Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 Digital

(Michael Blair) #686

Which drivers is everybody using? ASIO or WASAPI? And why?

EDIT: worked it out, ASIO to get native DSD :slight_smile:

(Kevin Kropp) #687

@Sean2016 I had a different experience. I agree that the dac sounded good with the Mr. Speakers ÆON open that i had but found it just didn’t have enough power for my taste. Ended up buying the matching S2 headphone amp and have been very happy with it.

@Michael_Blair im using ASIO for the native DSD.

(Sean) #688

Thanks for sharing Kevin. Did you find the S2’s built in amp couldn’t give you the volume you needed? Is that what you mean by not enough power?

And are you using an external PSU or is your S2 DAC USB bus powered? Not that I think that affects the headphone performance but just interested.


(Kevin Kropp) #689

Sean - That is exactly it. Though that may say more about that volume i listen at more than the unit itself. Maybe its just reassurance but i prefer having the overhead versus maxing out the volume on the DAC.

I am using an external power supply for both the DAC and AMP.

(Sean) #690

Hehe awesome. You only live once, so why not crank it.

It’s also possible that your open backed cans need higher volume output than my more isolated closed backs, so that could be a factor.

There’s a couple albums where I do get closer to 0dB on the S2 DAC, like some quiet classical recordings. But most of the more popular stuff i listen to is loud enough at -30dB on the S2 DAC (fortunately).

Nice to read that the matching S2 amp does a great job without any loss in transparency. Good recommendation for those needing a separate headphone amp.

(Rene Bouwmeester) #691

I’ve played with the S2 with a linear PSU and a pair of Aeons closed for about a month. Did not like it very much – while volume was OK (rarely went higher than -15), it was lacking oomph and I felt like it was holding the Aeons back – even more so when upsampling and applying headroom. Hooked up an external amp which made things a bit better.

In the end I sold off the S2 – I did not like the frail ‘did-it-work-or-not?’ volume control and was not always impressed by the whole upsampling circus (either Roon or HQP). In the end I bought a Prime and two Sbooster LPSUs (one for the USBridge, one for the Prime) and found the Aeons to benefit greatly.

For me, the whole DSD thing remains a mystery – I hear what it does, with some recordings I like some of the filters, with others they tend to make things worse, adding a sheen that to my ears sounds unnatural. For me, I found the constant changing of filters getting into the way of enjoying the music.

That – and me being about the only person along with Bob Stuart enjoying MQA unequivocally, makes me very happy with the Prime – but apart from that personal detour, I think the Aeons benefit from a better amp than the S2 has to offer whatever your preferences may be.

(Sean) #692

Nice to have extra data points. I’ve tried separate and powerful amps with the S2 DAC too and didn’t find any additional improvements. In fact I thought it affected the transparency just a little.

I guess the old saying continues to hold true - mileage may vary. Best to give it a home trial if possible.

Loving HQP with DSD512 with this DAC. A nice improvement to my ears.

(Rene Bouwmeester) #693

Enjoy! Different strokes for different folks I guess – most people seem to love the little bugger.

Just wondering if I should have invested in a nice little stapler while evaluating. :wink:

(Sean) #694

Hehe indeed, another version of ‘mileage may vary’

Surely not a serious question? What have you been waiting for all this time?? :grin:

(Michael Blair) #695

Finally got my S2 working and showing up in audio settings. Now I can’t play tidal through roon. Tidal direct works fine.
I’ve also just noticed that my settings don’t allow me to set exclusive mode. I’m using ASIO drivers in Windows. Should the exclusive mode option be available?

(Sean) #696

Nope, ASIO is essentially always in exclusive mode, so no need to worry. Sit back and relax and enjoy the tunes ! :slight_smile:


You were using the S2 as an amp?

(Geoff Mirelowitz) #698

Apologies but I’m just catching up here.

Why would one need to connect the the Explorer to the Pro-Ject? I thought the ProJect includes a DAC?

Only reason I’m asking is because I have an Explorer 2 but am considering the Pro-Ject. Am I missing something here?


(Sean) #699

Hey Geoff, there was clarification the very next post.

There’s no digital output with the Explorer2. The original Explorer did have optical output.

(Geoff Mirelowitz) #700

Thanks Sean. Apologies for not reading carefully enough.

(PR Terhorst) #701

I have an S2 power question – have read through the pages here and I think I know the answer but am hoping for confirmation. The S2 manual says they don’t recommend having USB power and the external 5v power supply connected at the same time. Functionally that means every time I want to run MQA through Roon via USB to the S2, I have to disconnect the PSU first – is that right? I will be using the S2 frequently as a non-MQA DAC for my CD transport, hence the need for connecting the PSU. I am thinking about using one of these ( so I don’t need to physically unplug the micro-USB plug each time. Thanks,


I will have to recheck the manual but my understanding is when you power the S2 from external PSU through the micro USB connector automatically the internal circuit stops receiving power from the USB if this was connected before. Therefore it won’t matter if you are powering using external PSU.
On another note and of course depends on your budget, if you want to obtain the best sound quality from the S2 use a good PSU, it makes a whole lot of difference, some people use the iFI one which is not bad but the best results (and I have tried a few) I got it with the Uptone LPS1.2, just saying … you will get good audio as well with the ifi

(PR Terhorst) #703

Thanks for the reply – I have an iFi on order…

(William Mayhall) #704

New to Roon. 3 systems in the house so I wanted to try different configurations. System 1 will have Cary Audio DMS-500 network player. System 2 will have OPPO UDP-205 w Roon Bridge on mini-PC. System 3, up and running, has S2, also w Roon Bridge on mini-PC. Sounds great on my Audio-Technica headphones. Great price to value in my opinion. ^

(Sean) #705

It looks like Pro-Ject still haven’t updated the manual. I would ignore that and yes a nice linear PSU can give a nice little boost in SQ.

Regarding the iFi iPower, I discussed this with John Westlake (the designer…) up in this thread. We both agreed it may be best to avoid it…

Luckily it’s not expensive to try and if you’re ears like it great , or you can return it for a refund if you don’t.