Pre Box S2 Digital
Digital micro preamplifier with MQA and DSD512 support
A performance revolution in a small package!
Pre Box S2 Digital marks a new era for our S-series components. For the very first time we are using a dual mono configuration with the highest class D/A converters of ESS Sabre. Their flagship DAC-chip ensures highest class audio in a small and affordable package. This DAC is capable of high resolution audio up to 32bit/768kHz PCM and DSD512! Pre Box S2 Digital is also the very first of our devices to support hardware MQA unfolding. It’s also the premiere of our proprietary Optimum transient digital filter and our proprietary clock circuitry design. Digital audio is the art of time, with our new proprietary clock design we have managed jitter rates of unrivalled 100 Femtoseconds, this easily outperforms many renowned and respected audiophile clock generators!
With organic polymer capacitors and thin film miniMELF resistors we were able to create a tiny device that will blow away even much bigger components for a much higher price. With a total of eight digital filters the sound can be shaped precisely to the listeners liking. Pre Box S2 Digital is fully remoteable, it can also control the playback software of a computer. You can use Play, Pause, Forward and Rewind straight with your Pre Box S2 Digital!
- Dual mono construction
- High end ESS Sabre ESS9038 dual DAC
- Proprietary clock circuity design
- Organic polymer capacitors and thin film miniMELF resistors
- MQA hardware decoding
- DSD64, DSD128, DSD256 & DSD512 (DoP, DSD512 native)
- Up to 24bit/192kHz for optical & coax inputs
- 8 selectable digital filter characteristics
- 1 proprietary optimum transient digital filter
- Headphone output on the front (6.3mm)
- Synchronization of all internal oscillators
- Jitter as low as 100 Femtoseconds!
- Gold plated four layer PCB
- Full alu/metal sandwich casing in silver or black
|Digital inputs||1x USB (B), 1x Co-axial (RCA), 1x Optical (TOSLink)|
|D/A-converter||2x ESS9038Q2M 32-bit|
|USB||up to DSD512 (DSD1024), PCM up to 32b/768kHz|
|Optical||PCM up to 24b/192kHz|
|Coaxial||PCM up to 24b/192kHz|
|Filter settings||7 different selectable on front|
|Frequency response||20 Hz - 20 kHz|
|Analogue outputs||6.3mm Headphone (front), 1x Variable Out (RCA|
|Output voltage||2.05 Veff|
|Minimal recommended headphone impedance||8 Ohm|
|Headphone output power||6.6 mW / 600 Ohm; 68 mW / 32 Ohm|
|THD||0.0003% @ 0 dB, 2V RMS, 1 kHz|
|Dynamic range||124 dBA|
|Outboard Power supply||5V/1A DC (included)|
|Dimensions W x H x D||103 x 37 x 122 mm (including knob and connectors)|
|Weight||366 g (without power supply)|
“I can think of no other mini-machine that does so much so well.”
• Throughout my listening, the Pre Box S2 delivered extremly clean, crisp, well-sorted, enjoyable sound.
• Every note from the drums and double bass supremely punchy and extended, with excellent timing, realistic tone, and good spatial depth.
• Sounding big, deep, and nicely spacious with excellent bass depth and weight.
• The Pre Box S2’s PCM and MQA options sound fantastic. I can think of no other mini-machine that does so much so well, with so wide an array of musical sounds and styles.
• Pro-Ject’s Pre Box S2 Digital ticks off so many boxes of user friendliness that it’s a steal.[pdf]
Hans Beekhuyzen is impressed by the Pre Box S2 Digital
It sounded quite dynamic and had a rather clean midrange …
… and also the lows offered tonality and resolution that is good …
The stereo image is somewhat wide …
… featurewise it outperformed comparable units.
The remote control lets you control everything.
Build quality both outside and in are more than excellent… it‘s a steal.[pdf]
Audio reviews the Pre Box S2 Digital & Stream Box S2 Ultra
Rarely has HiFi been as understated as here. The sound was great! It does not happen very often that you can not get out of astonishment as a tester. Especially not with components that are more nano than mini. But what impresses the most sustainable is the completely convincing sound. These dwarfs are really huge.
The device is fully compatible with Windows 10. It may be necessary to reinstall latest drivers after updating from Windows 7/8/8.1 to Windows 10.
You do not need a driver. The driver is already integrated in the operating system.
Turn off your Computer and press at start alt+cmd+p+r until another starting sound appears. With this command the USB bus will be reset and the USB Box will be recognized new.
There are many forum reports about that issue. It is a widely spread error affecting a wide array of USB DACs, unfortunately there is no current fix for this problem, since it lies in the Core Audio of Apple's OSX. We advice not to use our USB DACs with OSX El Capitan.
Pre Box S2 Digital will show the MQA logo and a blue dot on the display's top right corner once an MQA file has been successfully passed on to it.
No, in order to enable MQA playback via S/PDIF a hardware change would be necessary, this would cause the price to go much higher. MQA hardware decoding is only possible via the asynchronuous USB input of Pre Box S2 Digital.
The DFU for MacOS requires the Pre Box S2 Digital to run software version 2.10. (July 2018)
It can occur that the sound gets distorted using these highest sample rates. After about three minutes the filter "locks" in properly and the sound should be normal again. Also switching sample rates back and forth can help to make it sound normal again. Unfortunately that's a bug in the ESS silicone chip and we can't do anything about it.