Gryphon Diablo 300 Integrated or Dartzeel LHC-208 Integrated with PMC Fact 12 Speakers


Thinking about upgrading my Hegel H360 integrated Driving PMC Fact 12 speakers (84db). Running Aurender N100H streamer or Hegel CD player through an Aqua Voce S3 DAC. Speaker cables are Transparent The Wall Plus. Have also driven these previously with a Krell 400i integrated. Both have been good, especially with the Aqua DAC, but auditioned both the Gryphon Diablo 300 and Dartzeel LHC-208 recently and was blown away by both. Listened through an Aqua Formula DAC and Wilson Sabrinas (which I believe to be somewhat similar to my PMC Fact 12's). Wondering if the Dartzeel, which was just a tad more detailed and "organic" in my view, would have enough wattage to drive the Fact 12's (obviously the Gryphon would have no difficulty with its 300 w output). I listen mostly to acoustic music (guitar and vocals) but enjoy a wide variety of genres if well recorded. My listening room is a den approximately b12' x 15' with 10' height ceilings. I have about 2' separation from side walls and 3' from rear wall to speakers. Both the Gryphon and Dartzeel are in the same $16K price range.
thebingster
personally i would strongly consider the Dartzeel CTH-8550 integrated amp which I wish I still owned. it has all of Dartzeel’s superior musicality with lots of power. They are built to outlast us so age would not be my concern. Occasionally one will hit the used market but they don’t stay around. I would only buy it used. Jonathan Tinn( Blue Light Audio) is the Dartzeel importer and I would bet that he would help you find either Dartzeel model.
On a totally different note I would also check out Jeff Rowland’s integrated amps as well as the new Krell. Good luck. 
one thing on the dartzeel. source definitely needs to be connected single ended. Hervé strongly prefers that.
Gryphon will drive your speakers better and the rest I can't know. I am a Gryphon fan and have no need for Swiss. Swiss always means double the price. Everything breaks from time to time, it's impossible to compare long term reliability in this case. I don't tolerate Dart's look either.
No idea which would sound better with your speakers, they are both nice amps.
That said,  the Gryphon is a beast and your speakers at 84db may need that.
Have listened to both many times. For power, finesse and musicality I would suggest going with Gryphon. I use Evolution Acoustics and they are power hungry at 86dB. And drop to 3.6 ohm.
I have not heard those. I agree with those who suggests the Gryphon based on its higher output that should med your speakers.

One other relevant brand I have heard that was good is Devialet.
HI
Save yourself a small fortune and go for a good pre amp i highly recommend Townshend Audio Allegri + Autotransformer passive pre 2495 GBP Positive Feedback loved it and so does everyone else that hears it, and a the top Nord Acoustic stereo with the latest REV D upgraded boards approx 2000 GBP, you will be happy for many years and have spare money to spend elsewhere good luck.
I own the Gryphon Diable 300 and so I'm biased.  Gryphon.
Another option could be devialet. I have the d400 and so am obviously biased too.
I have dartzeel separates and have also heard the integrated at shows....the dartzeel has a transparency and provides an emotional attachment to music that is uncanny.....I think you would keep it forever unless you moved up to the separates.....
Thanks to everyone for the input. Along the way, up came a pre-owned DarTZeel LHC-208 on Audiogon for about half the cost of a new one. Therefore I jumped on it. There were a few issues that US distributor Johnathan Tinn worked through with me (with the support of Hervé Delétraz of DarTZeel in Switzerland). My concern as to whether the 175 watts @ 8 ohms would be adequate to drive my PMC Fact 12 speakers (-84dB) has vanished. It’s more than enough, and providing plenty of Bass . Overall, this unit is incredibly organic, providing an emotional attachment to the music as stated in the post by Karmapolice above. Just thrilled to have it in my system.
I would have liked to have been able to test DarTZeel integrateds, and T+A as well, prior to recently purchasing my Gryphon Diablo 300... No such luck being able to test in Canada to my knowledge.

Having said that I couldn’t be more pleased with the Diablo so far. Almost everyone seems to like the sound from both Gryphon and DarTZeel, with personal preferences leading some to fall in one camp and some in the other. Funny how both these brands have such a strikingly unusual aesthetic. Both are weird looking and both, to my eye, look unique, special, and cool.

One random thing I noticed, which I don’t know matters all that much, is that it seems Gryphon has gone to greater lengths to minimize internal wiring runs.  I’ve had my chassis open (I installed then DAC and phono board myself) and was totally impressed with the internal design and build quality.  Not suggesting DarTZeel isn’t impressive as well; I’ve only seen photos online.