DEDICATED MOVING COIL RIAA PHONO STAGE
Completely redesigned in 2009, and as of September 2012 "V3" is housed in our own extruded aluminium slim-line enclosure.
The Fanfare from the common man! After all, it's not everybody who can afford high-end audio, and often it just isn't worth the sacrifice.
With so many good affordable moving coil cartridges available, there should be an excellent phono stage to partner them. And here it is for just $396! As ever, the design has been optimised so you don't have to struggle blindly with confusing settings - another one that does exactly what it promises.
A complete dedicated Moving Coil RIAA phono stage in one box plus remote power supply. Suitable for all low output moving coil cartridges between 0.2 and 1.0 mV output. With the high performance you've come to expect from Graham Slee, this is an absolute bargain at only $396.
It's Been A Long Time Coming
It's always been their preferred method to pre-pre-amplify the tiny output of a low output moving coil cartridge and then apply it to the input of a moving magnet sensitivity RIAA phono stage (see the Elevator EXP). This makes perfect sense because there are precious few ways of providing the 60dB plus of gain required, with low noise, low distortion and the level of performance we know you want. Until now.
The Gram Amp 3 Fanfare uses studio tape head preamp technology to bring you the extreme fidelity captured in the groove. Because of their wideband design capabilities they are able to utilise op-amp characteristics that are beyond current hi-fi understanding, so, at last, your budget moving coil cartridge can deliver its full glory. The Fanfare is not limited by the slow low noise techniques that bedevil competing moving coil amplification, and as such it will deliver real musicality while at the same time having a perceived noise floor lower than many moving magnet designs.
Two Into One Won't Go
Unfortunately the industry has been pushing the concept that one circuit can be optimised to do the two jobs of moving magnet and moving coil pre-amplification at the flick of a switch. If science were that easy then Michael Shumaker could win - at the flick of a switch - Formula 1 in the car he drives to the track in!
At the same time you are told that hi-fi separates are the only way to go for the performance you're after.
The truth is that one amplifier stage can only be optimised for one narrow range of gains. Hence the negative feedback argument used to explain why one amplifier sounds better than another. With 20dB difference between low output moving coil and high output moving magnet, it is immediately apparent that the universal phono stage is going to let you down on one of its settings. That's usually the moving magnet one, so why bother spending over the odds for something that's going to end in disappointment?
That is why the Fanfare is dedicated to low output moving coil and stages such as the similar looking Gram Amp 2 Special Edition are dedicated to the higher output moving magnets and high output moving coils. When you look at the prices of these two units, it is obviously cost effective to opt for one or the other, or even to buy both if you're going to be using both high and low output cartridges. You may end up paying a tiny bit more for a great deal more in musical performance.
The input impedance of the Gram Amp 3 Fanfare is fixed at 470 Ohms which was found to present the optimum load for the vast majority of budget moving coil cartridges.
The source impedance of a low output moving coil is around 10 Ohms and a load greater than 200 Ohms is needed so as not to noticeably load its output. Moving Coil Cartridge loading is like speaker damping factor in reverse. Too much load has the effect of limiting the mechanical dynamics of the stylus. It is very much like an electricity generator. Anyone observing a fairground generator truck knows that the engine note goes low as the load of the ride is applied. By the same virtue, the stylus is stiffened against the groove with too much load (too low a resistance) which will not only compress the dynamics but also introduce distortion to the peaks. Therefore a slightly higher than recommended 470 Ohms brings a beneficial effect to dynamism.
|Brand||GRAHAM SLEE PROJECTS|
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