NEWS: Pro-Ject boxes clever and pulls out a Genie

Pro-Ject, best known for its ever-growing turntable range, is branching out into electronics. Drawing on the success of its diminutive Speed Box turntable power supply and Phono Box phono preamp, it's now launching a whole line-up of tiny audio components, including a truly minute preamp and power amplifier.

Called the Box Design range, the new components are each housed in casework just over 10cm wide and a little under 4cm tall.

And while the Tube Box II valve powered phono stage can be seen as a logical development of existing Pro-ject products, the tiny Pre Box and Amp Box, set to sell for £150 apiece, are truly unique.

With two inputs and a single output, the Pre Box is a minimalist preamplifier, athough it does offer remote control and a 12V trigger connection allowing it to switch power amps on and off. Future plans include an input expander, offering additional line inputs.

The Power Box is a digital power amp, delivering 2x20w into 8ohms, or 2x30w into 4ohms, with amplifier technology sourced

There's also a monobloc power amp in the range. The logically-named Amp Box Mono delivers 28W into 8ohms, or 40w into a 4 ohm load. These will be followed by double-height SE versions, offering more power.

Like the Pre Box, the power amps operate from offboard 12V power supplies, and Pro-Ject is going to launch a Power Box, enabling four of the little units to be powered from a single mains socket.

But the company stresses that it's also developing its turntable range. The long-running Debut turntable now comes in a range of colours, and there's a new £210 model with a built-in USB phono stage, enabling records to be played straight into a computer.

And coming soon is a new budget model designed to create just as big a splash as the Debut. The new Genie is derived from the company's RPM range of skeletal turntables, and will sell for around £125. Distributor Henley Designs says that, striking though it looks with the bronze detailing of the preview model, it's likely the arm, pulley and spindle will be finished in dark metallic blue for the UK market.

Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.