New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Accession phono stage review
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Welcome to the Graham Slee Audio Products Owners Club

 

Open to all owners plus those contemplating the purchase of a Graham Slee audio product wishing to use our loaner program: join here
Subscribe to our newsletter here (Rules on posting can be found here)


Accession phono stage review

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <1234 13>
Author
shashirao View Drop Down
Regular
Regular
Avatar

Joined: 04 Apr 2015
Location: Minneapolis
Status: Offline
Points: 99
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote shashirao Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2015 at 2:31am
Very tempting review. Can you share any notes/observation on how the Accession compares to the Reflex? I am most definitely set on acquiring the Accession/Elevator combo...but hearing good things about that choice warms the heart Big smile
Back to Top
morris_minor View Drop Down
Moderator Group
Moderator Group
Avatar

Joined: 27 Mar 2012
Location: Surrey
Status: Offline
Points: 4392
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote morris_minor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2015 at 9:39am
I'll definitely be posting more about the Accession (and how it compares with the Reflex), Shashi, but I need to let it burn in some more to ensure it's working at its optimum performance. Wink

Needless to say, I'm thoroughly enjoying the albums I'm playing through it! One point I can make is that the alternative EQ options ("British", and "American") offer - with RIAA discs - subtle tone controls Shocked for less than perfect records. 

Something I have thought about is how much phono stage design is an art - black art almost! Unless you just go by the numbers, like so very many phono amps out there - giving a predictable but ultimately unrewarding performance, the production of a truly musical, involving phono amp is down to the designer's willingness to experiment with circuits and components. The Accession is the product of Graham's search for "something better" - which has led to a patent-applied for design ultimately based on listening rather than "the numbers". 

Also, thinking about "reviewing" hifi in general terms - the usefulness of an individual's opinion is really quite limited given that the component under review is only one part of a chain of items, each of which will affect the sound to a greater or lesser extent. For a phono amp, the turntable-arm-cartridge combo will have a significant input, as will the end transducer - headphones and speakers. Couple all this with the reviewer's preferences for sound reproduction, and you have a very personal opinion indeed. 

All of which you may take as a disclaimer for anything I write later! LOL And which makes the forum loan scheme so valuable . . . 

For the record (sic.) my system for the (forthcoming) review is:

Kenwood 7010  direct drive TT with Zyx R100 MC
Accession + Elevator (and Reflex M)
Majestic pre-amp
Libran balanced cables to Harbeth DPM1 Pro active speakers
Solo ULDE and Audeze LCD-2 headphones
CuSat50 interconnects throughout

Now back to the music . . . Big smile
Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links
Back to Top
Ash View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: 18 Mar 2013
Location: Dorset
Status: Offline
Points: 2753
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ash Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2015 at 10:38am
The source file mixing/mastering/encoding quality and the end choice of transducer, either speaker or headphone, have always been the two most important things for me. As long as those two things are really great, I am happy to do without the rest. Smile If either of these are crap, I could put any amount of GS products in the signal chain and it would still sound crap, in my personal opinion.

However, once they're both great, I will certainly say that a Majestic-Proprius system with Lautus interconnects really took the reproduction of the chosen transducer up to a substantially different level, a new plateau that completely changes expectations regarding what I perceive as incredible and what I feel is simply mediocre.

It would be easy for me to write a load of guff about various aspects of the sound in full-blown pretentious and comprehensive English, completely losing the genuine understanding of the reader thereafter, but I will simply say that GSP electronics bring the musical performance back towards how it should have always sounded. I have no regrets about any of the products that I bought from GSPAudio. So yeah, much of it ended up being surplus to requirement but the refined remnants that I have kept really do make the whole journey and financial expenditure worthwhile.
Back to Top
Graham Slee View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar
Pushing the boundaries

Joined: 11 Jan 2008
Location: South Yorkshire
Status: Offline
Points: 8095
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Graham Slee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Oct 2015 at 7:23pm
OK, it's admission time. Graham screwed up - yes I did.

I got a capacitor value wrong in Andrew's Accession. Quickly spotted and Andrew was invited to John C's place to have it corrected.

Andrew didn't want to say anything in public for fear of my reputation, so I'm saying it instead.

I may be getting old but I can react swiftly and I still get the gut feeling for what's right and what's not.

And only one went out like that, and no more will.

So please Andrew, can you update us?
Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...
Back to Top
Drewan77 View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: 25 May 2013
Location: Chester,England
Status: Offline
Points: 1452
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Drewan77 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Oct 2015 at 1:05am
Well Graham, you say you screwed up which I think is a pretty big overstatement. The only subtle difference I have noticed after John made this minor mod is to the bass frequencies. I originally focused on the beautiful shimmering treble (which persists), but the 'correction' has done something rather nice at the bottom end - I would say that bass timing is noticeably more 'snappy' than I recall with either the Era Gold or Reflex M, or during my first couple of weeks with the Accession.

At present I am enjoying listening to well known and forgotten albums as I have not heard them before.... it's all good ! Big smile

Older than I once was, younger than I'll be
.............................
Andrew
Back to Top
Suggs View Drop Down
Moderator Group
Moderator Group
Avatar

Joined: 07 Oct 2011
Location: France
Status: Offline
Points: 432
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suggs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Oct 2015 at 6:05am
How many other manufacturers would own up to an "error" such as this...yet another example of what makes GSP the most ethical and honest company in the hi fi industry...well done Graham Clap
Derek
Back to Top
morris_minor View Drop Down
Moderator Group
Moderator Group
Avatar

Joined: 27 Mar 2012
Location: Surrey
Status: Offline
Points: 4392
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote morris_minor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Oct 2015 at 7:52pm

To confound those who skip to the end of a review for the conclusion, I’m starting back to front:

The Accession is a worthy flagship product, and while the Reflex M remains a superb product at it’s price point, Graham has managed to raise the bar yet again in the phono preamp sound quality stakes whilst adding useful features for the dedicated vinyl enthusiast such as different EQ settings, loading options and an additional and variable output. It deserves to sell faster than they can be made.

Now I’ve got that out of the way – what does the thing sound like? Many moons ago, when I moved from the phono stage of an integrated amp to an Era Gold V, the first album I played then was a Quincy Jones big band Mercury disc called ‘The Birth Of A Band’. Then it set my foot tapping and put a big grin on my face. With the Accession history repeated itself. You’re just closer to the music. Rhythmic and timbral definition go up another notch from the Reflex.

Eurythmics’ ‘Sweet Dreams’ album revelled in the Accession’s ability to delve into the mix – not in a forensic way, but in an unforced and natural manner that gets you deeper into the music almost without realising what’s happening. Bass definition and control is outstanding, and I found Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’, and a recent Ultravox issue (‘Monument-The Soundtrack’) both benefitting from this, and the rhythmic drive that the Accession conveys so well.

I play a lot of orchestral music. Turning to a favourite – Moussorgsky’s ‘Pictures At An Exhibition’ (Fritz Reiner’s Chicago version on a Classic Records reissue of the RCA Living Stereo album), the depth, detail and impact of this 1958 recording is very impressive. I think it was forum member AussieMick who coined the phrase (about the Majestic) “not enough o’s in smooth”; well the Accession sounds smooooth to the nth degree while giving you natural tonality with both rhythmic and spatial detail. You could say the Accession is to phono stages what the Majestic is to DACs . . .

More polite Baroque music fares equally well. The English Concert’s ‘period’ woodwind have their character conveyed with perfect integrity and string sound is smooth and detailed.

I’ve mentioned big band jazz; well small group jazz benefits enormously from the clarity and definition – at all frequencies – that the Accession bestows. Sonny Rollins’ sax on ‘Way Out West’ only has bass and drums for accompaniment, and all the instruments’ characters are laid out before you with detail in spades. With a Blue Note mono issue (Kenny Dorham’s ‘Round Midnight At The Café Bohemia’), switching the Accession to mono with the stereo cartridge brought a solidity to the sound easily equal to using a proper mono cartridge.

I could go on mentioning album after album, but the bottom line is that the Accession gets you closer to whatever music you play.

I’ve yet to try a MM cartridge with it (having used a Zyx R100 MC with the Elevator so far), and will report more when I’ve done so.

Meanwhile if your appetite is whetted and you’d like to hear an audio clip or two, just drop me a PM with your email address . . .

Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <1234 13>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 12.01
Copyright ©2001-2018 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.094 seconds.