Jump to content
IGNORED

Gryphon Kalliope


Recommended Posts

My partner and I drove a marathon 1000 kms to Sydney to spend a day listening to equipment including the new Gryphon Kalliope.

Listening was conducted in peace with the upper showroom deserted for the whole day so we had the place to ourselves to play.

We also had a chance to listen to the Gryphon reference 2 channel system.

We took our ALO Studio Six, Chord QBD 76 HDSD, NOS valves and both LCD-X's and 3's.

Everything was cabled using Nordost Heimdall 2.

I will start off by saying we were very tired having driven through a world class storm and not having had a great nights sleep. Talk about commitment!

Surprising initially it was a close run affair as we adjusted to the Kalliope's sonic signature. The sound was very refined, polite even, I found myself turning up the volume, which is not a good sign. However we were using the USB inputs on both DAC's and I found that the Gryphon had a remarkably smooth analog like sound. It uses the Sabre 9018 chip with a separate USB controller and amplifier stage just for the USB. I think this was adding to the sense of ease with which the music flowed. The sonic signature was typically Gryphon, very refined.

We listened for approx 5 hours, we both noticed toward the end of the session we were becoming more and more drawn to the sound of the Kalliope. As I write this I keep thinking of the emotion in the last operatic pieces we played.

The surprise was how much the experienced 2 channel purists that joined us later in the day enjoyed the headphone listening experience. The 2 channel Gryphon system did not sound good. Apparently the speakers were brand new and we were told that the ribbon tweeters needed 1000 hours on them....!

 

The sub woofers were active and could be adjusted. I played for a bit and got bored and went back to listening to headphones which was a much more satisfying experience.

The question is would we buy one, that's a hard one especially when it was close - then you have to factor in that Chord will be releasing an update to their DAC line very soon. I am not satisfied that we heard the best, we were not as relaxed as we would have been in doing the comparison in the comfort of our home. Our fatigue would not have helped either as I find my hearing begins to shut down in that state.

 

We plan to revisit on our way back on our road trip for another listen after we have had a decent nights sleep. I am feeling frustrated as I don't believe we got a firm handle on the Gryphon's sound, but listening to the QBD76 as I write this I keep thinking of how the sound was different here and there and wishing it was here in our hotel room....

Some photos to enjoy

 

IMG_0043.jpg

IMG_0039.jpg

IMG_0042.jpg

Music Sever - Taiko Extreme

DAC's - MSB Select II + Femto 33 Clock + Dual power supplies + Pro USB Module

Amp's - Raal HSA-1bMSB Reference HP Amp, MSB Select Estat Headphone Amp Woo 234 Mono's Elite, Takatsuki 300B, 274B

Headphones - Raal Requisite sr1a, MySphere 3.2, Kennerton Thror's, Stax SR-009 & 009S, Sony MRD-Z1, Abyss Phi TC, Audeze LCD-4, 24 & 4Z, Focal Utopia, HiFiMan Susvara

Cables - DHC OPUS HP, Stage III Gorgon XLR's + Xphynx USB

Power - Shunyata Triton V3 & Typhon QR + Sigma PC's Isolation - HRS SXR Ref Stand + MX3R Isolation Bases

Link to comment

Thanks for the review, I'am looking for a dac too and am in Melbourne.

How are ya :) ?

I have heard the Chord HUDGO anfd the Meitner MA-1 so far.

Was going to audition the invicta but the buyer pulled out.

I will be visiting the audio show this weekend but nothing beats home audition.

 

I have a good feeling about the auralic vega as it does get rave reviews.

 

PS: I listen to headphones almost completely.

Link to comment

It's all about the implementation or is it? I am sure I heard some similar aspects to the sound which I had heard in other Sabre 9018 DAC's.

 

I listened to the Light Harmonic DaVinci with the Woo Audio 234 mono's with the Abyss headphones yesterday.

 

Going to do an extended auction of the DaVinci on Monday.

 

IMG_0067.jpg

Music Sever - Taiko Extreme

DAC's - MSB Select II + Femto 33 Clock + Dual power supplies + Pro USB Module

Amp's - Raal HSA-1bMSB Reference HP Amp, MSB Select Estat Headphone Amp Woo 234 Mono's Elite, Takatsuki 300B, 274B

Headphones - Raal Requisite sr1a, MySphere 3.2, Kennerton Thror's, Stax SR-009 & 009S, Sony MRD-Z1, Abyss Phi TC, Audeze LCD-4, 24 & 4Z, Focal Utopia, HiFiMan Susvara

Cables - DHC OPUS HP, Stage III Gorgon XLR's + Xphynx USB

Power - Shunyata Triton V3 & Typhon QR + Sigma PC's Isolation - HRS SXR Ref Stand + MX3R Isolation Bases

Link to comment
It's all about the implementation or is it? I am sure I heard some similar aspects to the sound which I had heard in other Sabre 9018 DAC's.

 

I listened to the Light Harmonic DaVinci with the Woo Audio 234 mono's with the Abyss headphones yesterday.

 

Going to do an extended auction of the DaVinci on Monday.

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]15017[/ATTACH]

Yes and no,.

 

Sabre is such a closed box that your hands are still tied and those guys that make it sound good spend a fortune on workaround and so those Dacs cost a retail fortune.

Link to comment
It's all about the implementation or is it? I am sure I heard some similar aspects to the sound which I had heard in other Sabre 9018 DAC's.

 

I listened to the Light Harmonic DaVinci with the Woo Audio 234 mono's with the Abyss headphones yesterday.

 

Going to do an extended auction of the DaVinci on Monday.

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]15017[/ATTACH]

 

Jesus Christ, where was that?

Link to comment
It all depends on which features to leave in or out of the ES9018. It's always up to the implementation on what occurs outside the chip, especially the power supplies.

 

If you cant get into the closed balck box of the tech, then you are always doing expensive remedial work.

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×
×
  • Create New...