Gryphon Essence Stereo vs Pass Labs XA series

Good Evening All,

I am upgrading my front end to power my B&W 802D3's. I have an interest in both brands. Could anyone elaborate on their experiences? I'm particularly interested in the Pass XA 60.8 or XA160.8 compared to the Gryphon Essence. The specs on the Essence are crazy good, especially the capacitance. I'm not sure if the XA 60.8 has enough juice to tame the B&W's? I do love my bass and a liquid midrange; the highs are not as important. I just love the class-A sound. More than likely, I will be utilizing a DAC/Preamp direct to either of the brands, but that will be another discussion. I'm looking for my endgame amp. I am getting tired of the chase!



Hi Jeff - I had a 160.8 and it was a really nice amp - great tone, musical (meaning not artificially boosted bass or treble) - but compared to a pair of JC1s and a Gryphon Diablo 300, it didn't have the same drive or gusto with complex music or loud volume. I haven't heard the Essence but am very happy with the 300. Happy listening! 

Have not heard the Diablo 300 but most people prefer the Eseence to the Diablo. Not only a more refined Class-A sound, also more power full. Auditing the Essence at home now and it easily discard the Bryston 4B3 amp in most regards, and the Bryston is not directly a tiny guy....

For low sensitivity speakers the Diablo 300 is probably a better match while the Essence is the better amp with more efficient speakers.

@koslekt1 Interesting to hear that you preferred the Diablo 300 over the XA160.8’s.