Pro-Ject Audio Systems has unveiled the latest iteration of its super-flexible MaiA integrated amplifier series, with the compact new DS3 model bringing high-resolution Bluetooth connectivity to the party.
The Austrian audio specialist describes the MaiA DS3 as “the Swiss army knife for your stereo system” and claims the new amplifier covers all analogue and digital bases for even the most demanding hi-fi fanatic, with the unit boasting a whopping nine separate inputs. .
Despite its deceptively small footprint, the latest MaiA (an acronym of ‘My Audiophile Integrated Amplifier’) has a host of digital input options, with coax S/PDIF, two optical S/PDIF plus a USB input for the built-in 32bit/192kHz Delta -Sigma DAC. Crucially, there is now also Bluetooth 5.0 AptX HD support for connecting a mobile device for high-resolution audio streaming.
Vinyl fans, meanwhile, will also be pleased to see that the DS3’s phono preamp supports both moving magnet (MM) and moving coil (MC) cartridges for connection to one of the best turntables around.
Another three additional analog line inputs make up the rest of the connection options.
The DS3 also has a more powerful output than previous iterations, with an amplifier capable of a whopping 140 watts per channel into 4 ohms, making it a perfect match for many of the best stereo speakers, while there’s also a dedicated subwoofer output for people looking for even more intense bass.
On the front is a 6.3mm headphone jack for private listening with the minimalist control panel featuring a central analog volume control with a motor-driven potentiometer.
The MaiA DS3 is available now, priced at £1,049 / $1,599 (Australian price has not yet been confirmed).
Pro-Ject has also taken the wraps off a new version of its entry-level Stereo Box integrated amplifier.
The Stereo Box S3 BT, priced at £359.00 / £499 and available later this month, is capable of 40W per channel at 4 ohms and allows two devices to be connected to the rear RCA sockets.
You can also send your music from your mobile device to the unit via a third Bluetooth input that supports AptX HD, while a 3.5mm variable jack on the back can be used to connect a powered subwoofer.
Analysis: Amplified new Pro-Ject amps look poised to punch above their weight
Lack of space isn’t often a factor for someone putting together a deck-based hi-fi setup, but if that console table in your living room looks a little dinky for a full-size amp once you’ve got your turntable in place, then these space-saving new features from Pro-Ject should enable you to get audiophile sound without compromise.
Previous iterations of the MaiA have been generally well received, but have been criticized for perhaps lacking a bit of life and dynamism, so we’re looking forward to discovering whether the boosted new 140-watt output addresses those concerns.