The “box”design electronics series of Pro-Ject produces increasingly sophisticated products. Latest creation of Vienna: the stream box DS, a purist, but full-featured network player.
- Pro-Ject stream box DS
- Data sheet
It started innocently in the early 90s: Heinz Lichtenegger had thrown the vinyl counter-revolution with the legendary Pro-Ject 1. His Czech suppliers with the turntable building came in the middle of the heyday of the Digitalis mus. In direct consequence of the demand exploded after appropriate phono Preamps – the first “box” product was therefore a minimalist, low-cost, but amazingly nice-sounding preamp box for magnetic systems.
The phono box and her siblings early were produced as accessories in addition to the record player business. Meanwhile, the electronics line is to the far are extended family showed grown, which is equal with the turntable branch not only in the number of their members, but also in terms of sales.
Short & competent
An end to the success story is not in sight: the mini components of the Vienna brand is becoming more powerful and versatile. Preliminary high point of this development is the Stream Box DS, a full-blown network player with as greater price tag. Also the housing is relatively large and measures two heights and two widths units in the Pro-Ject grid based on the smallest box format. Only connoisseurs will notice that the front panel not as so far with soft radii, but now with clear edges cut out is – a facelift, which affects all future box models, where there will be even more devices in the old styling in the transitional period and on request.
The heart of each network player is a streaming Board, so that combination of chipset and operating system, visible and selectable exposes the data to network drives, Internet radio servers, iPod or USB memory sticks for the user, requesting the desired music on the respective data interface, unpacked and finally brings them as native Bitstream of the converter section of the player. Hardly a manufacturer can develop this complex Assembly itself and programming, which leads to a situation similar to the CD players: to buy the streaming front-end to now as once the drive and the player builds the trappings.
In the selection of the supplier, Heinz Lichtenegger had not even left his home – but precisely sitting in Vienna, where even Pro-Ject resides, with stream unlimited one of the world’s best specialists in streaming. So the claim settled after the optimal ‘drive’ perfectly with the proven principle of Pro-Ject combine to attract development and production as possible locally in Austria and the neighbouring Czech Republic.
Stream700 the guest player Board in the stream box means it comes ready-made with bright, fine resolution TFT Monitor, the menus, title or channel lists, information about the currently playing music, and also – in case of the server issued – displays the album cover. The screen remains either nonstop on, or he’s going after an adjustable time interval automatically into a sleep state. Sensitive listeners will probably hear a difference, a touch more clarity and calm, if the screen out. Same will be who instinctively distrust the supplied Plug-in power supply and a stable regulated, noise and interference-poor source for those 9 volts DC output look, which required the device.
The project’s own converter and output Board should have not accounted for in the balance of power – on minimalism to beat them, it would have meant completely omit output to either the analog or the digital (coaxial). Much like already in the Denon DNP-720AE, a single chip serves as combined converters, analog filters, and output stage. Here’s a CS4344 by Cirrus Logic – a tiny decapods, which only a few centimeters of trace, a mute relay and two small capacitors to block any DC voltage shares from the output Sockets.
So quickly, the design is described, so the phonetic characterization of stream box is hard: you unfolded your strongest qualities whenever you don’t exactly pay attention if you forfeit the test and analyze in the listening to music – and that happened here strikingly often. Wants you describe in plate HiFi-Termini, it sounds like the Stream Box , comes out as “to center the frequency extremes, particularly in the bass something restrained, clear, while overall very unobtrusive and restrained”. But that was not the real reason why the AUDIO listening room server on the Pro-Ject’s albums always above average long ran and the tester almost had to force himself to switch on a comparison player.
What is special about the stream box is their honesty, a remarkable freedom of exaggerated HiFi ambition and effect addiction. At first, maybe hasty listen, there is a risk, to hear her soft voice – not least because its very low 0.8 Volt output voltage.
It looks different for precise level balance: now it sounds equally loud, but in the best sense always still not according to HiFi – for the music, about the African Blues “fan Tang” Malick Pathé sow (“Itoro men”) begins to light up. Kora, Hoddu, various other odd instruments from Senegal, sows lyric singing and the elegant rhythm section align the LP fans to a majestic noble sound flow quietly as may refer to “analog”.
An obvious comparison device was also on the Stream700 front end based Musical Fidelity M1 CLIC, whose intricate converter section in the bass made significantly more pressure and more broadly in the listening room made the virtual stage. What nothing changed, that voices and strings over the Rails modulated project more accessible and even finer. As always, the Ayre K-5XE preamp facilitated these and other comparisons with their volume control acting reproducible in a dB steps. The matching Ayre V-5XEvia ordinary loudspeaker cable connected with the pair of visually something made with through continuous test operation, but always still excellent-sounding KEF Reference 207/2 played as power amplifier.
You can see the additional analog and digital inputs of the CLIC, missing the stream box, the player in practice behavior such as an egg daily is another. Both swallow also high resolution music files to 24 bit / 192 kHz and continuous live or concept albums play without interruption. You open up an iPod connected via USB as additional remote controlled digital music source, offer a dizzying selection of Internet radio stations including full text search and pull software updates without great theatre over the Web. The Viennese have done well not to wander in the distance.
The stream box developers have obviously top priority given the network area and with what remains on budget, built a minimalist, but excellent functioning audio Board. The result is a player that really convincing playing each album in every available resolution thanks to gapless- and HD capability, and the Klang suggests that the old “source first” principle construction in network players. Better than in the stream box, the here used converter chip should certainly never have sounded.
Pro-Ject stream box DS
Technical data and test results
|Dimension||20.6 x 7.2 x 19.4 cm|
|Input RCA (number)|
|Output RCA (number)||(1)|
|Input of digital opt. / coax / HDMI||/ /|
|Digital output opt. / coax||/|
|Sound via HDMI|
|Image music Server|
|Output video (number)|
|Output S-video (number)|
|YUV output / HDMI|
|Wi-FI / Wi-FI encryption||/|
|Memory card slot|
|Type of memory card|
|Display / color display||/|
|Remote control / Adaptive||/|
|Display / system||/|
|Playback album / playlist||/|
|Operation on the device|
|Display CD text|
|Internet radio / Vorgespeicherte stations (Internet radio)||/|
|FM radio / station memory||/|
|Data formats||LPCM, FLAC, WAV, MP3, AIFF, AAC, Ogg|
|Audio CD / DVD||/|
|maximum sampling frequency||192|
|-Analog–acting, subtle, balanced sound.|
|No fast forward, still not private control app.|
|CD quality sound||103|
|Sound data reduced|
|Sound judgment||outstanding 103|
|Price / performance||outstanding|
|tested in issue:||11 / 11|
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