Phono Stage advice - PS Audio vs Graham Slee

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by Ambo, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. Ambo

    Ambo
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    Having updated my record deck last year to the Michell Gyro SE/Technoarm/ZyxR100H (high output MC) I'm now ready to upgrade the phono stage (from a budget ProJect Phonobox 2).

    Phono stages are awfully hard to demo (especially side by side) so I'm relying on reading up as much as possible. Budget is flexible but up to say £1k tops and I think I'm down to 2 possibles - the PS Audio GCPH or the Graham Slee Era Gold Reflex.

    Does anyone have any real-life experices of these (or other suggestions) that might help me decide? My taste is wide from pop/rock to female vocals to jazz rock, but no classical. Thanks in anticipation :smashin:
     
  2. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    I'd be looking at the AQVox Phono II stage (also features XLR balanced outputs like the PS Audio) before the Graham Slee, The PS Audio looks a great spec conenctions wise. These 2 phono are the only ones that I'd consider buying new below £1000.

    Second hand wise, I'd keep an eye open for the TAG PP20 again balanced XLR, and the Rotel Michi RHQ-10. £300-400.
     
  3. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Hi Ambo....both of the phonostages you've listed are very good,and well reviewed,and I do appreciate the point about being very difficult to audition,but with the amounts of money here,you really do need to audition,even singly,if possible.

    I went through a very similar process a few years ago when upgrading from an old Supex SD900 to a Lyra Argo,and went through most of the phonostages up to about £1k.

    The sonic differences are very noticeable,and with a cartridge like the Zyx,you may need something that's not too forward....for instance,whilst many love the Tom Evans stages,I found them so forward and aggressive that whilst there was bags of detail and attack,it was tiring to listen to.

    Eventually I settled on a Trichord Dino with the NC PSU(which it really does need),and you should also take a look at the Trichord Diablo,and the Whest.
     
  4. Ambo

    Ambo
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    Thanks guys. Have booked a demo of the Graham Slee, AQVox and Whest at Analogue Seduction this weekend. Couldn't get the PS Audio demo'd at the same time, but 3 out of 4 ain't bad. :smashin:
     
  5. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Well done.....it should give an idea of how different these can sound,and also how well they will match your TT/cartridge combination.

    Cartridge loading can be a very important factor with some phonostages,and less so with others,and the same applies to the cartridge itself.

    I've found that loading the Lyra Argo with the correct impedance results in smooth but extended treble,whereas the highest impedance(47kOhms) results in some treble lift,with the Trichord Dino,and via my BAT VK3i,which has a 47kOhm loading,there seems to be no lift at all.

    Experiment with all of them,and different loadings if possible as well.....out of those you have to try,I would expect the Whest to do well.
     

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