Reflex M Phono Stage (Phono Preamplifier riaa Equalizer)
Now even more linear!
Michael Fremer, Analogue Corner, Stereophile June 2012
The Reflex M Phono stage/preamp/equalizer is for Moving Magnet (cartridges suitable for 47k plus 100-300pf), Moving Iron and High-Output Moving Coil phono cartridges: in the output range 2 - 10mV. Click here for our moving coil version.
This is what the press said about previous versions...
Michael Fremer, Analog Corner, Stereophile, September 2007
"...an extremely well-organized physical picture that was as convincing and believable as what I'd heard [live] a few hours before."
Michael Fremer, Analog Corner, Stereophile, September 2007
"On a track like "Looking for the Heart of Saturday Night" ... the Reflex was the more dimensional performer, especially in front-to-back depth"
Neil Gader, Graham Slee Era Gold V and Era Gold Reflex, The Absolute Sound, June 2nd 2009
It's not only the reviewers who like the Reflex M - here's a customer testimonial...
"Marsh" user review, Reflex (a sort of a review), Owners Forum, September 2010
Even after nearly 60 years RIAA vinyl records still represent the very best in high resolution music and there still is a plentiful supply of vinyl records to be had from specialist suppliers, record fairs, junk shops and yard sales. Most all will play well and NOT ruin your stylus. Clicks and pops are a problem with almost all phono preamplifiers except ours that is. We have always addressed this problem by using ultra-high speed active RIAA equalisation - something you'll not find in our competitors offerings, simply because they don't understand how. Except for the very worst records our phono preamplifiers put the clicks and pops well behind in the musical mix.
Since we began commercially manufacturing our incredible phono preamplifiers in the late 90's - a time when there were only a few specialists like us, a number of start-ups have jumped on the vinyl bandwagon making incredible claims which sadly, don't materialise. Our phono preamplifiers have stood the test of time - none more so than the Reflex! For the most rewarding rendition of your vinyl favourites you need look no further. Our reputation in stereo imaging is second to none - tonal accuracy (sound quality) is the best you'll hear with no tendency toward brightness, as well as the most perfect bass detail with power, whilst still keeping absolute timing. Mids and presence which draw you into the music complete the recipe. There is absolutely none of the false detail or grain others pass off as high fidelity.
Technically speaking, our phono preamplifiers deliver music at full speed and at several volts higher in the audio frequency spectrum and beyond than any other. If ours didn't, they would slew-rate limit and exaggerate not only the clicks and pops, but throw the music out of its timing - instruments would sound false too, just like competing products sound. Many emulate our wide bandwidth philosophy but without understanding phase and gain margin, and that leads to a bright and fractious sound. It is only through Graham Slee's vast knowledge of how technical performance relates to actual listening preferences that has made our phono stages the most recommended - even by dealers not associated with us. The Reflex adds to this greater linearity such that no part of the circuit is ever stressed to the point of the signal breaking up. Occasionally we take a look at our competitors circuits and we are satisfied that nobody else is able to see the way we do it - it would have to be a carbon copy indeed!
The gain of the Reflex M is specified for moving magnet, moving iron, and high output moving coil cartridges which output in the range of 1.5mV to 10mV (at 1kHz relative to the normal velocity of a record which is 3.5-5cm/sec). The gain is approximately 112x which means it will output 168mV for a 1.5mV input to 1.12V for a 10mV input. The gain is fixed to deliver the optimum musical quality. We recommend a maximum cartridge output of less than 10mV - nearer 6 to 7 mV - where sound level matching with wide dynamic range (non-highly compressed) digital sources is required. Where a low output cartridge is required (1.5mV to around 3mV) you may find you need an active control preamp, or buffer stage with gain after a "passive preamp", to boost the signal to drive an insensitive power amplifier. Owners using integrated amplifiers will only need to set their volume controls to suit the cartridge sensitivity.
Cartridge loading is fixed at 47k Ohms resistive and 100pf capacitive. The capacitive load of the turntable to phono preamplifier interconnect (as well as the wiring inside the tone arm) must also be taken into consideration: these are usually in the region of 100pf, so that the cartridge sees 200pf total capacitance - this being adequate for most pick-ups. Increasing considerably beyond 200pf will result in peaking above 10kHz, and reduction considerably below 200pf will result in the high frequencies being rolled-off too soon. Changing the length of this interconnect will alter its capacitance and is best left alone.
Some inquisitive customers who are a little knowledgeable in electronics will see the first resistor in the signal's "path" to be higher than 47k Ohms, but it is the input circuit taken as a whole which combines in parallel with this resistor to make 47k Ohms. As the "textbook competition" are often unable to understand this their sound is often over-damped. Often they offer user adjustable loading simply because they don't understand how to do it themselves.
When using moving iron or high output moving coil cartridges, an ultrasonic peak can occur which can result in a confused sound on "busy" passages: this being due to the cartridge needing a load of some lower resistance value. This is best provided by using a pair of external loading plugs which will be made available for purchase shortly.
Plug and Play
Most will find the Reflex M phono preamplifier simply "plug-and-play". Problems in set-up are usually encountered when using turntables and tone arms not intended for moving magnet and moving iron cartridges: these often have the delicate tone arm wires on the outside - completely unshielded for all or part of the signal's journey. Some turntables use "quasi-balanced" wiring, which is an open invitation for interference. Some use carbon fibre without any internal shielding. Although we have lobbied tone arm manufacturers about this, little has changed. The Reflex M, as well as all our other phono preamplifiers, features an "earth drain" or turntable grounding post, to which is connected the turntable or arm earth wire: this keeps the ground potential of a properly shielded arm and turntable metalwork the same as that on the Reflex M case, cancelling hum and radio interference. On Rega tone arms the "earth drain is associated with the interconnect cable shield and therefore requires no connection to the grounding post.
Low output moving coil use
If you eventually wish to use low output moving coil cartridges with your Reflex M, choose our Elevator EXP step-up amplifier which you place between turntable and Reflex M... more details here.
To get the absolute best out of your Reflex M phono preamplifier, use one of our Cusat50 interconnects to connect it to your amp. We designed the Cusat50 to obtain the best possible performance with our products. More details here.
The lower cost Reflex M phono preamplifier is supplied with a "third party" universal-voltage energy-efficient mains plug mounted power supply. The full price Reflex M is supplied with our own make PSU1 linear power supply.
All earlier Reflex phono stage preamps can be factory upgraded to the Reflex M. Contact us though our online shop enquiry form.
Input sensitivity range: 1.5mV to 10mV
Output range (for above inputs): 224mV to 1120mV
Maximum input: 46mV rms
Maximum output: 5.2V rms
Gain: 41dB (112) at 1kHz
Input impedance: 47k Ohms plus 100pF
Output impedance (driving impedance): 1k Ohm (will drive 10k Ohms and above)
Noise at output: -68dB Quasi-peak 20Hz to 20kHz
Distortion: typically 0.01%
Frequency response: 20Hz - 100kHz ("flat", corrected to RIAA)
Channel balance: 0.2dB
Channel separation: 60dB
Size: (approx.) W: 107 x H: 50 x D: 180 (mm) inc. jacks
|Brand||GRAHAM SLEE PROJECTS|
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