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Reviews

Michell Turntables

        The British firm of J.A. Michell, has been producing turntables for over 30 years, making them one of the most experienced manufacturers in the industry. The company offers a range of sexy looking, great sounding turntables that get consistently good reviews. If you are not mesmerized by their stylish appeal, you'll soon be smitten with the fast, rhythmic sound once stylus touches groove.
       It may be over sating the issue to characterize the sound of the Michell 'tables as typically British, but they do indeed impart the positive attributes of pace and timing.
        So, there you have it - a really good sounding turntable with a unique appearance and good build quality, at a surprisingly reasonable price.

 


TecnoDec - Michellís entry-level turntable borrows much of technology found in the more expensive turntables, and wraps it up in a more cost effective package. Youíll find the same low-noise DC motor and impedance-matched platter of the GyroDec, along with an advanced bearing, mounted on a simple solid-plinth. Beautifully simple, the TecnoDec requires no user-setup or maintenance.

The July 2005 issue of Hi-Fi Choice Magazine ran a blind listening test on six turntables. Compared to the Clearaudio Champion, Project RPM 9X, Rega P5, Marantz TT 15, and Roksan Radius, the Michell TecnoDec scored highest overall and was the conclusive winner of the lot. Best part is that the TecnoDec was the cheapest deck too! Interestingly, it was the only deck with a DC motor. The magazine gave the Michell TecnoDec a Best Buy rating.

ďThe star though is Michellís TecnoDec. The cheapest of the group, itís one of the best sounding, and itís as smart as any. Michellís reputation for lasting quality canít hurt either, but its crisp, precise and extended sound is the clincher.Ē Hi-Fi Choice

"Delightfully clean sound allied to superb build and finish make this the class of the mid-price vinyl field."
David Price, Hi-Fi World, April 2003

              

  • Fitted with the excellent Michell with Michell modified Rega RB-250 (upgraded with the Michell TecnoWeight and TecnoVTA adjuster). $1695.

  • Upgrade to the phenomenal TecnoArm

  • You can purchase the TecnoWeight and TecnoVTA separately. See below. These are the best of the Rega upgrade parts we've seen.


 


Gyro SE - This is the 'table that really fired the interest of American buyers. Price, performance and looks, this model has it all. Great with the Michell TecnoArm or other good quality tonearm.

"Once you hear the GyroDec SE Mk II (or rather, don't hear it), you know itís going to be in your system for the long haul. With a naturally balanced cartridge, I have not heard reproduced music sounding closer to live than through the GyroDec. I don't see the need to spend more on a turntable, even after hearing the big boys at various high end shows. This turntable is designed to provide long-term satisfaction, and is most highly recommended."
- Brad Morrical, POSITIVE FEEDBACK ONLINE © 2003 

 

  • Spider chassis, suspended stable sub-chassis (pendulum)
  • 25 mm thick 4.5 kg massive black acrylic/vinyl platter of high inertia, with gold-plated brass weights
  • Inverted bearing
  • Custom armboards available for any tonearm
  • Manual speed change
  • High-quality DC motor
  • Stand-alone motor housing
  • Effective mechanical record clamp
  • Optional HR power supply
  • Many optional upgrades - can be made into a full GyroDec
  • Beautifully finished in silver
  • Dimensions: 19.6" x 14.8"
  • $2495


Orbe SE - The marvelous Orbe SE utilizes a massive platter, superb motor and the HR power supply. Expect a super-silent background, extended and controlled bass, and powerful dynamics.

  • Spider double chassis, suspended sub chassis (pendulum)
  • Damped sub chassis
  • 60 mm thick massive black acrylic/vinyl platter of high inertia
  • Screw-down record clamp
  • Inverted bearing
  • Custom armboards available for any tonearm
  • Electronic speed change
  • High-quality German motor
  • Heavy 2.5kg stand-alone motor housing
  • QC quartz power supply
  • Finished in black acrylic with black metal parts
  • Dimensions: 19.6" x 14.8"
  • $5495

TecnoArm - The TecnoArm is a fundamental mechanical rebuild of the well-known RB250 tonearm, to which is added monolithic wiring of the highest quality. The arm tube is bead-blasted and perforated, which disperses structural resonances and yields a lower effective mass. The arm wand is internally damped to reduce resonance further, and the headshell is machined flat, to allow true azimuth relative to the bearing cradle. After modification the bearings are re-adjusted for highest possible performance, according to original Rega procedures. Bottom line, this is a superb sounding tonearm and the best thing we've heard in the price range. Performance and build quality outstrip other brands (e.g. Origin Live).

"If your musical priorities are excellent control of both frequency extremes, without analytical sterility, the TecnoArm is more than good enough, especially with its combination of accurate but powerful bass. If low coloration and evenhanded tonality is your priority, the arrival of the Michell TecnoArm means you no longer have to save for a SME series IV or SME V". - Mark Wheeler www.tnt-audio.com

  • One-piece perforated arm casting with internal foam damping
  • Proprietary silver litz cable in a continuous run from cartridge to amplifier
  • PTFE dielectric, metal braided shielding, separate ground wire
  • Silver-plated cartridge clips and phono plugs
  • Two counterweights, matching cartridges of 4-7g and 7-13g
  • Vertical tracking force adjuster in steps of 0.1g
  • Vertical tracking angle adjuster
  • Finger locknut for easy arm removal or VTA adjustment
  • Three year warranty
  • $1195


    RB250 Special tonearm provides far better performance than a stock Rega RB-250 or RB-300, even if equipped with the same upgrades.

    The arm consists of a Michell-branded RB250 onto which the Michell TecnoWeight, VTA Adjuster and Finger Nut have been installed. It includes 3 shorter arm board standoffs to give a wider range of VTA adjustment if used on a GyroDec, or Orbe turntable. Mounting template, alignment protractor and instructions are included.

    Arm weight (w/o cable): 454 grams. Effective mass 11 grams.


    HR Power Supply - The HR is a low-noise electronic power source for the DC motors as found on the TecnoDec, GyroDec and Gyro SE turntables. The HR features the novel Never-Connected circuit, and has a user-adjustable speed control on its back plate.
           The HR considerably improves the performance of GyroDec or Gyro SE turntables by providing a clean, high current output to the motor.
     

    • $895


    TecnoWeight and TecnoVTA - Upgrading the ever popular Rega 250 and 300 tonearms has been recognized as a necessity to maximize performance of these good basic designs. A host of companies have introduced replacement counterweights and VTA adjusters. The Michell TecnoWeight and TecnoVTA are best of these designs we've tested.
             Top notch construction, ease of installation and use and outstanding performance improvement characterize these novel designs.

    "The Tecno meanwhile banishes the rather 'grey' reputation of the standard Rega while sounding more refined and even handed than the Heavy Weight. Don't get me wrong, the Heavy Weight is a big improvement on the standard Rega but to my ears the Tecno is a better all rounder." 
    • TecnoWeight -Precision under-slung counterweight with stainless steel stub shaft.

    • The center of the mass is at stylus level to improve tracking and reduce stylus/record wear.

    • Provides 1/10th gram adjustments without a stylus force gauge!

    • Comes with two counterweights. One for cartridges in the 3 - 6 and another for those weighing between  6 - 16 grams.

    • $159

    • TecnoVTA - Permits simple yet rigid adjustment of Vertical Tracking Angle. Requires 1-1/8" cut-out. $39

     

    Michell Clamp - Black Delrin record clamp with anodized aluminum knob for use on GyroDec, TecnoDec, or third-party turntables. $59

     

    Michell Unicover - Covers platter and tonearm. Designed for the TecnoDec, Gyro SE and Orbe SE models, but fits most other cover-less decks as well.

    • $109

     

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