Michell Gyro SE
Small Footprint GyroDec Turntable
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The Gyro SE is a small footprint variation of the Gyrodec that delivers an almost identical performance to its larger sibling. The full-sized acrylic plinth on the Gyrodec has been replaced by a rigid and inert acrylic spyder to support the chassis. The Gyro SE is Michell's best-selling turntable providing a neutral, reference presentation without taking up too much space. If you are looking for a compact class-leading turntable, look no further.
Unique Style and Functionality
Michell turntables offer timeless styling and functionality for years of vinyl bliss.
Michell offers 3 different tonearm options for their turntables giving you options to fit your budget and performance needs. Michell even offers arm plates for use with Rega, SME, among other popular high-end tonearms.
From the unique inverted platter bearing, motor isolation, and full suspension supporting the platter and tonearm Michell turntables give you all of the music without any noise associated with the electrical or mechanical workings of the turntable.
John Michell started his engineering career when he served his apprenticeship at Finchley Motors in the early 1950s, ultimately starting his own business in engineering, growing from a small shed to an industrial building, and even building models for Stanley Kubrick for movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey.
While doing these engineering jobs, John also made parts for Transcriptor turntables, as well as other brands at the time. When Transcriptors moved to Ireland in 1973, John took over manufacturing under license for the reference hydraulic turntable.
In 1977, John Michell produced his first turntable under his own name, called the Michell Reference Electronic. Michell also invented the record clamp technology that is still used today in many of the finest turntables. In 1982, John Michell introduced the Gyrodec and made turntable history. The Gyrodec has been improved over the years and is still offered by Michell Engineering to this day. While John Michell passed away in 2003 after a long illness, his family has kept Michell Engineering going and has even made improvements and released some new models.
In 2019, Michell introduced a new line of moving coil cartridges that took some four years of engineering to produce to Michell’s high standards. In 2022, Michell ushered in a rebranding of the brand, promising a host of new products and improvements for the future.
Packaging Design & Build Quality
Seeing how delicate an instrument a high-end turntable is, the packaging must be able to protect the parts from damage in shipping. The Michell Gyro SE passes this test easily. The box is both protective and has plenty of packing material to keep things in place and safe for shipping.
There are a lot of intricate parts on this table that might at first seem intimidating, but the guide that Michell includes is very informative and even has photos to help you identify the parts discussed. If you follow their detailed guide, the assembly is straightforward, and the individual parts all show the level of quality that Michell is known for.
When we first saw the Michell Gyro SE, we were struck by the sense that this table is built with very high precision. From the acrylic spider that supports the chassis to the solid brass weights that add mass and more momentum to the platter, The Gyro SE lives up to being the small edition of the Gyrodec that made turntable history.
Features & Technology
The Michell Gyro SE sets itself apart from many of the turntables in its price class by using great engineering to its advantage.
- A three-point spring suspension system keeps any unwanted vibration from reaching the sub-chassis, keeping vital parts isolated from the rest of their environment.
- A platter material that is very close to the dampening characteristics of vinyl records themselves. To improve platter momentum, brass weights are utilized, which improve speed stability and wow and flutter, giving it that sound the best British tables are famous for.
- The drive motor of the Gyro SE is completely isolated from the rest of the structure. The only parts touching each other are the drive belt itself, ensuring total noise isolation.
- A sub-chassis that is weighted and balanced like a pendulum using the spring suspension. This also allows total isolation from any vibration or noise-causing artifacts.
- The main platter bearing is a top-oiled inverted bearing. Using a modified Archimedean screw machined into the inside bore of the bearing, oil is drawn up through a reservoir so that the main bearing is constantly receiving fresh oil for the best lubricating properties.
Utilizing all the above technologies allows the Gyro SE to be a purchase that will last a lifetime and more, giving the end user solid peace of mind.
The Michell Gyro SE also allows the use of different tonearms. Michell’s own TechnoArm 2 is the recommended arm for Gyro SE and is a highly modified Rega arm (no introduction needed). Michell takes this already great arm and shotblasts it for more rigidity while also drilling 22 strategically placed holes in the underside of the arm to further reduce mass. The arm headshell is then machined to be perfectly parallel with the bearing position. Michell uses high-quality Litz silver wires in the TechnoArm 2 for better signal integrity. But the best part about these new arms is that you can add a Michell-designed VTA adjuster to this arm, making it fully adjustable for virtually any cartridge! We love the TechnoArm 2 and think it is a worthy arm for the Gyro SE, but if you already have a favorite SME, Rega, Linn, or Moerch tonearm, Michell has Standard Profile Arm Plates to allow you to use it with the Gyro SE.
Michell offers two types of covers for the Gyro SE. The Iso Base and SEcure Cover on the left give you an isolation base and a full cover for the turntable. This provides the best protection against dust, pets, or children damaging the sensitive parts of the turntable. The UniCover on the right protects the vital parts of the turntable from dust but also allows for an open look at the table. It is great for people who love the look of the table and want to show it off but don’t have children or pets that could possibly damage it. We thought having both options was an excellent decision.
There were two Gyro SE turntables set up at Audio Advice Live 2023 that allowed us to fully get up to speed on the capabilities of this fine turntable. Both Gyro SEs had different cartridges on them, so we will only speak of the general performance of the turntable itself, not the different cartridges.
The first album we played was John Coltrane's Blue Train (Tone Poet Series), which is a jazz classic. The Michell Gyro SE gave us a true-to-life rendition of this great album. All noise was in check, not being found anywhere unless the record itself had it. The bass was full but detailed and natural. The midrange was magical, giving a real sense of tone correctness and body. John's sax sat in its own space in the mix and was very realistic. Highs were very smooth and articulate, which is a great showing as this album can be strident on lesser turntables. Considering the price of entry for the Gyro SE this was a great performance indeed.
The next album that we tried was the 2012 release from The Sword. Apocryphon is a legendary album in the world of heavy music and can really test the ability of a component to showcase the instruments in their own space. The Michell Gyro SE did exactly that. Both guitars, bass, drums, and the singer all had their own respective space on the stage allowing the performance and instrumentation to shine. Imaging was locked in and solid and the soundstage was wide and deep. This kind of music will really test a turntable's ability at keeping composure given the dynamics and drive of the tracks. The Gyro SE, with its isolated motor and platter mechanism, takes this music in stride and allows us to get the most out of our listening experience (plus we had a blast playing this album).
Bad Company’s 1977 album Burnin Sky is an album that we sometimes use to test turntables. This album has a warm and bass-heavy sound to it that can show the ability of a turntable to showcase this bass without boominess or bloat. The Michell Gyro SE was able to reproduce this whole album with great bass detail again showcasing the total isolation of the turntable from its environment. Lesser tables can turn this album into muddy mush in the bass. The Gyro SE laughed off the extra bass and delivered all the detail you could want. Accompanying instruments seemed to float in the air as the songs played giving the presentation extra air and soundstage width. Midrange was detailed and smooth moving into a clean and lifelike treble. The Gyro SE continued to impress, giving this 70s rock-n-roll gem a new life.
The Michell Gyro SE impressed us fully and gives us a truly high-end turntable in the under $5,000 price class only being bettered by much more expensive turntables including Michell’s own Orbe models. The Gyro SE offers all of the advantages that have made Michell turntables sought-after machines but at a smaller footprint for an easy-to-live-with package that can fit in about any system. Having an upgrade path, should you choose to explore it, is just an added bonus and gives this turntable an edge over many of its competitors. The total isolation, a very robust and carefully built chassis, and added technologies in regard to bearings and speed consistency give the Gyro SE a top recommendation from Audio Advice! Should you choose to explore the Michell Gyro SE further for purchase, please feel free to call our team of experts and they can go through all the options for this table that fit both your budget and performance needs.
Three point spring suspension system.
Three suspension towers are fixed to the acrylic base to hold the suspension springs in place and provide height adjustment for the sub chassis.
Impedance-matched platter with solid brass weights.
The platter material was chosen for its vibration dampening characteristics and because sonically it is a very similar material to vinyl, so it has a very neutral sound characteristic. The brass weights are added to give the platter extra mass and subsequently more momentum when spinning. This greatly improves speed stability and helps keep wow and flutter to a minimum.
Free standing motor unit.
The motor unit used to drive the turntable is completely separate to the turntable, meaning it doesn’t touch the turntable in anyway. The only connection between the motor and the turntable is the drive belt that drives the platter. This stops any noise or vibrations created when the motor is running, getting through to the sensitive parts of the turntable.
Weighted pendulum style sub chassis.
Hanging on the three suspension springs, this provides a rigid dense platform to mount the main bearing, platter and tonearm assembly, ensuring there is no movement between them, while also acting as a ‘resonance / vibration sink’ drawing away unwanted vibrations from the sensitive elements of the turntable.
Inverted oil circulating main bearing.
Contrary to traditional designs, our main bearing has the point of rotation at the top of the assembly, not at the bottom. This orientation allows us to fully lubricate the inside of the entire bearing while the platter is turning. We achieve this by way of a modified Archimedean screw that we machine into the inside bore of the bearing. The oil is drawn from a reservoir at the base of the main bearing up to the thrust ball at the top, fully lubricating as it goes, it then returns to the reservoir via a waste hole drilled into the bearing spindle. Lubricating the precision parts of the main bearing in this way means that any potential for noise or vibration created by the rotation of the platter is avoided.
Low contact area feet.
The solid aluminium feet of the turntable are shaped so the area in contact with the supporting surface is very small, this is done to minimise the transfer of vibrations from the supporting furniture into the turntable.