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  1. #1
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    Aavik Acoustics 880 Series

    Aavik 880 Series


    Since Flemming Erik Rasmussen joined the design team at Audio Group Denmark many admirers of his former work with Gryphon Audio Designs have been quietly awaiting of a glimpse his first product.

    Flemming needs little introduction. He founded Gryphon Audio Designs in 1985 and the company achieved immediate and on-going global acclaim for state of the art performance and distinctively designed cost-no-object preamplifiers and power amplifiers.

    Gryphon’s flamboyant visual aesthetic sometimes drew attention away from the fact that Gryphons core design philosophy was one of minimalism – especially as it related to audio signal pathways. Gryphon designs eschewed tone controls, balance controls, headphone sockets and only begrudgingly accepted DACs and digital wizardry in integrated product in the later years.

    Tonality wise Gryphon’s basic philosophy was is one of sonic neutrality, leaving it to recording to render and colour the musical performance.

    Gryphon also favoured designs which were Class A or at least heavily biased in Class A to reduce crossover and switching distortion. In the mind of Flemming and Gryphon, Class A/B amplifiers could be very good, but they lacked the ultimate resolution of true Class A designs.



    PHOTO 1: The Aavik 880 series is collaboration between Flemming Erik Rasmussen (founder of Gryphon Audio Designs) and Michael Børresen (CTO of Audio Group Denmark). Flemming and Michael’s signatures appear on the top plate of each amplifier. A feature of the design is the three see through heat sinks and the extensive use of copper. Massive thick slaps of copper are used as heatsinks.


    880 Series Variants

    It therefore comes as little surprise that Flemming’s first contribution to the design team at Audio Group Denmark is a minimalist series of amplifiers which are biased for Class A operation.

    Initially three (3) variants of the product will be available. The I-880 an integrated amplifier the C-880 a control / pre-amplifier and the P-880 a stereo power amplifier. Mono versions will follow.

    As a former Gryphon Diablo owner I’m personally most intrigued by the Aavik super integrated, the I-880.

    What’s common between the Gryphon Diablo and the Aavik I-880 is the focus on minimalism and sonic neutrality – though observationally at least, I found the Diablo to tip its toe slightly towards the dark side of neutral. Both amplifiers are also high powered and incorporate over-engineered power supplies making them capable of driving virtually any loudspeaker out there.

    Where the I-880 departs from the Gryphon Diablo is that in the pursuit of ultimate sonic performance and minimalism – it will be a purest audio amplifier. This means no integrated DAC. It also heralds the use of a unique microprocessor-controlled LDR volume control which keeps out of the way of the audio signal. But perhaps the biggest difference is the bias. The Gryphon Diablo could only maintain class A bias for the first ten per cent (or so) of its rated output before sliding to class AB. The I-880 will stay in class A bias no matter how hard it is loaded and no matter how hard it is driven.

    To keep production costs in check much of the chassis is consistent across the 880 series product variants. Class A typically means heavy products with large heatsink area and high constant AC power consumption. In the case of the 880 series massive thick slaps of copper are used on the heatsinks. This design choice is not just about heat management but also acts on the design teams observation that when you put output transistors on copper instead of aluminium they get lower output impedance and inductance is less of an issue. Damping factor is also improved. As is increasingly the case these days, to save internal space a resonant (switch mode) power supply is used.



    PHOTO 2: A pre-production version of the Aavik I-880 was seen at High End Munich in May 2022. Aavik has developed this Class A amplifier series based on the firm belief that Class A amplifiers have the greatest potential of any amplifier class.


    Should I write more?

    I am considering writing more about the new Aavik 880 series but wonder if readership interest exists? If so, please let me know in the comments below.

    Please note the disclosure in my signature.
    Borresen Acoustics Loudspeakers, Borresen Model 01 Compact monitor loudspeakers with Ansuz Darkz T2s Supreme resonance control, Audio Video Manufaktur GmbH (AVM) Inspiration amplifier & streamer, Innuos Zen MKII music server, Ansuz Acoustics cables & accessories. Please visit my system thread hosted on Audioshark for more details. Disclosure: The author is materially connected to Ansuz, Aavik & Borresen Acoustics via friendship with an owner.

  2. #2
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    Re: Aavik Acoustics 880 Series

    will be interested to see the final pricing but I am not holding my breath that they will be anywhere near I would pay, C-580 and P-580 are already 25K each.
    I do like the casing design better then the lower series and the class A design should sound great, hopefully I can hear the 880 series at my dealer in the future.
    Moon 700i V2, YG Acoustics Hailey, Aurender N10, dCS Rossini, Oppo BDP103D (audiopraise board), Ansuz Mainz 8 D2

  3. #3
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    Re: Aavik Acoustics 880 Series

    130K usd for pre/power combo and 65K usd for the integrated, my interest is gone
    Moon 700i V2, YG Acoustics Hailey, Aurender N10, dCS Rossini, Oppo BDP103D (audiopraise board), Ansuz Mainz 8 D2

  4. #4
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    Re: Aavik Acoustics 880 Series

    Anyone heard the I-880 yet ?
    I haven't found a dealer that's willing to bring it in so far.
    Speaker System : Thiel CS 3.7 - Vitus SIA-025 Mk2 - Aqua Acoustics LinQ - Aqua Acoustics Formula xHD Rev 2 - Fanless Intel NUC + Sbooster Mkll - Farad Super 3 - Paul Pang Quad Switch - Pink Faun LAN cables - Cardas Clear Beyond IC and SC - Audioquest Firebird Power cables - Audioquest Niagara 3000 Power Conditioner - Woodlink Rack - Roon Rock - Qobuz & Tidal.

    Headphone Rig : Hifiman HE-1000SE - Kennerton Ondin Mk2 - Chord Hugo 2 - Smartphone - Qobuz & Tidal.

  5. #5
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    Re: Aavik Acoustics 880 Series

    It's so expensive, will be a rare beast, would like to hear it, see how it compares to the Vitus audio Sia-030 or Audionet humboldt.
    Moon 700i V2, YG Acoustics Hailey, Aurender N10, dCS Rossini, Oppo BDP103D (audiopraise board), Ansuz Mainz 8 D2

  6. #6
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    Re: Aavik Acoustics 880 Series

    I've demoed the Humboldt in my system but i'm not sure the I-880 can beat it.
    The only way to know is to have a home demo.
    Speaker System : Thiel CS 3.7 - Vitus SIA-025 Mk2 - Aqua Acoustics LinQ - Aqua Acoustics Formula xHD Rev 2 - Fanless Intel NUC + Sbooster Mkll - Farad Super 3 - Paul Pang Quad Switch - Pink Faun LAN cables - Cardas Clear Beyond IC and SC - Audioquest Firebird Power cables - Audioquest Niagara 3000 Power Conditioner - Woodlink Rack - Roon Rock - Qobuz & Tidal.

    Headphone Rig : Hifiman HE-1000SE - Kennerton Ondin Mk2 - Chord Hugo 2 - Smartphone - Qobuz & Tidal.

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Aavik Acoustics 880 Series

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