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  1. #1
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    Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    I encourage all my Diablo 300 customers to demo this amp!!





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  2. #2
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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    Looks great!
    Jock

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  3. #3
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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    That looks really good.
    Flemming

  4. #4
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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    What is msrp for the amp?
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  5. #5
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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody View Post
    What is msrp for the amp?
    $22,900


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  6. #6
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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    Mike what's your assessment on the sound and heat difference?
    .

  7. #7
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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by johnthomas View Post
    Mike what's your assessment on the sound and heat difference?
    Most Gryphon amps have an ever so dark tonality, which I love. This new amp has about half of the dark sound Iíve come to expect from a Gryphon amp. Itís there, but you can tell that this is a very subtle new voicing. What this amp has in spades, even maybe on its big brothers is DEPTH! It has the width and big bottom end you would expect from a Gryphon amp, but itís depth seemingly goes way way back.

    The magic with this amp, just like all Gryphon amps is the class A bias. Itís rich and full and smooth, but at the same time dynamic and punchy with that famous Gryphon bass.

    So Mike what about those 50 watts? I call B.S. Iíve pushed this amp HARD on three different sets of speakers and it gives up nothing to amps rated much higher on the power scale.

    As for the heat, we are using the Pandora preamp which has the green bias cable that controls the bias level of the amp. Want to listen louder? The preamp puts the amp into a higher bias and can create more heat.

    But what about that heat?



    Very acceptable especially after being on all day and driven hard.

    At the end of the day, unless someone has an unusually large room with extremely hard to drive speakers, I canít imagine this amp being everything a Gryphon amp lover would crave. Iíll admit, I was skeptical. But as others have reported, donít judge a book by its cover. This Essence is a Grand Slam Homerun for the post-Fleming era at Gryphon.


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  8. #8
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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    Do you know what happens to the selectable power if it’s paired with a preamp other than Gryphon?
    Larry


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  9. #9
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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by Dguitarnut View Post
    Do you know what happens to the selectable power if itís paired with a preamp other than Gryphon?
    Larry, you can run, but you canít hide. Shall I meet you at the store tomorrow? Bring the SUV. We will load it all right in the back.

    It runs at high bias. Donít worry Larry, Iíll loan you the Zena or the Pandora.

    Resistance is futile. One listen and youíll know.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive



    The Essence not even breaking a sweat driving the M2ís in the big room (20 x 25) to 95db. 47 on the VC. 50 watts my ass. I would estimate 120.


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  11. #11
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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    Mike, how would you characterize this Gryphon pair with the Luxman 900u stereo amp & pre?

  12. #12
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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by GSOphile View Post
    Mike, how would you characterize this Gryphon pair with the Luxman 900u stereo amp & pre?
    This Gryphon Essence at ~$20k is the $20k champ. It beats the Colosseum IMO and nips at the heels of the Mephisto.


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  13. #13
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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    High praise. For someone with a Diablo 300, what in your opinion are the best ways to feed it? I don't see much discussion of the Essence pre. I am a solid state guy. Are there good SS pre-amp alternatives that would be suitable mates, e.g., Lux C-900u, Pass XP-22 or -32? (Normally my first inclination would be to get an amp and a pre from the same manufacturer.)

  14. #14
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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    I would do XP22 or Essence Pre.


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  15. #15
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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    How do you think the Essence will compare to the MSB S202?

  16. #16
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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by ravendog View Post
    How do you think the Essence will compare to the MSB S202?
    Iíve never owned the S202.


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  17. #17
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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    Mike how would you compare it to an Antileon Evo, which would you prefer of the two.
    Francisco.
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  18. #18
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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    Would be interesting to do a comparo with the Sim Audio 860V2, Pass X350.8, and Luxman 900. All under $20K.
    _______________

    Mike

  19. #19
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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by nonesup View Post
    Mike how would you compare it to an Antileon Evo, which would you prefer of the two.
    The Antilleon Evo is the only Gryphon amp I havenít owned. I have the Mephisto, owned the Colosseum, Diablo 300, Diablo 120, etc. The Essence is better than the Colosseum, but not quite as good as the Mephisto. The voicing of the Essence is intoxicating. I find it needs a ďone song warm upĒ and then song two itís really opening up and singing. It has better DEPTH of soundstage than even itís big brother IMO.

    For me, if I was shopping for an amp/preamp combo, I would personally pick the Essence amp with the Pandora pre over say the Antilleon Evo amp and Zena pre (which I also own). This is my second go-around with the Pandora pre and this one Iím keeping.

    You can read more about my thoughts regarding the Essence above. But in the ~$20K range, this is the winner for me. Iíve now tested it on four different pairs of speakers. All of them - a rarity, I felt it was the best ~$20k amp for all of them.

    Letís keep in mind that the Essence is still 50% more expensive than the M900u and 25% more expensive than the 860 v2, so price does play a role. But if someone can swing that ~$20K, this is the one I highly recommend.
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  20. #20
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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    I think those 4 amps are terrific at their price points. Clearly a great field of solutions at $20K or less. A great time to be in audio.
    _______________

    Mike

  21. #21
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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    Thank you for your detailed response.
    Would you say it is clearly better than Constellation Inspiration 1.0?
    Francisco.
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  22. #22
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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    The Antilleon Evo is the only Gryphon amp I havenít owned. I have the Mephisto, owned the Colosseum, Diablo 300, Diablo 120, etc. The Essence is better than the Colosseum, but not quite as good as the Mephisto. The voicing of the Essence is intoxicating. I find it needs a ďone song warm upĒ and then song two itís really opening up and singing. It has better DEPTH of soundstage than even itís big brother IMO.

    For me, if I was shopping for an amp/preamp combo, I would personally pick the Essence amp with the Pandora pre over say the Antilleon Evo amp and Zena pre (which I also own). This is my second go-around with the Pandora pre and this one Iím keeping.

    You can read more about my thoughts regarding the Essence above. But in the ~$20K range, this is the winner for me. Iíve now tested it on four different pairs of speakers. All of them - a rarity, I felt it was the best ~$20k amp for all of them.

    Letís keep in mind that the Essence is still 50% more expensive than the M900u and 25% more expensive than the 860 v2, so price does play a role. But if someone can swing that ~$20K, this is the one I highly recommend.
    Mike, I believe the Pandora pre lists for 39,500 US. That would make the Essence amp/Pandora pre stack total 62,400 US, over 2X a Luxman 900u stack. If an Essence pre, 17,500 US list (or its equivalent Zena), was substituted for the Pandora, what changes should we expect to hear (e.g., sound stage, etc)?

  23. #23
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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by GSOphile View Post
    Mike, I believe the Pandora pre lists for 39,500 US. That would make the Essence amp/Pandora pre stack total 62,400 US, over 2X a Luxman 900u stack. If an Essence pre, 17,500 US list (or its equivalent Zena), was substituted for the Pandora, what changes should we expect to hear (e.g., sound stage, etc)?
    The Essence pre and Zena are the EXACT SAME, just different chassis. I have the Zena and will try next week with the Essence amp.


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  24. #24
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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    The Essence pre and Zena are the EXACT SAME, just different chassis. I have the Zena and will try next week with the Essence amp.


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    Great. Looking forward to your comments. Thanks.

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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    Mike, have you had a chance to pair the essence to harbeth 40's? I'm curious to hear how they mate with each other (non-sexually of course)
    ~DP

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  26. #26
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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by BullBearDC View Post
    Mike, have you had a chance to pair the essence to harbeth 40's? I'm curious to hear how they mate with each other (non-sexually of course)
    We are flat out of Harbethís. Ever since they discontinued the Anniversary series and told us to sell them all off, weíve been waiting for the XD series. Covid put a monkey wrench in their plans.


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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    The Antilleon Evo is the only Gryphon amp I haven’t owned. I have the Mephisto, owned the Colosseum, Diablo 300, Diablo 120, etc. The Essence is better than the Colosseum, but not quite as good as the Mephisto. The voicing of the Essence is intoxicating. I find it needs a “one song warm up” and then song two it’s really opening up and singing. It has better DEPTH of soundstage than even it’s big brother IMO.

    For me, if I was shopping for an amp/preamp combo, I would personally pick the Essence amp with the Pandora pre over say the Antilleon Evo amp and Zena pre (which I also own). This is my second go-around with the Pandora pre and this one I’m keeping.

    You can read more about my thoughts regarding the Essence above. But in the ~$20K range, this is the winner for me. I’ve now tested it on four different pairs of speakers. All of them - a rarity, I felt it was the best ~$20k amp for all of them.

    Let’s keep in mind that the Essence is still 50% more expensive than the M900u and 25% more expensive than the 860 v2, so price does play a role. But if someone can swing that ~$20K, this is the one I highly recommend.

    wow: “not quite as good as the Mephisto”. High praise indeed. The Antileon Evo is 50% more expensive than the Essence. Perhaps Gryphon has moved on.
    Digital: Innuos Zenith Mk3 Server + MSB Premier DAC with Powerbase
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  28. #28
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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by AJR View Post
    wow: ďnot quite as good as the MephistoĒ. High praise indeed. The Antileon Evo is 50% more expensive than the Essence. Perhaps Gryphon has moved on.
    The Mephisto has more dynamic slam, but only because itís the champ in that area. The Essence is no slouch, giving you a good dose of slam and punch, more than the Colosseum even.


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  29. #29
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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    The Mephisto has more dynamic slam, but only because it’s the champ in that area. The Essence is no slouch, giving you a good dose of slam and punch, more than the Colosseum even.


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    amazing. It is a winner then
    Digital: Innuos Zenith Mk3 Server + MSB Premier DAC with Powerbase
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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    Mike,
    Which speaker cable was used in your video of this amp?
    WW eclipse by any chance?

  31. #31
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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucidear View Post
    Mike,
    Which speaker cable was used in your video of this amp?
    WW eclipse by any chance?
    Yes. WW Eclipse 8. They were handy since we use them on the MBL Xtremes at the insistence of MBL.


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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucidear View Post
    Mike,
    Which speaker cable was used in your video of this amp?
    WW eclipse by any chance?
    Yes. WW Eclipse 8. They were handy since we use them on the MBL Xtremes at the insistence of MBL.


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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    Thanks Mike.
    The sound on the video is pretty amazing.

  34. #34
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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucidear View Post
    Thanks Mike.
    The sound on the video is pretty amazing.
    Thanks. This Essence amp continues to amaze us. It drives all the speakers with ease. I LOVE the sound (slightly new sound?).


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  35. #35
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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by GSOphile View Post
    Mike, I believe the Pandora pre lists for 39,500 US. That would make the Essence amp/Pandora pre stack total 62,400 US, over 2X a Luxman 900u stack. If an Essence pre, 17,500 US list (or its equivalent Zena), was substituted for the Pandora, what changes should we expect to hear (e.g., sound stage, etc)?
    Been listening with the Zena pre (exact same as Essence pre) and Essence amp. This combo is SUPERB! I was shocked to be honest. I will say seriously, the Zena + Essence is better than the Zena + Mephisto. Donít know why. Now Pandora + Mephisto, thatís another story. I wonder if the Zena was voiced with the Essence in mind??? Still getting that deep deep soundstage from the Essence/Zena combo. The layering is superb.




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  36. #36
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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    nice to see you happy. the amp makes the sound!
    any plans towards essence monos?
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  37. #37
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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by u-sound View Post
    nice to see you happy. the amp makes the sound!
    any plans towards essence monos?
    Not really, the monos are only 5 watts/channel more.


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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    How are the amps sounding, Mike?
    Digital: Innuos Zenith Mk3 Server + MSB Premier DAC with Powerbase
    Amp: Gryphon Pandora + Gryphon Antileon Evo Stereo
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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by AJR View Post
    How are the amps sounding, Mike?
    Fantastic! Still keep saying ď50 watts my assĒ. This Essence drives everything in the big room! LOVE itís sound signature.


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  40. #40
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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    Hi Mike,
    Have you listened to/compared Essence Stereo vs Essence Monos?
    What are the sonic advantages of the latter?
    Thanks!
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    Re: Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by CKKeung1 View Post
    Hi Mike,
    Have you listened to/compared Essence Stereo vs Essence Monos?
    What are the sonic advantages of the latter?
    Thanks!
    I have not heard the Essence monos. This stereo amp is SUPERB!


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Gryphon Essence Amp and Pandora Preamp arrive

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