Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 Digital Impression Thread

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by onsionsi, Aug 18, 2017.
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  1. fgribas
    It's only about noise. Apparently using a switching power supply (like the one shipped with the unit, or iFi iPower) with USB cable has more benefits than the unwanted noise we get by doing it. Users reported to perceive a better sound quality using any power supply + USB comparing to USB power alone.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
    barondla likes this.
  2. Hikoki
    Hi and a Happy New Year to everyone. I need a competent DAC to use with the Chromecast Audio and my iFi iDAC headphone amp. I have been following this thread and I wonder, since I don´t need the headamp part of the S2 and, besides, need to drive my 600ohm DT 880 anyway, would the Project DAC Box S2 + be a better way to go ? Is there any difference between the DAC box S2+ and the new S2´ s DAC ? I´ve read the S2 uses the same Sabre ESS9038Q2M chip, but in dual-mono configuration, unlike the DAC box S2+, which only has one Sabre chip. Would this make a difference in SQ ? Has anyone in this thread heard both devices ?
    Thanks a lot for replying
  3. Bran
    I just bought it. Wouldn't say "easily" - I'm now running it -10! And this is with pretty loud mastered music.

    EDIT: With Fleetwood Macs Greatest Hits im now listening at 0 :frowning2: And it's far from deafening...

    Using iPower 3.0 into the DAC.
  4. Left Channel
    Wow! I can't get anywhere near those levels, even with 250 ohm cans. What is different? It could be our systems, but it also could be our ears. My experience matches other reports though.
  5. Bran
    Yeah this wasn't what I expected, even tough I (with dynamic and non-brickwalled music) had to run my Essence STU at 1-2 o clock..

    Loud mastered metal is fine at -10, but all the MFSL records I've tried now I pretty much want it at 0 to make it fun. And I wouldn't say I like to play ear-damagingly loud.

    Using ASIO from foobar2000 so shouldn't be anything in the signal path. iGalvanic 3.0 only

    Otherwise the DAC sounds really fine, I'd say its better than the STU.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  6. Left Channel
    @Bran something's not right in foobar somewhere. Have you tried another software player? Do you have the Pro-Ject driver installed?
  7. Bran
    Everything installed (latest driver and firmware). The DAC switches sample rate just fine etc. Gonna try JRiver just in case.

    EDIT: No change in JRiver, and doublechecking the settings I can see that it leaves everything untouched, be it in WASAPI or ASIO.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  8. Left Channel
    Don't know what to tell you. The firmware defaults to -54 for headphones for a reason. It's much louder for most of us. Either there's something technically wrong there, or we should all bow down to the metalhead who can handle 0 dB! :)
    Bran likes this.
  9. Bran
    Haha yeah or it's these headphones for some reason... I'm now listening to a DR6 song and it's comfortable at -15.

    My Momentum Wireless are unfortunately in for repair, otherwise it would have been good to test with.
  10. Mihai IOV
    I can confirm the low output power of the S2 on headphones. I'm using a Mac Mini, Windows 10, latest drivers, as source and a pair of Sennheiser HD650 (300 ohm). The dac is powered by an iFi iPower. For example the album on Tidal, Passenger - Sunday Night Sessions, sound very well, but at 0db and it's not loud enough if you want a little bit more.
    As a dac, the line level is ok, no complaints.

    Is there somebody around here who tested the S2 dac together with iFi iUSB 3.0? I read only good reviews about this purifier/reclocker/power supply and I'm curious if it is a good match for S2 as long as it costs the same? :)
  11. Bran
    I sent an email to Pro-Ject, and got a reply from their Swedish rep (my translation to eng);

    "Pre Box S2 is far from our most powerful headphone amp, so it's not impossible that you reach 0 when you want to crank it. As an example Arcam rHead leaves about 10-15 times as much power with the same load."

    Guess I'll need to order a separate amp. Maybe a Magni3?
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
  12. fgribas
    It seems to be a good idea and a nice match. I ordered a Magni 3 yesterday, but it will take a while to arrive in my country. Even my S2 bought 2 weeks ago haven't arrive yet.
  13. Left Channel
    @Bran I still think there's something wrong with the headphone amp in your S2. But like I said I run mine through a Magni anyway.
  14. gto88
    My S2 digital has been updated and up and running.
    Hikoki and Left Channel like this.
  15. Bran
    I'm now running it with an Arcam rHead - there's some more grunt in this one! Although I'm seeing the knob up to around 3 o clock with a DR19 song... Man these Q701s is not as easily driven as the specs would seem!? At 3 it's loud though, not levels I constantly listen to..

    Got a pair of HE-560 incoming (<400£ now on Amazon!) I just hope the Arcam will be sufficient.

    Sound wise I'm REALLY happy with this combo! It seems just so... transparent. On top of it the iFi iGalvanic3, Defender and iPower brings the noise levels down to such low levels. 20180104_135811.jpg
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
    Left Channel likes this.
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