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Old 06-10-2018, 11:18 AM
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GreginNH1 GreginNH1 is online now
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Default Gryphon Diablo 300 - Initial Impressions

I have been intrigued by this integrated since it was first released but as many others have stated in the past, the absence of a US importer and US-based warranty service was a non-starter for me. With the announcement of a US distributor made last year, the OCD kicked in. My hobby turned into an obsession a few years ago and the constant search for something a bit better has led me in a few directions – especially over the last two years.

I am very happy with my source components, cables, wires, racks and speakers. I have also spent a fair amount time with room acoustics.
Last month, I decided to give the Gryphon a try based on some recommendations from a selling dealer who is familiar with and sells the gear I had prior to ordering the Gryphon.

The Wait – These units are not sitting on a shelf in Los Angeles so I had to wait for the incoming allotment. The Diablo 300 was supposed to ship the week after I ordered it but the logistics related to the Munch Hi-End audio show somehow impacted the timeline. The good news was that I still could listen to my Ayre AX-5 Twenty (which I would be trading in) until the Gryphon arrived. I received notification and a tracking number a couple of weeks later.

The Arrival – The Gryphon was sent to my office on a pallet. It was shipped in a nifty wooden box with clips that keep sides, bottom and top together. Two of the clips were missing though – apparently scraped off in transit from Denmark to Los Angeles.

Setting Up - Of course, I was too stubborn to wait for some help to unload my new toy. It weighs about 120 pounds in the crate and I didn’t want to take a chance taking it out and bringing it upstairs by hand – I already tore a meniscus last year doing that with my Esoteric K-01X! So, I strap it on the hand truck and lug it up the stairs. Unboxing was so easy with the clip system and I simply slid it out – no heaving awkward lifting out of the box! The white gloves supplied with the amp were a nice touch but I decided to keep them in the plastic bag. The remote is a work of art and the owner’s manual is a very well prepared binder.

Since I had a little concern with the heat generation as well as ease of installation, I chose to put the amp on the top of the rack. I connected the Gryphon to the Esoteric K-01X and KEF Blade 2s. The moment of truth was finally here! There is a small toggle switch under the front panel to energize the unit– it’s hard to find initially but it stays in the “On” position anyway once found. The On/Off touch screen or the remote turns the amp on and the message “Initializing” scrolls across the screen. Default volume level at start up is always 00 however it can be programmed to start at any volume level. You can also assign names to the sources – something I have not yet done.

The Sound – Oh my! The most significant and immediate improvement was the level of authoritative bass. It was clean and thunderous. The soundstage created by the Diablo 300 was much, much wider and deeper than that of my Ayre AX-5 Twenty. It was actually quite shocking to hear what the Gryphon had brought to the table in just the first 5 minutes of listening. I was expecting a slight improvement (having learned painfully about the diminishing returns at this level) but I got way more than what I expected. I continued to listen to the Diablo 300 well into the wee hours of the night. I was amazed with the detail, finesse and thunder that this amp produced. New sounds and detail from my Reference Tracks magically appeared. It seemed as if I was part of the live audience. On certain tracks, my Bengal Cat actually looked around, thinking there were other people in the room – he is always up in my Audio room and it’s always amusing to see how he reacts to my new gear!

100 Hour Mark – The fun thing about the Diablo 300 is that I have been hearing incremental improvements during the first 100 hours. Unlike other components I have owned, there were never any times where it sounded bright, edgy or awkward during the break in. The sonic signature is difficult to describe. It is neither dark nor bright. It has a tremendous amount of detail and reveals the minute aspects of a recording. The soundstage and imaging is the best I have heard with my room configuration and the KEF Blade 2s. I have been told that the amp will continue to mature and improve. I am looking forward to that.

Negatives – I really can’t think of anything negative. I know some people on this forum don’t like the looks of this integrated. It certainly can’t be mistaken for anything else! I have always been partial to silver colored gear but I figured that the aesthetic compromise was worth the sonic improvement. Also, a slight negative – it does put out some heat. I have not measured it yet but after 8 hours, I can keep my hand on the heat sinks for no more than 3 seconds. This will be a positive when I do most of my listening in the cold New Hampshire winters! I think it puts out slightly more heat that my Luxman L590 AX and Accuphase E-600 amps (both Class A) but not much more.

I know that my “journey” has provided great amusement and financial enrichment for some on this forum. Undoubtedly certain forum members will already speculate as to the longevity of this most recent addition to my rig.

Synergy is of course, a major factor in any set up and I can honestly say that all pieces are playing well together. This latest leap has provided me with the most impactful rewards. I may provide an update as the Gryphon Diablo 300 logs some more hours on the clock - only if I can pull myself away from the music to do so!

Greg
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Audio Room: Gato PRD-3S NPM, Gato PWR-222 Monoblocks, Luxman D-05U, Luxman PD-171A TT, Aurender N10, Ayre QX-5 Twenty, Harbeth 40.2 Anniversary, Accousound Silver XD speaker cables, Tellurium Q Black Diamond interconnects, Shunyata Sigma USB Cable, Audioquest Hurricane PCs, Audioquest Niagara 5000, Shunyata Denali T6000,CORE Design racks, Stein Harmonizers, HRS damping plates, Stillpoints and all that other silly stuff.

Office: Hattor 500, Diapason Neos speakers, Bluesound Node 2, Nordost Frey 2 Interconnects, Tellurium Q Silver speaker cables,

Last edited by GreginNH1; 06-10-2018 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 06-10-2018, 11:28 AM
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Masterlu Masterlu is online now
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Greg... Congrats!

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MX136, MC1.2KW(10) MC2KW(2), MCD1100, MS750(2) MVP881, C1000C/P/T, MPC1500, HT-2 SUBS(2) HT3F(2) WS350(2) XRT2K, XCS2K, XR27(2) XCS350(2) JL GOTHAM v2 SUBS(2) LUMAGEN RADIANCE SCALER, SONY VPH-G90U PROJECTOR, STEWART 120" MOTORIZED SCREEN, CINEMA-TECH SEATING, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
Reference System: ACCUPHASE A250 AMPS, C3850 PRE-AMP, DP950 CD/SACD TRANSPORT, DC950 DIGITAL PROCESSOR, DG-58 DIGITAL EQUALIZER, T1200 FM STEREO TUNER, PS1230 POWER SUPPLY, HRS-SXR CUSTOM RACK w/ M3X SHELVES, TAD REFERENCE ONE MK2 LOUDSPEAKERS, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
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MX150, MC501(2) MC1.2KW(10) MC2301(2) MR88, MVP881, MCD1100, MDA1000, C1000C/P/T, MPC1500, ESOTERIC K-01X 30th ANNIVERSARY (BLACK) SACD/CD PLAYER, G02-X CLOCK, HT3F(2) XRT2K, XCS2K, XR27(2) JL GOTHAM SUBS(2) JL FATHOM F113v2 SUBS(4) SOUND ANCHOR STANDS(2) KALEIDESCAPE STRATO & TERRA SERVERS, LUMAGEN RADIANCE SCALER, SONY VPH-G90U PROJECTOR, STEWART 120" SCREEN, SONUS FABER STRADIVARI, SILENZIO, FORTRESS SEATING, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
Analog Rig: CLEARAUDIO INNOVATION WOOD, UNIVERSAL ARM w/ Da VINCI' CART, 2nd UNIVERSAL ARM w/ GOLDFINGER STATEMENT CART, HRS-MXR REFERENCE RACK-GLOSS BLACK w/ M3X SHELVES, AESTHETIX RHEA SIG PHONO-PRE, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
Reference System: BURMESTER 911MK3 AMP(3), 088 PRE-AMP, 089 CD PLAYER, 100 PHONO PRE-AMP, 948 POWER CONDITIONER, AVID ACUTUS REFERENCE SP TT, GRAHAM PHANTOM II SUPREME ARM, BENZ MICRO LP-S CART, GRANDIOSO P1/D1 STACK, G01X RUBIDIUM MASTER CLOCK, N05 NETWORK PLAYER, SILENZIO, HRS-SXR CUSTOM RACK w/ M3X SHELVES, SONUS FABER AIDA SPEAKERS, JL FATHOM F113v2 SUBS(2) SOUND ANCHOR STANDS(2) WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES

Library System: GRANDIOSO M1 MONOBLOCK AMPS, C1 LINESTAGE PRE-AMP, K1 CD/SACD PLAYER, G1 MASTER RUBIDIUM CLOCK, E02 PHONO-PRE, SILENZIO, AERIAL ACOUSTICS 20T V2, AERIAL SW12 SUBS(2), CANTON REF K1’s, VPI HRX TT w/ SDS POWER SUPPLY, ORTOFON CADENZA BLACK CART, KLAUDIO RCM, SHUNYATA DENALI 6000/S v2, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
Bryston/Esoteric System: ESOTERIC C02-X PRE-AMP, P-02X TRANSPORT, D02-X DAC, G02-X CLOCK, BRYSTON 28B3 CUBED MONOBLOCK AMPS, SHUNYATA DENALI 6000/S v2(2) AMR-DP777-SE DAC, SILENZIO, TAD REFERENCE ONE MK2 LOUDSPEAKERS, QUADRASPIRE RACK, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
Accuphase/Canton System: ACCUPHASE E650 INTEGRATED, DP560 CD/SACD PLAYER, T1200 FM STEREO TUNER, PS530 POWER SUPPLY, CANTON REF K3’s, CANTON REF K5’s, SILENZIO, HRS MXR REFERENCE MAHOGHANY RACK w/ M3X2 SHELVES, WIREWORLD GOLD CABLES
Bryston Active System: BP26 PRE-AMP, MPS2 POWER SUPPLY, BAX-1 CROSSOVER, BDA-3 DAC, BDP-3 PLAYER, BCD-3 CD PLAYER, BIT15(2), MODEL T ACTIVE SPEAKERS, 21B3 CUBED AMPS, SILENZIO, TARGET RACK, WIREWORLD SILVER CABLES
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Old 06-10-2018, 11:35 AM
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Very glad to hear you are so pleased with your latest acquisition!
Congrats!
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Old 06-10-2018, 11:49 AM
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Greg.......A most enjoyable review. It is clear from your post that you are quite pleased. I am happy for you.

I have had an interest in the Gryphon Diablo 300 since I first read about it. Every report from new owners seems to parallel your impressions. More than once I have fostered the notion of replacing my McIntosh C2300 and MC452 in the living room system with the Diablo 300. Having been a dyed in the wool McIntosh enthusiast for over 50 years it is difficult to make the move, but I still think about it.
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STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Shunyata Sigma spdif digital cable, Sonos Connect, PurePower 2000, Stillpoints, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Wireworld, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario
LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC75 (2), MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Shunyata Sigma USB cable, Micro Seiki DD40, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, Nakamichi BX-300, Sony 60ES DAT, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Sonos Connect, Stillpoints, Wireworld, Kimber, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113
VINTAGE - McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, Sony DTC-59ES DAT, McIntosh 4300V, JBL 4312A
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Old 06-10-2018, 11:49 AM
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Congrats. Awesome amp - not my cup of tea aesthetically, but they sound great.
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Main Rig: (waiting on room to be built)

Amplification > Accuphase A200 (2) / C3800 / C37
Sources > PS Audio DirectStream DAC > DirectStream Memory Player > Silenzio by -E- (via Roon/NAS) > Magnum-Dynalab > MD-108T SE / MD-205 > ClearAudio / Innovation / Universal > Lyra / Kleos
Speakers/Cables > TAD R-1 MKII > Verastarr Grand Illusion Statement Copper (1), Gold (1) // REL 212 SEs (2x)
Power > Accuphase PS 1230 (2) / 3 dedicated lines with PowerPorts
Foundation > Rix Rax > Hoodoo / Amp Stands > Stillpoints under as much as my bank account can then accommodate
IC/PC > Power // Verastarr Grand Illusion Statement HC, Grand Illusion Statement > ICs // Verastarr Grand Illusion Signature XLR > Digital // Verastarr Nemesis USB
Other > Audio Desk Systeme Vinyl Cleaner Pro

Rental (while the room is being built): Accuphase E650 replaces the C3800 and A200s. All of the other stuff above that's usable, except the turntable stuff. Using TAD CR-1s, rather than the R-1s.

Portables and Cans:

Cans > Sennheiser 800
IEMs > Westone W50, Bose QC20
Amplification > Auralic Taurus
Sources > Auralic Altair, Onkyo DP-X1
IC/SC/PC > Sennheiser Balanced / AQ Yukon XLRs / Shunyata Venom 3 (2) / Black Dragon Balanced


Kitchen:

KEF LS50 Wireless
Wyred4Sound Modded Sonos Connect
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Old 06-10-2018, 12:14 PM
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Congratulations with the new amplifier.
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Old 06-10-2018, 12:22 PM
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Glad to hear you are enjoying the Gryphon Greg. Outstanding piece of audio art.
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Old 06-10-2018, 12:24 PM
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Greg, congrats!
Gryphon is great gear and designed by a very enthusiastic team.
Enjoy!
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Old 06-10-2018, 12:56 PM
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Gryphon Diablo 300. 950w into 2 ohms!

https://youtu.be/oeQXNimsvqk
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Old 06-10-2018, 12:59 PM
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Gryphon also makes speakers. The Mojo S and Diablo 300 making music together.

https://youtu.be/SZ-AEODtADk
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