Gruensch MCS II+ SE ultimate reference phono stage

Experience the fascination of legendary original pressings and rediscover valuable vinyl treasures.

With its unique, variable equalization curve, our GRUENSCH MCS II+ SE reference phono stage makes it possible for you to replay any record that has ever been released as they were first cut - from early LPs to the oldest shellac records - and with unparalleled sound quality.

REFERENCE PHONOSTAGE MCS II+ SE - Awaken legendary recordings to new life with three sensitive rotary controls. The most extravagant solution was just good enough: To set the right equalization curve in each case, the highest-quality reed relays activate special precision resistors through which unparalleled sound quality and exact reproducibility of the setting found for the respective record was achieved.

Another special feature allows you to find the correct equalization curve for records that only differ slightly from today's applicable RIAA standard. When replaying music, you can change between fixed RIAA equalization and the equalization curve that you have selected. That way, you can very easily determine whether the respective sound engineers selected the RIAA characteristic curve or a deviating characteristic curve, and possibly arrive at the settings with the best sound.

With the GRUENSCH MCS II+ SE reference phono stage, older recordings beam with a new lustre and complete naturalness. It is phenomenal to hear what performance sound masters achieved in days gone by, in order to immortalize the major artists of their time on vinyl, and how much music has remained hidden in the grooves since then. Hence, the GRUENSCH MCS II+ SE reference phono stage is the ultimate phono stage for record restoration, mastering studios, music archives and the demanding record collector.


With the development of the GRUENSCH MCS II SE reference phono stage, it was possible to realize an audio circuit with "permeability" that was unachieved so far. It makes it possible for the first time to enjoy the entire wealth of colors, the fine resolution and micro-rhythmics of the analog cartridge signal.

The input resistance for impedance matching of the cartridge signal is switched contact-free due to the very small signal voltages and currents.

The subsequent audio circuit is constructed discretely with the best components throughout. It only has two amplifying stages which are used in the ideal single-ended pure class A mode with no negative voltage feedback (No NFB) applied in the entire signal path. 

These innovative GRUENSCH J-FET CURRENT AMPs are the heart of the audio circuit. They work as J-FET current amplification stages like a tube triode and have almost ideal characteristics, which are described in more detail in the next chapter.

The high-precision RIAA equalization is done purely passively with the best components, like high-precision non-magnetic metal film resistors and select tin foil capacitors.

REFERENCE PHONOSTAGE MCS II+ SE - BackThe Phono Stage GRUENSCH MCS II SE features an unbalanced and a balanced output of the highest quality embodying a zero feedback Pure-FET-Pure-Class-A design.

When the balanced outputs are used gain can be set up to 81 dB. Thus even lowest output cartridges can be operated without the use of sound degrading MC transformers. 

In this way their potential of  sound quality that has remained hidden can be exploited to the full.


The Reference Phono Stage GRUENSCH MCS II SE with new GRUENSCH J-FET CURRENT AMP offers extraordinary technical properties resulting in excellent natural and musical sound.

The Phono Stage features consistent, ideal behavior across the entire frequency range.Thus distortion exhibits the same perfect musical characteristics at any measured frequency: only one minimal component, the 1st harmonic K2, can be seen – higher frequency distortion components are not present. While rapidly increasing high frequency distortion is not unusual with other designs, the minimal distortion of the Reference Phono Stage MCS II SE remains constant across the frequency and maintains exactly the same musical characteristics. Moreover, with the negative feedback-free single-ended pure class A operation of the audio circuit no dynamic distortion occurs as a matter of principle, and no distortion occurs from the transistor switching.

REFERENCE PHONOSTAGE MCS II+ SE - The result is unprecedented silkiness in clarity, fine resolution, and smoothness in sound. The natural playback of the finest dynamic nuances and shading as well as explosive dynamic jumps makes music playback the ultimate experience – live, authentic, and immediate.

The fullness of previously concealed spatial information in connection with the extraordinarily high stereo channel separation also makes remarkably realistic spatial playback possible. With the extremely high signal-to-noise-ratio (-76 dB), these sound properties emerge even more clearly from an especially black background.

The signal processing by Phono Stage MCS II SE is done quite deliberately unbalanced in the tonally superior single-ended mode. Thus the Phono Stage MCS II SE demonstrates extremely low distortion (0.004 %) with perfectly musical characteristics: only an extremely low K2 distortion component is present.

When considering the frequency response, the extreme precision of the passive RIAA equalization (+/-0.1 dB in the range from 20 Hz to 20 kHz) and the enormous frequency bandwidth of the Phono Stage stand out (the frequency response only drops by 0.5 dB at 100 kHz).

The audio circuit distinguishes itself with enormous stability that has no sensitivity whatsoever to capacity load. In connection with the low output impedance and the high current capability, this allows the use of long NF cable and guarantees superior operation even with low resistance inputs.


In its third generation - MCS II SE - features were extended with the addition of balanced outputs of the highest quality embodying a zero feedback Pure-FET-Pure-Class-A design.

The reference phono stage GRUENSCH MCS II SE has an unbalanced (RCA-type socket) input for moving coil cartridges, an (RCA-type sockets) output and a balanced (XLR-type sockets) output.
All of the functions of the phono stage can also be switched via the controls embedded in the top plate.

REFERENCE PHONOSTAGE MCS II SE - Switching the phono stage and power supply unit on and off via the button embedded in the top plate of the phono stage

Adjusting the input impedance (load) to 14 levels via the solid aluminum rotary switch

Standard setting 80 Ohm- 1000 Ohm, other value range available on customer request

Adjustment of amplification (gain) to 14 levels via solid aluminum rotary switch

Standard adjustment 54 dB to 76 dB unbalanced and 60 dB to 81 dB balanced, other amplification ranges available on customer request

Variable Equalization Curve via three solid aluminium rotary switches

1) Lower Bass Turnover variable 40 Hz - 100 Hz
2) Bass Turnover variable 150 - 1000 Hz
3) 10 kHz Attenuation variable 5.0 - 22.5 dB

RIAA equalization with fifth time constant (according to Neumann) possible on customer request

Selectable subsonic filters:

1) IEC (fourth time constant): lowering deep bass range –9 dB at 10 Hz
2) Low: lowering deep bass range -3 dB at 10 Hz
3) off

Mono switch (SUM) for playing mono records