Summary: Recently upgraded to a Denon AVR-X4000 and was disappointed with the sound from the receiver's phono input. Almost didn't go with this as there was a one star review, however, I found this preamp does an excellent job. Love the sound now out of the new receiver, very expansive. I will say, I do have a Pro-Ject turntable and the preamp has special settings just for their gear so maybe it works better with their own brand but I found the sound to be stellar.
Summary: Was incredibly reluctant to plop down this much money on a phono pre-amp. I had purchased a new Rega 2 with AdCom cartridge 28 years ago. Within 6 months I had my first child and it was time for the turntable to go to the closet - flash forward kids are gone and it was time to break out the Rega and at the same time caught a great deal from Crutchfield on the Marantz SR7007.
Pros: In my opinion expands the sound palette remarkably. On my system tremendous pickup in gain and expansion of all sound ranges and on everything from Classical to Bossa Nova to jazz , hard rock, folk, metal you name it.
Cons: Obviously price - seems high. At $300 to me would be a fairer price.
Summary: My phono is an AT-LP120 USB with an AT-120E cartridge wearing an AT125LC microline stylus, and I also use a record weight. This phono with those changes sounded really good using its internal pre-amp, or so I thought. But then I noticed certain selections of certain albums had piano notes that 'clanked' in my ears and high notes occassionaly gave my ears the sensation of fingernails scraping a blackboard.
Summary: My experience with the project tube box S has been a real pleasure. I own the project carbon debut turntable (with the upgraded platter, which I highly recommend) and have a Grado Prestige Red 1 mm cartridge instead of the Ortophon red...which is a good mm cartridge. The tube box sounded great out of the box but, I replaced the 12ax-7 tube with a matched set of Telefunken tubes and picked a pair of Grounded Brass Tube Crowns from MapleShade audio (about $82 for the pair)...
Summary: The received differs a bit from the photo as shown - the cooling rings on the tubes are not silver, they are anodized black and the serial number is on a sticker. All cosmetic. The performance is very good. I have a Yamaha P-850 and Sonus Blue / Gold Cartridge that now sound better than new!!!
Summary: Sorry Mr. Port, I am not sure what tubey magic is. When I find out I will let you know and we can compare notes. I like the way my turntable sounds with this as opposed to the phono stage in my Pioneer sc-25. Certainly the price could have been more thus making it a worthwhile buy. All kidding aside and with due deference to better records. I do like this product.
Summary: A good sounding phono preamp. I'm not sure it's as "tubey" sounding as I would like, but it's definitely an improvement over my NAD preamp. It's also a nice looking piece of equipment to display next to the turntable.
Summary: I recently upgraded my system to an NAD 757 Receiver, Synchrony 1 speakers and a VPI Turntable with a Ortofon 2M Black cartridge. I mention all this because I think the total system will impact which pre amp is best for your system. I had an NAD PP2 pre amp for several years and felt maybe that was the last weak link in my system so I upgraded to the Pro-Ject Tube Box S using Crutchfield gift credits from buying the Synchrony speakers. Yeah Crutchfield!
Pros: Warm Tube sound..looks cool and is well made.