Gryphon Diablo 300 Integrated Amp With 32-bit/384kHz & DSD DAC Option
Gryphon Audio's Diablo 300 solid-state stereo integrated amplifier is not new quite frankly, and generally I love to be among the first to review a new product. So this begs the questions why didn't I patiently wait for the Diablo 120? Because I'm not always known for being the most patient guy, plus the added wattage of the 300 would be put to good use on my 6-foot high floorstanding recording studio / mastering speakers.
When initially designing the Diablo 300, Gryphon Audio's R&D team analyzed their longstanding experience and knowledge with previous products. This includes, according to the company, "concepts, components and technological breakthroughs that emerged during the evolution of the much lauded Gryphon Pandora preamplifier and Mephisto power amplifier. The ultra-transparent, fully balanced volume attenuator topology fully exploits the two balanced inputs.
Either at time of purchase, or later as your system and desires grow and/or changes, you can easily install a state-of-the-art 32-bit/384kHz and DSD DAC. Perhaps you love vinyl LPs, and so a MM / MC phono stage is more fitting for your musical lifestyle? The DAC module adds five digital inputs (USB, AES/EBU, TosLink optical and dual S/PDIF). Vinyl lovers benefit with the optional MM / MC phono stage. High gain of 64dB for MM and 42dB for MC. Gryphon Audio's phono stage has a low noisefloor and there are adjustable settings available for vinyl LP enthusiasts. Naturally the superior Gryphon Audio high-end MM / MC phonostage offers a wide range of adjustments to perfectly suit whatever turntable / cartridge setup you love.
Unlike the vast majority of solid-state volume controls that typically introduce dozens of resistors in the signal path, the Diablo 300 employs no more than two for any given level setting". Forget the so-called Hi-Res Audio designation, as the Diablo 300 obliterates it handily. The Diablo 300 extends from 0.5 Hz to 350 kHz, which is far above and beyond the basic specs needed to qualify as Hi-Res Audio. And that power output you ask, even those of you with low efficiency speakers. You get 300 Watt @ 8 Ohms, a doubling to 600 Watts @ 4 Ohms and 'only' 950 Watts @ 2 Ohms. Nine hundred and fifty Watts of power, wow!
Tchaikovsky's 1812 by Zubin Mehta conducting the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra is a perfect example of delivering everything from graceful classical music to full-on orchestra. Add in a few cannons for good measure and you have a very wide range of dynamics and harmonics there for audiophile analysis. With great subtly in tone and texture, the Diablo 300 produced a natural and detailed sound as one hears during live orchestra performances. One of the joys with Gryphon Audio products is that they always produce great detail and dynamics, yet never at the expense of sounding artificially etched. As Zubin's 1812 continued, the buildup and release were emotionally captivating! It is that tense feeling as the orchestra builds, reduces, and eventually climaxes at the end. And oh what a happy ending it is! As the cannons released their sound and fury I was a bit in fear of what the neighbors might think is going on inside out home. Even during the loudest passage, never once did I sense any strain or dynamic compression.
Gryphon Audio's Diablo 300 brings music into my humble home in a way that is both realistic and emotionally captivating. If there is a secret underpinning and meaning to this review, it is the sense of true human connection, and emotional release when the music is over. There's an afterglow of immense pleasure, which is why many of us seek out only the finest of high-end audio gear coupled with the best recordings. There are very few high-end audio systems that can successfully navigate, with ease, all styles of music at every volume level. Gryphon Audio produces some of the very best audio systems within the world. While this review concerns their Diablo 300 integrated amplifier with DAC, having heard a variety of complete audio systems by the company only reinforces my decision that when I win the lotto or IPO, a compete Gryphon Audio system may one day fill my home. Odds are this is not your first review of the Gryphon Audio Diablo 300, and after reading a few by other respected reviewers we all seen to agree this incredible integrated amplifier is a true prized passionate possession you need to have within your home.
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