In our own experience, Graham Slee's designs are indeed special.
Naim Prefix + Supercap, Linn Linto, FM Acoustics 222,
FM Acoustics 111, Jeff Rowland Cadence, Audio Research PH3SE, Audio Research
Reference, BAT VKP10 and VKP10-SE, Mark Levinson, Krell, Acoustech PH1, DACT
CT-100, EAR 834P, Plinius M14, Plinius Jarrah, Tom Evans Groove, Pathos, Herron
phono stage, 47 Labs, Lehmann, etc. and more recently Pass Labs XONO,
Whest, Dynavector P-75, Basis Phonomena, and the new Audio Research PH5.
Against such an array of brands, the relatively inexpensive
Graham Slee phono stages easily held their own and we can confidently
affirm that these are definitely
equipment at their price and way beyond.
Based on the Graham Slee quality on offer, these will certainly serve
users well as they upgrade their turntables, tonearms, or cartridges right up to
the best out there, and
will not be bottlenecks
to serious upgrades.
Graham Slee phono stages serve music
well, particularly in the
areas of pace, rhythm, speed, transparency, tonal balance, timbre -
and all this without losing the emotional factor, the 4th dimension.
In fact, Listening to some of the others was like putting a
on the music, and one even prompted us to check the turntable speed as
the music suddenly seemed sluggish and slow, but the culprit turned out
to be the other phono stage.
Some could not even express the
articulateness and timbral character of the acoustic bass or drums well, a
serious misrepresentation of key instruments that is revealed when compared to
what the Graham Slee stages produce. These failings already reduces one's
connection to the musical message the artists want to convey.
The Graham Slee phono stages may not be spectacular at first
listen. But as one lives with them longer, one realizes that the real
strength is in simply reproducing and revealing the music as it was recorded.
In developing his products, Graham Slee has designed his
products to be without a consistent sonic signature as much as possible:
"High Fidelity is about free-musical expression - giving you the true
character of each musical work. Whether magnificent or mundane, it is not our
place to judge." - Graham Slee
As such, the Graham Slee phono stages will thrive in a decent
system, and their strengths revealed further as the system evolves in the future
to an outstanding one.