At LSA, we quickly learned that the 'inexpensive part' is the Achilles Heel for all manner of problems.
When you open an amp, and I'm talking $30K per pair amps, you'll see an alarming number in some, not all, of ultra cheap op amps and other items which seem innocuous, but become the absolute determining factor in the overall sound.
As ridiculous as this may seem--recently, John Tucker, and I who worked together on upgrading the original amp from Standard to Signature then, Statment, were astonished to find such parts in the prestage, which then became the focus of our attention. John replaced the parts in the tube section with parts of a level that can only be considered extraordinarily expensive. Then John put in his own design 'Active Tube Loads' which makes the tubes operate at their 'full potential instead of at about 'half',(tough to quantify exactly), and the difference was an order of magnitude that's tough to explain--only listening can explain.
Just recently in the last year or so JT found, again one of those seemingly innocuous parts in the amp stage, (which had not been the focus) a cheap op amp.
He eliminated it, and the amplifier is now the best sounding, amplifier I've personally heard.
The transformation was one that's hard to explain but I'll try.
The great Winston Ma in his work, remastering old classic recordings (First Impressions Music) told me a few years ago that the principal goal was to remove, 'noise' from the recording. That sounds to be a rather 'humble' an possibly even simple goal which would 'help' it to sound better. Thats so far from the actual result that I can only explain it this way.
The recordings Winston remasters, sound 'remarkably better'. The Statement sans cheap op amp sound, maybe for the first time, like 'real music' to me.
The absence of noise is the presence of signal. When I first heard the difference I was slack jawed--space within the space in a recording was, for the first time clearly rendered. Even on studio work, the amount of space between the Sax on one side, the guitar 'behind' him, or to his left a few feet became so much more clearly rendered it was stunning. As we listen, sometimes we 'turn up the volume' to hear it better, to more clearly hear these subtle soundstaging clues, or the magic of Nat Cole's textures in his voice. The absense of this 'noise' actually allows us to turn the volume down, as it's already there and clearly audible--not clouded over and lost in a 'noise fog'.
Cheap parts--the bane of our audio existance.
I've spoken to Flemming Rassmussen on more than one occassion, and I know him to be a completely sincere and honorable businessman and person.
I am SURE that GRYPHON learned from this one instance and will correct and not repeat the same mistake. They make WONDERFUL products--anyone is lucky to own one.