PS Audio GCPH comments-opinions

Hi All, I'd like to garner opinions on how owners of this Unit, like them, their take on the internal componentry used, the operation of the unit, and technical aspects.

Was wondering can one deviate from the factory loading presets in any way, should one wish to try different loading values versus the factory pre-set settings?

My Cartridge is a original Hi-Output Glider with 1.9Mv Output, internal Impedance of 85ohms, and loading recommendations of 1000k-47K
A mini-review would be sweet! mark
For starters you might want to visit (or revisit) the PS Audio web site. You can download the entire owner's manual from there, plus, there is an extensive write up on it. PS promises a lot with this unit.

I have read where some users experienced a constant, "hum which is not so bad when the music is playing".

Very versital unit! You can flip a switch to get the input you want and then even refine everything with a gain knob located on the front of the unit. The knob also serves as volume control if you wish to bypass all but your amp and run direct from TT to amp to speakers. Great feature.

I looked long and serious into the GCPH for myself since I believe in the PS Audio P500's I own (opted for Art Audio Vinyl One which I believe will better suite my needs). From my findings the GCPH offers a whole lot for the investment.

When I spoke to the folks at PS Audio and at a couple of distributors they said there is quite a backorder situation at this time due to very high demand. I found it can be purchased for $830 + shipping.

I am not sure why more is not covered in the discussion forums at A'Gon. I asked the same questions you have a month or so ago and got basically no input. I know some distributors and dealers have dropped the PS Audio line since PS has seemingly squeezed out the profit for them.
Hmmm, I haven't read about folks discovering Hum, but have read one incident with hissing in one channel when set at 47K, and it was do to a solder trace being to close to the output stage on the circuit board. Supposedly, PS Audio has rectified the problem on new units.

With a 30 day in home trial, with full refund (minus shipping charges) there doesn't seem like much risk trying one. If it stomps my exisiting unit, it stays, and if it doesn't it goes back.

Perhaps not much written yet, as the Unit is still relatively new on the market? Mark
Tried to find where I read about the hum to no avail. I know I read it though but it was just a passing comment someone made within an otherwise glowing review (not professional review but on some blog). I would be very interested to know how you like the GCPH. It certainly intrigues me. And I find PS quality really second to none for the relatively reasonable investment.
Howdy Sit, I did go to the PS Audio Site, yet couldn't find any downloadable manuals of any kind.
Can you provide a link, or how to find these on the site? Thanks you, Mark
To download the manual go onto the PS Audio site and click into "Customer Care" where you will find Owner's Manuals and Instructions for all of the PS Audio equipment.

I have the info at my office on the biz offering the GCPH over the internet for $830 + shipping. I will try to post it for you asap.
Sit, I've noticed on the PS Audio Site, under Warrantee guidlines, that they claim the only current factory authorized E-Tailers are MusicDirect, and Audio Advisor.

It's possible that this deal may have no factory warrantee, nor a 30 day free in home trial period? mark
Mark & Short Circuit,
I cannot find the name of the internet business selling new, from the factory, not grade "B", GCPH units for $830 + shipping. I must have tossed the sheet I wrote on when I bought the Art Audio unit. This is real though. Scan the net and make some calls. I had to call to get the price. I could have ordered one that day with unit in their inventory expected within 20 to 25 days from PS Audio. I do not know if they offered 30-day test as I was not interested in that. Full factory warranty was included. If I locate this info I will post it.
Mark - If you want to read about the hum one user was experiencing, do a Google search for PS Audio GCPH - you'll find it! Fred
The hum issue you're discussing is from only one poster. The problem seemed to be specific to his rig and set up because the good folks at PS Audio took the unit back and couldn't duplicate the problem.

I have been test driving the GCPH the past 30 days and find it VERY impressive. Compares quite favorably with much higher-priced units. It's extremely well-thoughtout and solidly built. Balanced outputs, too! For a retail price of under $1,000 it's a great bargain.

The way to get it for $830 is to buy a B-stock unit from the PS Audio website. B-stock means nothing, these units are usually brand new or barely used by a dealer. You still get a full warranty.

Personally, I think the GCPH is a winner and shows that PS Audio understands how make audiophile-quality gear at sensible prices.
I was so impressed with what I read that I finally purchased the GCPH. I'm auditioning it now. It has some stiff competition with 2 other units I have that retail for 3 times as much but so far it's in the running. More time will tell. My initial impression is in agreement with Output 555's comments. Impressive!
I have been very interested in this unit as others of you are. It has such a great set of features. I'm anxious to hear your reports of how it sounds and compares to other well-known phono stages, such as the EAR.
To further speak of this very promising unit, I did join the PS Audio Discussion group, and posted some question there, in which Mr. Paul Mcgowan himself responded.

Paul states that they are seriously considering also doing a Special, or Limited Edition, which will have a remote control incorporated for the Volume, and I'm sure this will be a real boon to some analog lovers who wish to hardwire the GCPH Unit directly to their Amplifiers.

I myself am also taking a very long hard look at this unit, as it price, and build quality seem reassuring.

What I dislike about many Phono Stages, is very limited ability to adjust gain, or Cartridge Loading. It seems that many have too much gain, or too little, and with the GCPH's rear gain settings, and the front mounted Volume Control, this unit seems to have virtually every Cartridge made covered. (reminds me of the 3 Bears story, PS Audio has got it juuust right!)

While I personally would've wished for a little better ability to custom load any value resistor for Loading, this Unit still seems to have a good selection of settings to keep most users happy, and quite simple to adjust, that one doesn't have to resort to digging into the unit, soldering, or whatnot.

As far as looks, from what can tell from the pics, it looks to me like a very attractive, solid built unit both front, and back.

With a 30 day free In-Home trial from the factory with a money back, and a good 3 year Warrantee, it sounds like a no-brainer to me.

You folks who own one, please feel free to post more about it's sound, it's build quality, cosmetics, etc!
I'd love hearing more about it, and a mini review, or review on the site would be superb! Thanks! Mark
The reason I ask for you "real" folk for a review, and personal opinions about this unit, is that I read the Stereophile review of this unit, which I believe was in
Jan 06's edition.

Robert Deutsche (sp) starts out the review with the Statement that went something like "I'm not too knowledgeable-experienced about reviewing Phono Stages, and don't really have much of a Reference to compare this unit to-with?

So why the heck did they let HIM review the product in the first place? lol

While the review seemed to cover the basic bases, it still left me hanging, and wanting for more about it. Mark
Several years ago, someone at Stereophile (it may have been Deutsche) reviewed
the Benz Glider. This reviewer's reference was cartrdges of a much lesser price
range and so, of course, he loved the Glider, delared it to be Class-A worthy,
etc. There was quite a bruhaha about this among readers, who felt that the
Glider needed to be evaluated against is truer competition, which this reviewer
was not capable of doing. Fair point. Same thing here with the PS Audio.

Likeiwise Art Dudley, whom I like, uses mostly modestly-priced gear and doesn't
do much tweaking. Yet every now and then he'll review something like a pair of
Lamm amps. Guess what? He's amazed by them. Well, duh! And somewhere
along the line he started using Valhalla cables (when he was at Listener, he may
have been the first to tout Nordost). It seems a little odd.

Context and comparative space is very important to the usefulnees of a review.
I was going to wait for one to show up on Audiogon and actually one did show up for $750 but I was too late. That thing flew off the site! You have to be patient and check the site constantly if you want to get one at a nice discount - and that's only if one shows up. It's not really worth my time or effort to try to save a couple hundred or so. I also didn't feel like waiting for a "B" stock unit to show up from PS Audio. I finally broke down and ordered one from AudioAdvisor because they offer a 30-day money back and free shipping! I was going to listen to it for 30 days and then send it back. Guess what? I'm not sending it back! It's that good!
Somewhat sadly, It's doubtful now that I myself will anytime in the near future get my hands on a PS Audio GCPH, as about acweek ago, I bought a used, mint Sutherland PhD from another A-Goner for what I feel was a very excellent price.

While I have yet to recieve this Unit, I'm looking forward to it becoming a mainstay in my system.

This product too also had many nice features with a myriad of both Gain, and Loading options, and I like the idea of DC Battery Power (16 D-Cells), with no need of onboard chargers, and whatnot, versus internal, or external power supplies whish possibly be problematic for some with RFI problems.

I'm very sure the PS Audio Unit is a very fine product indeed, and it's nice to see these folks bring a product to market with what I feel are first class features, and no doubt first class performance to boot.

I'm hoping that the Sutherland though is in another league all together, and one would think the added cost reflects that.

None the less, I'm glad I initiated this thread, as I feel the more nice products like this that become available, and the better knowledge becomes about them does benefit us all, and gives us all more worthy equipment to choose from.
The GCPH does sound like a giant killer to me.
Hi all, just bought a GCPH from a fellow A'goner for $600, which I thought was a pretty good deal. I haven't recieved it yet, but I'm sure it will be a keeper. After buying a PS Audio Soloist in-wall unit, I was amazed at the build quality for a product I paid $179 for new. It also did a good job of what it was supposed to do, make my system sound better. I appreciate being able to access these posts, they helped in the decision-making process. Thanks, Dan
I have a fair amount of experience with the GCPH - I have owned it since they shipped the first batch and am a huge fan of PS Audio gear.

I recently compared the GCPH to a Tron Seven for a few days in my system.

I really had to switch back and forth quite a few few times before I was able to discern what the Tron was doing better than the GCPH. Also keep in perspective that the Tron is 4 times the cost of the GCPH. The Tron, being a tube unit that owners of Steelheads have sold to get a Seven, had a bit more 3d fleshed out , and presented more real sounding instruments. But as I said - I had to keep switching (something I could do in about 20 seconds while an LP was playing) to get a hold of the differences.

The GCPH modded by Underwood is supposedly a nice improvement.
see the review at

I had my PS Audio GCC amp modded by Underwood and the mod was a big step up from an already very good product.

I ran the GCPH into the GCC control amp with gain as well as directly into a pair of Atma-sphere MA1's these were both via XLR.

One thing I found is that with a .5mv Celebration cart, the GCPH doesn't quite have enough gain. I ended up running the GCC amp at full gain often to get a decent level. The 60db Tron had much more gain than the "66db" rated GCPH.

So while connecting directly to an amp is a great idea (and what I am doing right now while I await an H-Cat preamp) you need a high output cart or step up to make it practical.

Since the volume has no printed marks, I added my own printed scale made with a P-touch because after a certain point the (maybe 3/4 gain) the sound becomes a bit hard (PS Audio points this out in their manual) and I needed repeatable volume settings for comparisons.

If I added a transformer - the GCPH would have enough gain I'm sure, but I never invested in one since I had decided to go with the Tron.

I really do like the loading and gain options (not to mention balanced and unbalanced out) of the GCPH - the product is a winner, especially in it's price class.
As Salamon say's it depends on your amp.Underwood wally said optimal would be a MC at .4 Mv or more which leaves a lot of choices out.My buddy uses his with a .23 Dyna and needs to use front volume in addition to max rear gain setting.Seems well built and quiet if you don't have the 47K hum.Overall it seems like a bang up $1K value.
might give it too high a rating but

seems to knock it a bit compared to Whest 2.0.Yet this isn't big surprise.Whest is more $$$ and less flexible. amp.Chris Martens of Absolute Sound gave it a big thumbs up.Seem,s like it's quiet but in some system,s can either roll off top end compared to $2K to $5K class or in some systems make a system sound harsh (there's reviewsing for you).But unless you want to go to $150% of cost or maybe even twice or three time it you won't get better sound and certainly flexibility.Wally's PCX mods really seem to kick it up and are worth the $700 mod or $1500 new unit.Get and Aesthetix Rhea,EAR 324 and you get flexibility and have to pay for used USED unit three time price.But both would blow doors on PS.Spend a more on Krell KPE,Linn Linto,ARS mini etc etc and you'll pay twice as much and not get flexibility but a better sounding unit (I wonder how it would versus a stock or modded EAR 834 the previous "real world" champ.Maybe the raved about value Minimax phono but again less bells and whistles with both).Seems like well conceived unit that is a a flexibility and sound champ at $1K to $1.5K.If they can do it don't know why others can't.Rogue had a $1750 mock up unit that never got off boards.But market is ripe for competitor maybe a tubed with cart flexibility,mono,volume and phase.Until then unless your gonna spend way more money you won't get flexibility or sonics.Might trade my KRC2/KPE combo on one myself and lose some KPE resolution for a much more flexible unit.For on budget who want to have ability to go direct to amp or swap cart heads or tubes on fly it seems like no brainer though as long you have enough cart output and/or amplification to carry it through.