Michell Gyro-SE

Hi Fi Pig


Enter the Michell Gyrodec SE.  This has always been a deck for me to aspire to. In my personal opinion it looks as good now as it did when it first came out all those years back.  In fact, “coming out” may be a great description, as the deck has really evolved rather than been a new invention and says “never mind what I once was, look at me now, aren’t I stunning?”.  This is not an unkindness to the original Transcriptors which Michell made under licence at one point, as that remains a superb looking and performing deck and is still available today for a significant premium over the Gyro. 

The Gyro can trace its roots back to the Transcriptors Hydraulic Reference Deck for which some styling queues are still evident on it today. The round platter weights are still there, albeit now under-slung; the purposeful and industrial look (that’s probably unfair…perhaps “solid architectural” is a better description) has remained, and the original Transcriptors Genes are still pretty evident.  The main difference, besides the inversion of the platter weights, are the off board drive motor and suspended chassis with the arm board mount incorporated at one end of it.

Its a clever design in many ways.  It enables arm interchangability via bespoke mounting plinths available from Michell, has nifty adjustable feet to get level spot on, and uses a sprung chassis to eliminate footfall resonances.  A closer inspection reveals the underside of the chassis is heavily damped using tacky black damping material and the engineering quality is peerless.  I had the TechnoArm(A) fitted to start with which was a big improvement over the RB600.  It had the VTA adjustment, the Technoweight and importantly it had some of the resonance issues which I suspected of the standard arms mitigated.  Michell did this by drilling the arm, using a shot peened finish and improving the internal damping.  So it wasn’t just my imagination and Michell considered that this was one area that could be improved upon!  I had fitted a Goldring Eroica MC cartridge after destroying my second BPS EvoIII (that nude cantilever just asks to be snagged!).

Soundwise, the first impressions were that whilst the P25 had been airy and detailed sounding, the Gyro was more solid and authoritative.  Bass was better defined and deeper and more detail just seemed to get through.  I think in part this was not just the arm, but the solid plinth which is a huge improvement over the glass platter of the Rega.  Michell say that this is made from a composite with similar resonance characteristics as the LP itself, so when the record clamp is used in essence, you get a big heavy thick LP which is less prone to unwanted resonance feedback to the stylus.  Listening impressions confirm this is the case.  A short period of time convinced me that this deck could do better and in keeping with my (by now) suspicions about Rega arm variants, I swapped the arm for an SME309.  Fitted to the Gyro, this is a marriage made in heaven.

Not only did the arm addition improve the clarity and detail of the upper registers, it reinforced that solid architectural sound that I found with the Michell.  It elevated the deck to a truly authoritative performer, and whilst I have little doubt that the Orbit deck improves on this further, The Gyro is probably all the deck I’ll ever want or need.