Pro-Ject unveils the MaiA DS integrated amplifier

maia ds integrated ampPro-Ject has just revealed its latest component to the Viennese company’s great looking Box Design range of small but high-performance products – the MaiA DS integrated amplifier.

The Pro-ject MaiA DS might only measure (W x H x D) 206 x 72 x 150 (165mm with sockets) and weigh 1550g, but the small, yet perfectly formed amp is not short of either input or output options.

Phono connectivity, 3 Analog line inputs, 3 Digital inputs, USB input, Bluetooth input. Not to mention it has headphone output, fixed output for recording or second zone, and variable output for a subwoofer.

It is a preamp, poweramp, headphone amp, DAC (Digital Analogue Converter) and phono amp in one tiny box!

MaiA DS´s technical components are designed to satisfy the audiophile´s demands too thanks to its 2x 55 W in a double-mono-design amp with “tube-like sound”, 24bit / 192kHz high resolution audio with a double high-end TI 1796 DAC configuration, DSD Playback capability, USB XMOS asynchronous USB Aptx 4 th generation Bluetooth, and MM / MC phono stage.

maia ds integrated amp rearHeinz Lichtenegger, President of Pro-Ject Audio Systems, explains:

Today the modern customer does not understand the need for big boxes with a lot of air inside. With modern digital technology and SMD circuit boards, you can minimise the size of outer casing without loos-ing performance quality. On the other hand big boxes make products unnecessarily expensive. It is our very strong believe that in some years there will be only a few or no standard 44cm products below the 1,000 Euro price barrier. Heavy and big 44cm components will always be a part of the high-end business, but normal music lovers will be more interested in products which are compact and powerful.“

Pro-Ject is also quite proud of the units remote control, the smartphone Box Control IT app.

Heinz Lichtenegger states:

We see that people like to control music with an app. The industry offers many streamers where you can control your music content very conveniently. But for your hi-fi amp or CD player or TV, you need again standard remotes or you have to buy a very expensive control system. With our unique Box Control IT app it is possible to control standard analogue IR products without the need of a WiFi connection!“

To make the app simple to use, you will only see the control screen of the product selected to control. Most programmable remotes show you a bunch of controls for products that you will never use. ´Select´ screens are used to specify which units are within your system and only these will be displayed on your smartphone or tablet.

pro-ject maia ds range coloursMaiA DS and the Pro-Ject product family offers the possibility to compose a high-performance, compact audiophile stereo system which is very flexible in its use of sources.

pro-ject box designI like the way that Pro-Ject offers the possibility to create individual hifi stereo systems in matching size and colour with components such as the turntable, amplifier, CD player and Streamer seen above. I am not currently aware of any other manufacturer that has such a complete and colourful offering.

MaiA DS can also be upgraded with a separate linear power supply that will “almost double the dynamic performance power and improves the sound significantly” in terms of punch and clarity. Power Box MaiA DS additionally offers convenient power wiring for customers who decide to have multiple Pro-Ject components in a system. Up to five products from the Pro-Ject family, including a turntable (DC-only products) can be connected simultaneously.

This certainly sounds like an impressive offering from Pro-Ject and I would really love to meet it in person and test it out.

The Pro-ject MaiA DS is pitched at costing 799 Euros and will be available next month (July).