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UK loan programme

Printed From: Graham Slee at Hifi System Components
Category: Find what you're looking for here!
Forum Name: UK Loaner Program
Forum Description: A members only service in the UK
URL: https://www.hifisystemcomponents.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=1211
Printed Date: 22 Jul 2019 at 10:38pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 12.01 - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: UK loan programme
Posted By: Fatmangolf
Subject: UK loan programme
Date Posted: 09 Oct 2011 at 9:55pm
We will be posting details of the UK loan programme in the next few days, explaining how you can try out a Graham Slee Product in your home. The loan period will be long enough to burn-in the equipment before serious listening and comparisons, after which you will be responsible for posting it back.
 
More details to follow, please watch this topic.


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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.



Replies:
Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 11 Oct 2011 at 12:33am

Graham has kindly supplied many of the GSP Audio phono preamps, headphone amps, and some Cusat cables so UK members of this forum can borrow them. There are SMPSU and PSU1 mains supplies to accompany them so you can hear a GSP unit at home, and find out how good each one sounds.

You will need to cover the postage each way (I will post the typical costs for each piece of equipment soon) but I have packaging materials that you can re-use to send the equipment back after the loan. All the gear has been burnt in so the loan in the UK is for a two week trial to allow the gear to settle down and enjoy listening in your system.
 
Phono preamps:
Gram Amp Communicator/SMPSU
Gram Amp 2 Communicator/SMPSU
Gram Amp 2 Special Edition/SMPSU
Gram Amp 3 Fanfare/SMPSU
Elevator EXP/PSU1
Era Gold V/PSU1
Reflex M/PSU1
Reflex C/PSU1
Accession M + PSU1
Accession MC + Enigma PSU1

Headphone amps:
Solo SRGII/PSU1
Solo Ultra-linear/PSU1
Solo Ultra-linear Diamond Edition/PSU1
Novo/SMPSU
Voyager

Proprius Amplifier:
Pair, with SMPS and phono plug to XLR plug cables
 
Cables:
Cusat50 0.6m, 1m, 1.5m
Lautus 1.5m
Libran balanced jack (for Majestic DAC output) to XLR (for Proprius amps)
Cusat50 unbalanced phono to XLR (for Proprius amps)
Spatia 1.5m, 3.5m, 7.5m with or without terminal jumpers
Lautus USB cable 1.5m

DACs:
Majestic DAC with special PSU1
Bitzie USB DAC, usually loaned with 1.5m USB cable above


Please see the main Hifi Components (GSPAudio) website for more details of the different products. 
 
Please PM me if you are interested and let me know which item of equipment you want to borrow.

[Updated February 2019]


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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.


Posted By: Cyreg
Date Posted: 12 Oct 2011 at 10:16pm
Hi Jon, good action at Vinyl Engine and thanks for the "up" Thumbs Up

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TecnoDec/RB250/MP110>GramAmp2C/PSU1; Cyrus CD8SE; Cyrus FM7 > Exposure XXXV > Harbeth C7ES-3 '35th Anniversary' cables: DNM V3 Ic's; Expo DMFtwo LScable;    
SoloSRGII/BaPS> HD600


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 14 Oct 2011 at 6:06pm

To the members who have PM'ed me already, I am checking the postage charges so I can start mailing out next week. You should get a PM about your delivery addresses and Paypal or equivalent arrangements.



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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.


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 16 Oct 2011 at 4:26pm
The loan arrangements:
  • Please PM me to let me know which item you want to try.
  • I will reply and let you know how soon the loan item will be sent out, or the expected date for you if the item is already out on loan.
  • The loan will be for 2 weeks from it reaching you. You must send it back promptly so other members can also benefit.
  • Please PM me your name and address, I will do the same. Please do not post your name and address or mine on this forum or elsewhere.
  • We will use Royal mail Special Delivery which is £7 each way for most of the items, £9 each way for those with the PSU1. You will need to reimburse me for the outgoing postage by Paypal, online payment or cash.
Please share your experiences of listening to the loan equipment. It may help to describe the music you listened to, how it sounded differently to your existing setup, etc.
 


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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.


Posted By: jamescodway
Date Posted: 16 Oct 2011 at 7:51pm
Hello all.

"Spatially enhanced Voyager"... can someone elaborate please?

Ta

James


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Solo UL - Voyager - HD 800 - M30


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 16 Oct 2011 at 8:13pm
Can't use the term cross-feed on a commercial product.... Disapprove

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Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: mrarroyo
Date Posted: 17 Oct 2011 at 11:39am
Can the user engage/defeat the spatial enhancement?

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Miguel


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 17 Oct 2011 at 5:54pm
Not at present. It was a last minute thought to do this and send an extra Voyager thus wired. Probably best to send both out for comparison to those who are interested. I tried both before shipping and I must admit to a preference for the spatially enhanced version.

I will need to create the effect a different way as I am told Mr Meier has legal claims to the term "cross-feed" and the circuit techniques published. There is however a way which Mr Meier has not considered and I intend to do some work on this.

As several users have told us the contour switch is of little use to them, I am thinking of replacing the contour circuit with the spatial enhancement circuit and utilising the switch for it. I will have to wait until we have the next batch of cases machined and printed before I can change the switch function labeling.

Having said that I suppose I could label it "enhanced/flat" and offer a contour version or a spatial version because both could be classed as an enhancement? And so the one label could apply to either.


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Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: discrete badger
Date Posted: 20 Oct 2011 at 7:50pm
The Voyager (spatially enhanced) arrived at discrete badger towers today.

I'll give some context and then my first impressions based on an hour or so of listening.

The sound I like:

For me, the music is the thing. I like all types of music from renaissance polyphony to the stuff you hear playing in high street shops. But I have to admit that there are "hifi" aspects with being able to get to the music I like. So I like an clean, open, transparent, nonfatiguing sound that doesn't add any coloration or mess with the music. But I like to hear all the music, and that includes deep bass and high treble, and different elements of the recording not getting confused with others.

I buy "hifi" very rarely, but when I do I extensively research it, listen very carefully, and expect not to have to "improve" on it for many years. 

Components used with:

I already have a standard Voyager which I listen to nearly every day during my commute and at work. I've owned it for several years and am completely happy with it. I use only the internal battery for power and I drive it from the iBasso D10 which is a portable Wolfson DAC + headphone amp. I use only the DAC section of the D10 because I prefer the sound with the Voyager as the amplifier. I drive the iBasso from the optical output of the iRiver H140 running RockBox. For headphones I currently use HD250 Linear II except when at my desk at work where I use SE530 - less conspicuous. The rig is my personal ideal of portable audio nirvana, or very close to it.

I struggle to listen critically - it's too easy to get drawn into the music - although I'll have to force myself in this case. It compares very well to my non-portable rigs at home and of course headphone listening has an advantage in terms of lack of room coloration. 

I never use the Voyager's contour circuit, as my headphones don't need it.


What I did:

The obvious test was to swap the VSE and V back and forth, and listen to a few familiar tracks on the Senns. Both Voyagers were cold, but V has undoubtedly had much more burn-in.

The VSE and V sound very similar in general terms, matching my preferences as I described above. Either I would happily pay for and live with, as the positive aspects of the V have in no way been diluted by the SE additions. But the additions are something very interesting indeed. The width of the sound is exactly the same, but the effect is that there is almost a new third channel positioned exactly in the centre between my ears. It is quite distinct from a compression of the width of the sound image - which uncannily remains as identifiably wide as before. Since this centre spot is often occupied by the main vocalist in a pop/rock recording, the result is great for this type of music, because it brings them very much into focus without sounding artificial or manipulated. 

As a comparison, in my non-portable system I have electrostatics on the L and R channels, and if you listen to a mono or nearly-mono recording you would swear blind that the centre channel speaker is on, so sharply focussed is the centre image. I expect this is due to the coherence of sound from the two channels. The VSE effect is very similar to this.

I noticed that the VSE seems to have a brighter treble than the V. The treble sounds more akin to the treble on the Novo - I would characterise by saying that strings and cymbals sound "silvery". Whether this is an artefact of the change in stereo image (presence instruments/vocalists tending to be panned to the centre?) or a lack-of burn-in effect I don't know. The difference does not affect the listenability of either the VSE of the V to me.

RockBox has a software crossfeed and I spent a while tweaking the various parameters to try to recreate the VSE effect with the V, without success. Either the settings were so mild as to make no difference, or the width of sound became reduced, more confused, and a lot less open. The phantom centre channel did not appear. 

Next:

Give it chance to warm up a little. 

Much more listening.

Two more possible comparisons: In my non-portable system I have two boxes which can also do their own version of crossfeed, both in software - Behringer deq2496 which I use for room correction, and Lavry DA11 as the DAC. I don't normally use headphones (or crossfeed) in that system but the comparison would be interesting. 


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 20 Oct 2011 at 8:43pm
Thanks DB. Please keep posting from discrete badger towers on your impression of this brand new development.


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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.


Posted By: discrete badger
Date Posted: 23 Oct 2011 at 1:46pm
Ok. Had hoped to do some more listening today, moving towards acoustic (jazz, classical) recordings. But I gave up after half an hour. VSE sounds quite different from last week. I did leave it plugged in for a couple of days; perhaps it is "settling down" or something. Strings and any 's' in lyrics now sound very bright making listening fatiguing. Bass is reduced. To check I wasn't imagining it, I returned to some of the tracks I tried last week.  V non-SE (totally burnt-in) sounds great as always.

I don't think there's much point in trying to do any critical listening at the moment. 

Will leave plugged in and listen again in the middle of the week.


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 23 Oct 2011 at 3:12pm
I think you are right to put off the next session of serious listening. Out of curiosity did your original Voyager's character evolve in a similar way?
 


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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.


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 23 Oct 2011 at 3:44pm
Just to remind the passing reader that the VSE - Voyager "spatially enhanced" is not the production version of the Voyager.

We made the "spatially enhanced" version as a kind of "play-thing" or "beta-test" unit to establish whether it was a good idea to perfect it or not. It is the odd-one-out compared with the rest of the available loan equipment in this respect.

We understand how to remove the brightness described and although it isn't apparent on the similarly modified unit we retained, I can see that given the appropriate circuit stimulus how its output can go into "ringing" (the technical description of "brightness" or "silvery" sound). Also, I have a different circuit implementation in mind since we hurriedly shoved these together at the last minute for inclusion.

As such, this first response has been very valuable in demonstrating that we are on the right track in our understanding of "brightness", its causes and the techniques to dispose of it - thank you.


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Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: discrete badger
Date Posted: 24 Oct 2011 at 7:27am
Thanks Fatmangolf and Graham.

I didn't notice this effect with my original voyager, no. But then that was burnt in gradually with the battery over listening periods whereas for VSE because of the timescales I've left it plugged into the mains permanently. But as a fair test I've been doing the listening using the battery.

I did mention it yesterday, but to re-iterate to any passing readers - the production, burnt-in voyager sounds marvellous, and always has. VSE is a test unit and I'm happy to have the opportunity to try it.



Posted By: discrete badger
Date Posted: 25 Oct 2011 at 10:37pm
VSE has apparently "settled" somewhat, and is once again comfortable to listen to. I listened to some jazz (Yellowjackets "Like a River"), some solo piano (Andreas Woyke "Braiding Bach") - and some large scale orchestral (Jongen "Symphonie Concertante" on Telarc, Bantock "Celtic and Hebridean Symphonies" on Hyperion). These recordings are all extremely good in their own way whilst being musically interesting - good test material as the "drawing-in" factor can be assessed!
 
I can still hear some of the 3-channel effect and the brightness is much reduced (but still evident). But more subtle changes have happened - notably, the stereo image now sounds much narrower, whereas originally it was comparable to the production Voyager. 

I spent some time trying to hear what was causing this until I stumbled on a segment of a highly-produced track which shows the effect precisely. The last 30 seconds of "Indefinite leave to remain" on Fundamental, the 2006 Pet Shop Boys album, contain a very rich layered string texture (sample + acoustic), which contains individual voices panned hard left and right. Through V, the effect is a deliciously wide and almost holographic image. Through VSE at the moment, there is no such effect - the hard-panned details are still recognisably at the left and right limits, but at that position they sound mono, if that makes any sense? 

I will keep VSE plugged in to see how it changes over the next few days.


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 26 Oct 2011 at 9:07am
DB, you're being very helpful.

Conventional cross-feed (Jan Meier cross feed, that is, as applied to this beta test) applies some mixing between left and right channels such that there isn't much separation at sub 300Hz frequencies (lower mids and bass), and at higher frequencies there is more separation. The problem being that this "more separation" at high frequencies isn't sufficiently more, and cannot be because of the way it's implemented.

I can explain it better as left-right mixing and the better technical name for that is positive crosstalk.

What I think is needed is a little more positive crosstalk at low frequencies making the bass omni-directional (or near-mono) as it is in real life, then reducing the positive crosstalk at a -6dB/octave rate to a frequency where there is no mixing at all, possibly also applying negative crosstalk to emphasize the high frequency spatial information by pulling it further apart. This is roughly the way 2-channel stereo speakers present the information. The existing cross-feed ideas don't go to such extremes.

In implementing the cross-feed in the Voyager "SE" some of the slew rate limiting at the input was compromised and I am pretty much sure this has led to the brightness (ringing), and there's nothing worse to upset the stereo image. It starts to sound quite "dry".

No matter, it was worth having a go and worth pursuing further when I can find the odd spare hour.




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Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 28 Oct 2011 at 8:32am
Hi FritzS, there is an EU loan programme on this thread:
 
http://www.gspaudio-community.activeboards.net/forum_topics.asp?FID=59&title=eu-loaner-program" rel="nofollow - http://www.gspaudio-community.activeboards.net/forum_topics.asp?FID=59&title=eu-loaner-program
 
I had a quick look at your website and saw lots on interesting information and reviews you have written. Thank you.
 
 


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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.


Posted By: discrete badger
Date Posted: 29 Oct 2011 at 8:36pm
Listening over the last few days has suggested that VSE's character has changed very little since the last posting. I listened to some renaissance opera (Monteverdi l'Orfeo on L'Oiseau-Lyre), some sonically spectacular remixes of Jean Michel-Jarre's Oxygene 8, and some of the indescribably wonderful Tallis motets (Winchester cathedral choir on Hyperion). Then the Petri/Jarrett recording of Bach flute sonatas on RCA Victor, and extracts from some Wagnerian opera (The Karajan Parsifal on DG)

Noticeable throughout was the smaller stereo image mentioned previously. The Tallis recording is quite "forward" in the lower treble and on the VSE this led to more than a trace of "sheen" in this area, whereas on the V the effect was the more desirable one of crystalline clarity. The "Sunday Club" and "Dados ethnic" remixes of the Jarre make an unusually extensive use of stereo possibilities and contain a lot of repeated synth chords which move around the stereo image constantly. They seemed to make more sense on the V in that they seemed to be moving along well-defined paths. 

The Bach recording presents two delicate acoustic instruments, each with a very extensive series of harmonic overtones, in a very open and revealing recording. Jarrett's harpsichord is miked in stereo, and Petri's recorder is at stage centre. Through VSE, predictably the harpsichord sounded smaller but more interestingly the recorder positioning seemed less stable over ascending and descending scales. The effect is a little distracting.

The 1981 Parsifal is a luminously beautiful recording of the Berlin Phil with natural-sounding balance relative to the vocals. To my ears the VSE effect was to flatten the stereo image and make the singers (particularly the bass) sound slightly artificial.

I am surprised that my first very positive impression of the VSE has proved elusive over time. I don't know whether this was more an accident of burn-in, or an initial "something is different" novelty that turned into a less listenable experience over time. Either way, it shows just how beneficial this kind of loan scheme can be. I think I have heard enough to conclude that I have a significant preference for the crossfeed-less V, at least with this evolution. The VSE, even as it stands, is a good-sounding amp. It's just that the V is a pretty tough act to follow.

Thanks to Graham and Fatmangolf for setting up this excellent loan scheme.


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 31 Oct 2011 at 8:13pm
The thanks should go to Graham for his commitment to supporting the loan scheme for forum members. I am glad to help out so we can all benefit from it in the UK.
 
There are several units out on loan with members at the moment so please PM me if you are interested in a home trial of any of the GSP Audio gear.
 


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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.


Posted By: discrete badger
Date Posted: 02 Nov 2011 at 7:21pm
Next at DB towers is - delight of delights! - the Solo Ultra Linear.

Somewhat wary of first impressions after the VSE experience, but right now - and still cold - it seems that this is an extraordinary little box. I haven't heard SRG so have only the Novo and Voyager as benchmarks, although Dr. Lavry's headamp in the DA11 (digital inputs only of course) is rumoured to be no slouch. 

The stereo image driving the HD250's is enormous - where have the surround speakers been hidden? It sounds like you can swim in it! Bass is massive whilst precise - it seems like the amp is in total control which makes for great transparency and listenability. The treble has the "house" openness but there's just more of it - in fact there's just more of everything!

This promises to be a very interesting couple of weeks!


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 02 Nov 2011 at 7:30pm
From cold they do sound big and it changes to become more natural. Just mentioning this as the first impression could be too addictive and turn cold turkey later on.

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Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: leecky
Date Posted: 03 Nov 2011 at 7:44pm
Hi
I would like to thank Fatmangolf for sending the gear and Graham for allowing the loaning. I have loaned the Solo SRG II and PSU1.
 I'll start from the beginning :) I write songs as a hobby to torture my kids and use a RME Babyface usb interface. Recently I decided to go down the "mix mainly on headphones route" (neighbours, missus, crap songs, that sort of thing). I acquired some second hand AKG K701 headphones. The sound from the babyface is very neutral and detailed but it does not provide enough umph for these headphones. I also want to use the setup to listen to music for enjoyment as well as mixing. 
 
After various late night research sessions on headphone amps one name kept cropping up - Graham Slee. I am not sure which amp to plump for, the Solo or the Novo. Money is not exactly free flowing and thanks to the loan scheme I can now compare the two prior to taking the plunge.
 
My set up is babyface connected to pc via usb. I have connected the Solo directly to the babyface headphone socket (not via the breakout cable) with profigold cable. I am no expert on cables so if this is not up to it please let me know.
 
I am aware that burning in is required so have taken this into account with my initial listening. On first using the amp what is apparent is that the headphones are now being properly driven. The sound is far more powerful. My listening level on average was around the 11 o'clock position. The bass is very clear and not overpowering, the mids nicely balanced but the highs do sometimes appear slightly "brittle". It may be the burning in will "round off the corners" so to speak. I listened to a variety of styles. Very spacious sounding songs like Wilco's Jesus etc. had a very open soundstage and the detail is fantastic. Busier songs such as the Artic Monkeys still had space for all the instruments and sounded energetic and vibrant.
 
I will let the amp burn in for the next week and report back, however I do have a feeling I will be addicted to it by the time I have to hand it back.
 
Many thanks
 
Lee
 


Posted By: discrete badger
Date Posted: 06 Nov 2011 at 9:15pm
I've listened to the Solo UL several times in the last few days, including enjoying a whole morning of fatigue-free listening, even though the Solo was on a "bass slightly recessed" day then. But not to worry - today the bass is back with an avengeance!

I've so far found nothing to dislike - it's completely my type of amplifier, letting through all the recording in a very transparent, uncoloured and musical way. Incredible amounts of detail that I've never heard on headphones before, but never at the expense of the music. 

I soon realised that the Solo deserved the best source I had to feed it, so I moved up from the iBasso D10 to the Lavry DA11 line outs, temporarily silencing my "main" system in the process. Driving the HD250s, the pair proved to be a match made in heaven. It also made an intriguing 4-way headphone amp comparison (Voyager, Novo, DA11, Solo) possible which showed in no uncertain terms why the Solo is so highly regarded and how, sonically, it justifies its place above such an accomplished little amp as the Novo. 

The Solo did something I didn't expect - it made me disappointed with the Voyager sound just for a short while until I "came back down" from Solo heights. The Novo, great though it is, has never done that. 

To my ears, the DA11 internal headamp comes close to the Solo in terms of tonal accuracy and cleanliness, but it's some distance behind on what I'll call the spatial definition of the Solo. The Solo positions every nuance, every detail, every voice precisely at some point in the stereo image. All these details are complete delineated in that they do not mutually interfere, even if there is a huge throbbing bass-line underneath.

I was always pleased with the headphone sound I was getting but this is a bit of a genie-out-of-the-bottle experience. The only thing I can compare it to is my main system, in that it's able to drive headphones to the extent where they at least produce an impression of the immersive depth and width of the sound of the electrostatics. 

So really a very interesting and enjoyable experience so far.


Posted By: mrarroyo
Date Posted: 06 Nov 2011 at 10:40pm
The "spatial definition" is a very good description of what I have heard with the Solo UL. It is almost as it can double the space between your ears.

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Miguel


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 08 Nov 2011 at 10:05am
Please note I have moved the conversation regarding the European Loaner Program to its rightful place at http://www.gspaudio-community.activeboards.net/eu-loaner-program_topic1231.html" rel="nofollow - http://www.gspaudio-community.activeboards.net/eu-loaner-program_topic1231.html

See you over there.


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Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: discrete badger
Date Posted: 11 Nov 2011 at 11:28pm
As time goes by, and with careful listening, the Solo UL is revealing more to me about how it achieves its magic - or at least I'd like to think so. 

As the music is what's mostly of interest to me, it's somewhat painful to keep lapsing into audiophile terminology in these postings. But I think there is a connection between what the Solo does with its wonderfully absorbing wide stereo image (an audiophile thing) and how engaging the music is (the main thing). Bear with me on this....

I hear it most on very familiar recordings. The Solo UL clearly seperates voices which would otherwise occupy the same space in the image. When seperated, they have a life of their own and the less dominant voice can be heard rather than be subsumed. This is especially the case with female vocalists against a lush multi-part string orchestration, where you can hear the centre-panned parts clearly in their own right, seperate from the vocalist, even though they are at a similar pitch. See - I would eventually get around to the music! An extra audible part or two makes - quite simply - a different piece of music - and a better piece of music, because what's in the recording is meant to be heard!

I don't mean to suggest that this voice seperation in the Solo is "clinical" or "hifi" or "detailed" in the usual negative meanings. In my experience electronics can easily sound "detailed" or "exciting" initially but lead to fatigue when listening to music on a long term basis. The Solo is a very non-fatiguing listen, in fact it is a major cause of one-more-track-itis.


Posted By: tg
Date Posted: 12 Nov 2011 at 1:25am

Quote The Solo is a very non-fatiguing listen, in fact it is a major cause of one-more-track-itis.

Lovely descriptions and summary DB, I can relate to/recognise, everything you describe.

Thanks for sharing them.



Posted By: discrete badger
Date Posted: 12 Nov 2011 at 9:43am
I tried another interesting (well for me anyway!) experiment.  Previously, when I compared my Novo against the Solo UL, I used the PSU1 to power both amps to try to make the test fairer. 

So I thought it would be interesting to A/B the Solo powered alternately by the PSU1 and the switcher power supply from the Novo. The differences, while clearly audible, are much more subtle than the differences between the Novo and Solo, and as such would likely make a larger difference to long term listenability than they do to a quick A/B. But long term listenability is what we care about, of course...

Both PSUs give a similar sense of space I've tried to describe previously. With the PSU1, the image is slightly wider and deeper. As you'd expect with a better power supply, mid and deep bass is significantly bigger and better defined with the PSU1, but the difference which has a greater effect is the change in the tonal balance of the crucial lower and mid treble region relative to everything else below.

With the switcher, this region is either slightly louder or not as well controlled - I can't identify which of the two. But the subjective effect is to add a slightly hard/artificial edge to the sound. The effect is most noticeable on bright recordings with lots of strings and cymbals. I found myself wanting to compensate with a slight reduction in volume. Another subjective effect is that voices and instruments in this region sound slightly less real and palpable. 

I have to emphasise that the Solo-with-switcher is still a superb headamp - showing a clean pair of heels to the Novo + PSU1, for instance, it's just that the PSU1 seems to lift it to an even higher plane. At the risk of stating the obvious, it makes possible a NAIM-like upgrade strategy - buy and enjoy a Solo UL now, then add a PSU1 at a later date.


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 12 Nov 2011 at 10:48am
Yes, the Solo Ultralinear/PSU1 is that good in my opinion also.
Jon
 
PS: The Solo UL needs the PSU1 to perform at its best.


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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.


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 13 Nov 2011 at 11:04am
We only do the Solo UL with the PSU1

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Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: discrete badger
Date Posted: 14 Nov 2011 at 8:33pm
The time has come for the Solo UL to go, courtesy of Fatmangolf, to its next lucky borrower.

From my Voyager Spatially Enhanced postings, it'll be clear that I'm interested in headamps that perform well across a wide variety of music. The Solo UL has brought its special talents - as described earlier - to bear consistently across everything I've listened to. It takes a transparent and neutral amplifier to do that. One common feature across all the styles - the Solo absolutely loves good recordings, and has let me appreciate the talents of the best sound engineers and producers.

Take a recording I have referred to previously - the Telarc recording of the Jongen Symphonie Concertante, and particularly the fast, glittering and highly dynamic final movement. This has been a reference recording for me for over a decade. The hall acoustics are relatively dry, the orchestra is closely miked, it's mixed skillfully and there is a wide and deep symphonic tapestry of colour; the orchestration merges together strings and woodwind, percussion as one. And just so we don't give the electronics an easy ride, there is Telarc's infamously unrealistic drums and masses of organ bass down to 16hz. It's very easy for an amp to lose the upper detail with all of that going on down below! And then there is the brass - you know when you see a brass instrument on stage, all highly polished, not a single fingermark, like a golden mirror? A really good DAC and amplifier are able to make trumpets, with all their rich harmonics, sound just like that. The Solo UL is in that category.

I'd urge anybody who is curious about the Solo UL to join the loan programme and hear it for themselves. I tried to listen with an open mind, but one part of me half-expected a "Novo on steroids" - no, the Solo UL is far more than that.



Posted By: oldagetraveller
Date Posted: 16 Nov 2011 at 2:16pm
Received an Elevator and Reflex M as part of the "loaner programme" this morning.
Connected my PT turntable/Denon DL304 MC to the Elevator input, tonearm earth to Elevator, Elevator output to Reflex input and then usual connection to Naim Pre-amp. Connected PSU1s to each and when turning up the pre-amp vol. to normal listening level massive and unbearable hum!
Tried disconnecting turntable but still there. It only seems to be evident when the Elevator is connected and powered up. Tried using my own Era Gold, just the same. It's also there through headphones and Solo UL. PSU1s are well away from the units in fact the supplies for my existing Solo and Era Gold are where they've always been with no effect.
Any suggestions because it makes it impossible to listen to the music properly and I don't want to damage my amp or speakers!?
Previously using an old MM/MC switchable Project Phono Box (for MC) giving a barely discernable hiss through the speakers but not headphones.


-------------
Peter

P T- LPT/RB300/G1042, Pink Triangle Tarantella/Nima/Ortofon 2M Black, SL1210II, Naim CD5, NAC112, NAP150, Flatcap2, Proac SC1, GS SoloUL,GS Accession , Senn HD250 & HD540.


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 16 Nov 2011 at 7:42pm
The solution to oldagetraveller's Elevator EXP set-up difficulties and how we all got there has been moved to a side topic and can be found here
http://www.gspaudio-community.activeboards.net/topic1244.html" rel="nofollow - http://www.gspaudio-community.activeboards.net/topic1244.html

The moderators felt that the page and a half of often tense suggestions and implementations detracted from the UK Loan Programme topic but also felt them valuable for others who could have similar set-up difficulties, so rather than delete them completely, they were moved as being "off-topic".


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Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 19 Nov 2011 at 12:04pm
Post script: I am missing the Reflex M. I wasn't sure how much better it would be but I will definitely be buying one thanks to the loan scheme.


-------------
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.


Posted By: oldagetraveller
Date Posted: 19 Nov 2011 at 5:17pm
"if I hadn't got the MM3 I would have borrowed an MC just to try the Elevator/Reflex M myself."

I briefly tried the Reflex fed by Roksan and MM3. The fact it has around 300 hours under it's belt explains why it was so good. That MM3 cartridge is superb in the Nima arm. On the advice of Len Gregory the anti-skate is set to it's lowest too which seems fine. Tracking weight at 16mN.
I'll also be setting up the SL1210 again next week, the separate headshell means I can try the ATOC9 MC, Denon DL110 high outputMC (directly into the Reflex) and an old Goldring 1042 MM.
Oh, and buy another chopping board!
I asked Graham elsewhere about the Elevator and the Denon DL304 which has a very low 0.18mV output. There's no hint of any hiss which he mentioned could be evident. So the Elevator copes really well with that particular output. In fact I've had to ease the Naim pre- amp vol. back a bit with the Elevator/Reflex combination compared to that using the Era Gold V on it's own.



-------------
Peter

P T- LPT/RB300/G1042, Pink Triangle Tarantella/Nima/Ortofon 2M Black, SL1210II, Naim CD5, NAC112, NAP150, Flatcap2, Proac SC1, GS SoloUL,GS Accession , Senn HD250 & HD540.


Posted By: Papy
Date Posted: 19 Nov 2011 at 8:56pm
Courtesy of Graham's loan programme and Jon, I have received the cusat50 cables on Wednesday and have been A/B'ing via the UL switch them since on my setup (Arcam CD73 + U/L PSU + HD650 - I do not know exactly the specs of my current interconnects, they were just added to the package when I bought the Arcam).

Probably after 10-12h listening, I must confess I do not hear any major differences as yet between the 2 sets of cables. The Cusat has made the sound (marginally) slightly more forward and fuller, and removed some of the treble harshness on some recordings.

However, truth be told, I have been so engulfed into the music that I have several times forgotten everything about the switch altogether during those listening sessions and, when I gathered my senses again, found out a pretty even split on where the switch was left in the first place...I think that's quite a testament to the U/L, if it ever needed one... eventually listening to the music in any case, not the gear. 

Will see how/if anything changes during the rest of the loan period Smile
    

 


-------------
------------
Olivier


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 20 Nov 2011 at 9:50pm
Thanks Papy. I found the Cusat50 cable transparent and natural, letting all the music through from transients to low level detail.
 


-------------
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.


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 20 Nov 2011 at 9:51pm
To all UK members please PM me if you are interesting in trying out a piece of Graham Slee equipment. There is a list a few pages back, some items are available and some are out on loan. I will advise on availability/dates.
 


-------------
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.


Posted By: oldagetraveller
Date Posted: 23 Nov 2011 at 11:41am
Both the Elevator (E) and Reflex M (R)have been "on" for 5 days now with only a very brief "off" yesterday when I changed the source to the Roksan t/t fitted with Cartridgeman Musicmaker 3 and plugged that into the Reflex only.
At first the E sounded non too good, very bright with splashy cymbals and poor bass. Even after only 24 hours things improved immensely. There is even a noticeable improvement after two or three tracks have been played in a particular listening session! After 4 days it started to sound sublime, very musical with a wide and 3D soundstage. The PT t/t is a bit of an "in your face" beast but the E and R took this in their stride and calmed it down somewhat. Coupled with the R the results, even at this early stage of "burn in", are impressive the music really shines through. A warning though, they are very transparent and revealing, poor recordings come across as, well, poor recordings. On The Who's "Whos Next lp, disc 3 (live) Pete Townshend's amplifier has hum!Cool
The R highlights what a truly outstanding cartridge the MM3 is too. It sounded poor at first - operator error again - until I reset the tracking force to 15.82mN from 12mN. Don't know how that changed?
I dug out my Nimbus Supercut Eagles "Desperado" from it's vault last night and treated myself to a rare listen. Why aren't all lps cut like this?
I'll sort out the SL1210 for the weekend before reluctantly returning these loan items and try the Reflex with Denon DL110 high output MC first, then the ATOC9 through the E and R with which I'm sure the results will be just the same.
I now need to get my post count up before ordering, initially, an Elevator!


-------------
Peter

P T- LPT/RB300/G1042, Pink Triangle Tarantella/Nima/Ortofon 2M Black, SL1210II, Naim CD5, NAC112, NAP150, Flatcap2, Proac SC1, GS SoloUL,GS Accession , Senn HD250 & HD540.


Posted By: tg
Date Posted: 23 Nov 2011 at 12:34pm

It will probably be too much to tackle, you have sufficient to try in the time left anyway, but I found adding a parallel load of 1Kohm to the DL-110 to be very worthwhile, tamed the top end a little and filled out the rest whilst reducing the level of surface noise.  Perhaps you can try that later with the EGV anyway.

Sounds like it is proving a worth while experiment now at any rate, which is good to hear.



Posted By: oldagetraveller
Date Posted: 23 Nov 2011 at 2:54pm
I honestly wouldn't want to try "experimenting" by adding loads in parallel or anything else anyway tg! How is that done?- not at the moment and using loaned gear anyway. Knowing my luck something would go "pop"! You've kindled my curiosity now.LOL
I haven't found the DL110's top end to be too bad at all. It has to be one of the best cartridge bargains around with a performance far in excess of it's price. I have found it works particularly well in the minimally modified SL1210 which has only had the rubber mat replaced by one in acrylic.


-------------
Peter

P T- LPT/RB300/G1042, Pink Triangle Tarantella/Nima/Ortofon 2M Black, SL1210II, Naim CD5, NAC112, NAP150, Flatcap2, Proac SC1, GS SoloUL,GS Accession , Senn HD250 & HD540.


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 23 Nov 2011 at 5:37pm
Hi OAT, I am delighted you are enjoying this combo so much! It sounds like you are really inspired by the GSP gear to try different TTs and carts.
 
I have previously posted some info on the forum explaining how to do what tg described with load resistors, using phono t-adaptors and other Maplin parts. It's worth a try as it could make a real difference as tg described. Jon


-------------
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.


Posted By: oldagetraveller
Date Posted: 24 Nov 2011 at 9:38am
"I have previously posted some info on the forum explaining how to do what tg described with load resistors, using phono t-adaptors and other Maplin parts. It's worth a try as it could make a real difference as tg described. Jon"

I've tried a forum search for load resistors and phono t adaptors and trawled through a lot of your posts Jon but can't seem to find anything relevant. Would you give me a clue please?


-------------
Peter

P T- LPT/RB300/G1042, Pink Triangle Tarantella/Nima/Ortofon 2M Black, SL1210II, Naim CD5, NAC112, NAP150, Flatcap2, Proac SC1, GS SoloUL,GS Accession , Senn HD250 & HD540.


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 24 Nov 2011 at 10:54am
It has to be said that the search facilities on here are pretty poor, so I tried googling and it came up with these:

http://www.gspaudio-community.activeboards.net/phono-cartridge-loading-for-moving-magnet_topic992.html" rel="nofollow - http://www.gspaudio-community.activeboards.net/phono-cartridge-loading-for-moving-magnet_topic992.html

http://www.gspaudio-community.activeboards.net/phono-preamp-project_topic745_page3.html" rel="nofollow - http://www.gspaudio-community.activeboards.net/phono-preamp-project_topic745_page3.html

http://www.gspaudio-community.activeboards.net/moving-coil-cartridge-loading_topic1080.html" rel="nofollow - http://www.gspaudio-community.activeboards.net/moving-coil-cartridge-loading_topic1080.html

http://www.gspaudio-community.activeboards.net/topic745_post7149.html#7149" rel="nofollow - http://www.gspaudio-community.activeboards.net/topic745_post7149.html#7149


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Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: tg
Date Posted: 24 Nov 2011 at 11:16am

http://www.gspaudio-community.activeboards.net/cartridge-loading-plugs_topic1246_post9737.html#9737" rel="nofollow - http://www.gspaudio-community.activeboards.net/cartridge-loading-plugs_topic1246_post9737.html#9737

LampLampLamp Wink



Posted By: oldagetraveller
Date Posted: 24 Nov 2011 at 11:51am
Thanks for those, Graham and tg. You found it for me! Thumbs Up

-------------
Peter

P T- LPT/RB300/G1042, Pink Triangle Tarantella/Nima/Ortofon 2M Black, SL1210II, Naim CD5, NAC112, NAP150, Flatcap2, Proac SC1, GS SoloUL,GS Accession , Senn HD250 & HD540.


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 24 Nov 2011 at 5:30pm
Here's the one I was thinking of:
http://www.gspaudio-community.activeboards.net/phono-preamp-project_topic745_post7055.html#7055" rel="nofollow - http://www.gspaudio-community.activeboards.net/phono-preamp-project_topic745_post7055.html#7055
 
IMO tg's article is very good indeed. The photos are spot on!


-------------
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.


Posted By: oldagetraveller
Date Posted: 24 Nov 2011 at 7:21pm
Thanks Fatmangolf. It looks easy enough to have a go, my soldering skills leave a lot to be desired but resistors are cheap enough as are basic phono plugs to do a bit of practising on! I'll initially try 1 Kohm with the DL110 and my own Era Gold.
As has been said a picture (or more) speaks volumes.



-------------
Peter

P T- LPT/RB300/G1042, Pink Triangle Tarantella/Nima/Ortofon 2M Black, SL1210II, Naim CD5, NAC112, NAP150, Flatcap2, Proac SC1, GS SoloUL,GS Accession , Senn HD250 & HD540.


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 25 Nov 2011 at 9:13pm
Thank you but I would give credit to tg for his thorough how to with pictures.
 
Incidentally I posted a review of the Gram Amp 2 Special Edition in this thread:  http://www.gspaudio-community.activeboards.net/gram-amp-2se_topic1226_post9459.html#9459" rel="nofollow - http://www.gspaudio-community.activeboards.net/gram-amp-2se_topic1226_post9459.html#9459  It may be of interest to members.
 


-------------
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.


Posted By: oldagetraveller
Date Posted: 26 Nov 2011 at 8:38am
"Thank you but I would give credit to tg for his thorough how to with pictures"
Absolutely. All it needs now is a remote soldering control facility. I'm more at home with a big hammer!Smile


-------------
Peter

P T- LPT/RB300/G1042, Pink Triangle Tarantella/Nima/Ortofon 2M Black, SL1210II, Naim CD5, NAC112, NAP150, Flatcap2, Proac SC1, GS SoloUL,GS Accession , Senn HD250 & HD540.


Posted By: oldagetraveller
Date Posted: 30 Nov 2011 at 3:10pm
I'd like to express a thank you to Fatmangolf for co-ordinating the U.K. loan programme. To our sponsor a special thanks for providing his products and allowing people to try his products in their own homes and set up for two weeks. Thumbs Up

-------------
Peter

P T- LPT/RB300/G1042, Pink Triangle Tarantella/Nima/Ortofon 2M Black, SL1210II, Naim CD5, NAC112, NAP150, Flatcap2, Proac SC1, GS SoloUL,GS Accession , Senn HD250 & HD540.


Posted By: oldagetraveller
Date Posted: 01 Dec 2011 at 11:50am
My loan Elevator (E) and Reflex M (R) were returned earlier this week. Not many, if any, manufacturers will provide this facility which is far better when when able to use the stuff in one's own system and home rather than in a dealer's listening room, which will be totally different and usually contain lots of other equipment.
I understand the R had approx. 300 hrs under it's belt when I received it and the E was unused. So the R will now have around 500 hrs and the E around 200.
Even at 500 hours I suspect the R still needs a few more hours to be at it's best. Last Sunday afternoon it appeared to have "lost the plot" for a time, sounding bright with a loss of bass, but Sunday evening had returned to it's old self again.
The E has improved consistently over the 200 hours. It did sound pretty grim initially but eventually started to improve as burn in progressed. I'm sure that, also, will improve further as the hours are added.
I would heartily recommend both these products, either as a connected pair for low output MC cartridges or individually. The R for MM and high output MC cartridges and the E used in conjunction with the R or dare I say even another manufacturers MM phono stage?
Having now returned to using my ERA Gold, as good as it is, I would hazard that the R is a superior product.
Not really relevant to the musicality of these two, but an indication of their excellence, at the start of a track of The Doors lp I detected the drummer picking up his sticks, one of those "never heard that before" moments!


-------------
Peter

P T- LPT/RB300/G1042, Pink Triangle Tarantella/Nima/Ortofon 2M Black, SL1210II, Naim CD5, NAC112, NAP150, Flatcap2, Proac SC1, GS SoloUL,GS Accession , Senn HD250 & HD540.


Posted By: PBlackburn
Date Posted: 13 Dec 2011 at 12:47pm
Hello,

  I've been looking into getting a phono stage for my setup and admit to being inexperienced in this fieldEmbarrassed but have done some research on the internet and most indicators seem to point quite strongly towards the Graham Slee products. 

 I have emailed Graham Slee with a few enquiries and he has been exceptionally helpful and detailed in response, certainly gives confidence in the product attention to detail when the advice is so considered and detailed. 

 Graham had mentioned that there was a loaner programme which was also available to non owners so I wanted to see if it was possible to try a couple of products? My current setup is particularly modest compared to some I'm sure. I have a Project Classic turntable with an Ortofon 510mkii Cartridge which is currently running through the phono stage on my Rega Mira amp then going to my Tannoy 633 speakers. To me it's a decent sound but then there's always room for improvement right!

Anyway, I wanted to see if it's possible and how much shipping would be to try the Era Gold V and the Reflex M phono stages?

Thanks for your time,

Paul.

 


Posted By: oldagetraveller
Date Posted: 13 Dec 2011 at 1:12pm
Welcome Paul. I'm sure if you contact Fatmangolf (he's co-ordinating the U.K. loan programme) via the messaging system he'll advise of the approximate costs, availability and procedure.
I'm sure he'll be along soon to answer your post.
The items are sent Royal Mail Special Delivery and you would be responsible for costs involved sending the gear back by Special Delivery to Fatmangolf plus re-imbursing him the cost of sending the stuff to you. I just placed cash in an envelope inside the return parcel.
I've actually ordered an Elevator and Reflex M after having them loaned to me for two weeks.
I think you'll find a separate phono stage will be a revelation compared to that built in to your amp!


-------------
Peter

P T- LPT/RB300/G1042, Pink Triangle Tarantella/Nima/Ortofon 2M Black, SL1210II, Naim CD5, NAC112, NAP150, Flatcap2, Proac SC1, GS SoloUL,GS Accession , Senn HD250 & HD540.


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 13 Dec 2011 at 8:43pm
Oldagetraveller is right in  most of the details. Please PM me when you are ready!
The Reflex M is excellent in my opinion also.
Best wishes


-------------
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.


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 14 Dec 2011 at 10:14pm
I have just taken delivery of my own Reflex M (thanks to the GSP team) which other forum members had (rightly) encouraged me to buy. The loan scheme gave me a chance to hear just how good it is and I have bought one. It is burning in now and will be replacing the loan Reflex M that will probably be going out on loan over Christmas!
Jon


-------------
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.


Posted By: tg
Date Posted: 14 Dec 2011 at 11:05pm

Looks like this loan scheme is proving a "wealth hazard" Wink

Perhaps you should include a disclaimer like - "Listening to the enclosed equipment for 2 weeks may result in pain in the wallet.  While GSP products are known to cure sonic ills, no responsibility can be taken for any side-effects of this nature."  Wacko



Posted By: oldagetraveller
Date Posted: 15 Dec 2011 at 11:34am
Originally posted by tg tg wrote:

Looks like this loan scheme is proving a "wealth hazard" Wink

Perhaps you should include a disclaimer like - "Listening to the enclosed equipment for 2 weeks may result in pain in the wallet.  While GSP products are known to cure sonic ills, no responsibility can be taken for any side-effects of this nature."  Wacko



Without a doubt!Smile My Reflex M and Elevator were delivered yesterday (profile amended accordingly). Both powered overnight but using the Reflex only at the moment fed from the Roksan and MM3 cart. Even yesterday evening the Reflex was pretty damn good straight out of the box.Approve


-------------
Peter

P T- LPT/RB300/G1042, Pink Triangle Tarantella/Nima/Ortofon 2M Black, SL1210II, Naim CD5, NAC112, NAP150, Flatcap2, Proac SC1, GS SoloUL,GS Accession , Senn HD250 & HD540.


Posted By: PBlackburn
Date Posted: 15 Dec 2011 at 2:05pm
Thanks for the heads up! Does sound likely that I'm going to be a little out of pocket for the new year but maybe some well co-ordinated pre Christmas groveling may raise some funds & help lighten my financial burden! 


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 15 Dec 2011 at 9:24pm
My new Reflex M sounds very, very good 24 hours in.

-------------
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.


Posted By: discrete badger
Date Posted: 15 Dec 2011 at 11:03pm
This scheme is a definite wealth hazard. I am just stalling on the Solo UL at the moment as I don't do much headphone listening at home. But I seriously considered buying one anyway just in case some more electronics regulations come along / supplies of good-sounding resistors dry up / take your pick of the varied challenges Graham writes about as being part of producing gear which performs at this level!


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 28 Jan 2012 at 8:58pm
Please PM me if you are in the UK and wish to try any GSP Audio equipment in your own system at home. Please see the details earlier in this thread.


-------------
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.


Posted By: discrete badger
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2012 at 8:01pm

I borrowed the Elevator EXP and the Reflex M over the new year period. Due to unexpected problems with the MC cartridge I was intending to use, it was not possible to try the Elevator in any meaningful capacity.

I was, however, able to try the Reflex in place of my usual phono stage, which is inside my Denon AVR2310 home cinema receiver. My turntable is a 70s-tastic Pioneer PL-12D which is fitted with a Shure M24H cartridge - the total outlay was a princely £20 in 1992. It will now be obvious that unlike most members I am not a serious vinyl listener, which is purely due to my age and hence the timing of starting to collect recordings in the early 90's. But I do have about 60 or so LPs, some cherished, and I am an owner of Graham's excellent-sounding headphone amps, so I was curious to see what a good phono stage would do.

To me, the effects of higher and higher quality gear are different with digital versus analogue sources. With digital, I believe the "hi-fi" aspects such as superficial low noise, low distortion, good pitch stability etc. come relatively easily, and you pay to restore the deeper musicality which digital glare and interference sucks away. With LP, the musicality comes very easily, and you pay to improve the hi-fi aspects by such factors as increasing turntable mass and obtaining more refined cartridges.

Total enjoyment of the home listening experience is for me when both aspects are handled well by the equipment, and when the recording has enough good music and sound in the first place.

My impressions of the Reflex were very much in keeping with this view. Despite the phono stage in the Denon being an obvious afterthought (they deleted it in the 2011 update) it is very listenable. Poor digital recordings such as some early remasters of analogue recordings are no comparison in terms of involvement.

Moving up to the Reflex brought a great leap sonically. Surface noise dropped by a huge amount to the extent that it was no longer noticeable. The blacker noise background allowed the music to stand out in sharper relief. The honesty of the bass response caused the drivers in my subwoofer to work very hard in response to the subsonic rumble of the aging bearings in the Pioneer - the Denon must have a high-pass filter. Soundstaging did the "wider than the speakers" thing which I have discussed in previous postings. Another very recognisable "Slee house sound" aspect was the very open and clean treble, which, together with the bright Shure cartridge, sounded quite reminiscent of the Novo. 

I was left in no doubt that my turntable was not up the task of creating a clean signal for the Reflex and would need either reconditioning or replacement to do it justice.

Like many people who have their home cinema and 2-channel setup in one room, the front L + R pre-outs of my home cinema amp are connected to an auxiliary input in my digital-only 2 channel system, allowing the front speakers to be shared without any loss of 2 channel quality. This of course put the Reflex at a disadvantage, its output being ADCd, room-corrected and then DACd. So, I did try an all-analogue chain using the Reflex into the Novo as a stand-in analogue preamp driving my power amp directly. This added about another 10% to the depth and smoothness to the presentation, at an obvious cost of adding room boom due to the missing EQ. The best-sounding LPs in my collection now became mesmeric and comparison with anything other than exceptional digital recordings was now a huge let-down.

So, to add to my audio shopping list for "some stage in the future" - 1) a decent analogue preamp to switch between the Lavry and a Reflex 2) a better turntable and 3) trawling ebay and car boot sales for interesting LPs. Risk-free loan scheme? Yeah right.



Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2012 at 10:31pm
That is a very informative and insightful review Mr Badger. As the 'enabler' I do understand what you are saying about the risks of trying great gear, although it gives all of us something to look forward to.
 
Getting a decent phono preamp (wow!) and finding out how to align a cartridge got me trawling charity shops as well. I have had similar experiences to yours with some of the 1980's vinyl, mixed to sound digital aka trebly. And I found some great sounding bargains, wonderfully recorded and mastered LP's brought back to life by having better hi-fi.
 


-------------
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.


Posted By: discrete badger
Date Posted: 09 Feb 2012 at 6:37am
I was being more than a little tongue-in-cheek with my final remark. For me personally, knowing what's out there doesn't stop me enjoying what I have, it just puts everything in perspective in terms of the real gains that will result when the time comes. 

I'd much rather have it that way (i.e. deciding from a position of experience) than try to base expected future improvements off what a salesman says or random strangers from the web write - although both can supply useful hints.


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 09 Feb 2012 at 7:52pm
Well put.

-------------
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.


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 30 Apr 2012 at 8:44pm
I am away after this week so please PM asap if you want a loan!

-------------
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.


Posted By: BB Wan
Date Posted: 17 Aug 2012 at 7:46pm
Ok, firstly a huge thanks to Fatmangolf and Graham for the UK loan programme, it truly is a fantastic idea!
Just plugged in the loan reflex c and psu1...now i gotta wait for it t....oh to hell with it, lets get some of the black stuff spinning, i've already opened the wine! Now, let the good times roll!

-------------
The story of life is quicker than the blink of an eye. The story of love is hello and goodbye. Until we meet again.


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 17 Aug 2012 at 8:38pm
Originally posted by BB Wan BB Wan wrote:

Ok, firstly a huge thanks to Fatmangolf and Graham for the UK loan programme, it truly is a fantastic idea!
Just plugged in the loan reflex c and psu1...now i gotta wait for it t....oh to hell with it, lets get some of the black stuff spinning, i've already opened the wine! Now, let the good times roll!

Enjoy !

-------------
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


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 18 Aug 2012 at 1:16am

+1



-------------
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.


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 23 Aug 2012 at 10:00am
A quick message from your sponsor...

Please show your appreciation by "liking" all our web pages.

OK, I know you need a Facebook "account" to do that and not everyone has one, but for those who have, it will only take a minute or two of your time.

By going along and visiting our home page, headphone amp index and phono preamp index pages using the navigation bar above, you'll find the "like" buttons top-right of each page. Just click on each one and you'll do wonders for us, and in turn the extra exposure we get will make it possible to do even more great audio products.

Thanks in anticipation,
Graham


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Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 25 Aug 2012 at 9:11pm
Please take a few moments everyone and support GSP's work on the hi-fi gear we all enjoy.
 
Jon


-------------
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.


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 26 Aug 2012 at 8:04am
Please ignore my last message (the one before Jon's reply). I deleted the Facebook campaign on Friday.

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Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: BackinBlack
Date Posted: 26 Aug 2012 at 8:22am
I had noticed the Facebook like buttons had disappeared. Do you think it's a lost cause?
Perhaps forum members might suggest other ways we can help promote GSP.


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 26 Aug 2012 at 8:25am
Originally posted by BackinBlack BackinBlack wrote:

I had noticed the Facebook like buttons had disappeared. Do you think it's a lost cause?
Perhaps forum members might suggest other ways we can help promote GSP.


Unfortunately I'm finding anything American counter productive. I think Miguel has also noticed this. I have nothing against Americans apart from FB, Google, Head-Fi etc... very protectionist!


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Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: BackinBlack
Date Posted: 26 Aug 2012 at 8:37am
That I can understand. Perhaps we should have been somewhat more protectionist to have better supported our home industries, a lesson we seem to continually ignore............


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 26 Aug 2012 at 3:13pm
Good point well made BinB. And I had trouble making the Facebook "Like" button work.
 
Jon


-------------
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.


Posted By: ellisdj
Date Posted: 05 Sep 2012 at 10:25pm
Hi

Is this loan programme still running, I have been away for a bit - birth of my Son  and just catching up with hifi listening.

I am thinking of buying some new interconnects and would be interested in trying some cusat50 to run from my Meridian MC200 to my Novo?

Is this still possible?

Thanks very much



Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 05 Sep 2012 at 10:32pm
Yes it is Ellis. Please pm me with your delivery details. Thank you.
And congratulations on your newborn! Big smile
 


-------------
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.


Posted By: BB Wan
Date Posted: 19 Sep 2012 at 9:26pm

Ok, so this review has been a few weeks coming, because of time constraints and the fact that I wanted to try and do justice to the phenomenal (and I don't use that word lightly!) Reflex C.

 

A little background first I think. I worked in the hifi industry for about 10 years all-told, so I think I can safely say I had heard a fair bit of equipment. My passion has always been for vinyl, so in that time I heard and owned many phono stages, in all different systems and environments. From the likes of the entry level offerings such as NAD, Cambridge Audio and MF units, through to the likes of EAR, Whest, Audio Research, Tom Evans and beyond, I have heard and lived with many, all of which have their strengths and weaknesses.

However, even with high price stages and with much tweaking (in most cases), I still hadn't heard what I felt was the 'right' phono stage for me and my ears. So did I find it in the Reflex C? Well, read on!

 

After receiving the unit (with PSU 1, from Fatmangolf on the loan program...many thanks!), I cracked open a bottle of red and settled in for an evening of listening. Well, straight out of the box and stone cold, it was a HUGE step-up from the MF V-LPS mk2 i have been using as an interim. No surprises there then!! (Although, for the £120 asking price I doubt you'll better this MF easily). I eventually crawled into bed at 3.30am after most of the aforementioned bottle of red. Needless to say half my vinyl collection was laid out before me on the floor and I had encompassed everything from The King James Version (Sheffield Lab), to Queen, Hendrix, Basie, Jimmy 'The Cat' Smith, Dire Straits, Tracy Chapman (yes I hear the groans but I even cracked 'Fast Car' out), right on through to Air, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rachmaninov, Liszt and pretty much everything in-between (basically, a bit of everything!). It was only an initial listen of the Reflex C, which as I say, wasn't even properly warmed up by then, but even at that stage there was a rather large 'something' that was leaving me looking like "a one-eye cat, peeping in a seafood store"!

 

So, a few days of warm up time passed and any exact memories of the musical delights that had been served up via the Reflex C, had all but disappeared. And so, I pulled out the big guns, in a pristine, first pressing of Led Zeppelin’s debut album. Lights down, wick up and...OH MY WORD! It hadn't sounded quite like it did there and then at that moment, for many a year. I have used this album on every system I have ever owned (and most of those that I have been able to play it on at shows, customer's homes etc) and I have heard it sound incredible, truly awesome, but only a few times had it come close to, and only once had I heard it surpass, what I was listening too at that moment. The time it surpassed this performance, was on an insanely expensive (think the cost of a house, not a car) system at a 'well heeled' customer's abode, where the turntable cost more than my entire system, twice over!

 

I was captivated to say the least! John Bonham had parked himself up about 6 feet behind my speakers (fairly impressive given his current circumstances), Jimmy's guitar had, for all the tea in China, replaced my left speaker completely, John Paul Jones' bass guitar was finding depths I honestly didn't think my PL100 stand-mount speakers could go down to and Mr Plant was standing no more than 4 feet from where I sat. Ok, so you are by now probably all thinking, this guy must be getting over excited about it all or he's been at the wine again. But you are wrong, on both counts! I personally think if you heard what I heard, you'd be there, tapping your toes and nodding along with me.

 

So it's pretty good then? Well, in a word....yeah! I have heard some stages that do certain things better, like the Tom Evans Groove, which has a smidge more soul and the Whest I borrowed a few years back (and very nearly bought!) had a slightly more precise quality to it, but both of those stages cost many times more than the Reflex C and still, to my humble brain at least, didn't do many things as well as the Reflex C. I often find a component that does everything very well and nothing badly, is more enjoyable than one that excels in many areas but is weak in just one. In the context of my system, in my room and for the music I play, I would buy the Reflex C over everything else I have heard, hands down, no question. It does nothing wrong and everything very well indeed. Is it the best photo stage I have heard, well no, but then it's only a shade under £650 too and for that reason it is the best value stage I have ever heard period! So will I buy one I hear you ask? Well, much though I think it's going to cost me more in the long term, being that the Reflex C is this good, it would be churlish not to at least try the Reflex (or Revelation maybe) M with Elevator EXP, as I have heard Graham believes the pairing to be superior. After experiencing the Reflex C, who am I to argue and for the price of some postage, I’m damn well going to find out, even if I end up having to save up for a few more months, once I have heard them. I will of course report back once I have given them a try.

 

Also, just a quick note about the loan program....it's absolutely brilliant! You will not find any other manufacturer who offers this level of service anywhere and we are all very lucky that Graham understands just how crucial it is to try his equipment in the context of your own system. It's silly really, as I suspect the quantity of sales revenue that this program generates has paid for the loan stock, tens (if not hundreds) of times over! If only there were more companies like Graham Slee, the industry would be a good deal richer! Huge thanks to Fatmangolf too, for doing such great job in running the loan scheme, bravo!



-------------
The story of life is quicker than the blink of an eye. The story of love is hello and goodbye. Until we meet again.


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 20 Sep 2012 at 10:14am
What a great write up BB! Thumbs Up

I hadn't heard the range of phono stages that you have, but my experiences with the Era Gold V and then the Reflex M were pretty similar. (Including the late nights and vino!).

When something is so "right" in your system, you just keep playing and time stands still - kind of.

It'll be very interesting to hear your comparison of the Reflex C with the M+EXP.

And the loan programme is a fantastic idea - kudos to Graham and thanks to Jon, Miguel and the others for operating  it. I'm waiting for a CuSat50 cable to try out. If it goes according to form that'll be another sale then, Graham!


-------------
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


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 20 Sep 2012 at 7:31pm
BB that is a tremendous write up and I felt like I was there with you and the music. Thank you.
 
Jon
 


-------------
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.


Posted By: Brianev
Date Posted: 22 Sep 2012 at 1:31pm
[QUOTE=morris_minor] What a great write up BB! Thumbs Up

I hadn't heard the range of phono stages that you have, but my experiences with the Era Gold V and then the Reflex M were pretty similar. (Including the late nights and vino!).

When something is so "right" in your system, you just keep playing and time stands still - kind of.

It'll be very interesting to hear your comparison of the Reflex C with the M+EXP.

And the loan programme is a fantastic idea - kudos to Graham and thanks to Jon, Miguel and the others for operating  it. I'm waiting for a CuSat50 cable to try out. If it goes according to form that'll be another sale then, Graham!
[/QUOTE
I had to chuckle when I first read BB review, I too am a vinyl freak, and have been collecting for over 40years, so have quite a bit of the stuff.
I too have borrowed, listen too and spent wisely and unwisely as most of us do at some time. I borrowed a West pre from a mate(Quad Man) , just to listen too and find out how it compared to what I had listened too in other systems. The West was very good and did a great job, but not in all parts. For me the acid test of any pre is a solo piano piece, or a lone female voice, the reed instruments next. Just my opinion. The West was great in most of the areas, but not all, and for what it cost it should have been top dog. Then I got to borrow a Reflex C from another friend(Krell freak) and I wasn't really paying attention when I put the stylus down on the first track of an album I just had next to the kit.(Avalon) I nearly dropped my tea, I thought I must be on something, THIS isnt supposed to sound this good for what it cost? So, next album, Joan Sutherland........superb, ok, let's give this baby some real acid, out comes some of my Verdi operas, ( have about 30 box sets ) started off with Macbeth, passed with flying colours, next Aroldo-Cabelle, a walk in the park. Next, Haydn, the six last Masses, superb, these are choral works, so quite difficult pieces due to the variation of voices. Just in case you think I only like classical, I don't. I like most types of Music, so next, Goats Head Soup, you know who this is? It was great, then so was The Eagles, then U2 etc. Conclusion, I went out and bought one next day. Great bit of kit, works well with my system.(Linn, Orb,SME 309) so for the cost, a really good investment. In particular it did a great job on the Joan Sutherland single voice albums, I have.
Brian.


Posted By: markplant
Date Posted: 03 Oct 2012 at 7:50pm
What a fabulous idea the loan programme is. My current set up is Linn Adikt/Linn Basic Plus/Linn Axis/GS Communicator Gram Amp 2/Linn Classic/Linn Katans. There isn't much volume available and I wonder if upgrading to a Communicator Special Edition or Reflex M would help in that department as well as improving quality. Any suggestions what I should try?


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 03 Oct 2012 at 9:22pm
Welcome to the community Mark. I think you would hear the difference the Communicator 2 SE makes and really get a sense of what your front end can do and what your records should sound like by borrowing the Reflex M which is even better. Neither would increase the volume i.e. the sound level your amp and speakers can deliver, assuming I have understood you correctly?


-------------
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.


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 03 Oct 2012 at 10:24pm
Mark (and Jon) - looking the specs, the Communicator has a lower output than the GA2SE or Reflex M (unless I don't know what I'm looking at - which is very possible!). So either of these two should give a bit more volume over the Communicator. Borrowing one, or both, is the way to go!

-------------
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


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 04 Oct 2012 at 7:57am
Bob is right about the higher output. Please pm me Mark if you would like to borrow one of those preamps.

-------------
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.


Posted By: markplant
Date Posted: 04 Oct 2012 at 8:05am
Dear Jon and Bob,

Thanks for your replies. Like Bob I thought the output of the Reflex M was a fit higher than my current GA2, which would I think increase volume. Since improving quality as well as quantity is an objective I wonder if I could borrow a Reflex M? Any other suggestions for improving quality gratefully received.

Regards

Mark


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 04 Oct 2012 at 8:29am
Originally posted by markplant markplant wrote:

Since improving quality as well as quantity is an objective I wonder if I could borrow a Reflex M? Any other suggestions for improving quality gratefully received.
Hi Mark,

The Reflex M is about as good as it gets for a phono amp - even spending a great deal more won't necessarily improve on it, though may sound "different" of course. To get more out of your system I think you need look to cabling in the first instance. I've got one of Graham's CuSat50 cables on loan from Jon at the moment and it is a definite step up for me; the new Lautus promises even more. Because Graham's a decent chap he doesn't charge snake oil prices for his stuff either Wink.


-------------
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


Posted By: oldagetraveller
Date Posted: 04 Oct 2012 at 10:24am
If the Classik uses other than phono connectivity then there could be a problem using CuSat50's?

-------------
Peter

P T- LPT/RB300/G1042, Pink Triangle Tarantella/Nima/Ortofon 2M Black, SL1210II, Naim CD5, NAC112, NAP150, Flatcap2, Proac SC1, GS SoloUL,GS Accession , Senn HD250 & HD540.


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 18 Oct 2012 at 7:37am
Hi everyone, thanks to GSP I now have some additional items in the loan cupboard:
 
Proprius amp (pair with power supplies and Lautus phono to XLR cabes)
Lautus phono to phono cables
Reflex M with upgraded equalisation
 
I am expecting to have a new Solo Ultra Linear Diamond Edition soon as well.
 
Please send me a private message if you would like to borrow any of these items or those listed earlier in this thread. Some members have already put their names down to borrow these new loan items and I will be in touch by PM to arrange the loans.
 
Jon
 


-------------
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.


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 18 Oct 2012 at 8:24am
One for Graham, really: a Reflex M with "upgraded equalisation"? Can you expand on that, please? 

-------------
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


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 18 Oct 2012 at 10:44am
OK Bob, perhaps this should go in a separate topic, but I don't think anybody cares about neat filing - it just gets in the way...

The EQ turnover points, rates and their accuracy have not changed. Their effect on the op-amps driving them have. The EQ network (our variety that is) is actually a load the output 'sees'. At all audio frequencies it is a 'nice' load - easy to drive. But at 'scratch' frequencies (high frequencies) any op-amp starts to 'feel' the load. Most networks are like fig.8 here: http://web.mit.edu/6.301/www/OP37b.pdf - http://web.mit.edu/6.301/www/OP37b.pdf (this isn't the same op-amp or values but serves for explanation).

At some (high) frequency C1 and C2 approach zero impedance so the output is driving R3, but few agile (op)amps (or even preamp level discretes) can drive 100 Ohms, but it doesn't matter as there's no signal up there... that's what most people think, but there is always some stimulus, spurious usually, and any stimulus is going to be treated the same as a signal - the op-amp (or any other stage for that matter) cannot think and knows no better.

The usual approach is to insert a small resistor in series with one of the caps but then the stage hasn't any stabilisation capacitor, so in this version an extra 'EQ' section has been added to serve that purpose. This effectively brings the load the op-amp 'sees' within its output current capability 'all the way' whilst at the same time makes its stability absolute.

However, this then leads to boosted output at some high frequency due to the rising output characteristic of magnetic cartridges, which although would not clip the rails of the Reflex, could 'do damage' in subsequent stages. Therefore you have to have an output filter. This also is a load often not considered in the current budget. That's where the maths gets complicated, but I dealt with it.

Now, looking at the design examples in a book such as National Semiconductor's Audio/Radio handbook, you'd think that's that. However, the penny dropped when I realised they'd not made any allowance for it to drive the input of the amp the phono stage is going to be connected to. Here I'm talking about these high frequencies - audio frequencies are adequately catered for.

So, it's a balancing act where high frequency current is alloted three ways, 1] for the EQ network, 2] for the output filter, and 3] for the next piece of equipment. I suppose it's quite surprising that little educational material considers all three, but the attitude has always been that nothing exists above the audio band so why bother.

So that covers the 'upgraded equalisation'. The next was in improving slew rate symmetry so the EQ capacitors deal with the same 'speed' on both half cycles, and this is because of memory effect in capacitors. Even using fast 1,000V per micro-second capacitors there still is memory because of dielectric absorption (elementary physics), so it made sense that the capacitors have the same 'dwell' on each half cycle.

It resulted in a better sound to me, and also improved the stereo imaging I thought.


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Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 18 Oct 2012 at 11:32am
Wow! As usual Graham you don't hold back on the technical basis for your designs! I follow the broad principles, I think . . .

I assume all Reflex Ms built from now on will have these improvements? Would it be a candidate for an "upgrade" purchase like the Solo SRG to ULDE?

It's great you keep refining your designs to make them better and better 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


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 18 Oct 2012 at 11:42am
It all depends on the feedback I get from those who hear it.

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Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 18 Oct 2012 at 12:26pm
As I read that clear explanation of the changes and the musical impact I looked at the second Reflex M in my hi-fi rack and decided I would catch a later train!
 
The latest Reflex M has been powered up for almost 18 hours and will be listened to by me for 2 weeks before I pass it onto the next person in the loans queue.
This refinement will be a small step from excellence towards perfection, if you don't mind me saying so Graham. I will post a proper review once I've had a good listen to it. Has this prototype got a name or is "Reflex M upgraded EQ" okay?
 


-------------
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.


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 18 Oct 2012 at 1:07pm
Just a bit of refinement, as it says "we reserve the right to make improvements to our products"

Not a prototype as we've been running it here for months using it in part to evaluate the Proprius prior to its release. But if feedback were to suggest it less good we'd be straight into the whys and wherefores, because, as you know, if it ain't better, it ain't us.

Also, the refinement as it probably should be referred to, was a result of reading between the lines of what one reviewer said about the one he had.


-------------
Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: Suggs
Date Posted: 18 Oct 2012 at 1:10pm
European Loaner package has just arrived here and like Jon, the Reflex M is now plugged in and warming up nicely...I'll join in the review comments when I can swap it into the system. Breath is currently batedSmile

-------------
Derek


Posted By: Suggs
Date Posted: 21 Oct 2012 at 2:53pm
The new improved Reflex M has now had 72 hours warm up so it has now gone into the system and first impressions are below...

For such "minor" changes to the older design, the improvement is IMO huge Big smile ...greater detail and separation of instruments, wider soundstage and huge increase in overall clarity without overdoing the analytical thing. As with all GSP, it has retained the usual "musicality", but somehow everything played through it seems to "breathe" a little easier and have a more open quality.

I thought at first that the gain had been increased, such is the level of difference in the clarity...perhaps it has (Graham?)

I can give several musical examples of this that I came across in my A-B's between the two types but don't want to get into HIFi Reviewer mode (unless someone specifically asks me to).

If this improvement is not going to result in a separate, higher priced item, then anyone listening to it will be asking about the cost and possiblity of upgrades to their existing Reflex M (me included Smile)

The already great Reflex M has been easily surpassed and the original sounds almost muddy in comparison Shocked...what's more, if it behaves anything like the original Reflex M, the new one should only get better with more hours on the clock...I look forward to it.

A real winner Graham...well done Clap


-------------
Derek



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