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Gryphon Apex Stereo power amplifier Measurements (Stereophile)

nothingman

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Something that I don't think is widely appreciated is that samples that are submitted to a magazine for review are often much-traveled, especially in these days of supply chain problems. Before an amplifier or a pair of speakers arrives in the reviewer's listening room. they may well have been used at show, in dealer's showrooms, or even spent time in another reviewer's systems. I think it only fair, therefore, to give an amplifier that has worse measured performance in one channel the other the benefit of the doubt.

And with the Gryphon Apex Stereo, the higher levels of noise and distortion in the left channel compared with the right were still low enough in absolute terms not to give rise to audible problems: https://www.stereophile.com/content/gryphon-apex-stereo-power-amplifier-measurements

John Atkinson
Technical Editor, Stereophile

Wholly unconvincing, JA.

One hundred thousand dollars. Just pause and think about that for even a moment. When asking that much of people’s money, are they not obligated to prove that nothing has been left to doubt? Customers are supposed to take things on faith? The audacity. I’m insulted even though I could never afford it and would never buy into their brand.

Humor me, and load your NAD C298 measurements in side-by-side windows with the Gryphon and try to give us one single reason anyone should consider the latter as anything but a colossal scam.
 

DonR

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Wholly unconvincing, JA.

One hundred thousand dollars. Just pause and think about that for even a moment. When asking that much of people’s money, are they not obligated to prove that nothing has been left to doubt? Customers are supposed to take things on faith? The audacity. I’m insulted even though I could never afford it and would never buy into their brand.

Humor me, and load your NAD C298 measurements in side-by-side windows with the Gryphon and try to give us one single reason anyone should consider the latter as anything but a colossal scam.
Hand-finished products are often flawed. Mass production is the single biggest driver of quality control.
 

nothingman

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Hand-finished products are often flawed. Mass production is the single biggest driver of quality control.

Not sure of the point you are making. If this was something made of organic material or something prized just for its appearance, sure, but what role does “often flawed” have in a power amp? None. I don’t care if Santa’s magic elves themselves craft each Gryphon power amp by hand; if they are charging $100,000 they better spend so much personal attention on each one that it’s verifiably perfect.
 

DonR

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Not sure of the point you are making. If this was something made of organic material or something prized just for its appearance, sure, but what role does “often flawed” have in a power amp? None. I don’t care if Santa’s magic elves themselves craft each Gryphon power amp by hand; if they are charging $100,000 they better spend so much personal attention on each one that it’s verifiably perfect.
Not doubting they have a QC issue. My experience with limited production and hand-finished exotica is riddled with problems, however. I don't see this one as being unique for such issues in the space.
 

Tranquility Bass

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Something that I don't think is widely appreciated is that samples that are submitted to a magazine for review are often much-traveled, especially in these days of supply chain problems. Before an amplifier or a pair of speakers arrives in the reviewer's listening room. they may well have been used at show, in dealer's showrooms, or even spent time in another reviewer's systems. I think it only fair, therefore, to give an amplifier that has worse measured performance in one channel the other the benefit of the doubt.

And with the Gryphon Apex Stereo, the higher levels of noise and distortion in the left channel compared with the right were still low enough in absolute terms not to give rise to audible problems: https://www.stereophile.com/content/gryphon-apex-stereo-power-amplifier-measurements

John Atkinson
Technical Editor, Stereophile

It's what happens when you don't use global feedback then you will see these variations between channels and different units which is the disadvantage of not using global feedback.
 

noiseangel

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Something that I don't think is widely appreciated is that samples that are submitted to a magazine for review are often much-traveled, especially in these days of supply chain problems. Before an amplifier or a pair of speakers arrives in the reviewer's listening room. they may well have been used at show, in dealer's showrooms, or even spent time in another reviewer's systems. I think it only fair, therefore, to give an amplifier that has worse measured performance in one channel the other the benefit of the doubt.

And with the Gryphon Apex Stereo, the higher levels of noise and distortion in the left channel compared with the right were still low enough in absolute terms not to give rise to audible problems: https://www.stereophile.com/content/gryphon-apex-stereo-power-amplifier-measurements

John Atkinson
Technical Editor, Stereophile
Sounds like a politician when a policy goes wrong. It also sounds to me like you are saying that a couple of trips by courier and a few hours of listening by other reviewers has already worn out this 100k amp. With every test Steroephile does lately your credibility is starting to become inversely proportional to the cost of the magazine. I just love the way you think of endless excuses for poor performance. Like "Supply chain issues". Supply issues affect the initial assembly of products, not finished ones. If you could explain how a supply chain issue can affect a finished products performance like this, that has already been assembled, presumably tested and then shipped off to reviewed, I would be happy to entertain your reply.
 
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HarmonicTHD

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Something that I don't think is widely appreciated is that samples that are submitted to a magazine for review are often much-traveled, especially in these days of supply chain problems. Before an amplifier or a pair of speakers arrives in the reviewer's listening room. they may well have been used at show, in dealer's showrooms, or even spent time in another reviewer's systems. I think it only fair, therefore, to give an amplifier that has worse measured performance in one channel the other the benefit of the doubt.

And with the Gryphon Apex Stereo, the higher levels of noise and distortion in the left channel compared with the right were still low enough in absolute terms not to give rise to audible problems: https://www.stereophile.com/content/gryphon-apex-stereo-power-amplifier-measurements

John Atkinson
Technical Editor, Stereophile
Audible or not what is the value proposition of this amp then if even the „good“ channel does not come close to let‘s say an AHB2?

As for the possible QC problems. At this point we don’t know for sure if it is really a QC problem or not. Also I don’t understand why wouldn’t the manufacturer try to either rectify the problem once you found it before publication or even better publish their measurements so to prove it is indeed a QC problem? (Neumann, KEF, Benchmark, Purify do).

All in all it is not convincing to me.

What I appreciate is, that you are pretty much the only one who measures these uber expensive Hi-Fi electronics and we can draw our own conclusions even if the stereophile magazine does not.
 

HarmonicTHD

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It seems well engineered and measures good. It is way overbuilt and too expensive though for what it does and an AHB2 would be better value. I do not think the customers for this amplifier care what we think and they will buy it anyway to go in their McMansions.
These customers get fed a paraphysical wife’s tale so they shell out the 100k. Also not all rich people are stupid and want to throw their money out the window for no value (there is sometimes a reason they got rich ;-))
 

JSmith

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How is this remotely high performance... $100K?
The unweighted, wideband signal/noise ratio (ref. 1W into 8 ohms and measured with the balanced input shorted to ground) was very good, measuring 73.4dB (average of the two channels). This ratio improved to an excellent 85dB when the measurement bandwidth was restricted to 22Hz–22kHz, and to 90.6dB, left, and 94.1dB, right, when A-weighted.
:facepalm:


JSmith
 

Mnyb

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These customers get fed a paraphysical wife’s tale so they shell out the 100k. Also not all rich people are stupid and want to throw their money out the window for no value (there is sometimes a reason they got rich ;-))
Yes but modern life is complex , there will be at least one subject in life where youre a complete moron whoever you are :) and then someone is there to fleece you . even more so if you are rich .
What to say about the ones the helps the con artist ?

The cargo cult engineering in high end has traveled several generations now ,so if you we give gryphon the benefit of doubt (which we really should not ) their designer could be confused enough to actually believe in the no negative feedback myth and others and also "develop" doing sighted testing of boutique components etc.

But no magazine or website should help them market these monstrosities , the review should be "no no no, get out of here".

Interesting remark of low negative feedback design can be the culprit for the channel imbalance .

it's funny how this type of design makes audiophile myths come true .

* you get low PSRR , so suddenly the powersupply do have an disproportionate impact and needs to be overdesigned .
* component matching suddenly gets very important , type and brand may do something unexpected . the performance may depend on you selecting and fine tuning the circuit.
Normally it's the design of the circuit itself that sets the performance, the feedback keeps everything in place
* these type of designers usually also like wide bandwidth design to further increase the risk instability and rfi/emi .
* The lore also suggest that you have to use discrete component's instead of OP amps, even when the best choice would be an OP ?
* devices before and after the product may impact it's performance ?
* much more , I'm not an amp designers.

FFS use a lot of feedback and as many integrated circuits as possible , keeps the guesswork to a minimum.

These products are designed like running a marathon on skis , it can be done but why ? :)
 

voodooless

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Something that I don't think is widely appreciated is that samples that are submitted to a magazine for review are often much-traveled, especially in these days of supply chain problems. Before an amplifier or a pair of speakers arrives in the reviewer's listening room. they may well have been used at show, in dealer's showrooms, or even spent time in another reviewer's systems. I think it only fair, therefore, to give an amplifier that has worse measured performance in one channel the other the benefit of the doubt.
What? One would guess that these review samples would be the best the company has to offer. Why not take back the sample after every round to verify its operation before shipping it out to the next one? How much work is that? It's a $100K amplifier, it should be perfect!
And with the Gryphon Apex Stereo, the higher levels of noise and distortion in the left channel compared with the right were still low enough in absolute terms not to give rise to audible problems: https://www.stereophile.com/content/gryphon-apex-stereo-power-amplifier-measurements
So why would anyone want to pay $100k for such a product?

So it’s all kinds of unmeasurable things that yield all kinds of incredible differences between amps so that one can write phantasmagorical articles about it, but a major difference in channels is suddenly of no consequence? That is all kinds of mind-bending horse sh*t :facepalm:
 

noiseangel

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No negative feedback works fine in marriage.
 

fpitas

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Gotta admit, once you pass $10k the amp should just flat work.
 

John Atkinson

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How is this remotely high performance... $100K?

The unweighted, wideband signal/noise ratio (ref. 1W into 8 ohms and measured with the balanced input shorted to ground) was very good, measuring 73.4dB (average of the two channels). This ratio improved to an excellent 85dB when the measurement bandwidth was restricted to 22Hz–22kHz, and to 90.6dB, left, and 94.1dB, right, when A-weighted.
These ratios are referred to 1W into 8 ohms, ie, 2.83V. The audioband ratio is 85dB, ie, the level of random noise and power supply-rated spuriae is just below 0.02%. This is not audible.

John Atkinson
Technical Editor, Stereophile
 

noiseangel

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These ratios are referred to 1W into 8 ohms, ie, 2.83V. The audioband ratio is 85dB, ie, the level of random noise and power supply-rated spuriae is just below 0.02%. This is not audible.

John Atkinson
Technical Editor, Stereophile
Then why do the tests?
 
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