graham67

budget phono stage bakeoff anyone?

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second postscript

I made some enhancements to the above Marantz/Rogers system and thought it worth providing an update.

After several.months searching I bagged a used Graham Slee PSU 1 to replace the cheap supplied plug top PSU which was also an annoying high pitched noise.

The PSU-1 needs to be positioned a foot or so away from the phono stage to avoid inducing a mild hum, so it sat at the bottom of the rack in the opposite corner to the Gram 2. Unlike the noisy plug top Psu, it emits virtually no noise in.operation.

Suffice to say it was easy to hear a significant improvement. In earlier posts I mentioned the presentation was rather bright and toppy. The PSU1 instantly rebalances the presentation giving a fuller richer mid and fuller bottom end, without losing the energy that the Rogers need.

I wasn't able to.compare to the other stages so can't say how it compares to the LDA MM-1 however it definitely brings the Gram 2 to a whole different level.

Happy with the vinyl sound I then swapped the cheap Marantz integrated for an older but well cared for Sugden Optima 80 integrated line amp.

This took about three notes to hear the difference and which allowed the Technics Q202 /AT-440Mla / Slee stage + PSU 1 to shows its potential. My dad who is no audiophile, but did dabble in student bands, commented on a Decca Tom Jones track how he could now hear the double bass rhythm and the fingers on the strings as you would playing Iive. " That's amazing" he added, so job done (at least it would be if my parents didn't keep play MFPs finest 😉).

IMO, it is certainly worth trying the PSU-1 if you already have a Slee stage and are using a plug top supply. It transformed the Gram2 from a rather flawed budget stage into a very good low priced MM stage.

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May I ask - what is Sharifs better phono stage ? Is it an easy kit to build, or something altogether more involving ?

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May I ask - what is Sharifs better phono stage ? Is it an easy kit to build, or something altogether more involving ?

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