Gryphon Antileon Signature technical problems

Dear all,

I have recently learned that both the older Gyphon Antileon as well as the current signature model have some technical issues due to the enormous amount of heat they generate and many of those units require repair after 1 and a half to 2 years.

The problem seems to be that a small part in the amplifier breaks. This causes the amplifier to get very hot on one side only, while the other side stays cool. Obviously if it is working correctly the heat is distributed equally on both sides. The cause for the issues seems to be that Gryphon seems to be using a relatively cheap component (a few euroes...) for this part and while the part is cheap to replace it does require a huge effort as one needs to take the amps apart and the whole servicing, due to the overcomplicated design of the enclosure, takes 1-2 days. My friend told me that they had 5-6 antileons and antileons signatures that had this problem.

Does anybody have experience with the reliability of these amplifiers?

I have demoed thes amps and loved their sound and since then have actually been saving up to buy them either new or 2nd hand. But now having learned these things I have been bit put off from these amps!

Also does anyone here have experience with other solid state class A amplifiers, i.e. Pass Labs or Karan Acoustics or others I may have missed here.

any info on the Gryphon Antileon technical issue or alternative similar sounding amps would be much appreciated.
Given your comments or gleaned info from other owners... make sure to buy one about 3 years old. it should have already been fixed by that time.

personally, I find such an issue in amplifiers costing as much as these do inexcuseable. I'd also suspect the compnany has issued some alteration or refitting if indeed such a widespread problem does in fact exsist, by now. Perhaps by way of a recall.

Something sounds hinkey here to me.
Hi Blindjim,

I do by no means want to bash or discredit Gryphon. I love there design and sound from what I have heard and I was pretty determined to get their Sonata Allegro + Antileon but if the employee of a shop who has sold quite a few of these items tells me that their service department had to fix pretty much each of the units they sold after said 1.5-2 years that is an issue in my book. I have no reason not to believe the guy as they sell a lot of high quality products and margins for them on the respective products pretty similar.
Agreed. Nor do I want to bash anyone here either... but it sure doesn't seem like something one would usually hear of especially given the selling price, build, performance and so forth.

I know I'd not want to have to go back and repair all my units a year and a bit out for some innocuous low cost item I could fix during the building of later models. It'd be better for everyone all around. No maker wants that sort of word out on the street about their products, if you think about it.

I've spoken to one other owner of this product recently via emails, and he has had no such issue. According to him, his pre-owned purchase was even sent into Gryphon as part of the sale proceedure to have it checked out and refurbished if needed at the factory as it had some age on it, and the factory said all was within new specs and no work was necessary then or in the near future.

For my own piece of mind now and going forward I think I'd ask a few other dealers of their own exp, and maybe the factory too. Doing that should give you more texture and a wider lens with which to appraise the situation.

I did that with my latest amp purchase and the results were quite informative and diverse depending upon whom I spoke with. Ultimately however all was set right and I was satisfied entirely. The maker was the most forthcoming of all those I spoke with and gave me a better perspective than some of the dealers.

Good luck
I have owned mine for 6 years and have not had a single problem. Until your post I have not heard of a single problem from any other owners either. I wonder if the amps you mention were manufactured around the same time and were built with a faulty part batch. The closest match in my opinion would be the Pass 160.5. They should do the trick as long as you do not need lots of power into a low impedance load (<4ohms) Pass labs double to 4ohms but not into impedances below that. I have great respect for Nelson Pass. My personal Judgment is that Gryphon amps , while more expensive, are worth it. YMMV. - Jim
FWIW, I know Flem Rasmussen of Gryphon, and he tells me that fewer than 10 pieces of this model are serviced WORLDWIDE per year, and none of the issues are heat-related. I think you can totally rely upon his products and his organization.
What about jeff roland models 6,8t or 9t? I have the 6 monos driving usher rw723's and soundlab m2's when I feel like moving them;they are very tube like;controlled bass and the midrange/high freq ranges almost equal my audio valve challanger 180 mono's.
They control the panels of the m2's extremely well as this is one of the harder speaker loads to drive.
If you are near the east coast maybe worth having Bob & Gary Backert of RHB Sound Designs look it over.( not related and they get excellant praises for service and support)
If out west maybe Nick Gowan in Campbell Ca would be the one I would take my gear too.
Good Luck on that very nice amp;hope you can resolve the issues.
Thanks guys. Your inputs are much appreciated perhaps I have been mislead here a bit. I will talk to another dealer in person.
This is a little off topic, but..

If you have the dough, try and stretch for the Gryphon Colosseum! I have done A/B testing using the Mirage/Antileon Sig and Mirage/Colosseum. First off, both are great, I could live with either. The Colosseum throws a bigger 3D soundstage while giving more focus on the image as well.

The Antilieon Signature is great though. I'd love to own either. I would say it's 90% of the Colosseum at most volume levels/power levels. While the Colosseum is rated at just 160x2 @ 8ohms and the Signature 150x2, a single Colosseum stereo was able to power 2 monster Rockport Arrakis at high volumes and absolutely no compression of any dynamics. Aural memory is short but I vividly remember the amazing bass control on that setup. A single stereo Ant Sig may be stretching it (or maybe not)if it had to do the same work on a pair of Arrakis.

I can go on and on about these two amps... as you can see I'm a big fan.

On the technical issue, I have yet to hear any problems with previous owners as well. Then again I don't know many.

Hope this helps.
I have had the Antileon Signature Stereo amp for over five years and never had a problem. I play my amp every day.

Perhaps the dealership which conveyed such info, actually does not have the same margins on all their merchandise, afterall.
Hi Kaifupaddy,

I believe I am the person Blindjim referred to. I bought my Antileon s/hand...but agreed to have it shipped by seller to Gryphon direct. It is over 10 yrs old, and I play it every day. All good for over a year now since I bought it...hope that helps.
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.