A powerful, ultra-compact and affordable all-in-one electronics for the new digital generation
Fruit of the commercial vision and audiophile spirit of Heinz Lichtenegger, president of the dynamic Austrian firm Pro-Ject Audio Systems, the MaiA DS is a proposal destined to satisfy new generations of lovers of quality sound. A type of user accustomed to versatility, comfort of use, operational power and products with compact dimensions, all in the context of prices that never exceed the level of 1,000 euros.
Equipped with state-of-the-art digital and analog technology and construction refinements such as the use of discrete surface mounting (SMD) technology, the MaiA concentrates, in the unmistakable format of Pro-Ject’s Box Design range of electronics, a preamplifier, a power amplifier, a dedicated headphone amplifier, a D/A conversion (DAC) section and MM/MC compatible phono circuitry. Specifically, it delivers 60 continuous watts per channel over 8 ohms which, thanks to the double mono topology of the power amplification circuits, offers equal parts definition and spaciousness. At the same time, the care taken in the selection of components gives the sound a sonority comparable to that of designs based on vacuum tubes. As for the D/A conversion section, it is based on two of the renowned TI 1796 “chips” – 24-bit/192 kHz resolution – mounted in an elaborate differential configuration. As befits a product with a markedly purist vocation, the MaiA DS includes high-quality asynchronous USB circuitry and is compatible with the aptX Bluetooth wireless audio transmission system. Another key aspect of the new Box Design electronics is the possibility of built-in wireless control – in the device itself – offered through several infrared emitters, which makes it possible to bypass the Wi-Fi connection.
On the other hand, since the control part of all the Box Design components is pre-programmed, the MaiA DS offers the user the possibility of easily and reliably configuring equipment made up of a wide spectrum of the brand’s models. In terms of connectivity, there are 3 analog and 3 digital inputs, as well as a variable level output for connecting an active subwoofer. Finally, let us point out that the MaiA DS supports, as an improvement for the most demanding fans, the connection of a separate linear power supply that allows not only to almost double the dynamic performance, but also to perceptibly refine the sound quality.