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  1. #1
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    The GCPH has landed.

    I am now the proud owner of a PS Audio GCPH. The Pro-Ject Tube Box is pretending to not be afraid. At the moment, I'm pretty impressed. It seems like I've read the GCPH is supposed to have a warm sound...don't recalled for sure...but given that my primary phono preamp has been the Tube Box, I'm not surprised the GCPH sounds a bit hard to me...but more thoughts to come after I tinker with the multitude of settings.

  2. #2
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    Looking forward to hearing more about it. Do you experience any more bass authority or high end extension?

  3. #3
    nightflier
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    I also would like to hear more....

  4. #4
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    It's all good...mostly

    Some thoughts on the GCPH in its 2nd day:

    I was going through some of my favorites and Julie London's rendition of What's New from Love on the Rocks came around. It sounded great. Amazing, really. It made me wonder how Linda Ronstadt's version would sound. Even more impressive. It's a cleaner record (my copy) than the Julie London record, so that certainly helped. The realism of Ronstadt's voice is just fantastic. The soundstage is wide. The instruments are beautifully easy to follow. The whole thing is better than I would've expected.

    Ronstadt's record made me wonder how it would sound against the CD. I have some Julie London CDs, but those wouldn't stand a chance against the original vinyl. The CDs stink. Bad. Like a dog park. But the Linda Ronstadt CDs from the box set are nice. So I fired up the PS Audio DLIII and the Music Hall CD-25. I played Ronstadt's version of What's New on both the digital and the analog running to the Audio Research CA50. And guess what? Not really a close match. From the first note the vinyl is superior to the digital...at least for my taste it is. It's smoother on the highs, far less sibilance, more realistic voice, more realistic everything. The bass is tight on both...tighter, I suppose, on the digital...but close enough so it's a non-issue. I would've thought the highs would be higher on the digital, but no...I think the highs on the LP are higher.

    So I settled that issue well enough for now and went on to other records. No head-to-head with the Pro-Ject Tube Box, yet...that's for another day. So first up is Jewel's Spirit. Tight bass. Smooth highs still there. Surprising sensitivity to surface noise...I thought it was good and clean. I took it to the kitchen and gave it the shop-vac treatment. Now, I start again and Jewel is rockin' clean. Interesting new thing to me...she takes a breath rather sharply fairly often. Kinda cool to notice new things, as long as they're not clicks and pops.

    And then on to Gina Bachauer's 1964 recording of Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major op 83. Oddly enough, seems a tiny bit veiled. Otherwise very nice. The record might be a smidge worn...don't know for sure. It's a pretty stout record, weighing in at 150g. I wonder if I'm just not used to the sound of the heavier records. My 180g Billie Holiday record sounds to me a tiny bit veiled, too. Both probably sound beautiful and I just don't know better. Maybe a little research is in order.

    I then played one side of the debut classical recording by Wynton Marsalis...a collection of Haydn/Hummel/Mozart trumpets concertos. It's again coming through for me on the realism. The trumpet sounds very nice, but I feel fairly sure I liked this one better on the Tube Box. It seemed like the trumpet blared out like a wake-up call, which I always enjoyed. Maybe this is "better"...I don't know...but I think the GCPH took the fun out of one of my favorite records. This will likely be the first record in the GCPH vs. Tube Box grudge match...coming soon to 02audionoob's man cave.

    So all that done, I'm on to Sade's Promise. Bass, cymbals...sure to be a good test. Time to shut up and listen.



  5. #5
    nightflier
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    Thanks, that is helpful. I must say that I always find that the differences when changing out components / cables / or room treatments are more apparent with LPs than with digital. Or maybe this is some kind of mind-trick expected outcome and I'm getting lost in the minutia of it all.

  6. #6
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Congrats on your purchase, 02AN.

    Did you purchase the PSA unit new or used?
    The PJ Tube Box (original?) has colored sound but I enjoyed it very much. I wouldn't say it's a hi-fi unit, but offered tremendous amount of fun in my previous setup and kick started my love for tube gear.

    What cartridge are you using in your system?

    JRA

  7. #7
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    Thanks, JRA. The GCPH is new, or at least not previously used. It's an open box from a dealer...which reminds me, I'll need to re-evaluate after a period of breaking it in. I've read that it takes quite a while, so I'll probably post some further thoughts in a month or something.


    The Tube Box is indeed the original. I replaced the tubes with a pair Sovtek 12AX7LPS, which is a highly-regarded but remarkably inexpensive tube. I've also got a Bellari VP129 available for further head-to-head, but I think the Tube Box humbles the Bellari on all fronts. I use the Bellari on a Technics DD linear...hmmm...maybe I should try the Technics with the GCPH.

    The cartridge is a Goldring Eroica high-output MC, well broken in. I also have a GL2200 on hand with fewer miles, but I suppose I won't go to the trouble of changing out cartridges for comparison...although I'm kind of missing the 2200's significantly higher output. I've been hanging onto it, thinking maybe when I've had enough of the Eroica I'll go back to the 2200. Realistically, though...I'll probably eventually sell the MMF-5. I suppose I can wear out the Eroica and then offer up the fresher 2200 as part of the deal.

  8. #8
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    02AN, what table are you using now?

  9. #9
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    The MMF-5 is the one connected to the GCPH and is currently my primary. I'm shopping, though.

  10. #10
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    Are you just looking to upgrade? What tables have you been looking at?

  11. #11
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    Yes...it's sort of an upgrade fever. I got the MMF-5 really cheap used and I figure I could still sell it for what I paid. I get that way with some of my gear...knowing I could get out for as much as I paid makes it easy for me to let go.

    So far, I've been looking the hardest at the P5, but I also like the Clearaudio Emotion and I'm intrigued by the Scout. I have never actually listened to a VPI turntable, though.

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