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Michell Engineering

Michell Engineering

Michell Gyro SE

Michell Gyro SE

The Gyro SE from Borehamwood, UK, based J.A.Michell Engineering hardly needs an introduction - it is, and has been for years, one of the best selling turntables. The reasons for this are very clear. The appearance is iconic and striking, looking very similar to the original Gyrodec first produced in the early 1980s. It's sort of timeless. It's also very much of the "form follows function" school - everything is there for a purpose, there are no wasted visual frills, just as you would expect from a proper engineering company who, incidentally, make most of the components for their turntables in-house.

Sound quality is also up there with the best in its price class, the Gyro having a very clean, fast, and open sound with great detail retrieval. The Gyro has been continuously improved over the years and current production bears little resemblance sonically to the original one. One of the biggest upgrades was changing to a high quality very stable DC motor, for example, replacing the original AC unit. There is also the possibility for a Gyro SE owner to upgrade even further with the Orbe platter kit, which brings the performance part of the way to the level of the Michell Orbe SE. The HR power supply which replaces the standard black box supply is another way of elevating the performance.

Michell make available a wide range of pre-cut arm mounts for virtually all types of high quality arms, or a blank mount can be supplied to cut yourself. We supply Gyros with arms ranging from the humble Rega 250 / 300 right up to the SME IV, sometimes even the SME V! At a reasonable cost, the Michell Tecnoarm-a is a good match both sonically and visually.

Also available, of course, is the original product, the famous Gyrodec, which is very similar (but not identical) to the Gyro SE but with a proper perspex base and cover. Sonically they are almost identical, but word has it the simpler Gyro SE might even have a slight edge!

Another aspect of buying a Michell turntable that's not always mentioned is the long term backup you are likely to get, as Michell still hold spares for turntables they have made over the years. They have even been known to specially make small parts for occasions where the original part has no longer been available, a rare service nowadays!

Lastly, if you've ever wondered what goes into a Gyro SE, here's our guide!




Michell Tecnodec

Michell Tecnodec

The Tecnodec is Michell's "entry level" turntable, but don't be put off by this, as the quality of the components is still of the same level as the more expensive Gyro. What you forego, amongst other things, is the Gyro's sprung isolation system, so you need to provide a good support for the Tecnodec to extract the very best out of it. Then, with a good quality budget arm like a Rega 250 or 300, the Tecnodec is easily capable of performing above its price level. In our opinion, it's down to the engineering quality, which surpasses other turntables of similar price.




Michell Orbe SE

Michell Orbe SE

The Orbe SE, big brother to the well known Gyro SE, actually looks more sober and business like - gone are the hanging weights around the platter which adorn it's smaller brother to be replaced by a much larger, heavier, but still acrylic job. The record clamp included in the package (extra on the Gyro) screws into place, rather than the slip on collet fixing of the Gyro clamp. What you can't see from the picture is the Orbe SE actually has a double acrylic support structure, separated by small spikes, compared to the Gyro SE's single structure. And lastly, the precision DC motor assembly, different again from the Gyro, comes with a larger Michell power supply, instead of the small transformer box provided with the Gyro as standard.

All this adds up to a considerable performance increase, and it's a deck which Michell should rightly feel proud of, competing against all comers in it's price range. Gyro SE owners need not feel too despondent, as the special heavy platter assembly can be added to the Gyro, as can the better power supply. Doesn't make it an Orbe, but gets part way there, and neatly illustrates Michell's policy of giving their customers a genuine upgrade path as and when possible, something which keeps the brand at the top of the turntable popularity stakes.

The arm shown is from Origin Live - popular choices are the Rega arms, a good starting point if you're a bit short of cash after buying your new deck, through the O.L. modded Regas, right up to the SME Series 4 and 5 and beyond. We've sold a good few with the superb Morch arms too - in fact, pretty much any arm is possible, as Michell will supply the (easily changed) armboard to your specification.




Michell Tecnoarm

Michell Tecnoarm

Michell's own description of the Tecnoarm is pretty good - so here it is:

The TecnoArm(a) 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."

It also features, of course, the well known Tecnoweight counterweight, a sonic (and visual) improvement, being far more rigid than Rega's standard counterweight. It's worth mentioning too the signal wiring, which is basically the Incognito one-piece wiring loom, with no breaks all the way from cartridge tags to phono plugs, a huge improvement over the standard Rega wiring. A very popular tonearm, and quite rightly so.

Visit J.A.Michell here for more information on all the products.