Is the GCC-100 still considered "good sound"?


#1

I just got a new NuWave DSD DAC for a second system and have been breaking it in. I noted in the manual that PS Audio recommends using the balanced output wherever possible. I’ve been in the market for a new integrated in the $700-800 range and have realized that (1) nearly all current integrateds in that price range have only one analogue input (I need two) and include DACs that almost certainly I’d never use, and (2) none has a balanced input. Looking around at the used listings online, I found an integrated in my price range that includes an XLR input – which happens to be a PS Audio product, the GCC-100.

The unit in question appears to be about ten years old. My impression is that class D amplification has brought down the price and increased the power output of inexpensive integrateds in the last few years. My impression also was that there was not a lot of audiophile love for the GCC series even when it was new.

I’ve never heard this product and obviously can’t hear it before buying it from an internet seller, so I’d like a candid assessment: Is this a product that offers sound that is competitive with what’s out there now in this price range? My only current requirements are 50w per side, a remote and two analogue inputs. The “really nice to have” would be a true balanced input.

All guidance greatly appreciated.


#2

When it was released the GCC100 was kind of a revelation. The ability to get the volume control out of the path by using a gain cell and vary the gain of the amp section proved to sound more transparent than a spectral dmc 10 delta with a custom made tech labs volume pot bypassed with Vishays . And I know that volume pot was considerably better than stock.

While I used the GCC for years What I ultimately found was that the class D of the era was less than ideal in the upper ranges. There was a bit of courseness to it, but some of that may have been the digital of the era as well.

There were gain cell mods done by Cullen which I would have loved to hear at the time which I understand took the product to an even higher level.

I always wanted the gain cell concept to come back because of its transparency, and now with the new BHK preamp, it seems like there is a bit of that going on with the combination of a traditional resistor ladder combined with altering the gain of the tube input. Bravo to Bascomb for devising this. I can’t wait to hear it in my system next month. From it’s description in comparison to the also very transparent DS volume control, I know it’s going to be special.

I wouldn’t buy any component that wasn’t Balanced, for a variety of benefits including the ability to use basic interconnects. (I’m using Mogami gold mic cable in my entire system right now as a good tempory measure until I can decide which Uber expensive 16 foot XLR I want to purchase to go to the BHK monos )


#3

Very perceptive sir. It is true, the BHK preamp uses a type of Gain Cell technique to achieve the volume and that’s one of the reasons it is so transparent sounding.


#4

Thanks, Emailist. Much appreciated!

Not gonna bite on the original question, Mr. McGowan? kiss