No one has heard these amps? What a shame as I believe these rank among the very best amps, tube or ss, on the market. I have heard the stereo Antileon Signature and I was blown away.
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I own an Antileon Stereo driving a pair of SF Amati Homage. Those speakers are known to be a difficult load but the amp drives them easily with enormous reserve of power in a fairly big listening room. My only serious criticism on using a Gryphon big amp is the warming time they need to provide their optimum (between three to four hours)
A friend of mine has the mono brothers with similar speakers and I am unable to tell a real sonic diference with my system at home (although he can, in his electricity bill!). Regards
Unfortunately I have no direct experience on the Encore. There are however several facts you should consider about the Antileon:
(1) you should pair it with a preamplifier of similar excellence (the Gryphon Sonata Allegro is wonderful, although very expensive, but so are other amplifiers in that league). The Gryphon integrated Diablo amplifier should be a very effective compromise
(2) as I told you before, the warming period is considerable and can interfere with your listening habits. Just to cope with situations like having short listening periods available, I bought a pair of Audio Valve monoblocks (¡five minutes and ready!). On the other hand, a fellow Agoner mentioned that he keeps his Antileon on the whole day, something I cannot afford in expensive Europe.
(3) You can choose between 50, 75 or 100% pure class A. The two first provide a very good SS sound, the third one approaches a (very good) valve amp. The heat dissipated by the amp is considerable and depending on room size and/or the climate you live you may need air conditioning: otherwise, you experience a sauna.
(4) the amp is heavy (two persons are needed to move it)
So, when all conditions are met you enjoy a gorgeous sound, which might be a bit on the bright side with SF speakers. If the amp has not warmed enough time, the sound might be harsh.
Hope it helps. Regards
I am driving the Antileon directly from the (digital) preamp of the Esoteric combo P70/D70. There is a interesting thread (see Esoteric) on whether one should drive directly the amp and spare a considerable amount of money or use a high quality preamp.
Some Agoners complain of a "mechanical", "cold", etc... sound when driving directly, but frankly I would never use those words to describe what I get home (perhaps is the Antileon who makes the diference). True, the P70/D70 is on the cold side of neutrality, detail emerges on a black background and the SF Amati are very quiet (which did not happen with my former preamp Gryphon Bel Canto). If you are more on the "warm side of neutrality" a valve preamp, like the last Ear Yoshino should do wonders with the Antileon. Regards
I owned the Gryphon Reference One amps for a few years. They were very good solid state amps but in comparison to the Lamm ML1.1, which I owned simultaneously, they were a bit coarse. I have 94 dB efficient speakers and it is possible that I was not using the Gryphons with loads where they would really shine compared to other amps (e.g 1-2 Ohm, 82 dB efficient speakers like MBLs). Also, they use an enormous amount of power and my electric bills were sky high; plus here in southern California, it was not possible to use them from May to September due to heat issues (that, or ratcheting my electric bills even higher by turning on the AC, which for me is whole house).
Given the apparently similar design of the Antileon series, I think they (at least in their monoblock signature form) should supercede the Reference Ones.
I've had both in house for serious listening (you are right, the MBL 6010 is a stunner to look at !). I hooked them up with my ref one mono's and Avalon Eidolon.
The synergy with the Ref 3 is evident, right from the start. Great combination between the natural (however still tuby) sound of the ref 3 and the detailed and natural musicality of the ref ones.
The 6010D is much more analitical and (for me) to harsh. I like a little warmth. When using PAD Dominus (liquid !) IC's and speakercables I came close, but still lacked a little warmth to my taste.
With the right poweramp, I'm sure the 6010 will offer a lot of quality. Razorsharp images, very detailed and dynamic sound.
I also listened to the 6010 on Pass (xa-160's) and MBL poweramps and that was a great match! Altough the Pass was much more warm sounding and the MBL combo very 'fast' and detailed, both matched very well with the 6010D.
So, unless you really like a sharp and ultra detailed sound, I'd go for the Ref 3.
Johnpf4, Thanks for your input. I've never heard the MBL's so I couldn't comment. I absolutely love the REF 3 /Antileon Signature combo for the reasons you mentioned. I had a CJ preamp which was very lush. The REF 3 goes as far into the 'detailed side' as I choose to venture without giving up the advantages (to me) of a tube preamp. Any further would be to lean. JMHO - Jim
I currently own a pair of Gryphon REF-1 and paired with their Sonata allegro pre. Other sourses are Esoteric XO-1 and B&W N800. The Gryphon Mono's are not overkill, all the reserve power will only give you more height room in the music and they do not need 3-4 hours warming time to sound their best. even on the manual states about 45 mins to reach peak performance. How ever, I do leave the Xo-1 and the Sonata allegro on standby 24-7. The Sonata Allegro is one of the best pre amplifier out there and I have owned a ML 32 and many others alike. With my other sources working with the REF-1, the music is very accurate, not warm or harsh.... only explanation is that it sounds very real and studio like as confirmed by a friend who is also a hi-fi nut and have worked in studio's as sound engineer for 25 years. He have stated my system is the best he has heard, but I just love it because its so musical. If you check out the spec's of the REF-1, you will find that they have more reserve current than even their latest current mono's. Infact, Gryphon still use the REF-1 as we speak. Regards