increased overall output and dynamic. The TT made everything more detailed and tightened the bass somewhat. I had an NAD PP2 and thought why not try an upgrade there as well. I was Very skeptical of the phono preamp being so critical. A Tube Box DS was in open box so I snatched it up! The improvement was immediate and evident on every single album I have played. I have only had this installed for 2.5 days and have already listened to about 20 records. For the first 10 I kept the NAD out and would go back and forth. 100% success each time....obvious improvement. What did I get from the DS, everything! There was another step up in detail and clarity for the mids, highs and soundstage. The bass really tightened up and is just so nice! I had a great sounding system and have now spent a lot of money over the last few weeks and that makes me cringe a little, but it just sounds sooooo sweet now! Obviously you have to have the full package with the right amplification and speakers to get the full benefit, but if you are considering an expensive phono preamp, I suspect you do. Good luck and happy listening!

Pros: Soundstage Detail Bass Everything

Cons: Price

Pro-Ject Tube Box DS

Anonymous from Kirkland, WA on 8/14/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This little phone amp made a big difference in the natural sound quality of my sound system. A little spendy, but well worth the investment.



A Dramatic Difference!

Gregory Martin Wodark from Coto De Caza, CA on 3/31/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I ordered this phono stage to go with my new Pro-Ject Debut Carbon (DC)Turntable. I actually had ordered the somewhat less costly model with tubes, just below this one in price. I noticed just now it is still, out of stock! I waited months for my order to come in. It never did! Finally, I called Crutchfield, and got them to order this model (which they did not carry at the time). I wanted to stay with a tube design after reading about the warmer sound quality. I cannot tell you how it compares with other phono preamps. However, it made a dramatic, almost night and day difference in the sound from the turntable.

Pros: -Dynamic range and punch! - Rich, warm, sound quality . - Makes music from the turntable truly come alive!

Cons: -Cost


Hands-on research

Product Research


Tube Phono Preamp: The Pro-Ject Audio Systems Tube Box DS is a very high-quality phono cartridge preamplifier. This precision tube phono preamplifier benefits from outstanding circuit technology from Dr. Sykora and uses high-quality components. All components including tube output (ECC83) and polypropylene capacitors are audiophile-grade and guarantee a breathtaking sound experience.

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

Variable Controls: A variable selection of input impedance for MC cartridges can be done while playing a record. Other features include input capacitance for MM cartridges and switchable subsonic, that prevents your amplifier and speakers of ultra low rumble below 20Hz.

  • Input Gain (for MM/MC): The phono preamp's input gain can be adjusted to 40dB, 50dB, or 60dB for MM & MC.
  • Input Impedance Adjustment (for MC): There is a variable input impedance adjustment for low output MC on the front-panel. Choose from 10 ohms to 1000 ohms.
  • Input Capacitance Adjustment (for MM): Input capacitance can be adjusted in 4-steps for MM. Choose from 47pF, 147pF, 267pF, or 367pF.
  • Subsonic Filter: The Subsonic filter helps to reduce low-frequency rumble and wasted amplifier power.

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

Gold-Plated RCA Connections: The Pro-Ject Tube 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.

Power Requirements: The Pro-Ject Tube 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, 1.0A.

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?

Tube phono pre-amp that is the same brand as my Project turntable [ Michael  Apr 01, 2017 ]
The weakest part of integrated amps and stand-alone preamps is generally the phono section. Yet that is where the most exacting refinement and adjustability is needed, in listening to less than technically perfect but nonetheless entrancing, involving old analog LPs and 78s. Because of its tubes and wide adjustability for both MM and MC cartridges, the Pro-Ject Tube Box DS may be a big improvement over the built-in phono preamp I'm currently using. (Will see!) [ Gerald  Feb 14, 2017 ]
improve sonic quality of my turntable. [ Norman  Jan 04, 2017 ]

1 question already asked

Tech Support is included with your purchase from Crutchfield, feel free to contact our Tech Support team. They can walk you through the settings on the product and see if there may be a fix. Our toll-free Tech Support number is printed on your invoice, and is also available under the "My Orders" tab in the "My Account" section of our website. [ Kenny  Apr 07, 2017 ]  Staff

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