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Reflex M Loaner Impressions

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therobert View Drop Down
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    Posted: 29 Dec 2018 at 6:58pm
Hi,
New here on the forum. I have had the Reflex M for four days, and my initial impression is that it definitely sounds good, but not necessarily better than my current phono amp. My set up is:
Rega Elex-R amp
Rega RP3 w/ Rega Exact 2 - highly upgraded (all the top of the line Groovetracer mods - full Cardas rewire)
Parks Audio Budgie with NOS '66 Amperex Bugle Boy tubes
Ascend Acoustics Sierra 2 speakers
The Reflex definitely has better low end - the bass is impressive, but as for mids and highs, I think I like the slightly sweeter, and airier presentation of the Budgie.
That's it for now. Next week I plan on sitting down for an extended critical listening session, and reevaluating.
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Richardl60 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richardl60 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Dec 2018 at 9:28pm
Welcome, this may well bed in more after use but the acid test is likely to be when you switch back maybe in a couple of weeks?
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patientot View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote patientot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Dec 2018 at 1:14pm
I've never had a Budgie, but I have heard some nice rips made using that phono preamp. As for the Reflex, I would definitely give it more time before you fully form your opinion. 
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therobert View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote therobert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2019 at 10:15pm
Well, I have had the Reflex M for about 10 days now, and again, while it sounds good, I happen to prefer my current phono amp better. I'm glad that I tried it, and the loaner program is awesome - special shout out to Bruce, who got it out lighting fast. 
I switched back and forth today after listening to three tracks on three separate albums - and I preferred my Budgie every time. Just more air around the instruments and a greater sense of space. And of course it is gear dependent, and others might think totally differently with their particular gear. 
Thanks to all who replied, and happy listening!
Cheers - Robert
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patientot View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote patientot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2019 at 10:40pm
I think pretty much anything is heavily dependent on personal tastes and gear matching. When I used the Reflex with my Stanton 680 + Jico Shibata cartridge, I got the wide separation and airy top end. Those characteristics seem to be cartridge-based IME, not phono preamp based (though I'm sure it could be a factor). By contrast, other cartridges I've had do not have the same airy top end as the Stanton. 

It may just be that you prefer the sound of the tube output on the Budgie. GS phono stages are all solid state AFAIK so they should sound quite different. 
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