The Gram Amp 3 Fanfare is a complete phono preamp for low-output MC cartridges with 0.2 - 1.0mV output.
It's always been Graham Slee's preferred method to pre-pre-amplify the tiny output of a low output moving coil cartridge and then apply it to the input of a moving magnet RIAA phono preamp. This makes perfect sense because there are precious few ways of providing the 60dB plus of gain required, with low noise, low distortion and the level of performance to capture recorded fidelity in the grooves.
The Gram Amp 3 Fanfare uses studio tape head preamp technology to bring you extreme fidelity captured in the groove. Because of Graham Slee's wide-band design capabilities they are able to utilize op-amp characteristics that are beyond current hi-fi understanding, so, at last, your moving coil cartridge can deliver its full glory. The Fanfare is not limited by the slow low noise techniques that bedevil competing moving coil amplification, and as such it will deliver real musicality while at the same time having a perceived noise floor lower than many moving magnet designs.
Single-minded optimization leads to superior results
Unfortunately the industry has been pushing the concept that one circuit can be optimized to do the two jobs of moving magnet and moving coil pre-amplification at the flick of a switch. If science were that easy then Michael Shumaker could win - at the flick of a switch - Formula 1 in the car he drives to the track in!
At the same time you are told that hi-fi separates are the only way to go for the performance you're after. Isn't it time for the hi-fi salesman to make his mind up?
The truth is that one amplifier stage can only be optimized for one narrow range of gains hence the negative feedback argument used to explain why one amplifier sounds better than another. With 20dB difference between low output moving coil and high output moving magnet, it is immediately apparent that the universal phono stage is going to let you down on one of its settings. That's usually the moving magnet one, so why bother spending over the odds for something that's going to end in disappointment?
That is why the Gram Amp 3 Fanfare is dedicated to low output moving coil and our similar looking Gram Amp 2 Special Edition is dedicated to the higher output moving magnets and high output moving coils. When you look at the prices of these two units, it is obviously cost effective to opt for one or the other, or even to buy both if you're going to be using both high and low output cartridges. You will end up paying a tiny bit more for a great deal more in musical performance.
The input impedance of the Gram Amp 3 Fanfare is fixed at 470 ohms which was found to present the optimum load for the vast majority of moving coil cartridges.
The source impedance of a low output moving coil is around 10 ohms and a load greater than 200 ohms is needed so as not to noticeably load its output. Moving coil cartridge loading is like speaker damping factor in reverse. Too much load has the effect of limiting the mechanical dynamics of the stylus. It is very much like an electricity generator. Anyone observing a fairground generator truck knows that the engine note goes low as the load of the ride is applied. By the same virtue, the stylus is stiffened against the groove with too much load (too low a resistance) which will not only compress the dynamics but also introduce distortion to the peaks. Therefore a slightly higher than recommended 470 ohms brings a beneficial effect to dynamism.
Graham Slee Gram Amp 3 Fanfare MC Phono Preamp Specifications
- Input sensitivity range: 0.2 - 1.0mV
- Maximum input: 4.4mV
- Output from above inputs: 238 - 1190mV rms
- Maximum output: 5.3 V rms
- Gain: 61.5dB (1190mV)
- Input resistance: 470 ohms
- Input capacitance: 100pf
- Noise: -63dB CCIR q pk 20Hz - 20kHz
- Distortion: 0.03%
- RIAA accuracy: 0.5dB
- Frequency response: 19Hz -150kHz
- Channel balance: 0.2dB
- Channel separation: 64dB
- Dimensions (mm): 71"w x 72"h x 118"d
Should this product fail while being used for its intended purpose, within one year of purchase, we will repair or replace it at our discretion. Please contact LP Tunes for details. No other liability will be accepted. Your statutory rights are not affected.