I too am interested in hearing about your experience with this unit. Am also interested in hearing about the new Graham Slee Reflex. Anybody?.......
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I purchased the GCPH from Underwood when it came out and used it for about 6 months in stock form with the balanced outputs. I have a bunch of different cartridges that I run off of a VPI JMW9 tonearm(Koetsu Urushi, VDH Black Beauty, Music Maker III, Lyra Helikon SL) and a few Ortofon SPU style cartridges that run off of an Ortofon tonearm. Since most of them need different gain and resistance the GCPH really fit the bill from a flexibility standpoint. I liked the sound, but since I had my PS Audio GCA 250 modded by Wally/Chris, with fantastic results, when I saw the Wally/Chris a mod for the GCPH, I had to go for it.
In addition to the standard upgrades, I got the WBT silver input jacks and the balanced outputs upgraded. (I did the same on my GCA and was glad i did).
I ran the unit in with a reverse RIAA box from my CD player for over 200 hrs and then sat down to listen. Now the differences... they are substantial.
The sound is much more dynamic and the tone is truly beautiful. It really brings out the details in recordings and I definitely hear a much bigger soundstage in front/back and left/right. Bass is absolutely fantastic and changing the loads with each cartridge yields much more noticeable differences.
THE NOT SO GOOD (may seem a little nitpicky):
The unit is pretty quiet before the mods, but not any quieter after the mods. I expected more in this area. This would be very welcome for low output MC carts. You can't hear the noise when the music is playing, but you can when it isn't. I have used many other phono stages, including tube stages, that are much quieter.
They forgot to upgrade the output RCAs on my unit. Since I use the XLRs, it wasn't a huge deal, but it is annoying as finishing the job would mean shipping it back to Canada, etc. Wally did refund me the difference, but still annoying.
Both my GCA and the GCPH both came back in "not quite as mint condition as when they left my house". I think that the folks at Parts Connexion need to be more careful with the outsides of the gear when they do the mods. Nothing major, but again annoying.
I wish that within the mods, they found a way to be able to change gain and/or load without that annoying thump... I try to remember to change inputs on my preamp before i change the settings, but sometimes i forget and curse the fact that it happens.
It would be nice to see before and after measurements of your unit. This shouldn't be too much to ask for the amount you are paying for the mods.
My system is comprised of the following:
Preamp: Aesthetix Calypso
Phono: PS Audio GCPH modded
Poweramp: PS Audio GCA-250 modded
TT: Garrard 401 with custom maple plinth
Tonearms: VPI JMW 9 and Ortofon 309 12"
Carts: as above
CD Player: Meridian G08
Tuner: Accuphase 109
Speakers: Opeara Callas
Stands: Mapleshade Gibraltars
Powercords: Moon Audio
Interconnects: Cardas Neutral Reference and Nordost Heimdall
Speakerwire: Nordost Heimdall
Powerconditioner: PS Audio 600
Hope this helps!
Know you ust dig your GCA 250 (and probably would like Bel Canto and Nuforce too) so I understand the PS GCPH but not while being hip to Aesthetix.For Not sure if you bought Calypso new or used.But if you sold Calypso and modded phono you could get $2500 and $1K respectiveley for them and get full function Janus pre.Or sell the GCPH for a grand and out $1500 and get a Rhea phono that would abosultely wipe out the PS GCPH.I a asked because what they could put in the GCPH for $1K bnd for a lesser system it would be fine.But with a 301 deck and good arm/cartidge you deserve more than even the modded PS can deilver.Sounds like the PS got better with mods but does not soundlike the one review from www.10audio.com at Wally's sight which says that that "the modded unit besrs the Art Audio or plays in products in the $3 to $5K model range".The Janus has a few les bells and whistles but still a remote which store not only your input for your your 301 but if you ever get a three armed deck of or or a second table for your are al set wioth pre sets for load,gain,phase etc even with Rhea cartridge demagnetizing! and akll the functiions can be down with remote if your single input has deck/arn which allows quiock swap of tubes or heads )for say stereo moving coil and mono MM it can all be operated from remote.If thePS were bigger cost twice as muc as it does it might have a chace to match others but it makes sense that the design sach went to all these admittedly (for the price amazing features).And your rport while ther is an improvement does not seem like night and day.And I trust you way more than some guy from and online rag nobody has ever heard of.You know your calypso an could scrap the PS and go for more Aesthetix down the line to the PS integrated and get way better sound.The nnoise that ddin't go away and the fact that for a $700(!!!_ list mod you were not doing cartwheeels of joy means the original circut sesign too second place to features.That's OK in a leswser rig but what you've deserves selling both units and better yet just the CGOH (modded will sell for $1grand first day posted) and throw $1500 more into tyou can get Rhea.Jusr IMHI.