The Graham Slee Reflex C phono preamplifier is the moving coil (MC) version of the now famous Graham Slee Reflex M MM phono preamplifier.
Like its younger brother, it consists of a small aluminium box around 10cm long. The front panel is very basic, bearing just the elegant company logo and an LED light to indicate when it is switched on. The rear panel features two gold-plated RCA sockets (input and output) and a female socket for connecting the preamp to an outboard power supply. It also has a switch that lets you select between mono and stereo. The Graham Slee Reflex C comes as standard with the streamlined Graham Slee PSU1 power supply because, after careful comparison, we decided that with just a basic power supply it was nothing special.
No external or internal settings adjustment is required. The circuit has fixed default settings which have been meticulously chosen to meet all the needs of owners of low output MC cartridges It is compatible with all vinyl turntable cartridges with an output level between 0.2mV and 1mV. This phono stage provides a load of 100 Ohms, which is enough to meet the requirements of 95% of the MC phono cartridges on the market. It has a comfortable 62dB gain which means it can be paired with cartridges with very low output levels.
This phono preamp is one of the few in its category to be dedicated solely to MC phono cartridges. And this is the philosophy behind all Graham Slee products, which we are big fans of!
We tried it out with two MC cartridges that we felt were representative of the market: the Ortofon Cadenza Red MC cartridge and the Dynavector DV20X2L MC cartridge.
From the very opening bars we were impressed by the neutrality of this Graham Slee Reflex C phono stage. Everything feels a lot more open and razor sharp than rival products. Its transparency and low levels of colouration mean that every detail of this turntable cartridge can be heard crystal clear. In our experience, it is rare to find a product in this price range with such varied timbre and interpretation in its sound stage.
The treble is clean and silky smooth, with no hint of hissing or aggressiveness. .
Also worthy of a mention is its excellent sense of rhythm. It also makes drums in jazz and blues music sound more realistic and physical than we’re used to hearing. The Reflex C delivers detail and precision no matter the cartridge or record player used. As usual with Graham Slee products, the Reflex C delivers excellent timbre and incredible presence, as well as a genuinely good 3D sound stage.
Granted, the Graham Slee Reflex C is not the best phono preamp in the world. But it is definitely one of the very best in its price range, and hot on the heels of equivalent equipment twice its price.
It is sure to satisfy audiophiles looking to get the most out of their MC cartridge without breaking the bank. And saving money on your preamp means you can spend more on records, i.e. the music itself!
An industry benchmark! Franck
Principle: MC phono preamp
Input sensitivity: 0.2 mV to 1. mV
Gain: 62 dB at 1 kHz
Input impedance: 100 Ohms
Signal-to-noise ratio: 62 dB
Channel separation: 60 dB
Channel balance: 0.2 dB
RIAA accuracy: < 0.3 dB
Frequency response: 20 Hz-100 Khz
Dimensions: 107 x 50 x 180 mm