I'm currently in the process of buying a turntable and had always fancied a Gyrodec. I also wanted to avoid the LP12 because it seems so ubiquitous and endlessly expensive with all the upgrades. I was looking to spend about £3k to £3.5k. The other candidate after much reading of reviews was the Rega RP10 with Apheta 2.
So I eventually found a dealer who had both the Rega and the Michell and off I trotted with my motley collection of rock and heavy metal to demo them. I have a 250/282/HC combo with Dali Rubikon 6s which chuck out a meaty dose of rock. The dealer used a slightly lesser Naim amp combo and some PMCs at around the same £3k level as the Rubikons. In the shop I really liked both turntables. I preferred the Gyrodec at the time as it was definitely a warmer sound albeit not as detailed as the RP10. The Gyrodec used the same Apheta 2 cartridge.
However, I didn't like the sound of the PMCs so arranged a home demo. Both decks sounded quite a bit different on my system. The Gyro was again a lovely warm foot tapping sound with a big sound stage and did a great job with a live album I put on. However, putting on a much more "technical" song on such as Rush's Power Windows saw the RP10 shine. Amazing detail and distinctly better than the CD version which I also have. The Gyro was definitely better with the live album but the RP10 was clearly better with studio material. We then put a Rega phono stage on (I only had a cheapo NAD stage) and both the dealer and I were both blown away with how good it was. At that point my mind was made up.
Subsequently to all this I made the unfortunate decision to discuss it all with my best friend who has a highly upgraded LP12. He claimed I'd be mad to not at least listen to one before making a purchase. I'd only be looking at a Majik so the bottom of Linn's range compared to near the top of Rega's. But in the end I agreed so I am going to home demo the Majik against the RP10/Apheta 2. I can't see how it's going to be better but I will go into it with an open mind.
The one thing to say overall though is how genuinely brilliant the sound of vinyl is on a good system. Just fantastic. So I am looking forward very much to hearing what this iconic LP12 can do. I will report back after the demo as to my final decision.
Thanks for sharing. I, too, am in the process of acquiring a new turntable for my home office system (to replace my Rega P3 w/Ortofon 2m Black, connected to an MM Rega phono stage playing into a Nait 5si hooked up to a pair of Audiovector S1 Super; as good as the P3 is, I want an even better turntable having also taken a serious dive back into vinyl).
I have discarded Rega (P8 or P10) for two reasons: 1) Personally, I don’t like the black high gloss finish; 2) I’ve unfortunately had too many issues with the Rega P3, including two replacements because of a noisy main bearing and three arm replacements, two because of too much play in the arm bearings and one because of a faulty soldering of a tonearm cable plug (resulting in massive hum). The Rega P3 however does sound excellent!
I’m currently looking to get an LP12, which for many years I’ve wanted. I went to audition an LP12 Akurate level (which is where I know I’ll end up anyway so might as well get there in one go!) but unfortunately there was an issue with the cartridge (we think it was) which prohibited any sensible audition of the Akurate LP12. What was interesting, however, was the comparison between a standard LP12 Majik against the Rega P6 Neo with TT-PSU and Ania cartridge – both playing through a Rega phono stage (MC obviously for the Ania and MM for the Adikt on the LP12). The P6 was more detailed, a little brighter (not necessarily in a bad way) but also “noisier” in that with the LP12 there was, quite clearly, more silence between the notes and an overall more composed, calmer if you will, rendition of the music (but not at the expense of dynamics). The P6’s enthusiastic, snappy sound is very appealing and I can really see why people like it, but my personal preference – with some margin – is for the LP12, even in its standard trim (just a shame Linn charges so much for the LP12, which in the Majik version doesn’t even have a Linn tonearm … ). An interesting thing here is that the Rega Ania cartridge is arguably better than the Linn Adikt, so putting an even better cartridge on the Linn would no doubt be very interesting and level the playing field at the cartridge level.
Like you I’ve been surprised to rediscover just how good the sound is from vinyl played on a good turntable system!