Gryphon Mikado Signature CD player

I recently auditioned the Gryphon Mikado Signature cd player. After having
purchased a pair of Wilson Sasha speakers ( absolutely amazing ), I wanted to
bring my Digital source to the level that would do justice to these speakers.

I have owned a number of high end digital sources in the past including an Audio Note DAC 5 fed from a TLO transport and the top line MBL DAC and Transport.

All were very nice but I preferred the sound of my T.Table ( SME 20/2 ), and
thought there was still a noticeable gap in performance between the 2 formats. I then tried some sacd players but I had a large cd collection which
I wanted to get the best out of.

Anyway a friend suggested I listen to the Gryphon Mikado Signature and I went and auditioned it at the Audio Connection here in Sydney Australia. To say I was impressed is an understatement. It is a cd only player but it sounded better than a top quality 2 box sacd player playing the same disc in sacd mode.

I was amazed that here was a cd only player that could make my cd's sound as good or better than sacd's. As a bonus it is one of the nicest looking pieces
of industrial art I have seen and a pleasure to use. As you might have guessed it's now taken residence in my system and helping me get real pleasure out of my cd collection.

Interested to hear others that have listened to the Mikado and your experiences.

Cheers John
Can you compare the sonics of the Mikado Sig with the MBL 1600 series
You seem to like it,isn't that all that matters?Just curious.
if you want high end digital do your self a favor
and look at MSB Tech probaly in the top two in the world
I have had Gryhon and the MSB its like comparing a Porsche to a Ferrari the porsche looks great but when you look under the hood they are worlds apart
I'm still thinking about what Jzach said. It sounded better than the Audio Note DAC 5 (to him). That's pretty impressive, because to many of us, the DAC 5 would be a destination piece.
I have to stress that I'm talking about the Signature version of the Mikado,
not the standard version. I'm not sure which one you owned Robert but they
are like chalk and cheese.

As for comparisons with the MBL, don't get me wrong it was also top notch
sounding gear as it all should be at this price level. But the Mikado had an amazing naturalness about it with terrific detail but it was not thrust at you. Also the sound staging both in width and depth encompassed you as though
you were at the venue.

The DAC 5 was more similar in quality but I felt it lacked the dynamics and bass control of the Mikado, which is noticeable on a speaker like the Sasha. I have to stress again this is my opinion but I know my DAC 5 was not the only one traded in on the Signature version of the Mikado by my AD. He sold 3-4 of the DAC 5 special editions like mine and I believe a couple of the super expensive DAC 5 Signatures.

Another attraction of the Mikado apart from the sound quality is the design and construction quality, and the tactile feel when you operate it. Definitely at Ferrari level if you want to use car analogies, not that there is anything wrong
with Porsche quality.

And the fact that the Gryphon is modular and easily upgraded is not something to be ignored when it comes to digital. And I noticed that Gryphon
probably holds it's value better than most audio components which are like yesterday's newspapers. I asked if he had any traded in older units to save some $ and was told that all the Gryphon owners kept their units and upgraded them to Signature status.

I didn't want this to sound like a Gryphon ad, and no I'm not a dealer or
work for the company. It's just been so long since I've been this excited
by an audio component (especially digital ), and it's got me really excited and keen to rediscover my cd collection.
You ought to be comparing the Mikado playback of a CD with the SACD/CD t'table/DAC combo also playing it as native CD. The SACD DAC upsampling I am sure brought its own issues to the listening. I have found only dCS have truly come up with the right approach to upsampling, other decks I have heard do not get it right and the sound suffers. I run an Esoteric and native CD D/A conversion is often preferred and switched back to once I decide to dabble with a little upsampling listening for a given CD. SACD's sound just fine. I also do not use the SACD --> CD downsampling available, it might all be about going native afterall. What the SACD/CD duo would give you is both formats in their own native playback instead of anchoring yourself to a CD alone player, you don't HAVE TO upsample just because it's there. I also grieve manufacturers still seem to live by the mantra "after 25 years we are just now getting CD right" instead of jumping in and getting SACD right, right now, instead of making us wait 25 years for them to get around to that. Great leaps of understanding have been made with the CD format, countless sciences and fixes applied, I don't know why they don't just go and apply this vast knowledge to SACD, now. I find a superior manufacturer like Gryphon sticking to a purist gun a little dejecting. Pure what? Pure compressed digital 16bit/44.1kHz sampling? Music signal lost, artists' performances compromised, signals lost forever. SACD just makes sense. By the way, another remark in here on build quality, no one (no one) is making a disc drive like Esoteric!!