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Accession MC - a quick review

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Fatmangolf View Drop Down
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    Posted: 07 May 2018 at 12:15pm
I put myself in the loan queue for the new Accession MC when Graham started to blog about a new approach to the input stage. I already own the Accession M and use it with an Elevator EXP so my MC cartridges are very well served already, notably a Transfiguration Phoenix on my Gorbe/SME IV turntable.

The new Accession MC arrived on a Friday in late April, I placed in in my hifi rack with the other GSP/HFC units and powered it up to start the burn-in. The May Bank Holiday weekend was a week later and I approach the end of it having played quite a lot of records. My easiest comparison for the Accession MC is the EXP/Accession M combo I own. My approach is to play a side of music on one and then the other, so it's a simple repatch.

In short I am very impressed by the new Accession MC. The variety of music I played from classic rock LP's, pop LP's, jazz, funk, and classical orchestra and chamber pieces was well served. There is no issue at all with noise when music is playing and at the reasonable volumes I listen I can only just hear a slight hiss with the arm up. The EXP and M combo has slightly more hiss but only audible with no music on. However I don't have hifi to listen to hiss, how does the msuic sound?

In word it sounds great. I can hear all the instruments so clearly and they sound right. The bass is solid and full, I particularly liked the way percussion and high frequency sounds like strings, brass, acoustic guitars are rich not harsh. Very musical and involving, I loved the way the music was being presented. I have read Graham's blogs on managing interference that can interact with the sensitive electronics needed to boost LOMC signals and how it can spoil the sound of the music. One of his suggested mods for MC cartridge loading with capacitors improved the setup I own. From what I've heard this weekend his work on the Accession MC is combatting interference and letting the music and and my LOMC cartridge come through my system without any nastiness!

Having read and then heard Graham's research go into production, I was anticipating something quite special when he set out to design an MC phono preamp. The Accession MC is a wonderful piece of work and rewards your listening by helping your expensive MC cartridge sing. I am very impressed.

There is a fair bit of flexibility built into such a small box. The loading options are very helpful. Offering 75, 100, 300, and 500 ohms means almost all LOMC cartridges are catered for. The EQ options are very helpful with standard RIAA, Decca, and Columbia covered, you can see this as very high quality treble control offering +/- 2dB at 10kHz. The variable output designed for a digital recorder can also drive an amplifier or active speakers directly. I have used my Accession M's variable outputs to make numerous recordings usually with RIAA although I have tried the FLAT option so I could (successfully) apply the right correction curve in my VinylStudio software. The mono switch is another handy feature to centre the sound and eliminate most distracting surface noises, something the Accession MC does well in stereo mode too.

So the big question is should you buy one? In my opinion the answer is yes, it's by far the best MC stage I have heard making music come to life. I'll need to weigh up the cost of duplicating the EXP/Accession M function albeit for the quite sublime listening experience the Accession MC offers.



Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suggs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 May 2018 at 11:31am
A very interesting review Jon. You had begun your listening to the MC a little ahead of me...I have the European loaner model sitting in the rack still burning in.

For me the crunch question that you have to answer (as I will when I have listened) is...if you only use MC cartridges, would you sell your Accession MM and Elevator combination and buy the Accession MC?

I'm looking forward to having a listen this weekend and reaching my own verdict Smile
Derek
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote morris_minor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 May 2018 at 1:28pm
That was a good write up, Jon - and you echo my views completely, with my unit just about burned in too. It's a stonking good piece of high fidelity kit! (Expect an appearance on my YouTube channel soon!)

To (kind of) answer Derek's question; if I only had one system, and that only used MCs I wouldn't go back to the AccMM/EXP combo. As it is I have three systems on the go so the EXP is now partnered with the Reflex M and gives me MC use in the living room; both Accessions are hooked up in my study. My original Era Gold V is now feeling a bit unloved on the shelf.

But anyone after a musical, essentially neutral phono amp for MCs with a lots of useful features should definitely audition the AccMC! Thumbs Up
Bob

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Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fatmangolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 May 2018 at 8:35pm
Thanks Bob. My dilemma is whether to sell on the Accession M and go to the MC as my only preamp. I have more than one turntable and quality arm but only have one listening room!

If only Graham offered a Accession M to MC conversion...

Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suggs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 May 2018 at 3:29pm
Well! Having now had a lengthy listen to the MC...I have placed an order. Great though the Accession MM and Elevator combination is, the new MC surpasses it and presumably, like all of Grahams wonderful products, it will just keep getting better over the next few weeks.

There is just more "air" and space around the performers, some tracks produced goose bumps listening on the MC which didn't happen on the MM, and this was irrespective of the order that the track was "A, B'd"...the bar has just been raised...great work Graham Clap

Anyone want to buy an Elevator and Accession MM? They will be going on sale very shortly, firstly on this forum and then on eBay if not snatched up
Derek
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jango Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2018 at 7:11pm
Would you be willing to sell them separately? If so, private message me what you're looking to get for the Accession M.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fatmangolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2018 at 9:13pm
The loan Accession MC is getting better and better, except in one respect... I have to send it to the next person next week.

Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.
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