Plenty of bass weight and control, but we’d like a little more engagement
MM and MC operation, plus further adjustment
Deep, controlled bass
Dipswitches are a little fiddly
Timing isn’t quite right
Small but perfectly formed, the Pro-Ject Phono Box S is solid and relatively heavy, sporting a power button on the front and a set of inputs and a set of outputs on the back.
There’s a subsonic filter switch too, and if you want to get your hands dirty, then you’ll find switches on the bottom for selecting MM or MC operation and making adjustments to the gain and impedance.
Pro-Ject Phono Box S review: performance
Functioning as an MM phono stage, the sound isn’t too dissimilar to the styling: no nonsense and with plenty of weight. The muscular bass is powerful yet controlled – and better integrated than the Musical Fidelity V-LPS II we've also tested (also £120).
Radiohead’s In Rainbows is a tough test in places and despite good insight and a room-filling sound, the Pro-Ject doesn’t sound quite as dynamic or agile as the Graham Slee Gramp Amp 2 (£160), and lacks the precision of Cambridge Audio's 651P (£120).
Pro-Ject Phono Box S review: verdict
It does better than most budget boxes in MC mode, however. There’s weight and detail here, but we just need a little more excitement.