If we are discussing the top models from each company, I prefer the Gryphon.
Rowland is one of my favorite transistor amps, and I would normally choose it over almost any other brand you could have thought of, in this case though you mentioned my favorite transistor amp, Gryphon.
I have had jeff model 2 with battery. I use Wilson ACT 1s.
I sold the jeff and Bought a Gryphon Tabo inter,i love it!
I am very familiar with all their offerings, including the Reference monos. They are solidly built, offer reliable service. The bigger models have a lot of punch, are good in the bottom octave and have nice highs, with only just a very slight tad of grain.( You could not mistake them for tube amps ) They offer a fair holographic soundspace and the midrange is uncoloured, straight and clean. They do not have, on the other hand, the speed, the ease, the lightening fast transient response of the big Spectrals, nor their naturalness. Cheers,
I have the gryphon signature for my main speaker and the Gryphon S100 for the center speaker .Fast detailed no grain or harshness absolutly superb at least with my speakers.JM Utopias The Spectral are way too harsh for my taste I do listen to primarily classical music. I would venture a guess that for Rock etc. they may be fine. The Rowland are nice but do not have the speed and slam.
Thank you all.Albert, does your statement hold when comparing phono stages including built-in?
Ramy, Spectral harsh and good for Rock music?? Good heavens, how ears( and systems )are different! What wires did you use?
I listen mostly to classical music and I cannot bear harshness. The Gryphons are "harsh" in comparison, if you wish to use that phrase at all. Cheers,
Detlof, could Ramy's perceived "harshness" be due to the interaction b/ween Spectral's wide-bandwidth design and the rest of his system?
Ramy, I too listen to classical and also use wide-bandwidth amplification with dynamic speakers. I once listened to an acquaintance's pair of Spectrals (can't remember which model) driving my speakers; no harshness there rather, good rendition of the recording (so, if the recording was bad, the sound was no better!)
Although the big, battery supplied Rowland is a great device, the Gryphon would be more to my tastes. As Albert notes above, you only give two choices! Cheers!
Greg, I guess that must be it. BTW, as far as the Gryphon preamps are concerned, I am familiar with all their iterations from their very beginning. They are all beautifully built and highly reliable in operation. The sound is open, neutral, transparent. Their phonostages have always been good. But again, especially as far as the phonostage is concerned, I prefer the Spectral DMC 20 I or II. But that is not the point in this thread : The Gryphon products are without a doubt, though not SOTA to these here ears, very good indeed and I still use them to this day.
Good response Detlof. As noted by Gregm we were ask to vote between two great transistor amps, which I did.
Truth is, I do not own any transistor gear other than my television and Sony SACD player. Even the surround system is tube, with Atmasphere for a dialogue amp.
Speaking of Atmasphere, I met one of Gryphons designers at CES a number of years ago. My reference amp at the time was Atmasphere MA2 mono blocks. When I ask the designer how his amps performed on Soundlabs, he ask what I was currently using. When I told him, he visibly lit up and said "those are great amps, we design for similar performance."
That to me describes the sound of Gryphon, I have never heard them sound harsh, but perhaps it is a system thing.
Gryphon does a great job with amplifiers using the best discrete parts out there, Toshiba/Sankens, with huge well thought out supplies and beautiful build quality....Have heard them at two shows with Rockport front end and speakers and they just did everything right....Don't know the phono stage at all, but have a customer who swears by the fully balanced unit....