Throughout its history, Gryphon Audio Designs has constantly had one or more projects in the works as experimental platforms, exploratory testbeds intended to enhance the illusion of actually being in the presence of the performers. Never meant for public consumption, these rarefied, strictly non-commercial laboratory instruments serve as an absolute reference for the current state of the art.
The latest of these experiments, designed with no thought for the marketplace and no intention of being offered for sale have been dubbed the Gryphon Pandora preamplifier and the Gryphon Mephisto power amplifier. They were conceived unrestrained by considerations of cost, size, weight, appearance or production deadlines to be the ultimate evaluative tools, to lend new meaning to such terms as resolution, soundstaging, transparency and, espe- cially, musicality.
But, as was the case with the now legendary Gryphon Reference One power amplifier and Poseidon loudspeaker before them, both conceived for a similar higher purpose, history repeats itself, as friends, business partners, audio journalists and other visitors responded with ecstatic enthusiasm to the performance of these components in the Gryphon showroom.
As a consequence of this groundswell of encouragement, Gryphon founder and CEO Flemming E. Rasmussen has decided to celebrate Gryphon Audio Design’s first 25 years by offering these bench tools in a strictly limited edition to the select circle of indi- viduals who share his unwavering obsession with the exploration of the farthest reaches of music reproduction with no concessions whatsoever.
As Rasmussen enthusiastically proclaims, “Once we experienced this level of performance in our listening rooms, we simply had no choice but to share it with the world.”
Unencumbered by thoughts of price, spousal approval and other niceties that limit the imagination, the Gryphon Pandora pream- plifier and Mephisto power amplifier are uniquely revealing of the quality of recordings, source components, loudspeakers and interconnects.
Since its inception in 1985, Gryphon Audio Designs of Denmark has earned a worldwide reputation for state of the art performance, intuitive ergonomics and stunning aesthetic design. The Gryphon is among the select few High End brands to offer complete system solutions incorporating digital sources, amplification and loudspeakers.
The dual-chassis Gryphon Pandora preamplifier features total isolation of audio circuitry and power supplies on separate chassis to protect the audio signal from any interference. The dual mono aspect of the design is taken to the practical extreme with separate detachable power cords.
Thanks to creative engineering and unbridled freedom in its design and execution, only the finest components, selected for both technical and audio parameters, have been implemented, including Japanese Takman resistors and Charcroft Z-Foil resistors. Signal transmission between preamp and power amp takes place in fully balanced mode for low signal loss and minimal distortion.
Pandora also marks the introduction of a newly developed single- ended Class A input buffer stage consisting of only two transistors and a single resistor to maintain the transparency, speed and openness of the audio signal.
The Gryphon Pandora volume control is a microprocessor- controlled 85-step attenuator for extreme precision in setting the desired listening level. Select resistors and relays ensure long life and perfect channel matching at all levels. The front panel volume control is a heavy wheel with double ball-bearings for smooth running.
Weighing in at a healthy 108 kg, Gryphon Mephisto delivers 2 x 175 Watts (8 Ohm), 2 x 350 W (4 Ohm), 2 x 700W (2 Ohm), continuous RMS, pure Class A. Built to meet the challenge of the most advanced contemporary loudspeakers which typically present vicious reactive loads while drawing huge amounts of current, the dual mono Mephisto is capable of massive peak current swings and, equally vital, can do so into very low impedances without losing its cool.
A fully symmetrical, regulated low noise voltage supply is used for all voltage amplification sections. Eight 56,000 microFarad capacitors with low ESR (Equivalent Series Resistance) for a total capacity of 448,000 microFarad/100V smoothes the voltage to the output supply.