Cute with the Pre Box but it lacks the all-round musical ability to impress in the long term.
Size, solid and punchy sound
Lacks finesse and subtlety
becomes confused with more demanding pieces of music
Hi-fi amps don't get any dinkier than this. We tested the Amp Box as part of Pro-ject's pre/power combo. Each unit will sit comfortably in the palm of one hand, and weighs about as much as a pint of milk. And 30 watts per channel is all you get in terms of power.
But how does it sound? First impressions are good. There's an impressive solidity and punch to the sound: far more than you'd ever suspect could come from compact boxes like these. The Amp Box might not sound like much, but we still got decent levels from a range of speakers in our medium-sized listening room.
The good news continues when you play something like Help from the The Beatles. There's a good sense of drive on this track, and everything is nicely separated and defined.
Amp Box can struggle with complexitiesHowever, all isn't perfect. If you're after an expressive and subtle performer, the Pro-ject isn't it.
Switch to something more layered and complex than the Fab Four's track – Orff's Carmina Burana for example – and the Amp Box can struggle. It deals only in broad strokes, leaving subtler details untouched: nuances aren't communicated well, so the piece loses some impact. Things can get confused and edgy when pushed, too.
More after the break
If space is at a premium we think this surprising amp might be worth a listen, but if sound quality is paramount, our money would go on more conventional, but more capable alternatives.