Gryphon Colosseum stopped working

Jan 28, 2018
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#21
Haha, I know, but I think it’s too much to ask to not swear in the same room as your spouse when your expensive amp falls over in front of your eyes.

I’m with you as far as cars. I’ve never bought a new car in my life, never paid more than $5k for a used one, and have lived without one for the last eighteen years.

I applaud your long history with Class A amps. They make me happy, that’s the only justification I need. In a world where relatively few people put together two channel systems, I’ll never give it up.

It will all be fine once I go through the pain of moving the amp myself. I don’t want to trust it to a shipping company again. A forklift through the side of it would not be good.

All of your tips did not work. The main power switch will not turn on the Gryphon light on the top of the control panel no matter if there are speakers and input cables connected to it or not. I now own a 165lb foot stool.

I’m going to order some relatively inexpensive Class D amp to hold me over until I can get this fixed. Heresy, I know, but the silence is killing me, lol.
 
Aug 10, 2018
90
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Southern California
#22
An awesome vintage class A amp are the Threshold T400, or smaller. Those can be had used for about 1700 in nice condition. Sound beautiful after 20 min of warmup. There is currently one on the gon. The cosmetic condition is a bit rough and the ask price is somewhat high. but 1000 -1500 would be a reasonable price. There's also an awesome Pass XA-30.5 available, more money but worth it as a wonderful backup amp.
 
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Jan 28, 2018
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#23
I’m sorry, I just can’t deal with a hundred+ pound amp as a temporary replacement. I’ll get some ICE thing and see what it sounds like, I don’t expect to have it more than six months.
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,831
90
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#24
Well said! All of your posts...great knowledge and support for all of us audiophiles who from time to time have to deal with repairs to our wonderful (and sometimes complex systems).

Hang in there LarryK...it is a beat of an amp, has a great reputation, is built like a tank. And again, the fact that it had the red light on...and then when you went to switch it on...it went OFF completely (no more lights) means something happened during power ON, that may have caused it to go into protection mode. My old Antileon did that once...and it would not turn back on. By the time (2 days later) i got it to the dealer, he plugged it in at the store and it was perfectly fine. It had apparently 'waited long enough'...and it just reset.

Have you left it totally unplugged? And then after several hours/day, plugged it into a totally different outlet?
 
Jan 28, 2018
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#25
I have left it unplugged for days but it never seems to want to turn on the top light no matter what I do. I think I’ll have it looked at. It’s my observation that gear owns us more than we own gear. :)
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,831
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#26
Hope it works out! If you've got a good audio tech, it should be fine. While there can be unique parts...i suspect strongly that most good audio techs with experience will not find much under the hood they do not understand or cannot fix. The key usually is in finding the problem. In your case, it is not evasive...it wont flip on so there is likely to be something pretty fundamental.
 

Fred

Member
May 31, 2010
292
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Covington, LA
#27
Thanks, everybody. I’ll try some of the tips and report back.

My heart sank after reading the post above.

The sound was so sweet, I miss it so much. I, and other people, have been amazed by the uncanny realism of vocals, the separation of instruments, everything. Sigh.

I’ll get it fixed because nothing compares to class A amplification. My rebuilt Sumo Gold ran for eight solid years and just dropped a channel every once in a while due to heat. I thought Class A amps were pretty much bulletproof, I guess I was wrong.

This amp is not that old and the previous owner told me he ran it in low bias all the time. In the winter, I run it on high bias, the heck with the electric bill, which really isn’t that bad.

So sorry to read your misfortune. Stray/Unexpected voltages that occur during electric outages are beyond frustrating. My McIntosh amp suffered damage to its digital audio board (but only the USB part of it) during a thunderstorm a couple of years ago. I wound up taking the amp back to the service center 3 times while they worked to sort everything out. Needless to say my back didn't sit well with that scenario. Good luck with getting it running again.
 
Jan 28, 2018
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#28
Thanks Fred. I need to find at least two people to help me load this amp into the back seat of a car. Ugh, my back, I can relate, this thing is 165lbs, as I probably mentioned. It would be nice if I caught a break and it is just a fuse but it’s still going to cost me quite a bit to get it repaired.

A friend of mine whose father was a commercial electrician says I should put a surge suppressor in my electrical panel and that it will take one two pole slot. I’m waiting for details from him but I think I will go that route.
 

Fred

Member
May 31, 2010
292
3
18
Covington, LA
#29
Thanks Fred. I need to find at least two people to help me load this amp into the back seat of a car. Ugh, my back, I can relate, this thing is 165lbs, as I probably mentioned. It would be nice if I caught a break and it is just a fuse but it’s still going to cost me quite a bit to get it repaired.

A friend of mine whose father was a commercial electrician says I should put a surge suppressor in my electrical panel and that it will take one two pole slot. I’m waiting for details from him but I think I will go that route.
Truth is, the first thing that came to mind was a power center. I didn't mention it in my post because it kind of rings of an "I told you so" type deal, and I hate that.

With a statement amp like yours, rather than going with a panel suppressor, I would suggest you look at a truly high current power conditioner with built in surge suppression and true AC isolation. The Torus AVR 20 would probably do the job for you as they use top notch surge suppression technology and the transformer in those units are massive. The benefit is a decoupling from the garbage AC mains that by now you know can be a heartbreaker.
 
Apr 15, 2017
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Cascais
#30
A surge suppressor may really screw up the sound of the equipment. Similarly to the majority of power conditioners: better take a long hard listen before making things permanent.

Amp failure is common without any external causes. Components fail randomly and there is nothing one can do to prevent this. Failure probability is proportional to complexity, age and temperature and this a reason class A amps generally suffer a higher likelihood of random failures. There is no substitute for designer's experience where reliability is concerned and in this respect products differ a lot more than one would imagine.
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,831
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#31
I would also add that if one does put something in between the wall outlet and the Gryphon...one must think exceedingly carefully. The current draw of the Gryphon is apparently quite substantial, and it is not recommended by Gryphon for this reason. Among other things if the unit senses a decrease in available voltage, it will automatically shut itself off as well. I am no techie, but I did try a surge protector that my dealer said would work...the socket actually melted partly a few weeks later. He did not charge me for that protector!
 
Jan 28, 2018
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#32
Yikes Lloyd!

Can I really drive the Colosseum from a power conditioner? Someone recommended the Niagara 5000 to me. Of course, I’m not happy about the additional expense.

One other question, does turning off the main AC switch under the amp protect it in any way from surges?
 
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LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,831
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#33
Hi LarryK.

I am not sure...i do NOT use anything with Colosseum...its straight into the wall and in fact with upgraded outlet. As for surges, i cannot say. I think the safest is to unplug in a storm, but safety switches/circuit breakers are pretty darned good today.
 
Jan 28, 2018
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#34
Yeah, I put in hospital grade outlets but that was it. I’m very curious to understand why the amp fell over when nothing else did.

I do unplug when I see a storm about to roll through.

The transformer explosion in Queens that caused the brown out turned the sky blue. It made the news. Some people thought it was the start of an alien invasion. Haha!
 
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Jan 28, 2018
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#35
I have a funny story about when I got my electrical services upgraded.

So, on the first day the electrician was at my place, he put in a new panel and ran the two 20amp lines and wired up the hospital outlets. He came back a second day to work on the kitchen and the rest of the apartment.

When he was working in the kitchen, I put on the Bach cello suites, played by Casals, and went into the bedroom to work on my computer. Much later in the day, I was talking to the electrician and he said that he had walked out into the living room expecting to see me sitting there playing the cello! I could think of no better compliment for the system.
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,831
90
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#36
Great story! Was this with Gryphon?
 
Jan 28, 2018
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#37
Great story! Was this with Gryphon?
Yes. It was my first day running the Gryphon after getting it and realizing that the existing electrical panel was a fire hazard built in the 1970s. So, I waited until I got the electrical work done before turning on the stereo.
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,831
90
48
#39
Yes. It was my first day running the Gryphon after getting it and realizing that the existing electrical panel was a fire hazard built in the 1970s. So, I waited until I got the electrical work done before turning on the stereo.
Got it...i hope he set up your special outlets correctly! It seems the first things that got plugged into them was your Gryphon?
 
Jan 28, 2018
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#40
Got it...i hope he set up your special outlets correctly! It seems the first things that got plugged into them was your Gryphon?
The whole stereo got plugged into those two outlets. The source components on one 20a line and the Gryphon on the other 20a line. It all worked great for nine months.
 

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