Phono Box RS2 Is Pro-Ject's Newest and Most Sophisticated Phono Preamplifier

Pro-Ject just announced the release of its newest and most sophisticated phono preamp, the RS2. The no op-amp, "hand made" design built in the E.U. is fully balanced and true dual mono. The RS2 features MM gain of 40,43,46 and 50dB and MC gain of 60,63,66 and 70dB with continuously variable MC input impedance from between 10 and 1000 ohms. Capacitance for MM can be set to values between 50 and 400pF.

Other features include both RIAA and DECCA EQ and a ±2dB volume control. The power supply is outboard. Despite the unit's compact size it offers both balanced and single-ended inputs and outputs. MSRP in the E.U. is €1499. The U.S. price has yet to be announced.

OldschoolE's picture

Even though I have the Parasound JC3 Jr, I still seem to want one of these. (the first RS2). Now Heinz and team come out with this beauty. I think I like these for the same reason Heinz made them, all controls up front so one can tweak and adjust until satisfied. I don't know how they sound sonically compared to something like the JC3 Jr, but I'm thinking about one of these for my vintage system. (This would mean by-passing the built-in phono stage on my receivers, which were no slouches in their day, but one of these should be a significant upgrade.

I wonder about the US price though. If I calculate correctly it looks like it could be around $1800 and that doesn't sound right at all especially considering the first RS2 was $600 to $700 and the Parasound JC3 Jr is $1400/$1500, but who knows. It would be a shame if the new RS2 was priced too high for most folks and that also doesn't follow Heinz's philosophy anyway. If the worst case does come to pass, I would need to think quickly to pick up a RS2 version one (although there is a good chance the two versions don't sound anything alike).

PAR's picture

$1800 could be a US price if the US distributor adds a further margin. Which is likely when I look at US prices for EU goods.

However the direct price equivalent is around $1450. This is because prices in Europe are normally quoted including tax @ an average of 20%. I verified this by checking its price here in the UK which is £1299 (inc. VAT).

So, yes, more expensive than the original model but then it has a lot more.

Analog Scott's picture

Indeed quite sophisticated and very much on point. It offers a useful and important set of features without frivilous extras. Are there any preamps that offer the same features and build quality for less money?

ArcAudio's picture

A mono button is very important for me. I prefer to hit a button vs change cartridge

Waldo's picture

Though I'm all for the march towards better technology, my system is already too transparent and I'm at the point where I want to throw away many of my lps due to uncaring mastering and production. I used to think people payed crazy money for lps due to rarity but now I understand it's a search for the best available quality of music people love.

ArcAudio's picture

I know most US 1956 and later 78's even used RIAA curve. On what material should we use DECCA Curve. I am assuming pre mid 50's UK recordings?

dial's picture

Ask price'll be probably 2000 $ like their DAC.

dcbingaman's picture

Looks like a Wayne Colburn style design (Pass XP-17 / XP-27) with discrete JFETs, (Fairchild ??). Putting the rotary switch near the inputs is excellent for layout. Having the ability to change gain and loading on the front panel is very helpful.

It will very likely sound very nice, especially at this price point.

powermatic's picture