Optical Box E Phono

  • Moving Magnet (MM) phono stage
  • Optical digital or 3.5mm analogue outputs
  • Connect your turntable to digital audio systems

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Inspired by the Essential III Digital turntable, the Optical Box E Phono from Box Design by Pro-Ject Audio Systems gives digital audio enthusiasts a phono stage that can integrate a turntable into their audio system via optical transmission.

With the ever-increasing presence of soundbars, and the ongoing rise in the popularity of digital audio systems, there are many people in the market who may be interested in the vinyl revival but will struggle to integrate a turntable into their existing audio system. The Optical Box E Phono is an advanced MM-compatible phono stage with precise RIAA equalisation, based on the coveted Phono Box E design, including gold-plated RCA inputs and a Line level 3.5mm jack output. However, the addition of a high-quality (24-bit / 96kHz) optical output allows for easy integration into a digital audio system.

The Optical Box E Phono plays through the analogue and digital outputs simultaneously, and the inclusion of an additional Line level input allows this small-but-clever box to act as an input extender for any hi-fi system. The stylish housing - available in black or white - is also shielded with a metal interior, which protects the unit against vibrations and radio frequency interferences.

The Optical Box E Phono is the perfect partner for all audio enthusiasts who want to add analogue sources to their digital audio system.

Key Features:

  • Bring vinyl playback to any digital audio system
  • Ideal for use with soundbars or DAC-based hi-f systems
  • Additional analogue output plays at same time as digital output
  • Additional Line level input
  • Functions as an input extender (connect two sources to one system)
  • Functions as an output splitter (connect one source to two systems)
  • Phono stage for MM cartridges
  • Precise RIAA equalisation
  • Gold-plated RCA inputs
  • Outboard power supply included
  • Available in black or white finish

Technical Data

Phono Gain: 43dB (for MM cartridges) 
Phono Input Impedance: 47kΩ
Phono Input Capacitance: 100pF

1 x RCA (pair)
1 x 3.5mm Jack

1 x Toslink
1 x 3.5mm Jack
Noise Floor: 88dB (A-weighted)
THD:  < 0.04%
RIAA Equalisation Accuracy: 20Hz - 20kHz / max. 0.5dB
Outboard Power Supply: 18V / 500mA DC
Power Consumption: 100mA DC
Dimensions (W x H x D): 120 x 32 x 106mm
Weight: 250g (without PSU)


What is a Phono Stage?

A phono stage takes the low-level electrical signal, generated by the pick-up cartridge on your turntable, and amplifies it to LINE level. When it's at LINE level, you can connect the outputs of your phono stage to any LINE or AUX input on your amplifier. If you do not have a phono stage, when you connect the turntable to your amplifier the signal will be very quiet, and if you turn it up to normal listening level it will sound distorted and noisy. 

You do not need an external phono stage if...

  • There is a phono stage already built-in to your turntable (for instance with our Phono USB or RecordMaster turntables from Pro-Ject)
  • Your amplifier has a Phono input.

In both of these cases, the built-in phono stage needs to support your pick-up cartridge (see below).

Do I need a specific type of Phono Stage?

Yes. You need to buy a phono stage that suits your particular type of cartridge. If you have a Moving Magnet (MM) cartridge, you need an MM-compatible phono stage. If you have a Moving Coil (MC) cartridge, you need an MC-compatible phono stage. This is due to the different output levels of MM and MC cartridges (as MC cartridges are so quiet, they require more Gain).

For more help and advice visit our Tech Support section

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