Gryphon vs. D'Agostino


To anyone who has had the opportunity to hear both, please compare and contrast the latest Gryphon and D'Agostino amplifiers.
imgoodwithtools
I'd love to hear any comments on this as well.   
In the next couple months, I plan to travel to Omaha, Nebraska to a long-term dealer called The Sound Environment. There I can hear and evaluate the difference in amplification between D'Agostino, VTL, and Gryphon driving Wilson loudspeakers. Wow!! Will report what I hear.
Great!   I visited that dealer a couple of years ago to listen to some Rockports I was interested in.   They were very helpful and had a good selection.
I am also curious as to what your findings will reveal. I wish I had had a dealer to demo Gryphon as I have heard good feedback about their products.
@iamgoodwithtools Didn't you just buy an S250?
Gryphon vs. D'Agostino

I love both to drive the very hard loads of most Wilsons, especially the Alexia .9ohm (epdr) in the lower bass.
My money (if I had it) would be  on the Gryphon Antillion Evo or better. As these do the doubling of wattage thing (an indication of current ability)  better.
And these also have user adjustable Class-A bias on the fly up to 100w class-A 

Cheers George
@georgehifi
As these do the doubling of wattage thing (an indication of current ability) better.
What are you talking about?
What are you talking about?


Most Wilsons need an amp with good current ability, an indication of an amp to give good current is it’s ability to almost double it’s wattage for each halving of load impedance, from 8 down to 4ohms

EG:
100w-8ohms
200w-4ohms
400w-2ohms
800w-1ohm

The Gryphon Antillion will do this better almost doing these doubling figures. And as I said it also has the benefit of user adjustable Class-A up to 100w on the fly while listening.

Cheers George
@bar81 
Yes, I did just buy a D'Agostino S-250. And I Love It!! The problem is I have friends. Lol One friend, in whose ears I trust says he prefers the VTL S-400 II over the S-250 on Wilson speakers. Then another acquaintance suggested that the new Gryphon stuff might be best of all. I'm planning a trip to Omaha soon to hear all three in the same room, with the same speakers. Should be interesting...

Looking forward in reading your report- imgoodwithtools.

Safe travels and have fun.

Happy Listening!

@georgehifi

D'Ag does exactly the same thing.  My M400s:

400 watts @ 8Ω
800 watts @ 4Ω
1,600 watts @ 2Ω

No need to adjust anything, sounds amazing the way it is.

Here are the actual independent tested results of the D'Agostino's amps

405W into 8 ohms
640W into 4 ohms 
1115w into 2 ohms

Not doubling as manufacturer specs want you to believe above, but still every respectable, for an idea of current ability.

No test yet to find on the Gryphon Antillion Evo's just the manufacturers propaganda, if you can believe them again.
150w- 8ohm Class-A
1200w-1ohm
5000w-1/4ohm

Cheers George

 
I don't know where you're getting your numbers from but the M400 delivers power significantly in excess of that. From the Hi Fi News review:

In practice it bests this by some margin at 430W/8ohm and 810W/4ohm with a dynamic output of 475W, 940W and 1775W into 8, 4 and 2ohm and with a scary 3010W (that’s 55A) into 1ohm

So there's no question about the M400's ability to deliver monster current in excess of the listed specs.

And as you said, if we've not seen independent Gryphon measurements we really have no idea how it stacks up in the real world.

I trust measurements, not specs. I bought the M400s knowing exactly what I was buying.
Here are the actual independent tested results of the D'Agostino's amps

405W into 8 ohms
640W into 4 ohms
1115w into 2 ohms

Not doubling as manufacturer specs want you to believe above, but still every respectable, for an idea of current ability.

These were conducted by John Atkinson, at Stereophile's Test labs.

Cheers George
You are confused.  No point in pushing this in any further.  The M400 more than delivers its rated specs.  It's not a debatable point; it's a fact.
Based on the recent review in Stereophile, I wouldn't touch a D'Agostino at that price point (or maybe any price point TBH).  It took 2 samples before they found one that wasn't broken in some way and, as usual for Stereophile, the clueless reviewer gave a rave review to the broken sample.  The whole thing was shady/inept on both sides.

Our opinions though really don't matter. If you're going to be able to live audition them with the speakers of choice, go with whatever you like...not what some guy on an Audiogon forum says or Stereophile reviewer.

Nevertheless, if you do want other opinions, I can say I've heard all these amps and go to almost all of the shows (recent CES was terrible btw).  Based on my personal experience, I would bet money on most people preferring tube amps (VTL, VAC, BAT or Audio Research) amps with Wilson speakers.  As for SS, I can only speak for hearing Soulution, Spectral, and Halcro amps being something that stood out to me with Wilson speakers.  

I've really wanted to like Gryphon stuff, but it hasn't been as great as I anticipated - both recently and many years ago.  To be fair, my exposure has been limited, and they went many years without a US distributor.  Now that they have a distributor in the US, and I got to hear them at the last RMAF, I suspect they will be at more shows going forward where people will have more opportunities to fairly audition what they are doing.

Please note...I'm not saying everything else is bad or my conclusions are absolute...I'm just sharing which combinations stood out to me consistently.  Without direct/extended analysis everything people say (including me) one way or the other is still based on fairly primitive experience.  Thus, go with your first hand impressions from the upcoming auditions.  Good luck!
First of all no tube amp that I know of can drive a speaker that presents a 2 ohm load in the bass and midrange area. They are not designed for this as you need current. I know I’ve tried many big tube amps including vacs and I still lose information in those areas with my Rockport speakers. So yes you need a high current solid state amp. I too have been to 23 CES shows. I’m not a solutions fan. I would recommend trying Dan deagostino, Nagra, Krell, possibly Gamut, Gryphon, Ypsilon, C H Precision, and Audionet.
I’d vote for Dan. My S250 has been flawless in all respects. FWIW
You are confused. No point in pushing this in any further. The M400 more than delivers its rated specs. It's not a debatable point; it's a fact.

They don't double down to 2ohms as you first wanted readers to believe, with these figures you posted
D'Ag does exactly the same thing. My M400s:
400 watts @ 8Ω
800 watts @ 4Ω
1,600 watts @ 2Ω

As I said they come close with these being the tested figures 
405W into 8 ohms
640W into 4 ohms
1115w into 2 ohms
And are still a good indication they can deliver good current, it not a debatable point it's fact as independent measurements confirm.

Cheers George
You're not getting it.  You need to do your research to properly understand what you are commenting on.  This is my final comment on this point since you don't seem to want to let it go.  The Stereophile review is of the old model M300 and not the M400 which is the current model.  Can you guess what the output of the M300 is vs the output of the M400? Hint - it's in the name. 
bar81, let me tell you 100%, no amp in can double it's impedance as you showed from 8 to 4 to 2ohms below. It's impossible as there are many losses. It would be like having perpetual motion which is a dream. 
D'Ag does exactly the same thing. My M400s:
400 watts @ 8Ω
800 watts @ 4Ω
1,600 watts @ 2Ω

Cheers George
I guess Dan D'Agostino is lying to a lot of people. I am so disappointed now that my Progression monoblocks are not rated correctly (sarcasm)! I will call the factory tomorrow to confirm what you are stating is true. As you already know George these amps replaced the ARC Reference 250 SE tube amps which indeed sounded great on everything even old bright discs but could not drive the Maxx 3's to the levels I have obtained with the Progression series amps.

  
@georgehifi This is really getting to the point of wasting everyone’s time. Instead of admit that your comments about the M400 mono blocs were inaccurate (which I have tried twice now to politely point out) you now change the goal posts with a comment that: (1) is completely and utterly incorrect (and bizarre) and (2) undercuts your earlier praise of Gryphon that it amazingly could do just that - double in impedance all the way down to 1ohm. The M400 has been tested independently and meets the specifications of the manufacturer and then some; why you are so adamant to try to prove otherwise is beyond me. I really (hope) I am done now.
I’m not debating that the D’Agostino’s sound great, they do, and are fantastic amps.
But I’m stating your post of these doubling figures cannot be correct. If they were 5-10% of doubling there’d be no issue, as there are losses and these figures you posted are like saying Dan has solved Perpetual Motion, he’s good but not god.

D’Ag does exactly the same thing. My M400s:
400 watts @ 8Ω
800 watts @ 4Ω
1,600 watts @ 2Ω

Many manufacturers will understate the 8ohm figure to make it look like the amp can double all the way. This has been proved and commented on by Stereophile when doing their measurements.

Cheers George
As you already know George these Dan D'Agostino amps replaced the ARC Reference 250 SE tube amps which indeed sounded great on everything even old bright discs but could not drive the Maxx 3’s to the levels I have obtained with the Progression series amps.
I’m not surprised, driving the Maxx’s, with this sort of load only an amp with current will get them to sing the best they can.

As I said first post:
Gryphon vs. D’Agostino
I’d love both to drive the very hard loads of most Wilsons, especially the Alexia .9ohm (epdr) in the lower bass.

Cheers George
Well, Imgoodwithtools, have you heard the vaunted Gryphons?  I have enjoyed following a few of your threads, especially as an Ayre owner (twenty series) who previously owned a D'Ag integrated.  I agree with your comparisons between the two.  I would be slightly happier with D'Ag separates but I had a nice opportunity with Ayre.  Agree, not better and worse, just different.  But to my ear, 98 for D'Ag and 96 for Ayre- not enough to go break another piggy bank.  But I am not enamored of Wilson products (disclaimer, owned Sasha but perhaps didn't optimally equip them) and I'm thrilled with my Rockport Aviors.  Andy Payor at Rockport is a huge fan of Gryphon products.  And so I wonder?  I wonder about Vitus as well.  Something about the cold weather in Denmark must spark creativity?  So if/when you do have an opportunity to compare Gryphon to D'Ag or to Ayre, I would love to hear your thoughts.  Happy listening and thanks for your posts!

Hi Aldenberry,
I have not heard the Gryphons.  I talked to a friend who has, one who has heard a Lot of equipment (even more than me), and whose opinion I trust. He told me that Gryphon might be the best solid-state amplifier right now, but at the end of the day, they ain't tubes!

I thought I was kinda settled. Quite happy with the Audio Research Ref 6, which worked Amazingly well with the D'Agostino amp. But a couple of bargains slapped me in the face. Ones that I knew if I didn't Love them, I could even sell them and make some money. The first were a pair of Lamm 1.2 Reference amps. Antiques? NO! Stock, amazing. After months of tube rolling and exploring Every option, Amperex Holland 7308s, in the Lamms, Amazing. Better than the D'Agostino, except in the bass. Sold the D'Agostino. 

Then I found a VTL TL 7.5 III preamp for a Ridiculously low price. Much better than the Ref 6, especially in the highs. No contest on piano. Sold the AR. 

Tube rolling options on the VTL preamp Abound. You can pretty much make it sound however you want. One of my favorites is a Toshiba Japan 12AU7. Who else is running That? Makes the VTL Totally Transparent, with control, and no loss of space or harmonics. Reminds me of the Ayre KX-R Twenty. But better.

So, I'm totally smitten with the VTL preamp. So, why not try a VTL amp? So, I bought a VTL S-400 II. The jury is out on which amp is better, the VTL or the Lamm. Both hugely musical. Both Very Different. For right now, I'm keeping both. And looking for a deal on a pair of Wilson Alexia 2s.

This journey isn't where I predicted it would go. But I'm simply listening with my ears, and keeping the best sounding stuff. Right now the trajectory is Tubes!


System Synergy is So Huge! What works well for me might not work well for you.
((((Reminds me of the Ayre KX-R Twenty. But better.)))
(((System Synergy is So Huge!)))
 
 Did you ever try the KXR 20 with any of your latest gear?
 Best
  JohnnyR
When I had the Ayre KX-R Twenty, I had a few amps around. I had a pair of Ayre MX-R Twenties, a pair of AtmaSphere MA-1 3.3s, and an Audio Research Ref. 75 SE. The Ayre preamp was not easy to part with. It was extremely transparent, and dynamic. I only parted with it, eventually, because I sold all those amps for a D'Agostino S-250. The S-250 really sounded fantastic with an Audio Research Reference 6. And I always had the option of running directly out of my Berkeley DAC, so I really had no need for the Ayre preamp. But it was very, very good.