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Hi, I am in the UK and would welcome some advice, and thoughts from people more experienced than me.

 

I have a Sugden SE21a Series 2 amplifier (the modern version) and Bowers and Wilkins D801(early version) speakers which I think sound beautiful together.

 

The Sugden is low watts but I think it works really well.  It is certainly the best combination I have had.  I may well be wrong but I recall David Price may have also tried this combination once many years ago in a Hifi World article (??).

 

I plan to use my Michell Gyrodec which at present has a Kiseki Milltek high output MC cartridge but I need a new phonostage as my other one is used in a different system.

 

Does anyone have suggestions for a (preferably) below £1,000 phonostage (if possible well below £1,000).  My preference is always second-hand.  I have thought of Whest and Graham Slee.

 

Many thanks for your advice

 

Simon

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Sorry, for a typo.  The speakers are just Bowers and Wilkins 801 (not D801). 

Thanks

Simon

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11 hours ago, Simon11 said:

Hi, I am in the UK and would welcome some advice, and thoughts from people more experienced than me.

 

I have a Sugden SE21a Series 2 amplifier (the modern version) and Bowers and Wilkins D801 (early version) speakers which I think sound beautiful together.

 

The Sugden is low watts but I think it works really well.  It is certainly the best combination I have had.  I may well be wrong but I recall David Price may have also tried this combination once many years ago in a Hifi World article (??).

 

A mate of mine has some stand-mount B&W spkrs - they sound best (out of 3 different amps) with a Magtech: 500w into 8 ohms and 900w into 4 ohms.

 

I suspect your 801s need just as much power to sound their best - maybe even more (being larger, with more drivers)!  :)

 

Quote

I plan to use my Michell Gyrodec which at present has a Kiseki Milltek high output MC cartridge but I need a new phonostage as my other one is used in a different system.

 

Does anyone have suggestions for a (preferably) below £1,000 phonostage (if possible well below £1,000).  My preference is always second-hand.  I have thought of Whest and Graham Slee.

 

I would suggest a Whest will kill any Slee phono stage.  Although I would make a suggestion:

  • the Kiseki Milltek is a HOMC (2mV output).
  • as such, it is nominally supposed to go into an MM phono stage (with 47K ohms loading).
  • however, to work well with a 2mV output, the MM phono stage needs a gain of 46dB - ie. double the normal MM gain of 40dB (100x).
  • also, whilst the nominal loading for the Kiseki Milltek is specced at the standard MM value of 47K ... it has a coil impedance of 245 ohms.  This says to me that its optimal loading might be down a lot lower - say, 24.5K.
  • so ideally, as well as high gain ... you need an MM phono stage which offers variable loading.

I can supply my 'Muse' phono stage which meets these criteria for less than your budget (although shipping might take it up a bit over).  PM me if you're interested.

 

Andy

 

 

Edited by andyr
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Thank you for this Andy. 

 

I totally understand that the 801's would normally expect many more watts and I will try to get there one day.; but at present the Sugden copes very well.  

 

I appreciate your input on the Whest / Slee and on the Milltek and will try to understand these figures a little., and look into your Muse.  

 

regards

 

Simon

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On 14/06/2021 at 1:20 AM, Simon11 said:

Thank you for this Andy. 

 

I totally understand that the 801's would normally expect many more watts and I will try to get there one day.; but at present the Sugden copes very well.  

 

I appreciate your input on the Whest / Slee and on the Milltek and will try to understand these figures a little., and look into your Muse.  

 

regards

 

Simon

 

Hello Simon, 

 

I wouldn't rubbish the Whest phono preamps as I'm sure they make a very fine product, but so does Graham Slee and the remark here earlier @andyr that a Whest phono stage would kill a Slee phono stage is exactly that........rubbish!!:winky:

 

You're in the UK, so drop John Cadman or Graham himself a message here and ask about the UK Loaner Program, which will allow you to trial any of their world class phono stages in your own system and all free of charge.:thumb:

 

Good luck with the search.

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

Edited by cheekyboy
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Thank you so much for your advice Keith.  The loaner programme sounds like such a good idea.    I will definitely try one of these.

 

best regards

Simon

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1 hour ago, Simon11 said:

Thank you so much for your advice Keith.  The loaner programme sounds like such a good idea.    I will definitely try one of these.

 

best regards

Simon

The loaner programme is a no brainer Simon.

 

See if you can get the same options from any of the mainstream Phono options out here.

 

* Looking forward to your thoughts on the whole process. Your not allowed to slip away into the ether here either , we all expect a review from you when you introduce a new  part into your system 😉.

Your ma marked man Simon.

 

Welcome to SNA.

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Thank you Luc !  I am just contacting John Cadman at the programme,

I will let you all know !

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I just received a loan of the Graham Slee Reflex M with both the standard power supply and also the PSU1 upgraded power supply.  

John was incredibly helpful.  I called him late in the afternoon and he sent it the same day.  

I have only just connected it, but I am completely knocked out by the sound.  It is very special. 

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3 hours ago, Simon11 said:

I just received a loan of the Graham Slee Reflex M with both the standard power supply and also the PSU1 upgraded power supply.  

John was incredibly helpful.  I called him late in the afternoon and he sent it the same day.  

I have only just connected it, but I am completely knocked out by the sound.  It is very special. 

 

Thanks, Simon, for letting us know that you've made contact with John, he's a terrific bloke and GSP in general are just a great business to deal with. I've had some very recent email correspondence with John and he has been quite unwell with side effects from his second Astrazeneca jab, so good on him for getting the loaner Reflex M off to you so quickly.

 

The Enigma PSU1 upgraded power supply is a very worthwhile upgrade for any of the Slee products and I can highly recommend it to you over the stock PSU1. I'm sure John would have told you, but leave the Reflex M powered up 24/7 if you can for best performance and I would not be surprised if the Reflex M actually improves slightly after it has been on for around 7 days too, so something additional to look forward to.:thumb:

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

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You should definitely try and get your hands on a Whest phono. The PS30r should be in your price range and it will set a very high bar for the Graham Slee. 
 

Graham may give better service with their loaner program which is a great way to try their product. 

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Thank you for the advice PKay.  I would love to hear the Whest phonostages at some point but the PS30r is outside my budget right now.  

 

I am continuing to listen to the Graham Slee Reflex M which is which is a great experience - really a wonderful piece.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 19/06/2021 at 10:23 PM, cheekyboy said:

 

Thanks, Simon, for letting us know that you've made contact with John, he's a terrific bloke and GSP in general are just a great business to deal with. I've had some very recent email correspondence with John and he has been quite unwell with side effects from his second Astrazeneca jab, so good on him for getting the loaner Reflex M off to you so quickly.

 

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

Hi Keith

I just had my two weeks listening to the Graham Slee Reflex M.  I didn't want to send it back but thought I should not go beyond my generous loan period.  I was forced to plug in a more budget temporary option (Pro-Ject Phonobox DS)  after I sent it back and I am not sure that I can listen to the Pro-Ject anymore.  Whilst  it is a really good phonostage for the money and it has great versatility, the difference in sound is extraordinary.  I am missing the Graham Slee immediately.  I am hoping to try the Era Gold V next week, but I absolutely have to have one of these two - with the upgraded power supply - it really was an incredible experience.

regards, Simon

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15 hours ago, Simon11 said:

Hi Keith

I just had my two weeks listening to the Graham Slee Reflex M.  I didn't want to send it back but thought I should not go beyond my generous loan period.  I was forced to plug in a more budget temporary option (Pro-Ject Phonobox DS)  after I sent it back and I am not sure that I can listen to the Pro-Ject anymore.  Whilst  it is a really good phonostage for the money and it has great versatility, the difference in sound is extraordinary.  I am missing the Graham Slee immediately.  I am hoping to try the Era Gold V next week, but I absolutely have to have one of these two - with the upgraded power supply - it really was an incredible experience.

regards, Simon

Hi Simon,

That was my experience as well after trying the Reflex on the loaner program compared to a Rega Fono. Nothing was wrong with the Rega, but after 2 weeks living with the Slee stage, swapping back to the Rega you realise what was missing and just how good the Slee stage is. 

Cheers

Derek

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, Simon11 said:

Hi Keith

I just had my two weeks listening to the Graham Slee Reflex M.  I didn't want to send it back but thought I should not go beyond my generous loan period.  I was forced to plug in a more budget temporary option (Pro-Ject Phonobox DS)  after I sent it back and I am not sure that I can listen to the Pro-Ject anymore.  Whilst  it is a really good phonostage for the money and it has great versatility, the difference in sound is extraordinary.  I am missing the Graham Slee immediately.  I am hoping to try the Era Gold V next week, but I absolutely have to have one of these two - with the upgraded power supply - it really was an incredible experience.

regards, Simon

 

41 minutes ago, DT999 said:

Hi Simon,

That was my experience as well after trying the Reflex on the loaner program compared to a Rega Fono. Nothing was wrong with the Rega, but after 2 weeks living with the Slee stage, swapping back to the Rega you realise what was missing and just how good the Slee stage is. 

Cheers

Derek

 

Great to hear, Simon, that the loaner program is working well for you over in the UK and also your affirmation too, Derek, re the Australian loaner program. I think I know who is setting a very high bar for phono stage manufacturers and that is Graham Slee.:thumb:

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

Edited by cheekyboy
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19 hours ago, DT999 said:

Hi Simon,

That was my experience as well after trying the Reflex on the loaner program compared to a Rega Fono. Nothing was wrong with the Rega, but after 2 weeks living with the Slee stage, swapping back to the Rega you realise what was missing and just how good the Slee stage is. 

Cheers

Derek

 

Thanks Derek 

It is interesting to hear this and it now worries me what I have been missing all these years  !

I will let you know which I go for.  It depends entirely on which seems to work best in my system but I had not realised quite how big a difference the Graham Slee phonostages would make to my enjoyment of my music. 

And Thank you Keith (cheekyboy) for your encouragement.

Simon

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