Pro-Ject Phono Box DS3 B MC Phonostage
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Pro-Ject Phono Box DS3 B MC PhonostagePro-Ject Phono Box DS3 B MC PhonostagePro-Ject Phono Box DS3 B MC Phonostage
Pro-Ject Phono Box DS3 B MC PhonostagePro-Ject Phono Box DS3 B MC Phonostage

Pro-Ject Phono Box DS3 B MC Phonostage

  (1 Review)
£440.83 Exc. VAT |  


Pro-Ject Phono Box DS3 B MC Phonostage

The Phono Box DS3 B is a dual-mono, fully discrete moving magnet and moving coil phono stage with balanced inputs and outputs. With a host of customisable features, it offers exceptional value for money and brings a notable upgrade to any mid-/high-end analogue hi-fi system.

The Pro-Ject design team took the decision to employ discrete circuitry in the Phono Box DS3 B. Discrete circuits involve no operational amplifiers (op-amps), and the result is a more neutral, natural, dynamic, and vivid sound. They are more complicated to put together and involve a greater variety of components, but the result when utilised in a well-organised electrical layout is a true high-end sound.

This philosophy for the best possible performance carries through to the variety of conveniently-placed features the Phono Box DS3 B has on offer. The phono stage can be connected to two turntables at the same time, and each input will save its previous settings in memory so the Impedance, Capacitance (for MM cartridges) and Gain will all be set as you switch between turntables. For MC cartridges, the continuously adjustable load-impedance dial on the front panel allows you to perfectly set the impedance to suit your cartridge and your ears.

As the Phono Box DS3 B is equipped with both balanced inputs and outputs, it is also part of Pro-Ject’s True Balanced Connections concept. By connecting to a turntable with a moving coil cartridge and using one of Pro-Ject’s balanced connection cables, your analogue system can benefit from increased dynamics, less noise and improved signal-to-noise ratios. Going true balanced is like hearing parts of your music that were not there before.

Elsewhere in the Phono Box DS3 B design, the fully-passive and discrete RIAA equalisation stage is optimised for absolute accuracy and signal integrity. Depending on the outputs you are using, this stage is then either directly fed to a fully discrete output stage (when using RCA outputs) or is connected to a fully discrete balancing stage for onward balanced connections.

The Phono Box DS3 B is finished in a steel chassis, covered by silver or black aluminium panels, for extreme rigidity and good electrical isolation. The neat minimalist aesthetic can be further enhanced by the addition of retro-inspired, magnetically installed wooden side panels (available separately). It also features an external power adapter, to keep the sensitive internal signals free from any interferences.

True Balanced Connections

The interconnect cable between a record player and a phono stage is prone to pick up noise on the way. That noise and interference can stem from a lot of unavoidable sources, such as household applicances, wi-fi and bluetooth devices, other power cables and audio amplifiers. Unshielded (i.e. RCA) interconnects can amplify the picked-up noise and make it audible through your speakers, interfering with the pure musical signal.

Balanced (typically XLR) cable connections double the wires carrying the musical signal – with one side inverted. In this case noise still gets picked up by both wires, but with one side reversed. When the signals are re-joined at the phono stage, the picked-up noise is cancelled out by the opposing signals. The benefit of this is a louder, cleaner musical signal that has doubled in size with almost no remaining noise.

Key Features:

  •     NEW balanced XLR in- & outputs
  •     NEW 5-pin mini XLR balanced input
  •     NEW fully symmetrical & discrete gain stage
  •     NEW fully passive & discrete RIAA equalisation
  •     NEW fully discrete audio circuitry - NO Op-amps!
  •     MM & MC capable
  •     Balanced & single ended in- & outputs
  •     Dual mono design
  •     Continously variable input impedance loading
  •     Most precise MC cartridge matching
  •     Superior low noise / low distortion
  •     Trigger in- & output
  •     Heavy aluminium casing protects against interference
  •     Available in silver or black
  •     Magnetic wooden side panels avaialable separately
  •     Made in Europe

Input impedance:

Stepless 10 – 1000 ohms or fix 47kOhms

Input capacitance:

50, 150, 300, 400pF

Gain (+ 6dB using XLR Out):

40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65 dB

SNR MM (40dB):

104dBV, 111dBV - ‚A‘ weighted

SNR MC (60dB):

85dBV, 91dBV - ‚A‘ weighted  

THD at 1 kHz:

<0,001% MM, < 0,004% MC

THD (20Hz-20kHz):

<0,005% MM, < 0,01% MC

RIAA-equalization curve accuracy:

< 0,25dB / 20Hz - 20kHz

Subsonic filter:

20Hz with 18dB/octave


1x 5-pin mini XLR / 1x pair XLR / 1x pair RCA phono

Line-level output:

1x pair RCA, 1x pair XLR

Wiring XLR sockets:

1 ground, 2 “hot” and 3 “cold”

Trigger In/Out:

12V on/off detector

Outboard power supply:

18V/500mA DC

Power consumption:

18V/max.290mA DC, <0.5 W standby


206 x 72 x 194 (205 with sockets) mm


1480g without power supply

Average Rating (1 Review):  
Write a Review and share your opinions!

Amazing Sound Quality
25 May 2022  | 

I've owned other phono stages in the past, like MF MX Vynl and others from the Pro-Ject DS line.
Of all the ones that have been through my system, without a doubt the DS3-B is providing the best result. Whether it's the background silence (you have doubts if it's really on), or the incredible quality of the XLR outputs.
Despite being visually similar to the others in the line, it seems to me to be a new and different project, delivering a lot for a reasonable cost.

Excellente build construction
solid sound
Full of details
Incredible quality from XLR output
Endless adjust combinations, being seemingly capable of playing any cartridge on the market

None until now.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful.

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