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Is the Pro-Ject Amp Box S3 the world’s smallest amplifier?

  • Pro-Ject has this week announced the Amp Box S3. The latest iteration of the Amp Box features a newly redesigned circuit board that promises lower distortion (<0,02% @ 10W / 4 Ohms) and better signal-to-noise (87dB, A-weighted) that its predecessor. However, at 10.3cm x 3.6cm x 11.8cm, we have to ask: is this the world’s smallest power amplifier?* (see footnote #1)

    Power output on the Amp Box S3 is rated by the manufacturer at 23wpc into 8 Ohms or 40wpc into 4 Ohms and despite the units size, the binding posts on the rear can accommodate banana plugs, spade connectors and bare wire. Inputs are a single set of RCA sockets — and that’s (almost) all she wrote.

    From the press release: “We designed this amp to match the sound characteristics of a tube amplifier as close as possible. If you want to use a bi- or tri-amplification setup, you can use the trigger outputs to connect further power amplifiers.”

    Pro-Ject asserts that the Amp Box S3 is best suited to rooms measuring 15 square metres or less. But doesn’t that assume the presence of 85dB-ish loudspeakers? Those in possession of noise makers packing a higher sensitivity rating (say, 90dB+) might find the Amp Box S3 gives ’em all the power they need.

    Price? €299 each. Your choice of silver or black. Made in Europe. #tinyfi.

    Further information: Pro-Ject Audio Systems

    Footnote #1: How large is the 20V outboard power supply?

    Written by John

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

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