Gryphon Diablo 300 Unchained


Hi folks,

I made a little effort and wrote up my observations after spending some time with this integrated and D/A converter combined. There is a review here and there but very low real user feedback so far...i am a Gryphon fanboy and i know this sport is very subjective but ill try to be as much objective as i can...

I will skip most part of technical characteristics because who is interested in this amp all ready knows it...
I had original Diablo driving Dynaudio Confidence C4 Mk2 speakers with Esoteric D-07X D/A converter, Kuzma reference Mk2 TT with Kuzma 4 Point arm,47 Labs MC Bee cartridge and phono cube. When i heard Gryphon releases new integrated (after 10 years!!) i knew something is serious about this. New thing was optional D/A converter based on their reference Kalliope and glance on that possibility played my mind. I also put an accent on "optional" because i don’t like the lately trend of some High end manufacturers practically forcing you to buy their D/A converter (and phono pre) when you wish to buy their all ready expensive amplification...maybe you got awesome dac or phono and don’t want to change...so i salute Gryphons decision to make this things as the optional...i will admit i bought D/A on blind...but i did not doubted about quality.In my case i wanted a bit of that much louded Kalliope performance, a very good converter who does DSD and PCM with up to date options and different samplings. I liked that it draws no power from any USB source component, generating instead its own pure power (12.5 farad SuperCap USB power supply) for maximum isolation from the PC to cut off "jitter" problems. I also liked idea to simplify things and throw away interconnects (Crystal cables Ultra XLR) and power cables for exterior unit and not to think about those things anymore...
Normaly i would allways opt to exterior units but on this price level i considered it a serious contender...
Its not card inserted in amp or something but a box inside box...by their words "module is fully isolated in an independent aluminium housing with grounded panels and is impervious to HF radiation, eliminating any risk
of interference with the amplifier stages or the optional Gryphon phono module" which was good enough for me...

Dac is 6K euros in my country.I guess exterior unit of similar performance made by Gryphon would cost a bit more because of bigger and more luxurious outside housing, front vacuum touch panel (dac is connected to Diablos panel),remote, XLR connectors and stuff like that.So while i could not audition dac my dealer guaranteed that if i had any dissatisfaction with unit he will help me in any way he can and gave me additional discount.Talk about the service...so i ordered the damn thing...

After two and half months of waiting because of great demand for this amplifier i finally got it.
Its a toe-crushing 40 kilos of bad ass design in every regard...stylistic or functional...you name it...true sophisticated 21 century design of integrated...as it should be.Diablo 300 is expensive product but i would say that all the good things in life are free or expensive

I installed Foobar drivers for dac and tuned foobar options as described in the manual.
They also pointing on DPC Latency Checker program to see if your streaming is compromised. If someone has problem with latency just download Fidelizer program and start audiophile optimizations. The program basically turn off all programs that don’t have anything with audio but interfere with quality of streaming. So that should do for now although there are ways to optimize it even more...but that is another story...
I turned unit up and on first it played ok but i was not impressed at all...few hours after when it got warm and stabilized it has showed the potential.It was started to sound very good and got better in next 2 days.About 50 hours is a burn in time for amp.
Folks at the Gryphon told me that D/A needs about 200 hours to fully burn in so i left the unit marinated playing it all the time for one whole week. It changed its character from time to time and then it finally settled so i could get a serious listening...

-LISTENING CHAPTER

...i noticed significantly better definition of instruments, soundstage and details at low level listening which is great, especially because Dynaudios sound best pushed louder.Now it sounds more "alive" at low levels.
I will ascribe that to greater power and resolution than my previous amp and D/A combo.
About resolution...
Diablo dac is detail retriever of the high order...you can hear every detail and sense every move of artist in front of microphone without any effort...every little shade...but what is fascinating everything sounds so natural,sound just flows, it is extremely balanced and nothing pop ups.If you want to dissect the sound everything is here, all that audiophile goodies but nothing is highlighted or sounding analythical.Diablo delivers unhyped naturalistic virtues...it has that desirable natural warmth.Combo sounds more like real event and less like recording.I can’t say that dac sounds just like my analog source but its one of least digital sounding dacs i had chance to hear...very very natural indeed...
Attack and decay are first rate...tones are sounding more rounded, especially the top...more lush and shaded...so listening through my Bill Evans,Bosko Petrovic, Miles Davis and Cannonball Adderley collections its not hard to notice that now the sound is more richer and fuller with trios, quartets or duos for that matter...Kenny Barron & Charlie Haden - Night and the city album even played by two artists sounding very rich and full...nothing is missing...overall tones are much better connected...very coherent presentation...
everything is more relaxed.Bass is in control at all levels, very detailed and has bit more meat on bones.It is tight, fast and goes deep.Does not punch you in the chest or shaking the room but its in the air and perfectly textured...it delivers viciously when asked but its not intrusive in any way.Percussion had more explosive dynamic and impact...when you listening good recorded song like Jazz Variants from O-Zone group this machine shows what it can do.It startles you every now and then...

Midrange is more seductive, richer and open, vocals are more "real" and focused...you will not get tube rich midrange but this definitely does not sound like everyday SS mid range...listening to Jarrett’s Koln concert, Rubinstein playing Chopin or Nojima plays Ravel solo piano recordings you can feel artists every move, whisper and feel the player touches piano button before the tone starts...there is more body in instruments.
There is more feeling of the wood and proportions of instrument...it all sounds more musical,smoother and swaying...images in the deep soundstage are more touchable, more present...space between instruments
is better percepted and there is more air...

Electronic music also sounds great...for example Trentemoller - Last resort album, soundstage is huge but not excessive and i could feel the ambient in the way i could not with my previous combo.All layers of music are on its places and everything sounding so refined...the sound was dead serious...
You don’t need to be audiophile to get that something extraordinarily is going on here.Not that the album did not sound mighty on previous setup but this is clearly a higher level or music reproduction.Similar results i got from B Tribe - The Ocean at dusk album, Spanish guitar flamenco elements mixed with electro music and very heavily produced Massive Attack Mezzanine album.It reproduced quality recorded electronic on par with acoustic music.Also metal albums of artists like Rammstein, Pantera or Slayer did sound very good and you could not feel hint of any softness or anything characterized with acoustic music records played before. It sounded like it should, hard, raw, with bite and heavy, yet refined and not beautified.Although Diablo 300 and Diablo dac can show what they really can on symphonic music and eats Mahler, Berlioz and Beethoven for breakfast its nice to know that combo is not one trick pony and when it comes to different genres of music they are true chameleon...Without a doubt it delivers in all fields as much as recording lets it...

On the other hand when i turn on my analog source things become more organic sounding...a bit softer, a bit more natural.Listening Mark Lanegan - Whiskey for the holy ghost LP or Eric Clapton - Unplugged LP sound have such purity and ease that it is magical.Presence of guitar and voice in the space is believable and has more body.Sound was less directed from the speakers.Top is extended and has so much energy, life but not to the point that it hurts your ears and is definitively better than on previous amp. Mid range and voices where a bit more natural and textured than on digital.Sound was bit more stable and bit less assailant at higher volume than dac.When listened to one of more mature albums of Nick Cave LP Boatmans Call 300 does it with better timbre, more involving, intimate and relaxed presentation than the original Diablo...not to confuse for romantic or too mellow sound...its also neutral, with more natural warmth and greater resolution than previous amp...

Analog source was more pleasantly to listen over a long haul but i must admit that dac at almost 4 times less cost than my analog does hell of a job, gives real high fidelity sound and represents a great value. Its so good that i could live with it without analog...i could...but i wont of course...i can assume that Kalliope rivals best analog and digital sources and i was playing with thought to maybe go on it but i have all ready great sounding analog and very good digital, good collection of records so why not enjoy in both...but who knows what future brings...im afraid that my future rings Gryphon...

Movies and series also sounding great and 3 dimensional...there is more feel for the ambient protagonists are talking in...Explosions and special effects are spectacular...not harsh for the ear even at loud levels...who needs home theater anyway...

-BRAG CHAPTER

Micro-macro dynamics are well known Gryphon’s trait and with 300 its one of characteristics this amp does beyond reproach.No matter the volume level quiet or loud there is no hint of dynamic constraints or alteration of sound ratios. Everything was even more articulated.It made the speakers more dramatically expressive, more involving and "right" sounding.It may sound weird but listening to my system with my eyes closed it was like the sound was being painted in front of me...it just never fail to impress...but there is a catch...Diablo is neutral component and by neutral i mean that it presents every recording different.In the way it was actually recorded.So that don’t means that 90% of music will sound like crap...no...it reveals shortcomings but not that they overshadow the musics qualities...all though better recordings will sound significantly better than average ones.Most of DSD-s sound very close to vinyl.You can bet that you wont get colored sound from this machine.Folks at the Gryphon are not trying to make a young girl from the old woman.You’ll get the truth depending from the rest of your chain...

Those who have original Diablo have every reason to get new 300 because you get machine that is not much expensive from old one but so much better that it greatly closes the gap of sound quality between extremely expensive gear up in the top of the food chain and gear also expensive but reachable to mortals.They will not lower market value of your second hand Gryphon amp because they are not making new ones every two or three years...so they simply make high end amps of great value that can push with competition over many years. At this price level it seriously questions the usefulness of separate components. Its multiple ability is like a Swiss army knife...you can adjust input source gain, max volume level option, has self diagnose program if something fails has enough power to push most speakers flawlessly, optional phono and D/A etc...has two XLR inputs and three RCA inputs so you can choose whatever you want without hassle while i have to admit its strange that i saw more than one integrated amp similarly or more expensive but not having XLR inputs!?

Did i mention how cool the remote is? Light but you can feel the quality with intuitive positions of buttons and gorgeous design in aluminium...the only thing i hate more than cheap plastic remotes are big 1 kilo weighted cold weapon remotes...this remote successfully dodges those two "solutions"...

I leave the mystification of the brand and gear to professional reviewers, im only interested to sound, functionality, durability and support...new Diablo 300 amp meets it all and when you add the bad ass design who screams quality and character you know you got something real special here...and while i was not excited like i had my first Gryphon amp i must say that im very satisfied and discovering potential of this great amp everyday on various music.Be sure that this amplifier wont be obsolete even for 20 years.

With additional room treatments, computer optimizing and tweaks like Stillpoints under the speakers i will try to enhance sound quality even more...i ordered Gryphon Black spikes ST under Diablo which are made of polymethylmethacrylate and steel to put the resonances at minimum which should benefit the sound quality...i will report...

I hope i answered few questions for those members interested in this machine and if i can help any further feel free to ask...
I also apologize on my grammar, English is not my first language and i was lazy to correct all the mistakes but i hope you caught the essence...
6245b096 1d88 4afc 9f3b 6d2ad85dd629raindog031
Thanks for the review.  It's exciting time now that Gryphon finally has a US distributor (On a Higher Note).  I've heard the original Diablo, and I was very much impressed by it.  I hope I would be able to acquire one in the near future.
Yes...now more people will certainly appreciate Gryphon electronics...of course they cant be everyones cup of tea but they do build quality equipment on a very high level...300 is by all means on a higher level of fidelity than the first Diablo...as it should be...
is it possible for you to input your comparisons to other similar Integrated amps on the market today?

or, can you say anything about the Gryphon dedicated amp and its sound vs the 300?

I know the big 150 wpc stereo amp is a lot more money, but voices are voices, and ampas all have their own voice.

thanks so very much.
@raindog031  Thank you for your detailed post on the Gryphon Diablo.

I still kick myself for not purchasing the original Diablo. I remember my two extended auditions like they were yesterday, and in amazing detail. It was a phenomenal integrated back then and I can imagine what Gryphon has brought to their new Diablo.

I put my cash towards Totem Winds instead, and though I remember them in my system (with BAT and ARC gear) the Diablo is the one that haunts, in a good way.

Looking forward to hearing more about your system and the Diablo.
Hi folks...i am sorry my response was not immediate but i was on a vacation in beautiful island of Krk in Adriatic sea so in moments like that i like to turn my self off...

Blindjim...unfortunately i only compared 300 with previous Diablo in my room...it is hard to find someone willing to bring in my room high quality amp on similar level and similar strength which can properly push C4s so i can have meaningful conclusions...but i have heard alot of interesting equipment in other "rooms" to at least help you and guide your possible direction but you have to tell me which speakers you have, what is your source and rest of your system and what you prefer...i have heard expensive Gryphons in other systems and they are naturally level for it self but if you shoot high, have some money and you are not obsessed with constant changes i assume Antilleon Evo would be the end of journey if it has synergy with rest of the chain...Mephisto is "better" all though a bit different but you probably wouldnt notice that untill you hear them side by side...if i can help you anyhow  just say but you have to specify some things if you are a serious buyer...

David_ten...thank you for having a time and read it...it is not an usual product so i did not wanted to describe it in a What Hi-Fi fashion...if i helped/directed even one curious man i am satisfied...regarding my system...i am waiting for Gryphon Pantheon speakers and i should have them in a week or two...i renovated my room completely so i expect a great things in whole Gryphon system when i fine tune it...
hear this little side story...my friend is building amplifiers...and he build a Kondo Ongaku clone which i heard it in his space and was very very good...but on one occasion he borrowed it with also his made ladder DAC to me (i was given a temporary replacement Harbeth speakers becuz i changed C4s and my analogue rig with some payment for Pantheons)...so damn...all though for now have much smaller sound in every way than on my C4s and previous system i have not heard so great mids and musicality never in my room...it works so well that you just dont give a damn about details, bass, is it clean or not...it just works music without of any mechanical artifacts in sound...so you can imagine of my swag as a SS guy who btw also heard a lot of tubes but was never impressed (ok i was impressed with real Kondo but not his pricing hehe)...but this was something different...i was amazed...on a 6 times cheaper speakers...we also tryed it on my friends Monitor Audio Platinum 300 speakers which is 100-300W recomended...those 27W amp worked way better and more natural than some 200W amps we tried...on such a demanding speaker but it is not too strange cuz 211 have a lots of voltage (i was kicking myself we did not tryed it on my C4s)...so now i must try how Pantheons are working with that Ongaku clone which is cheaper to done than 300 but on a clearly higher level...i will also see what Gryphon synergy has to say...good thing that my friend is owner of Ongaku so he can borrow me to properly hear it and his DAC against Diablo 300 and his DAC on Pantheons...so there will be some interesting times my audiophile brothers...i think i will keep both :)...
@raindog031 

Just wanted show my appreciation for the review. I am in the process of listening to a lot of gear and want to build an end-game system. So integrateds like the Gryphon, T+A, Burmester, Nagra, all interest me. For reference, I'm also very interested in an all-MBL system. So I do think that sometimes a system that uses speakers/electronics all by the same manufacturer can have very good synergy.

Based on your findings, the Gryphon is a killer. I appreciate the candor in your comments and look forward to your findings with your new speakers and other gear you mentioned. Cheers
I am biased, because I am a Gryphon dealer in NJ (full disclosure).  This is a unit which has to be heard to be believed.  If you have a local Gryphon dealer and think an integrated doesn't cut it, you're in for a more than pleasant surprise.
Pokey,

It is a great time to be an audiophile, we have experience with the MBL electronics as well as the T+A as we are their East Coast Dealer.

MBL's are a bit on the dark side as well as being huge and the MBL speakers are a unique proposition that have issues with being Omni's. 

We have compared the T+A stereo amp and power supply which are $32k to the MBL Monos and found the T+A gear to offer a similar tonal quality while being faster and less dark. 

We have also compared this combo vs a $90k Boulder  setup and did find the Mono Boulders to be a bit better but is was an unfair fight as it was the stereo T+A vs the Mono Boulder. 

If you are on the East Coast you should come in and take a listen to our setup as well as Delves, these are two of the finest solid state lines out there. 

Troy
Audio Doctor

Thanks! for sharing your thoughts and listening impressions- raindog031
Happy Listening!
wow...nowdays on Audiogon man cannot mention a brand in discussion and the
dealers start to jump out from the pate :)

Jafant thanks and i hope you had a good read...

Pokey77 thank you very much on kind words...i hope you are not serious about
end game system :) that is a lot of commitment...and looking at the level of
equipment you mentioned you will have to have a good dealer willing to audition
those in your home...i hope you dont buy on blind...High End Munich is a good
place to at least hear those systems...all the brands you mentioned are great and
established...but also very expensive...i think you can get a great involving
sound for less money depending on parameters that are important to you...in which
i may or may not help depending on question...but back to my story few of you
said you are interested...

now as i have Gryphon Pantheons for a few months and had toyed with the different electronics i can have a few meaningful observations...Pantheons are nominally driven with Diablo 300 with dac and as a transport at the moment im using Naim Core which is obviously my "weak link" all though for the money this unit plays great...
this combination technically plays really great...there is nothing missing and
everything is on its place but this combination has less of emotional involvement i got used to with Harbeth c7es3,Ladder Dac and Ongaku combination...so when friend brought his own made high end transport things got more involving and more natural than on Naim...
so anyone playing with this combination better use high quality analog sounding transport to give its best...Pantheons are highly resolving and they need to be connected on components of similar pedigree to give its best...you literally hear every change in the chain greatly...they are so transparent that i was few times thinking to sell them:)...to fine tune them and make the sound to be exactly
to your liking you must have a lot of patience and lot of high quality equipment(money) by side to experiment and properly implement them...one of the things i search is a
that natural vibration of wooden instruments Harbeth gives you immediately with its design...they make box itself vibrate but it does it on most natural way...so now
because i have speakers with "dead" cabinet i must search that natural vibration
through components in the chain and at some point i will get even better sound than Harbeths but at which price i ask myself...dont want to scare people off as Gryphons are truly magnificent speaker but i must tell that this is far far from plug and play a bit game...also toying with acoustics gave great results...on this speaker you hear everything alot and that may bother someone but opposing to lets say Magico which are also very transparent speaker this speaker tells you "this source does this good, does this bad but i will continue to play music best as i can now" while on magicos miss that and you will leave the room in 15 minutes...
that does not mean that Gryphon is more smooth or colored sounding speaker...no...they did not make a speaker to be as much neutral transducer...they made it neutral transducer that meant to be reproducing music with all of its virtues through him, for which the damn thing was made for...not some transparent made speaker that is firstly here to show you difference between connected gear...not here to bash magico or something but i heard their M floorstander in Munich (and bunch of their other speakers on different systems) on TT and while its resolution and refinement is beyond reproach and clear statement to whole world it still sounded analythical and was not on a trail of sound of natural music to me...anyone who like that "sound", more power to them but i just want to contrast you what Pantheon speaker is not...

Pantheons connected to my friends Ongaku clone, his prototype Ladder Dac and Naim Core/his prototype cd transport...this is a bit hard to say but i must be objective...it simply trashed my Gryphon electronics beyond recognition in sense of emotional involvement and naturalness...
Diablo kept focus on much higher levels i rarely listen to, had better control of bass overall and had more presence on drums but that 27 watt tube amp and his electronics sounds as nothing i heard in my space...you rarely hear thatlike natural sound with scale...sound is open and flows and flows on that most natural way, attack, sustain and decay of tones are something to behold...it is all perfectly connected...friend likes my speaker so much that he will use it as one of his test platforms for high end electronics he will make and in a year or two make it a commercial products...i know many DIY-ers but this guy is crazy...
i wont sell Diablo cuz it is great amp in its own merits but i will must save for this
guys equipment before it goes commercial...he said that he is "cooking" his own valve amp even better then this Ongaku clone (for which he says it is about 80% of original sound)
it is so good combination that it is foolish to describe how great resolution is or how large is soundstage...i can only say that when i am on my work i cant wait to get back home to listen to great music...

the point of the whole story is that i equally enjoyed music on this combination as with harbeths which is 15 times cheaper speaker with much less scale...but when you get sinergy of system and the music pops out, emotion starts to work...you suppose to admire to music when you listen not to admire details, imaging, soundstage etc.those things are irrelevant when the music is no1...so Pokey77 dont let anything fool you...be ultra critical listener...demand undeniable emotions...if they dont come out then that system is not for you...and dont think that you cannot make great end game musical system with much less money than to just splash 200,000 for MBL and think you done your best...but if you like to have a pretty shiny things with great specs to impress friends that is different story...thank god there is a bunch of great sounding brands in the
world so find yourself a friendly dealer, give yourself some time and find your own way...
@raindog031 

Just to help you understand me and my “end-game” system journey:

My current system is Martin Logan Vantage speakers, McIntosh MA6500 integrated, Oppo 105 Universal player, Shunyata Hydra power conditioning. I bought the speakers/integrated ten years ago fully expecting to let them get me to the end; don’t mean to be morbid, just realistic. But then I went to all but one of the Newport audio shows, the LA Audio Show, and lots of dealer get-togethers. The audio shows helped me see there was significantly better gear out there and so I started doing by-appointment-only auditions this year of gear I’m interested in. So, I hope all this puts “end game” into perspective now. FYI - my room is 13.5 feet wide and 20 feet deep.

A new, much better resolving system, will likely be four times what I paid for the last one, so though that may be a lot for some and not even a drop in the bucket for others, I just know I gotta get this one right – no mistakes. I really appreciate your comments on the Diablo 300. Though not cheap, it’s not a $45k D’Agostino integrated either (which sounds really good too). All I’ve read on the 300 just says it is a spectacular performer. I live in the same county as the US distributor and a dealer that I’ve done a few auditions with thinks he can get a 300 and so I hope to hear it soon. The speakers he has that I really like are the TAD Evolution Series; ME-1, CE-1, and E-1. I’ve heard them with Burmester and a little with Pass. Hope to hear the newly released Luxman L-509X, the Diablo 300, Pass, and the Burmester integrated with the TADs soon too.

A couple questions for you: Does the 300 run hot, or does it just take a long time to come on song; should it be left on all the time? Wasn’t sure from your review about these finer points. Also, you mentioned you bought the Gryphon Black Spikes. Do you feel they made a substantial change for the good?

You advised, “be ultra critical listener...demand undeniable emotions...if they dont come out then that system is not for you”. I couldn’t agree more; really. I know a few systems that do that for me and I will only buy into a system that conveys the flow and emotion of the music. Thanks for confirming how important those qualities are. You also said “thank God there is a bunch of great sounding brands in the world so find yourself a friendly dealer, give yourself some time and find your own way...” This is what I’m working on now, finding that dealer with the equipment that sings for me, and that will work with me and understands my needs and budget and even provide help getting my room to sound like it should.

Raindog031, again, I appreciate your detailed comments and they point in a direction that sounds like music to me. I may also try to get my dealer to get the Mojo S for audition. I do believe in the synergy that can be created by products in a brands line. I hear you on tubes, but they just won’t work for me in my situation at home, so the best SS I can afford will have to do. Also, my system also does double duty as a 2-channel home theatre, so I’ll be looking for as much scale as my budget can afford.

Finally, you said “I think you can get a great involving sound for less money depending on parameters that are important to you...in which I may or may not help depending on question...but back to my story few of you said you are interested...” Yes, I would be interested in your observations and comments on lower-priced alternatives. In fact, they’d be most appreciated.


Hi Pokey

i am glad you are searching music and emotion firstly....special effects secondly...

to answer your questions...yes Diablo gets hot...not too hot...but you can feel he slightly heats the room of 30square meters...significantly hotter than last model...but i just dont care...i leave it on all the time...so it can give its best anytime i want it...you will get optimal sound in about 30-40 minutes when you turn it on...so no big deal...
Black spikes i put in my case gave nothing substantial...just a little bit less stress in sound on loud volumes (and i probably convinced myself i hear that)...so nothing meaningful to report...they look better than those funny original feets if nothing...but to make such expensive speakers and amps and not include spikes with them as alternative included in price...geez...

I heard those TADs you are interested in Munich and yes they are solid performer but certanly league of speaker that needs careful matching for each personal taste...TAD electronics allthough world class sounds a little bit sterile in contrast to real music...Gryphon Mojo S is also a great beast that cryes for quality electronics behind it...but it is not quantum leap in better performance than last incarnation...so i think if you shoot high you can find and buy first Mojo for much less money from time to time on internet which is also world class high end monitor...and with lots of saved money in that direction you add money you already meant to spend and buy better electronics so you can make this speaker really sing...
to also hear Harbeth line is recommended...dont let be fooled with their price...one of good deals if you like their character of sound would be Raidho speakers but only in second hand, dont buy them new cuz they make new models every few years so value of older models is dropping big time...
i think you should hear them and decide...but stay away from small models of that brand cuz when you listen them louder (you also mentioned HT) they will fall apart...but if their obvious design limitations in some aspects doesnt bother you, that could be one of serious contenders...
Speaking of electronics i would also look at the Absolare hibryd integrated, Pass labs A class amps, second hand Dartzeel CTH 8550 integrated would be very nice, also dont overlook at the Vitus Audio class A electronics, Nagra electronics, Gryphon Antilleon EVO and second hand Gryphon preamp would be nice also...try to listen to yourself as much as you can and dont think that necesarily one brand sinergy will bring you satisfaction...on the end that is only their perception of real music...i ask myself for the most manufacturers if they are actually listen to their components and try to make them sound like real music before they release them...so be very cautious and dont get hurry...i hope my answer will satisfy you and if you have any other questions feel free to ask...
@raindog031 

Much appreciation for your reply.

Not to belabor the point, but, is the temperature as you call it "hot", warm or truly hot? How long can you put your hand on it before you must remove it? Again, sorry to belabor the point. And as far as the Diablo is all good for music making in 30-40 minutes, how do the first 30-40 minutes sound? I've heard some amps that did not sound good at all until they hit that warm up time and yet another that sounded pretty good at start up but in 15 minutes was as good as it was going to get.

Thanks for the spike comment, it was as I thought.

The TAD speakers were best for me on Burmester gear and there was a great ease to the music with great resolution as well. But, that was on the 909 MK5 and the 911 MK3s, those are way out of my budget. I've also heard the TAD amp/pre amp on the ME-1s and would also like to hear them on the E-1s. On the ME-1s it was good but also very dynamic to the point of being startling and I doubt I could turn up the volume beyond what it was at, fairly loud, and not have it be uncomfortable. I hope to hear the E-1s with the 300, Pass INT 250, Luxman L509X (class A/B), and a Burmester integrated to see if I can get pretty close to the sound with the  909 MK5 and the 911 MK3s. 

I'm not sure I will be able to hear the Mojo or Mojo S, so probably off my radar.

I've heard the darTZeel mono blocks (that system was sublime, again way out of my budget) and the Nagra Classic Amp and Preamp, also very $$ but very good sound again. 

So, in the end, I'm going to keep listening and if a really good deal comes up, I will have to decide then.

I appreciate your other recommendations and will take a look at them.

Merry Christmas.


@raindog031 

Should have expounded on the TAD amp/pre and room conditions. The first time I heard the ME-1s was in a room that was all drywall and travertine. It was very echoey and therefore I couldn't get an idea of sound quality. I revisted the same dealer and room two months later and the proprietor had since put six Stillpoints Apertures in the room and it was much better. This second time is when I heard the TAD amp/pre amp and it may be that the room is still a little too hot. So, I haven't written the TAD electronics off, but I do need to hear them in the bigger room where the sound quality is really good. Hope this helps with my prior comments.
It gets just warm...you feel that a bit more when its the summer time but thank god air conditioners exist...you can put your hand on a heatsink, it will be hot but you can hold your arm on it...dont be bothered with things like that...its good for component to get warm...at least you know there is some electricity going through it...Diablo is high bias AB class so yes it does get warm...to get my perspective, with 211 tubes is another story...they are great little heater by the winter but at summer when i listen to them and then leave the room for a 10mins and then come back i sense smell and feel like someone burned something in the room :)
but i dont really care cuz superior sound is what i seek...you definitively wont experience that kind of heat with Diablo...enjoy your interesting quest...