I think Gryphon has re-entered the US market this year. I would have liked to demo their products, but they were not available at the time. Everything I had heard about them was great. Their integrateds are pricey, though: $7000 for the 2100 and $9000 for the 2200. In today's economy that can be a tough sell.
The Gryphon amp indeed did get a fairly negative review in Stereophile years back, I think it was Mr. Scull who did not find it to have the magic he was looking for at its price level. I can state that having heard the big Gryphon stereo amp in the early 90s on both Avalon Ascents and mbl 101's, it remains one of the best solid state amplifiers I've ever heard to this day, and the best amp I've ever heard with the power hungry mbls. So while the poor review undoubtedly hurt, that was long ago and the products are good enough to be in the top tier of equipment over here. However, the amps are very pricey, and Budrew is right, it's a tough sell in this economy, particularly where there are no entry-level Gryphon products in a lower price range to get people to appreciate the brand before they can afford to purchase the cost-no-object designs.
FWIW, the Gryphon Sonata Allegro Preamp got a great review in a recent issue of HiFi+. I know that doesn't qualify as a US publication, but it's better than any of them and is slowly gaining ground. As to your question, having never heard a Gryphon I can't really comment, but the high prices certainly can't help.
Here's my two cents!
I purchased a Gryphon Exorcist (used) here on Audiogon last May. It works very well. I did take the end cap off to check it out. It has a 9 volt battery that is almost an interference fit. I can't remove it (easily). I e:mailed the seller who said he never tried to change the battery...
On May 29th, I sent an e:mail to the address listed here on Audiogon for Gryphon. (I still have a copy of the e:mail).
I NEVER received an answer.
I mentioned this to a local dealer who has been in Audio all his professional life. He stated simply that Gryphon has no U.S. distributor. This is not good! They've been around for years without one. This is not good!
I'll e:mail one of the Gryphon dealers on Audiogon today, I'll see if they bother to answer my question....
If the factory web address can't be bothered with my question, does anyone think I'll spend another dime on Gryphon?
I think though that it is relative. Since the integrated at $7000. outperforms most all separates costing more it shouldn't matter. I carefully compared the Callisto, very closely to several, well known Holy Grail separate pieces and found the Gryphon to be better, IMHO. That is why I ended up with one. I think maybe value perception is the underlying issue, such as, how can an integrated be as good as separates? If that's true, then the dealers who, if there are any selling it, are doing a poor job.
In a demo or die business, most dealers, won't take the time to show off something which takes a few minutes longer to sell. At least that is what I saw, and experienced.
The exodus to HT has no doubt hurt some two channel sales. But this is, as RC, above, pointed out, some of, if not THE finest sounding electronic around. My dream system would be the amp, pre, and the new MIKADO CD; that is based on the preamp I heard years ago, and my current Callisto. I would like to see it resurected in the U. S., and at least get a fair shake from the working press.
Aberdeen Components of New York is the distributor now. I am sure they will help you change the battery.
It is odd that they did not contact you. one of my customers called me (from my store which has been closed 11 years)with a problem with his power supply on a preamp.I emailed, and got an immediate response from Stefan, plus a repair code reference. If you like, DanielK contact me by email @ email@example.com and I will email them and get this taken care of. Also, I have another friend who owns an Exorsist, and he has changed batteries, possibly he could help. Either way, they should have responded. Maybe cyberspace monkeys are at work. If I can help just let me know.
Thanks, good listening,
This has to be a marketing issue! I disagree with Flemming about the US market. Gryphon makes great gear and I think it would sell if it was sold the right way. It is expensive, but lots of products are expensive and they sell! The 2100 integrated is outstanding. A $7000 price tag always makes me swallow hard, but I haven't heard a better integrated.
I agree, and would say that, very few combos of separates beat it at that price too.
It is a shame that they have let the market atrophy. BTW, they did not go for very long without distribution. Dynaudio, marketed it, but I think they treated it like a tag along to their speakers, assuming that their dealers would just automatically buy the Gryphon along with Dynaudio. That was not a good strategy. That is a little hindsightish, but accurate. If Aberdeen can do it, we will have another good line to choose from. Really, at $7K it bests most separates anywhere near that price that I have heard, except perhaps the Belles 21A and the 350. That is wonderful, not too sweet, and accurate, Go Dave Belles.
I also have to agree with you guys; I do have the Sonata Allegro preamp along with the Solo Antileon mono amps. I do really do believe that they're one of the best. in this crazy hobby, this is the first time I feel that I don't need to upgrade any more.
I used to have the ML No.32 and I listened to the Allegro, I sold the No. 32. The quality of workmanship along with the sound, no one can ask for more.
I have to thank another fellow Aduiogoner who pointed me toward Gryphon. I hope that they get the recognition they definitely deserve.
All Gryphon needs to do is: a) Send a ton of equipment to The Obsolete Sound and Stereophool, for review and "long term loan" (read - we don't expect it back). b) Sign a long term contract with both magazines for full page ads. Glowing reviews will follow.
Elgordo, LOL. Sadly, you are absolutely correct. I told the story of my days with a Loudspeaker manufacturer, who I won't mention due to political consequences. A reviewer had two pairs of our $12K Loudspeakers. He was the most respected, (by some), reviewer, in a time not so long ago. Anyway, I reported directly to the two owners, as Director of Sales, and I was involved in them trying to get these two pairs back from him. He balked, and (apparently out of spite) put both pairs on his porch, allowing them to go to ruin!! They had to be cut apart when finally returned! This is a sad, but true commentary, on the palm greasing that unfortunately sometimes has to take place. Before everyone goes nuts, no, not all reviewers are crooks or wrong, that is silly! But it does seem odd that the biggest advertisers are the most reviewed, which are the biggest advertiseres which...
Even more sadly, the great reviewers, such as Robert Harley, don't seem to get the full amount of respect that their exceptional work should receive. Also, I used to really love to read equipment reviews. I would wait for Stereophile and Absolute Sound to arrive each month. Now, I am a little cynical about some of the magazines. Everyone out there, ultimately should find a trusted friend or great dealer, (hard to find) for recommendations, and make decisions based on their own ears. In the meantime, I hope Grypon makes a comeback, in spite of their lack of marketing.
I have been waiting for this thread for about 5 years. Gryphon is a great brand but is at the very highest price point along with the likes of Halcro, Burmester, Goldmund. I do recall a negative review of one of their older amps in Stereophile many years ago which killed the brand in the US and I think caused them to recede back to Europe. I have heard the new amps and they are excellent, the CD players are great, and they just intro'd a speaker. You have to go out of your way to try these out, but that's also true of the competition. I think that this is a very legitimate brand with staying power and should be seriously considered if you have the cash, but the above posts are right, lack of entry level components may be hurting them.
First,what makes you think that Gryphon needs American market badly? They are doing very well without it.Second,they don't have an "entry-level" piece because in their minds $7000 Callisto 2100 is the entry-level,and I tend to agree.Third, with the look of Borg ship building blocks Gryphon has no chances in this country where most of the very expensive equipment is bought by idiots who make a lot of money without really earning it.And finally, they don't care about surround sound.Great approach but not here,Europe and Asia only.
"Idiots who make a lot of money without earning it?"
HMMM.... Well according to Rasmussen the owner of Gryphon, they don't really miss or need the American market. I guess the European and Asian markets where the people who earn lots of money, and aren't idiots, and so are therefore deserving of lots of money can, and will buy it.
Sounds a little angry to me.
Borg ship building? FYI Dan DiAgastino, Krell's owner, not only embraces high tech looks,(which I personally don't like) but his entire line is named after the Krell, a fictional, advanced race of people, wipped out by their collective Id, fomerly of the planet Altair; from the 1954, I think was the year, movie Forbidden Planet, starring Leslie Nielson, Walter Pidgeon et al.
My comments were only that such a terrific product could do well if marketed correctly. Not that they "needed" it.
I don't get it. The Gryphon doesn't sell in this country, so the response from some Gryphon fans is to Bash the US? Is something wrong with this picture? Gryphon is a great product, and Americans will cough up the money if they perceive it to be worth the dead presidents. I guess it's easy for Flemming to blow off the US market because he seems to be doing well elsewhere. That's fine--but let's not pretend people are stupid, or that no market can be created. Blaming customers doesn't get anything sold. The integrateds sound spectacular! If this great product ever has great marketing, I have no doubt Flemming would sell a ton right here.
Aberdeen Audio is a Gryphon Key dealer for the NY area. US Distribution is handled by Gryphon in Denmark. Dealers are invited to contact Gryphon direct at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We at Stereotimes.com will be reviewing the Encore amp, Prelude preamp as well as the new CD player. I have spent time with the Ecore in my system, and whoa, what a piece.
Hooked up to the new Talon Firebirds(Chekthe site for a very exiting review on a killer speaker) fronted by the Linn Sondek cd12, a Rowland Coherence pre all lashed together with the Silversmith Palladium cables (review up before CES).
It was tough to get the gear as they are very skittish, but they have a trully great line of products that embodies the true nature and spirit of high-end.
I have read this thread w/ some interest last year but could make no intelligent comments. I finally heard some Gryphon gear!
The gear was:
Wadia 861 CDP
Gryphon Allegro Sonata 2-chassis preamp
Gryphon Antilleon Signature Stereo power amp - 150W/ch pure class-A operation
Dynaudio Confidence 5 floor standing speakers - these are no longer in production but were $10,000/pair when manuf. They use a (natural) silk Esotar tweet, (natural) silk dome mid & an isobaric 8" woofer. The drivers arrangement is inverted i.e. the tweet is the lowest, above it is the mid & the top-most is the woofer. Time-aligned & 1st order electric xover.
Interconnects were Argento VDM
Speaker cables were Argento VDM
Power cords were a mixture of VdH & Jorma (Swedish)
The sound of this system using the Gryphon CDP was exemplary & made me cry! It was so emotional & musically satisfying. Fantastic timbral accuracy, excellent soundstaging, hours of listening without any fatigue, plenty of details without being analytical & most of all emotionally very satisfying.
I flet that I had reached 1 level of sonic Nirvana when I listened to the Gryphon-Confidence 5 system!!
I remember sometime back in the mid to late 80's, Gryphon was just beginning to advertise and "get a good head of steam" when they were literally shot-down by a scathing review (amp I think) in Stereophile.
Never seemed to recover from that mortal blow.
Our loss here in the USA (& not Gryphon's) & it once again shows Stereophile's myopic view!!
Their gear is very musical, true to the recorded music & very refined in its sound. It is also freaking expensive! OTOH, there are people paying insane prices for Tenor, Lamm, Goldmund, Nagra, AirTight, Accuphase just to name a few. Gryphon is in that same price range & can be equally justified, IMHO.
You are truely an interesting person, with real perspectives. I too am moved to tears with the right music; to me, therein lies the magic.
Gryphon is wonderful. There is too another magical product that I have come to be very familiar with which carries that special "magic" held by a select few. That is the Halcro. A good and great friend of mine who recently passed away suddenly, purchased the Halcro, (I assisted him in acquiring it). On his first listen, he was moved to tears. Admittedly I was too. It is that superior to the typical, flavor of the month difference so often experienced by hopeless dreamers like myself. Even my wife, who could not really care much less, was stunned into silence, only later remarking that in 25 years of listening to my gear, she had Never heard anything like it. Wow.
So thanks Gryphon, and Halcro, two very special products.
Wasn't trying to showy or any such thing; rather, called it like I heard it. I was truely moved by its refined sound.
Budrew: If you liked Callisto 2100, you should listen to Callisto 2200 - you will like it even more.
Personally, I do not like Callisto 2100 (I have had it on loan for over a month) that much - I found it a bit to lean sounding.
Callisto 2200 is much better in this regard, it has much more full bodied sound.
I would rate Callisto on par with other quality integrates like Rowland Concentra (had one for over a year). Not neceserly better, just different "in flavour".
BTW - I visited Gryphon headquaters in Danemark personally :-)
A guy named Evan Trent from Symphony Sound in Chicago told me about Griffin a couple of years ago. The name never registered. So, I never looked into them. I should give him a call.
I don't know if you are showing us why you couldn't find them by misspelling, or if you still are confused. Either way I should tell you that the name is Gryphon.
PS. I think that the case of the 2100 versus the 2200 is overstated. They sound much more alike than different, unless the speakers were so complex that they highlighted the power/current difference.
PPS/ My 2100 is for sale. I just replaced it with Halcro separates.
I have the Gryphon Encore amp (500 watts per channel). I love it. Other recent amps in my system have been PassX-350 and Electrocompaniet AW220 monos. I met and talked to Rasmussen at this past CES and he is in the process of setting up dealers in the U.S. One of the featured dealers here on agon has been selling Gryphon for soom months now. I believe Gregg Petan is reviewing the Encore amp and Prelude pre for stereotimes. (not posted yet). So it looks like Gryphon is about to "arrive" in the U.S.
BTW I believe it's pronounced Griffin.