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Gram Amp 2 'Communicator' MM Phono Preamp

Gram Amp 2 'Communicator' Turntable Phono Preamp

"Low on frills, high on quality, the aptly named Communicator comes highly recommended."

[5-stars, What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision, June 2013]

The best spent £180 on a phono preamp! Since its introduction in 2001 the budget Gram Amp 2 continues to communicate what's in the groove - nothing can compare at the price!

A top notch high end performance moving magnet sensitivity phono preamp stripped down to its most basic function and presented in a low cost anodized aluminium enclosure so the listener on a budget can enjoy high end sound.

Supplied with an economy carbon friendly remote power supply, the Gram Amp 2 Communicator can be given a serious performance uplift by powering it from our PSU1 power supply.

The output of the Gram Amp 2 Communicator phono preamp is optimised for use with integrated amplifiers and high output magnetic cartridges.

It is an ideal phono preamp for DJ use and also for digitising records to computer. Or just use it for listening to your vinyl records and you'll be immersed in hours of glorious fatigue-free listening.

Read the user and media reviews of the Gram Amp 2 since its original plastic-cased introduction in 2001 and you'll discover why it's such a long-lived top selling budget stage.

[click an image to see all the slides]

Features

  • Fast-Active preamp and equalisation technology
  • Inherent reduced vinyl click and pop characteristic
  • Rock steady sound stage
  • Truly 3D performance
  • Can be upgraded by using a PSU1 unipolar power supply instead of the "green" switched mode unit supplied

Specification

  • Input range: 2mV to 10 mV
  • Output: 168 to 841 mV for input range above
  • Maximum input level: 58mV
  • Input impedance resistive: 47k Ohms
  • Input impedance capacitive: 220pF
  • Output noise: ('A' weighted) -75dB
  • Reproduction characteristic: RIAA within 0.5dB
  • Total Harmonic Distortion plus noise: <0.02%
  • Channel balance: 0.1dB
  • Channel separation: 64dB
  • Size: 115 x 85 x 45mm (4.5 x 3.5 x 1.75 inches) approx.

Specifications subject to alteration without notice in keeping with our continuous improvement policy.

User Reviews

Excerpts taken from the Owners Club Forum:

"A quick message to send appreciation for my Gram Amp 2. I just finished listening to some John Lennon, and somehow recalled that I have had the GA2 for about a decade. So long in fact, I'm not entirely sure when I bought it... The little GA2 has been providing perfect service for those 10 years. Front end is a Rega Planar 3, at least twice as old but with an Origin Live RB250 arm on it... My power amps and speakers have changed a lot in those 10 years, but the GA2 and Rega are a constant. All my digital music is lossless or 320kbps MP3, but there really is no comparison with the record. For example, listening to any of the 40 or so albums in the Nippon Columbia pressing of La Musique de J.S. Bach is beyond belief. Utterly transfixing.

on-ga-ku


"The Gram Amp 2 Communicator was purchased to replace a Maplins budget unit which I have been using for about two years. If I had gone straight from using an integrated amplifier on it's own to the Gram Amp I'd say the transition would have been monumental to say the least. The difference between the Gram Amp and the Maplins unit is still fairly noticeable, which may be a bit of an understatement!

"It is only my first full day with the new beast but the following impressions were immediate on listening to albums. There is a noticeable increase in volume and I had to adjust the amp accordingly. Trying to describe sounds is a pointless exercise at the best of times but I will give it a go... There is even a sharpness to the bass guitar. The base is not lumpy or thick. There is a clarity in sound with a distinctness between instruments across the whole stereo spread... Albums tried were the first Bad Company album from 1974. This always sounded good but the clarity imparted by the Gram Amp was particularly noticeable. The crack of the snare drum was particularly apparent. Over-all a great performance. Next up was Long Misty Days by Robin Trower from 1977. Would this new unit cope with Trowers guitar sound? yep it did. I have been listening to both of these albums since they came out and today I heard them with a new found clarity and sharpness. Perhaps the clarity and sharpness are at the expense of a less booming bass sound but not to distraction. The bass is still there but there is a brightness to it rather than a lumpiness. Anyway like I said above - So Far So Good. Next up was a fairly tough test or so I thought. I tried one of those "best of" albums. There was 8 tracks a side so you are looking at a running time of 25/26 minutes a side at least. Usually this amount of material on an album gives a very weak thinny sound. Not so with the Gram Amp. Sound was crisp, sharp and full. I could actually enjoy listening to it!

UPDATE: "With well over 100 hours burn in time the unit has definitely broadened out sound wise. Not so clinical as the first few listens. Bass also has filled out. Definitely recommended. Amp and deck are both over 25 years old and and with the addition of the Gram Amp 2 Communicator things just keep getting better.

spudfan

Media Reviews

The GramAmp 2 was something else... What I didn't expect was for it to soundstage like a four-figure pre. This is the hardest thing for a phono stage to do. For it to come off the stage it must faithfully preserve the information on the disc, including keeping a firm grip on phase. The Gram 2 was fully a match for the Audion in this respect. Swapping to the Korato pre, which I strongly suspect is even better than the Audion, the Korato held on to a small lead in width and gave a slightly deeper soundstage. But though the difference was noticeable in an A/B I'm not sure I could have identified which was playing if I just walked into the room. And the Gram 2 gave nothing away in detail. It just lacked a little of the power and glory of the 'hi-end' stages, but at a tiny fraction of the cost this was a stonking performance.

[Geoff Husband, TNT Audio, February 2001]


"It concedes little indeed to more expensive designs and kept us entertained for hours. Timing is first-rate, instrumental timbre convincing and detail resolution frankly impressive...

[Hi-Fi Choice, December 2001]


"Switch to the power rock of Led Zeppelin II and the Gram Amp 2 delivers both crashing cymbals and deep thundering bass with ease

[What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision, June 2002]


"Timing is excellent: listening to Four Tet, the rolling rhythm pulls us in to the track and the level of detail keeps us hooked, listening to various intricacies we might not have heard before. It’s fast, organised and dynamic ...

[What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision, June 2013]

Price

Gram Amp 2 "Communicator" moving magnet phono stage supplied with "green" switched-mode power supply:

£180.00 (including 20% UK VAT)

 

Optional extra: upgrade it using a "PSU1" uni-polar power supply:

£185.00 (including 20% UK VAT)

 

Price does not include shipping.