The Graham Slee Era Gold V phono preamplifier is unlike any
other phono preamp. It throws current thinking to the wind, and
concentrates on its singular and only critical mission — that of
reproducing music the way music should truly sound. The result is what
we call the music lover's phono preamp. Michael Fremer in Stereophile calls it a "miraculous phono preamp"
for its ability to change and dramatically lift an entire system's
sound quality and make music sound more realistic and life-like!
As with many high performance products, the results the Era Gold
provides will only be as good as the source feeding it, but with a good
turntable-arm-cartridge combination the results will be heard. At last,
much of the grittiness blamed on the vinyl medium is exchanged for real
music. Brass, with its complex harmonic structure appears as it should,
rather than the usual distortion you get with slower preamps.
As is usually the case, it's the attention to the smallest details
which make the biggest difference to how things sound. With the Era
Gold, these small details are reproduced with such finesse that the
music is brought to life. The life it had when committed to the master
tape! Not just with modern high quality pressings or direct cut discs,
but with used vinyl too, right back to the birth of RIAA stereo
How this is achieved is based on Graham Slee's concept
of phase integrity, which can only be realized by fast electronics,
which in turn is an art seldom understood, or achieved by other phono
preamp manufacturers. Every natural sound has its harmonics. These
harmonics carry the information our hearing needs to distinguish between
instruments, voices, the particular way in which they are played or
sung. They also carry the micro-information about the recording venue,
the microphone placement, the reverb - natural or synthetic - sounds and
energies that make up the backdrop to the recording, and that backdrops
The power supply used to power the Era Gold V is the PSU1. It
uses extremely low impedance, high temperature reservoir capacitors,
paralleled for even lower impedance prior to a voltage regulator, which
itself is very low impedance. Its 12 watt peak capability is far greater
than the power demanded by the Era Gold.
Additionally, the voltage is regulated a second time within the phono
preamp itself, providing an extremely clean power supply to the
amplifiers. It is further improved by distributed tantalum capacitors.
However, it is GSP's attention to the signal ground which makes the
biggest impact. The ground is many orders of magnitude more stable than
any other phono preamp in the market, no matter how big the power
The fast circuitry of the solid state Era Gold places it on par with
many a tube phono preamp. In fact, it can be quite difficult to
differentiate between it and a tube preamp. However the Era Gold carries
none of the frequency limitations (Miller capacitance). Many have found
it unbelievable that such a big, controlled and astonishingly musical
sound can be 'made' by such a small 'box'.