Big systems can be difficult to curate components for, especially ones where you have massive, multi-driver speaker arrays with complex crossovers that can soak up a lot of efficiency. Loudspeakers around 88-90 dB need higher power/current amplifiers to drive them with real dynamics. So if you’re a speaker manufacturer, and your designs are of the big, multi-driver type, you need to make sure your customer base is aware of the power requirements, or you could just build and design the whole system chain of components, which is what Flemming E. Rasmussen of Gryphon Audio has done over the years.
Rasmussen started with a head amp in 1985, and after critical acclaim for the design in the Japanese press, the company quickly started to expand. With a current product lineup that includes everything from power amps, pre-amps, integrated amps, phono stages, DACs, CD players, cables, and accessories, Gryphon is keeping the signal chain firmly in hand, and that was readily apparent in the sound from their system at RMAF in Denver.
Featuring the Gryphon Diablo 300 integrated amplifier ($22,000 USD) with optional DAC, and the Gryphon Scorpio CD Player ($9,400 USD) feeding a pair of massive three-way Pantheon loudspeakers ($52,000 USD), this was a system that sounded like it was designed, and built for each component to compliment the other. A laptop was also providing digital-audio duty via the Diablo.
This was a larger room on the mezzanine level at the Marriott Denver Tech Centre, and the system had absolutely no problem pressurizing the entire space with a deep, authoritative bass, and midrange. Highs were fluid, transparent, and slightly sweet with a tipped-forward presentation to the sound stage, which was projecting the recordings in a wide 3D spatial plane which extended well beyond the Pantheon’s physical location. Of note was excellent timbral reproduction to wood-bodied instruments, voices, and resonant piano notes which conveyed real presence, and weight – portraying realistic physical size.