Looking for a different preamp for Gryphon Mephisto

sthekepat

Well-Known Member
Dec 4, 2012
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#21
Were you successful in getting the highs from the Mephisto?
I seem to be having a similar problem, even though I have all silver wiring & speakers being the kharma references known for their highs.
Would be interesting in noting your experiences. I seem to have some veiling in the lower mid range as well.
I have the mephisto solo amps.
Thanks a heap for the replies and keep having fun with music.

Regards,
Sudesh



Hello Friends,
I need some suggestions with setup and matching. Would you please voice your opinion if you have a moment?

I have the follow components and thinking about if I should get a preamp. I understand I don't need a preamp but would it improve a whole lot being digital file playback as my only source of music?

If a preamp does improve a lot in my current setup, there are two choices I have in mind at the moment. Gryphon Pandora and Audio Research Ref 10. Pandora is in the shortlist because it matches with the power amp's brand and thus is "safe" but I am afraid the sound would be too dark. And the reason for Audio Research Ref 10 is because of its ability to match other components with ease and ability to help bringing up the Highs from Gryphon and therefore it wouldn't be as dark and hopefully balance the shortcomings of the Gryphon power amp a bit (my assumption) as Pandora + Mephisto.

Unfortunately, I won't be able to bring them home for audition and compare. My assumptions above are based on listening sessions I've had with the dealers so please if you have criticisms or suggestions on my current setup or choice of components are welcome. Thank you


Source:CH Precision C1
Poweramp:Gryphon Mephisto Stereo
Speaker: Sonus Faber Amati Futura.
 

Folsom

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Oct 26, 2015
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#23
The only real advantage I see in using a preamp, sonically, is avoiding the digital volume control on your source. Digital volume is good but generally exhibits minor losses.

But the next trick is your preamp needs to exceed that capability. Otherwise you're just adding stuff in the signal path that isn't helping you, since your source has a good output.

I'd be looking for a TVC volume based preamp that has an output buffer of extreme quality. The Ypsilon PST-100 MK2 looks to be what I'd be buying, hands down.

But I will say that Ayre Acoustics KX-R Twenty looks nice, but I can't speak for how it sounds. It'd be a lot nice for less $, since the Ypsilon isn't that much more.
 
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Joel

Well-Known Member
Sep 13, 2013
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#24
As far as I am concerned, I would first decide about which road sounds the best to my ears : tube or solid state preamp.
Having your system, perhaps I would feel better with a great tube gear such as VAC, Zanden or even Nagra...
Of course Ypsilon seems also a very nice option.
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
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#25
FWIW, i have been very happy with a Zanden source, CJ GAT preamp and the Gryphon Colosseum. Tubed pre/SS amp...many recommend sticking with same brand for pre/amp...i can see why. That said, this combination has worked well for me.
 

Down Under

Well-Known Member
Jun 26, 2014
119
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#26
Ypsilon no question.
Not even close compared with the Ayre.
Gryphon Mirage way ahead as well since we are talking about this brand in the original précis.
 
Jun 9, 2017
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#27
Thanks Miguel for your feedback. I agree it can be a matter of taste at its price level. Will surely arrange an audition with the L1.:)
What did you end up selecting? I have the Mephisto Solos, currently driven direct with a MSB Reference DAC, but wondering what difference I might expect with either the CH L1/X1 or Pandora. I like the L1, and I’m told the L1 would have no problem driving such a low impedance, as the 10K ohm on the Solos. I much prefer the direct MSB drive over my former VAC tube pre, which was much too veiled for my taste.

Your observations would be appreciated.

Looks like you will soon be in the same boat, Lloyd... I too sold my Colosseum in favor of the Mephistos... much nicer. Enjoy...

Regards,

Victor
 

asiufy

Member Sponsor
Jul 8, 2011
3,515
485
195
San Diego, CA
almaaudio.com
#28
Victor,

Do you have the upgraded MSB Preamp Output Module for the Reference?
 
Jun 9, 2017
13
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#29
The upgraded, 150 ohm.

I just spoke with someone in my situation who informed me that he prefered his MSB Select II driving his Mephisto Solos direct, over his Pandora, where the Pandora presumably was more veiled, as was my experience when I had a top end VAC preamp. So I have my answer for the Pandora. Now I’m seeking someone who has first hand comparison experience with the CH L1 + X1 power supply vs. Pandora and Reference or Select II direct.

Regards,

Victor
 

Vienna

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Oct 14, 2018
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#30
Hi,

I used to own Pass Labs XA 160.8 and Pass Labs XP22 combo until three days ago when my Mephisto/Pandora were delivered.

During my auditions, I had the the chance to listen to the Mephisto with Pandora, CH, Nagra HD and ARC Ref 10 with different speakers (YG, Kaiser and Vienna Acoustics)

I would say that Nagra was rejected from the first moment, I tried hard to like this pre amp but I had never managed to get into the music. Although ARC was impressive the mere thought to deal with valves and wondering whether they need replacement or not was enough for me to reject it too.

Now between the Pandora and CH, both preamps had impressed me and I could happily live with both, at last I went for the Pandora for the only reason that is of the same manufacturer and I wouldn’t face any matching issues. The green bias is a big plus too!
 
Jun 9, 2017
13
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#31
Hi,

I used to own Pass Labs XA 160.8 and Pass Labs XP22 combo until three days ago when my Mephisto/Pandora were delivered.

During my auditions, I had the the chance to listen to the Mephisto with Pandora, CH, Nagra HD and ARC Ref 10 with different speakers (YG, Kaiser and Vienna Acoustics)

I would say that Nagra was rejected from the first moment, I tried hard to like this pre amp but I had never managed to get into the music. Although ARC was impressive the mere thought to deal with valves and wondering whether they need replacement or not was enough for me to reject it too.

Now between the Pandora and CH, both preamps had impressed me and I could happily live with both, at last I went for the Pandora for the only reason that is of the same manufacturer and I wouldn’t face any matching issues. The green bias is a big plus too!
Thanks Vienna. Enjoy your new toys... very nice!

Regards,
Victor
 
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LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
11,150
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283
#32
Hi,

I used to own Pass Labs XA 160.8 and Pass Labs XP22 combo until three days ago when my Mephisto/Pandora were delivered.

During my auditions, I had the the chance to listen to the Mephisto with Pandora, CH, Nagra HD and ARC Ref 10 with different speakers (YG, Kaiser and Vienna Acoustics)

I would say that Nagra was rejected from the first moment, I tried hard to like this pre amp but I had never managed to get into the music. Although ARC was impressive the mere thought to deal with valves and wondering whether they need replacement or not was enough for me to reject it too.

Now between the Pandora and CH, both preamps had impressed me and I could happily live with both, at last I went for the Pandora for the only reason that is of the same manufacturer and I wouldn’t face any matching issues. The green bias is a big plus too!
Congrats! How did the 160.8 compare with your Mephisto? Enjoy your system!
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
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#33
Thanks Vienna. Enjoy your new toys... very nice!

Regards,
Victor
Victor...any update as to your preamp...or are you intent on keeping MSB?
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
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#34
What did you end up selecting? I have the Mephisto Solos, currently driven direct with a MSB Reference DAC, but wondering what difference I might expect with either the CH L1/X1 or Pandora. I like the L1, and I’m told the L1 would have no problem driving such a low impedance, as the 10K ohm on the Solos. I much prefer the direct MSB drive over my former VAC tube pre, which was much too veiled for my taste.

Your observations would be appreciated.

Looks like you will soon be in the same boat, Lloyd... I too sold my Colosseum in favor of the Mephistos... much nicer. Enjoy...

Regards,

Victor
Very nice! Congrats! Did you compare Mephisto stereo and monos? I am wondering what the difference might be between stereo and mono in the Gryphon family. I have read comments (incl Phil O'Hanlon's website as the US Gryphon Distributor)...but always great to get further comments.
 

Vienna

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Oct 14, 2018
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#35
Congrats! How did the 160.8 compare with your Mephisto? Enjoy your system!
Hi LL21,
From the first second and straight out of the boxes, the Gryphons made an unbelievable sound upgrade in every aspect.
I remember that I had stayed speechless... I just couldn’t believe the difference.
I mean they are a stellar improvement, the stage got huge in all dimensions, the detail is unbelievable, the sound is organic, musical and 3 dimensional, the bass can’t be described ...got so deep and tight
I feel that the power of this amplifier is endless, I feel that this monster controls perfectly the speakers’ drivers

I would need pages to describe the experience, still can’t believe it
 

Vienna

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Oct 14, 2018
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#36
Very nice! Congrats! Did you compare Mephisto stereo and monos? I am wondering what the difference might be between stereo and mono in the Gryphon family. I have read comments (incl Phil O'Hanlon's website as the US Gryphon Distributor)...but always great to get further comments.
Unfortunately haven’t compared the stereo with monos
 

Vienna

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#37
May 30, 2010
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#38
(....) Although ARC was impressive the mere thought to deal with valves and wondering whether they need replacement or not was enough for me to reject it too. (...)
Just to remember that ARC equipment has an hour counter - we always know when we should replace the tubes!
 
Last edited:
Jun 9, 2017
13
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#40
Very nice! Congrats! Did you compare Mephisto stereo and monos? I am wondering what the difference might be between stereo and mono in the Gryphon family. I have read comments (incl Phil O'Hanlon's website as the US Gryphon Distributor)...but always great to get further comments.
Hi Lloyd,

I did not. I jumped straight into the monoblocks. At the time, I was driving’s really heavy load, the Magico Q5’s,which needed help in the bass region, so I figured the extra reserve might help. It was better than with the stereo Colosseum, but I’m not sure how it would stack up to the stereo Mephisto.
 

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