Michell Engineering GyroDec SE

Full spring suspension and a competitive performance makes the Michell a strong contender...

This deck is relatively unusual these days in that it includes a full spring suspension, which in turn is rare in using springs in tension rather than compression. Compression springs tend to suffer from problems with lateral stability – squash any compression spring and it is only too ready to jump out sideways. In tension, though, they are self-aligning, the downside being that they need more space. Here they are housed in the near metal ‘towers ‘ that flank the platter, immaculately fitted to the subchassis, thanks to Michell’s famous high-precision machining. The suspension is completely undamped and can bounce for many seconds.

There’s more precision metalwork in the bearing, which is substantial and mounts on the diecast subchassis.The arm base is mounted on the same casting, while the motor sits separately, unsuspended and protruding through a whole in the subchassis, which doesn’t actually contact it. A round-section belt drives the outside of the platter, with speed change being manual – there is no fine control of speed available, athough it is a DC motor.

The platter is plastic, with Michell’s distinctive machined brass weights fixed to its underside to increase its inertia in a visually striking way.

The TecnoArm is basically a Rega RB250, but with some notable tweaks. A particularly interesting one is the way Michell drills several holes in the underneath of the arm tube and also bead-blasts the outside of the tube, both in the name of reducing resonance.

The counterweight is replaced with a precision under-slung one, with calibrated screw adjustment and the internal wiring is also replaced.

Sound quality

Like the Funk, this deck seems quite adept at keeping surface noise at bay, though it was, perhaps, not quite as reticent as on the Funk. But such technical aspects of the sound were mentioned seldom in our listeners’ notes, which spent far more time discussing the way the Gyro SE plays music: it’s one of those hi-fi components whose performance encourages one to listen far more to the music than to the equipment and that’s all to the good.

There was the odd criticism from our listeners even so, for instance a comment that images are a little diffuse, somewhat enlarging each instrument so that each one tends to overlap a little with its neighbour, a rather unnatural (though not major) effect. There also seemed to be a consensus that bass definition isn’t quite perfect, but this is also a minor detail because the tonal quality of the bass is actually very good. There’s plenty (though not too much) of it and it is well integrated with the rest of the spectrum, it just doesn’t have quite the precision of some decks.

Treble is good, too and timing received lots of positive comments. But more than all this, what we all enjoyed about this turntable is its energy, which keeps the music alive and vibrant across the gamut of genres and moods.

LIKE: Excellent timing really propels a very good performance
DISLIKE: Bass not always as detailed as some and sensitive to placement
WE SAY: Always a highly enjoyable listen, the Gyro SE offers plenty of detail and insight, too

DETAILS
Origin: UK
Weight: 12kg
Dimensions: (WxHxD) 500x170x380mm
Features:
• 33/45rpm
• Manual speed change
• External power supply
• Captive arm lead
• Optional dust cover
Distributor: Michell Engineering
Telephone: 020 8953 0771
Website: michell-engineering.co.uk