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Pro-Ject Tube Box DS

Vacuum tube phono preamplifier for moving magnet and moving coil cartridges

20 Reviews | 2 questions - 3 answers

Item # 252TBBXDSB

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Was: $699.99

Special Purchase: -$300.00

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Overview

Our take on the Pro-Ject Tube Box DS

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. 

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.

Need a cable?

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

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

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

So far I am very happy with this preamp. Paired with a proper amplifier it sounds great. There are a lot of options for different types of cartridges.

Adam, Somerville, MA

Reviews

Pro-Ject Tube Box DS Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(20 Reviews)
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Hands-on research

Product Research

Features

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-plated 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.

Accessories
Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

Good reviews and a great price. [ DANIEL  May 29, 2018 ]
After reading a lot of reviews and watching a lot of videos, I decided on this amazing little gadget because it's the best in it's class! [ Carlos  Apr 27, 2018 ]
Was looking for a phono preamp to go with my new A/V receiver (which didn't have a phono input), and after reading many online reviews I decided on this one. [ KEVIN  Apr 01, 2018 ]
It was recommended to me by a friend who also has a high end stereo system. It works with many preamps that don't have a phono preamp. Ease of use [ James  Mar 30, 2018 ]
Good Price [ Kevin  Mar 03, 2018 ]
I want to improve the sound coming from my turntable. [ edgar  Mar 01, 2018 ]
I have a two turntables set up in the living room. One with a Shure V315 from the 70s, the other a Blue Point number 2. I can connect both. [ Robert W.  Feb 07, 2018 ]
REVIEW [ Rafael  Jan 01, 2018 ]
Ability to adjust for low output MC cart and that tube-aliciousness. [ Larry  Oct 13, 2017 ]
Online review [ MICHAEL W  Sep 26, 2017 ]
The price! I was looking to replace my current phono stage, which is the weakest link in my audio chain. The price was unbeatable. I can't wait to hear it. [ devin  Sep 20, 2017 ]
I've been looking at this for a while now and have read great reviews on this and other sites. With $300.00 off and some reward cash I couldn't resist! Can't wait to receive it and start spinning vinyl. I'll be adding it to my current system. Which is a Marantz SR6010 receiver, Pro-Ject Debut Carbon TT with Ortofon Red Cartridge, cork mat, and Elac Uni-Fi UB5 Bookshelf Speakers with Polk Audio PSW111 Subwoofer. [ TERENCE  Sep 01, 2017 ]
Can't pass up on $300 off regular price. [ U  Aug 21, 2017 ]
I wanted to get into tubes, and I felt that adding it to the phono soundstage was a good introduction. Also hoping to remove RFI that I am experiencing with my current soundstage. [ Lynn  Aug 09, 2017 ]
Stepping up to a nicer phono preamp. [ Arthur  Aug 04, 2017 ]
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 ]

2 questions already asked

Ds2 is a much better phono-stage. It sounds better, better controls. It gives you another phono input. Very nice device for the money. It you, however, have a low output cartridge , be aware, ds2 will be noisy past 60dbs gain. Still very hard to beat for the money. [ Alex  Jan 12, 2018 ]
It would appear that the (cumbersome) rear switching on the DS has been moved to the front on the DS2. However, without having each model, it is impossible to compare the specifications and sonic characteristics. But the greatly reduced price on the DS model (as well as its smaller size) make it highly worthy of consideration! [ Robert  Jan 12, 2018 ]
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
Articles

Looking for more? Check out the next model in this lineup.

Pro-Ject TubeBox DS2 BK

Get even more tweaky with it

The Pro-Ject Tube Box DS2 offers these features:

gain settings: 40dB, 45dB, 50dB, 60dB, and 65dB

capacitance settings: 100pF, 220pF, 320pF

switchable loading: variable or 47k

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