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I learned today that a great amplifier with very good speakers, can sound better than a good amplifier with excellent speakers.
Second, you learned something really valuable. That's hard to beat.
Thanks for sharing your experience and your impressions with the Gryphon Diablo 300.
I've heard a Gryphon Antilleon Evo Signature in high bias mode, drive the "undrive'able" 0.9ohm!!! in the bass Wilson Alexia 1's and 2's, that amp drove them as if they were a pair of Klipsch-horns, and the mids and highs were so detailed yet floating in air as if the speakers weren't in the room.
I can only hope one day that Class-D with new GaN technology can get up to this standard of reproduction in the mids and highs, and be able to drive into hard loads like the Alexia has.
Jafant- I purchased my first Plinius, an 8200, from the current HiFi Buys in the 1990’s before they changed their name. I believe they were in Lilburn at the time. I still have this unit in my mountain home connected to my Thiel’s and it works flawlessly. I have been to their new store in Atlanta and listened to the Vandersteen Quattro Wood CT which I thought were very good sounding speakers. However, I thought the SF Amati’s sounded better and their appearance fit in better with the decor in our house. Also, My wife had some input into the speaker decision. While at the new HiFi Buys I briefly listened to the intergrated D’Agostino amp through some larger Vandersteen speakers. To be fair, I only listened for a few minutes to the music of the salesman’s choice. To my ears (very subjective), I was not blown away by the overall sound as I was listening to the Diablo 300 connected to the SF Serafina’s. I thought the combination sounded excellent, but lacked the “wow” factor I heard in the Gryphon and SF combination. I have not been to The Audio Company in Marietta.
George: even with the smaller Diablo 300 intergrated, the mid range and highs seem to “float” and the speakers almost disappeared as you correctly stated. But I was also very impressed with the bass. I believe the SF Serafino’s have the same midrange and twitter as my Amati’s in a smaller box with smaller woofers. However, when compared with my Amati and Plinnius setup the bass seemed much more extended in frequency and very, very tight with absolutely no boom at all. The music flowed effortlessly from the system. If I didn’t know better, I might have believed that a high quality subwoofer had been perfectly intergrated with the Serafoni’s And hidden from site. I am optimistic that when I have time to audition the Diablo with my Amati’s in my home it will sound even better then what I heard at the dealer.
George: even with the smaller Diablo 300 intergrated, the mid range and highs seem to “float” and the speakers almost disappeared as you correctly stated. But I was also very impressed with the bass.Yes to me the Gryphon’s are one of the best commercial linear amps anyone could listen to. Especially the ones that are high biased into class-A or adjustable bias for that Class-A sweetness, like the Antillion’s, or the older fixed high bias DM100’s
And because they use bi-polar (bjt) output transistors with big power supplies, they can drive down into low impedance’s far better than tube, mosfet, hybrid, and present day class-D.
After many years since I recommended Gryphon ,my brother
finally bought the latest Diablo .It is the finest Integrated I have Ever Heard ,the Top Vitus integrated at $25k is possibly the only exception. I have not heard any amp,preamp combinations even st $20k + that will beat its musicianship and synergy. At around 90lbs
it uses the best of the best inside ,and out and is a work of art
i believe 1,200 wpc into 2 ohms doubles down from 8-2ohms.
at $17k retail . It is a bargain a True masterpiece,and eye candy !!
I purchased a Diablo 300 4 monyths ago as part of a upgrade plan. It was the first step and placed in my set in combination with my Vincent CD-S7 and Elac FS 670 CE. Now after 4 months of breaking it in I only can support your comments. What a joy to listen to. The ease in handling my speakers, the control of the sound on all freqency levels, the level of detail it can produce, the excelent build quality and I could go on from there. Every time I'm choosing a CD I'm courious in what way I will be suprised and thrilled. As you might guess by now I'm not in to streaming so I can't comment on the DAC performance (not present) but if it comes to the pure sound of the amplifier I do not think I will need an upgrade ever again. That sounds like a brave comment but at the age of 63 I am confident I can share it with you. 😉
I read on here often but say little, i have read a lot from George about GaN and the benefits for class D. I own a pair of Nord Acoustic class D top monos with the new REV D boards at approx 2000 gbp they sound absolutely amazing, i have owned numerous multi thousand dollar amplifiers and have many pass threw my hands I have no intention of changing my Nords, my honest advise is before anyone parts with their hard earned cash to give the Nords a Liston you will be bowled over like i and many others have been. If as George keeps mentioning the use of GaN technology can improve the sound then SS and tube amps will become big door stops, i would drop the SS amps now and have a Liston to what Nord class D are capable of they sound incredible. And no i do not sell Nord Acoustics they sell direct plus 1 dealer in Australia i believe.
I'd like to congratulate George for showing what a swell guy he is by finding an innovative way to jack a thread which has nothing to do with Class D.
George, good to see yo posting outside of your comfort zone. Hopefully soon when a poster writes about trouble setting up their turntable you'll correct him/her with the magic of next gen Class D.
I heard the same system with the Diablo 300 and the SF Serafinos. I'm wowed by the sound of the Serafinos, so much so that I "invested" in a pair. I sat there for a good period of time listening to several tracks that I listened to at home the night before. I know, it would be comparing apples to oranges, but I thought the Diablo system lacked the warmth & mid-range of my McIntosh tubes at home. That was the first thing the consultant commented on to me when I told him my impression - difference between SS & tubes. Don't get me wrong. If a Diablo showed up at my doorstep, I wouldn't stamp it "return to sender". But, I will have to go back and listen again based on the feedback here.
Happy to say I don't know what the Class D argument is about, and don't think I want to know given the tension around it.
Pgaulke60: when I first purchased my Amati’s I listened to both the Serafina’s and Amati’s on Macintosh tubes. The Amati’s sounded better to my ears at that time and I purchased them. When I listened to the Diablo/Serafina two days ago again to my ears it sounded significantly better then my Plinius/Amati at home. The detail and soundstage was amazing. The speakers practically disappeared. Given the improvement in detail, I did not think that I lost any of the warmth that my Plinius possessed. I did not find any issues at all with the midrange. I realize audio memory is somewhat brief, but I do not remember the McIntosh having the detail or the analytic speaker control of the Diablo. I heard details in the music, I was unable to hear with the McIntosh with the SF speakers. I listened to a wide variety of music for several hours on all occasions. That said, I totally understand that your preference is for the McIntosh, a company which makes excellent components. Mine is for the Diablo. Realize the I totally agree with your statement “if a McIntosh showed up.....”. Regards
Audio Doctor: I totally understand that the price difference between the Plinius and Gryphon makes it appear that the comparison is like comparing apples with oranges. I agree that the Plinius is a great amplifier for its price point. That is why I own 2 of them. Although I really like my 9200, when using the RCA inputs, I probably slightly prefer the sound of my Plinius 8200 to the 9200. I bought the 8200 new about 20 years ago for slightly more than $3000. There are both great units at their price point and built like tanks. Both units have worked perfectly since I initially purchased them. I live in metro Atlanta. I am certainly willing to listen to other top quality integrated SS amplifiers. There is a Krell dealer here and I can contact them to see if they have the k300i. I don’tthink There are any Luxman or T+A dealers in metro Atlanta, but I could be wrong. If you know of a local dealer, I would certainly listen to their units. Appreciate your input.
Thanks for your response to my post. I’ll need to go in a relisten to the said equipment. I’m open to new synergy. But at this point, I invested heavy dollars in what I have and don’t have much room for switching up at this price range. Particularly given that I am furloughed for the past 34 days
Some of you guys miss the pont of our posts which is to counter some of the ridiculous statements that people make. There is no best of anything at any price point, there are Vandy fans, Wilson fans, Magico, Rahido, Rockport fans which is the best of this list?
It is like comparing a BMW, vs an Audi, Mercedes, a Cadilliac, a Lexus, Infinit? All great but different cars.
We sell a very large number of audio products we actively display over 60 brands of audio products, and for us to say that brand x y or z is the best is ridiculous sure we have our personal favorites but these will change depending on what our clients are looking to accomplish.
There are many outstanding audio products that are all superb, what matters is system synergy, voicing, feature set to some degree styling, pride of ownership, resale and serviceablity.
We mention our T+A gear because it is a direct competitor to Gryphon and it is one of the best sounding products at the uber intergrated class which includes Gryphon, Dagastino, Vitus, Ch Precision, Thrax, Ypsion and some others.
Which one someone prefers will depend on the voicing of the product and the match with the person’s other components.
These are all world class components whose designs and execuation represent the best of the best, however you may be also pleased with some of the newer less expensive products from companies like Coda and Krell also companies like T+A have the reference class HV 3100 integrated at $23k with the lower R series intergrated at $12,500 having less power but still sounding fantastic.
We just put out a Krell Dac/preamp and the matching X300 amplifier and the Krell gear is scary good for the money is it as good as the T+A not quite but for $18k for a dac a preamp and a 300 watt amplifer it is a pretty good deal and the sound quality is really, really special.
The point is there are a ton of options that are worth exploring and this includes gear we sell and of course gear we don’t.
Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ dealers for T+A, Krell
Personally I don’t find the claim “pass Labs gear is the best gear at its price point” when you see. Statement like that it’s quite obviously a personal opinion and everyone is entitled to one. Moreover, the tone of his posts was that of a subjective opinion, whereas audiotroy almost always seems to tout his opinion as fact....
its sad that after posting his opinion instead of a respectful dialogue we get the audio doctor vehemently striking down the poor mans opinion and he has since deleted his post, I would imagine out of embarrassment.
the conversation absolutely did not need to turn the way it did and I believe it all started with audiotroys overreaction to a rather innocent post.
Pgaulke60- I am sorry to hear you are caught up in this government fiasco. All of our elected federal politicians should be ashamed at how they are treating the people who elected them. It is as though they look at it as a game of chicken, but they are not the ones suffering the consequences. I think this country would be better off if we throw them all out of office and started all over again. However, I still believe we have the best politicians money can buy!Audio Doctor- I interpreted your initial post as nothing but constructive. I was sorry when you removed it because it was quite informative. Right now, I am looking for an integrated SS amplifier that will make my Sonus Faber Amati’s sing. My Plinius 9200 does a very good job of driving these speakers, but I am now looking for better sound. I was able to listen to the slight smaller SF Serafina’s with the Gryphon Diablo 300 and was blown away by how much better it sounded then my Plinius/Amati combination. I do understand that cost wise it is an apples to oranges comparison. I am certainly open to any and all suggestions for SS integrated. I am somewhat limited living in Metro Atlanta to what I will be able to hear. I did briefly listen to the D’Agostino (different dealer, room, source, speakers, cables, etc..). Not a fair comparison for the amps alone, but I did prefer the sound of the Gryphon/SF system. However, your expertise and experience far exceeds mine in the audio world and I have not taken your recommendations lightly. It is obvious that you have had the opportunity to evaluate many more brands then I have. Now, if I can only find a dealer to listen to these amps locally. Prior to purchase I will need to listen to the amp in my home on my system. By the way, I am a BMW fan. I own several of them.
Hemoncdoc, I currently have SF Amati Tradition. Great speaker for sure, to my surprise it disappears better than Serafino that I also had in my home for almost a year. And guess what drove Serafino - Gryphon Diablo 300. Yes great integrated, in different league from plinius 9200. I had all pliniuses with exception of latest Ref. A-300. Great amps for a money, but lacking air and refinement in compare with other like latest pass, Sim audio, GAmut monos. I had to sell Gryphon about 8 months ago for financial reasons. Since that I had luxman 509x - good integrated but no match to gryhpon or pass int-250 that I currently have.Pass int-250 is great integrated, but Gryphon was better with better micro details, dynamics and articulation, pass has bigger soundstage and midrange is more bloomy.
Keep in mind that Gryphon Diablo 300 is a little on dark side ( like very good dark chocolate) not warm so, but a little dark, so even it will greatly drive Sonus Faber but,I personally think that the even greater match for Amati will be high current /high power, low noise fast and refined amplification like Dagostino progression, or Sim audio 870A, or class A/B Rowland (may be 625 S2) or T+A (may be). I am not mentioning ultra high end brands or tubes since I don't have any expose with them. Couple dealers I know swear by T+A 31000HV integrated and I considering it strongly, but I will not proceed (at this level is a requirement) without home demo that so far I can't arrange. So for now I'm staying with pass.
Denon1- thank you for sharing your experience. It is very helpful. Especially since I am following a similar path to one you have already traveled. Have you actually heard any of your recommended amps with the Amati’s? Just curious. There is a dealer listed for T+A in Atlanta. However, when I called they had no T+A integrated in stock (3100HV). Unfortunately, I do not have the space to consider separates in my listening space. I really do appreciate your input.
Hemoncdoc, always glad to share. From those I mentioned I only heard the progression and not in my system, but also with Amati.
I also really prefer integrated path. But the Momento integrated out of my reach. Another one that you may to consider is Vitus integrated. I heard it driving rockport speakers and think it will be sideway move from Pass. Yes Gryphon should be good, but based on my own hands on with Diablo and Sonus Faber I don’t think it’s the best match. Gryphon is a great match for speakers like Magico.
So if we exclude separates and tubes it’s leaves the pass int-250 that much better than what you have now and T+A. Btw I had Plinius Hiato also, pass int-250 is better and it also better ( to my ears) than gamut 150le that I also had.
Bass with Amati and pass is tight, deep and multilayered-great.
The area I see for improvement is top end should be more airy, and dynamics little more articulated. The midrange is great so.
One thing l’m very happy with are the Sonus Faber Amati Tradition speakers They are not going anywhere for a long time.
Would you be able to expand on what you mean when you say the Diablo is a bit “dark”? Others have said this and yet others have said they wouldn’t characterize it as such. By dark do you mean warm-ish, but not quite warm?
The Diablo is on the top of my candidate list to pair with my B&W 803’s and I will be auditioning shortly.
Nyev, yes a little warmish with a lot of texture.
I think it also depends what cables you match it with. When I had diablo I used full shunyata sigma loom that all copper and sounded great but again with a lot of meat on the bones. Now I am thinking if I was able to use nordost Valhalla 2 cables this would balance things between Gryphon and Sonus Faber. Again at this leve careful component matching is must.
Thanks Denon1, that makes sense. A little warmth is fine by me. Although, I had a hearing test recently and apparently I’ve hit the age (41) where our ears start to taper off in response to higher frequencies. I’m told it is normal and this happens to most people, and that it shouldn’t be noticed. But it makes me wonder if I should plan to compensate for that in my system as I get older!
On a related note, I did read in a pro review (can’t recall which) that the Diablo’s DAC module seemed to have some small degree of midrange coloration. So maybe that’s where the warmth comes from, if you were using the DAC. Could also explain why others don’t perceive this, if they weren’t using the DAC. Or maybe it’s just cable-matching....
Denon1- I have no intention of getting rid of my SF Amati’s. I agree with you, the speakers are spectacular.
When I listed to the Serafino’s with the Gryphon, the improvement in the bass was the first thing I noted. The speakers sounded much
‘deeper” than my Amati/Plinius system and also the woofers appeared much better controlled (tighter, less sloppy) by the Gryphon amplifier. I heard details in the midrange that I was unable to hear with my Plinius amplifier.
I heard improvement in the clarity of the highs such as cymbals, flutes, etc... unfortunately, my ears are not young and although untested I am certain like others of my age, I have some high frequency hearing loss.