Designed with headphone audiophiles in mind, the Head Box DS is essentially a multi-source headphone amplifier. However, where it advances on from its predecessor, the Head Box S/E, is with the inclusion of a DAC chip from Cirrus Logic.
The built-in CS4344 DAC chip allows for 24-bit / 192kHz digital conversion over asynchronous USB, as well as conversion of more traditional digital sources via the Coaxial and Optical inputs. There is also an analogue input, for connecting a turntable or similar analogue source.
As well as working as a headphone amplifier, the Head Box DS can also act as a DAC for a full-sized speaker-based system utilizing the analogue output on the rear of the unit.
The Head Box DS is available now in Black or Silver finish for £299.00
The Essential 2 has many of the same aesthetic characteristics as the original model, with a silicone perimeter belt driving a 12” MDF platter. However, the tonearm has been improved from the previous ‘uni-pivot’ design to that of a more traditional 8.6” aluminium design, with sapphire bearings in a gimbal-style assembly, that has previously been found on higher priced Pro-Ject turntables. At the end of the arm is a pre-installed Ortofon OM 5E.
The Essential 2 also has a brand new synchronous motor system, and stainless steel platter bearing that runs in a bronze bushing with Teflon lining.
The Essential 2 is available in the UK from July 2013 for £199. The turntable is also available in red or white matte finishes for an extra £10.