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$63K, 150lbs Gryphon Commander Preamp Reviewed by Stereophile

phion

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I didn’t read the subjectivist stuff and jumped directly to measurements.
I was curious how this monster at 100x the price fares compared to my SOTA Topping pre90. Turns out not so great after all!

The funny bit is that Atkinson finishes by declaring “Its measured performance is among the best I have encountered”, when he just measured pre90 not long ago.
 

DMill

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I believe it is Darth Vadar's pre-amp, so that might be why it costs so much.
622gryphon.promo_.jpg
 

changster

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I didn’t read the subjectivist stuff and jumped directly to measurements.
I was curious how this monster at 100x the price fares compared to my SOTA Topping pre90. Turns out not so great after all!

The funny bit is that Atkinson finishes by declaring “Its measured performance is among the best I have encountered”, when he just measured pre90 not long ago.

Which part was not so great about the Gryphon?
 

JSmith

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I believe it is Darth Vadar's pre-amp, so that might be why it costs so much.
star-wars-lack-of-faith.gif


Meh...
The wideband, unweighted signal/noise ratio, measured with the unbalanced input shorted to ground but the volume control set to its maximum, was a high 77.5dB ref. 1V in the left channel, 76.5dB in the right. Restricting the measurement bandwidth to the audioband increased the S/N ratio to 89.7db, left, and 87.4dB, right, while switching an A-weighting filter into circuit further improved both ratios to 94dB.


JSmith
 

MakeMineVinyl

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If only I had $63,000.











I'd spend it on something else. :facepalm:
 

A Surfer

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I'm glad you like your Topping. But even thinking for a microsecond it can be compared to anything from Gryphon is the funny bit. :)
Well, in all sincerity, both devices will be audibly transparent, so they are absolutely comparable. As well, I think when considering that each is going to do it's job so well that neither colour the sound, the Topping is actually orders of magnitude superior in terms of the cost to performance benefit.
 

Triliza

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Couple of reasons why Topping would be a better choice if I cared about a preamp:

- I can't afford it, so even the reasons below were reversed, I'd be going for the Topping anyway
- I can buy 120 Toppings for that money. So even if they fail, I'll have a spare one around.
- Less space, I don't have a dedicated listening room to put monstrous in size gear
- Never had a thing about Gryphon, so not missing much for not having one
- Knob-free? There goes another reason not to spend all that money, same experience elsewhere
- Power consumption, just to compliment my recycling habits
- Same sound quality I assume, so that's not an issue.

The only reason I would suggest someone to spend a fortune and buy Gryphon is if you want to add to the reasons your spouse will want to divorce you sooner than latter.
 

restorer-john

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Since the Toppings are so much cheaper, I could buy 120 of them, keep one for myself and give the rest to poor and homeless people living on the street.

Sounds like a great idea. They can trade them for crack.
 
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