Rowland....awesome with great resale.
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Jallen, I'll second your comments. I'm not familiar with the Gryphon piece but after having lived with my Concentra for almost a year and gone through several speaker changes, I can't imagine it being incompatible with anything. It's the Rolex of integrated amps. Flawless performance, expert craftsmanship, thoughtful ergonomics and good looks support the fast and musical presentation. It makes me wonder why anyone still buys separates.
Hi Fahad, If at all possible try to hear both. I will not argue with those who prefer the Rowland. It has a mellow, yellow sound. You may like it's presentation over the Gryphon, although I would be very surprised. IMO the Gryphon has no competition in SS integrateds. As far as Jallen's comments, I can't help but wonder what tube amp he had. No disrespect meant Jallen. If it's music to your ears that's all that matters. Jallen brings out a very important feature that the Rowland has a phono stage. I Don't think the Gryphon does. I could be wrong. From what I heard at my friends audio store, the Gryphon made the Rowland sound like it was on tranquilizers. That was on one set of speakers, so take it for what it's worth. I did take the gryphon home for a week when my tube amps were being modified. It was very hard to find any fault with the Gryphon. I hope you can listen to both. All our opinions differ. Only you can make the right decision. Don't rule out a tube integrated. Hope what ever you choose makes the music come to life.
A few other considerations.You have French speakers and player;why not try YBA Passion Integre to make sure it is not what you want? It is much cheaper though less powerful.Next,Rowland's service is examplary in every way,with Gryphon you may have to ship it to Denmark for repaires and pay a lot,and wait a lot.Having said that,this is an endless debate about Rowlands vs. Gryphons.You MUST hear both in your system and play with cables.My guess,but only guess that you may like the way your system sounds with Gryphon better.Many people begin with Rowlands and then switch to Gryphons seeking them out like crazy.Why? Well,there is a certain sophistication and grace;eurostyle if you wish.It's a big decision,all right.Hope it helped.
I will be different here--I owned a Concentra II for awhile, and it wasn't my cup of tea. I didn't think it was all that powerful (had to crank past 80 all the time), and that it wasn't close to tubes like everyone says (i A/Bd it to my Cary 2002/v12i separates, which retail for same price btw). In fact, I found it cold in some instances. I used it to drive Wilson Cub IIs and Dyn 1.3 SEs btw. As far as resale, don't think it does better than any others really. I do agree build quailty is exceptional, and that the piece is pure eye candy. The plastic remote needs to be canned though...come on, for 6500 list, a metal remote should be standard.
On JM Labs minis, i would look to the Cary integrated (which is half the price of the rowland), which is very synergistic with JM Labs. I would also check out the BAT integrated, and see what it can do. It looks to be a stellar piece. JM Labs really like tubes...
Thanks alot guys for the valuable info. I do think that both integrateds have different styles of their own. They are both great, well some prefer the Gryphon more and some others like Rowland, which proves to me that people have different tastes in music.
well, it occured to me three other brands, which I do hope that you can comment on.
1- Lavardin Technologies Model IT.
2- YBA Passion Integre.
3- Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista.
Do you think those three brands are up to the task and can match the level of The Gryphon and Jeff Rowland integrateds in terms of Built quality and sound reproduction?
The other 3 new ones are not in the same tier. The Gryphon
is a nice unit but cold and analytical like Boulder,Bryston,
Spectral , etc. regardless of what speakers you use. The Rowland is unequivically musically better. When do you plan to get better speakers ? When and if you do,the Rowland is more chameleon-like to work with any type of system out there.Service is another issue with the Gryphon being problematic.This is from an owner of both units.
The Rowland Piece is a great audio product. Somehow, though, I have never gotten the same feeling of music that I get with the Gryphon.
I have spoken, by email to Flemming Rasmussen several times about his product, and he does not consider the USA to be compatible with his product offering. And, based on his past marketing efforts, hobbiests,and speaker manufacturers, the latter selling his product as an afterthought, I would say that the problem is in his sales approach, not some "market compatibility" issue. I spoke to an acquaintence in the Orient, and he basically, without rancor, stated that the US market lacks the cerebral requirements to understand and purchase such a product. I would sadly have to agree with him. In our society, we are so caught up in quick and, just good enough, that such a tremendously built product does not offer the flash that some others do.
Frankly, my Callisto is better in every way than any separates I have compared it to, and the list is considerable. In all fairness, while I have heard the Rowland, I did not do a head to head comparison. The Rowland did, have more of a hi fi sound in the higher frequencies than the Gryphon. The voicing of the Gryphon is superb, with absolutely nothing that I want to change.
So, while either is excellent, the rare and hard to find Gryphon is my favorite, for whatever that is worth. This comes, as does music, from the heart, not the head.
Larry R. Staples
The choices get tough at this point. I went from an ARC tube pre and power amp combo to a Concentra II. So far I have been pleased. As others have said the build quality is fantastic, as it should be at this price point. The sonics are superb as well. It does the desirable audiophile things well (soundstaging, detail, air, etc.) but also conveys the emotion and feel of the music. It has an ease about it, free of glare, grain, and electical artifacts but at the same time doesn't sound sterile or unenvolving. I find that it has ample power and drives my 84db efficient speakers with ease in a medium sized room. A few years back I worked at a dealer that sold Gryphon and it was impressive gear. Like the Rowland it was well built, robust, engineering was sophisticated and the sound quality was top notch. Too bad more people in the US don't consider integrated amps as the market has some fine performers like the NAD, Unison, Creek at one end of the market and Rowland, Gryphon, and YBA at the other. I would arrange for an in home trial with both the Gryphon and the Rowland and see which matches your equipment and tastes.