Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 Digital Impression Thread

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by onsionsi, Aug 18, 2017.
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  1. Left Channel
    If anyone needs the beta firmware, an ISO of the CD, or the manual, just PM me.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2017
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  2. mandrake50
    You may be right, but I can see a use case for a small all in one box for transportability. Travel comes to mind. Often I am not overly concerned about the ultimate in ...anything, when just listening for background music's sake.
    barondla and Left Channel like this.
  3. chongky
    Points well taken. I must say I'm a stickler for specs in audio equipment, so...
  4. mandrake50
    Today, very often, touting specifications that really make no audible difference is nothing more than a marketing tool.
    You can miss something that sounds really good just because of a few DB ...of nothing.
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  5. chongky
    You may be right, but as noise is cumulative across the board, providing as clean a signal as possible should be an imperative in high-end audio equipment. How low a SNR when noise remains inaudible still remains under debate. Of course though it's not the only decisive factor, and each person's mileage will vary.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2017
  6. Left Channel
    As promised, I did a comparison of how this box sounds with external power vs. USB power alone. I also tried the same with and without a USB REGEN.

    Plugging in the external power adapter gives the largest improvement. The REGEN alone makes some improvement, with or without its own power, but I would take the power adapter's results alone if I didn't have a REGEN.

    Together they bring this DAC up to a level where it compares very well with my Magni/Modi 2U stack! That leaves me wondering if upgrading the external adapter to a linear (non-switching) power supply would offer further improvement.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
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  7. Left Channel
    Even with the above setup, I still prefer the sound of my Modi 2U via the Magni 2U preamp or head amp. I use the REGEN there too. The Modi won't do DSD or MQA though.

    But back to the Pro-Ject, another benefit of using the external wall-wart is that the sleep/shutdown problem described below will go away. If you first sleep the PC and then turn off the surge protector (you do have your wall-warts on a power strip, right?) the Pro-Ject will turn off too.

  8. aterville
    Hello and thanks for your post.
    Is the S2 DSD native or only DoP.
    Non native DSD is a showstopper as far as I am concerned.
  9. mandrake50
    Just curious, really. Why is that. DSD over DoP gives an identical file once unpacked. Takes more processor, but the bits are the same as long as the DAC supports it.
  10. aterville
    You might be right but my ears/brain told me differently so this is totally subjective :wink:
  11. mandrake50
    OK, but I would guess that if there is any differences to be heard it is something with specific hardware rather than a universal truth. I can't deny anything that you have heard, but the process, when done right, should be completely transparent.. It is 100% lossless and undergoes no mathematical manipulation or filtering.

    I prefer native myself, but it is just that I like the KISS principle. I have yet to hear any differences. I won't let the fact that some given piece of hardware can only do DSD over DoP keep me from at least listening to it.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2017
  12. aterville
    You are 100% right hence my question I will give it a try unless the iDSD Pro pops up before end of year
  13. Left Channel
    It's DOP (DSD over PCM) to DSD256. Edit: and native DSD512 if you can make it work. Here are links to someone doing it with Roon on Linux and Windows. Somewhere in the marketing materials I recall seeing mention of DSD1024 but may have been an error.

    After good results with some free downloads from the 2L Test Bench, I purchased a couple of classic jazz albums in DSD256 from and enjoyed them very much.

    I have never listened to native DSD, so — unlike certain Head-Fiers who shall remain anonymous — I shall express no opinion on DOP vs native here. :)
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
  14. DexS
    I bought one of these from Germany. About $400. I’m hooked on MQA. I have a Prima Luna dialogue, pushing Martin Logan ESL and two Jl Audio 8’ Dominians. Originally I had a PS Audio Perfect Wa dac. Then I got a Meridian Explorer2 to try MQA. IMHO it sounded better to me, it had more of what I was looking for; depth, body and presence. I listen to Tidal almost exclusively. However the non MQA sounded better on the Perfect Wave. I sold the Perfect Wave and got the Prebox 2S. It’s pretty close. But now I can’t get the blue light to light up. And when I went back to the Explorer 2 it doesn’t light up. I tried Tidal on two different computers. No joy. Any idea?

    I’m on this sight because I original (well not originally but eventually) I had the Perfect Wave paired with an ALO studio Six running Audeze LCD 3.
  15. Left Channel
    Congratulations @DexS, it's an amazing little box. Your Tidal frustrations are likely caused by the Tidal software. When we swap DACs, Tidal (and many other apps) will often revert to default sound settings.

    To see if I'm right in this case, click on "HiFi" or "Masters" at the lower right of the app. Make sure Quality is set to "Master" and the Sound Output is set to your current DAC. Then hover over the DAC's name until the gear icon appears, click on the gear, and select all three items in there. Close that panel, and give it a try. You'll likely have to check those settings every time you change DACs.

    Separate question: do you need the firmware upgrade? To find out, on the box or on the remote press the Menu button, then press the down arrow twice. What do you see there? I have the 2.11 beta.
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