Pro-Ject Audio Phono Box S2 vs Phono Box DS2

A regularly asked question: what's the difference between the S2 and the DS2 range from Pro-Ject Audio's electronic range.

Looking at some of the technical key specs below, both look reasonably similar but only those that are looking into MC cartridges or for those seeking finer detail will identify some important nuances (i.e. those with 2M Bronze or greater equipment). That said - you'll get a lot more from a 2M Red and Blue with a DS2 unit too but the advantage won't be quite so great.

It's important to note that the S2 range relies on small "flip switches" on the underside of the unit to make adjustments. The DS2 elevate this to soft press LED indicated push buttons on the front of the unit. So for users who regularly tweak their pre-amp per record/per setup etc will find the DS2 more practical.

There are also features such as 12v triggers which, if you're running multiple hifi components has an advantage (especially when you're power things on/off regularly) and gives that "integrated" approach to your setup.

Both have a dual mono configuration.

Material differences outside of the above

  • Gain control for low output MC cartridges is a key factor and the DS2 has more resolution within the gain control.
  • The DS2 range features a sandwich alu/metal casing protects from vibrations and electromagnetic interference and features either Walnut (on silver models) or Eucalyptus (on black models) 
  • The DS2 is a larger unit overall whereas the S2 can be discretely placed out of sight - it's less susceptible to outside interference
  • The DS2 features very low noise IC's (integrated circuit) thus the noise floor is incredibly low - great for the quieter moments in tracks
  • The S2 has a slightly wider range of capacitance though most high output moving coils and moving iron are immune to capacitive loading these days

 

Phono Box S2 Phono Box DS2

Features

Cartridge Type

MM, MC MM, MC

Subsonic Filter

Yes - rear Yes - front

Adjustable Resistance Load

Yes - flip switch Yes - front

Adjustable Capacitance Load

Yes - flip switch Yes - front

Gain

40/43/60/63 dB 40/45/50/60/65 dB

Capacitance

100/200/320 and 420 pF 100/220 and 320pF

RCA Inputs

1 Pair 1 Pair

XLR Inputs

No No

RCA Outputs

1 Pair 1 Pair

XLR Outputs

No No

USB Output

No No

Specs

Noise Floor

94dB at 40dB gain

75dB at 60dB Gain

80dB at 40dB Gain

70dB at 60dB Gain

Signal-to-noise Ratio (MC)

85 88

Owner's Manual

Owner's Manual Owner's Manual

 

Below - Pro-Ject Phono Box DS2 - click here to go to the product

 

Below - Pro-Ject Phono Box S2 - click here to go to the product