Looking for a different preamp for Gryphon Mephisto

V-Squared

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Jun 9, 2017
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#41
Victor...any update as to your preamp...or are you intent on keeping MSB?
Hi Lloyd,

Not yet. I did find a guy with very similar taste to mine, with Mephisto Solos, who made the comparison between a few preamps, inclusive of the Pandora, vs. the MSB Select II direct, and he preferred direct, so that was helpful input. He said direct “lifted the veil” as well. Given that his Select II can be set to an output impedance of 75 or 150 ohms, he is going to try both to see if there is an audible improvement with the lower impedance, driving the 10K ohm Gryphon input impedance. My MSB Reference is limited to 150 ohms, so that will be an interesting data point. TBD.

Regards,
Victor
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
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#42
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.
Thanks!! Must be incredible...I know the Colosseum stereo well, so that is a data point. If and when I am able to bring the Mephisto stereo home...i will at least have that comparison point as well. I will share thoughts on that.
 

LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
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#43
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
Fantastic...thanks for the feedback and always nice to read other people's experiences. Enjoy!!! Great system!
 

LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
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#44
Hi Lloyd,

Not yet. I did find a guy with very similar taste to mine, with Mephisto Solos, who made the comparison between a few preamps, inclusive of the Pandora, vs. the MSB Select II direct, and he preferred direct, so that was helpful input. He said direct “lifted the veil” as well. Given that his Select II can be set to an output impedance of 75 or 150 ohms, he is going to try both to see if there is an audible improvement with the lower impedance, driving the 10K ohm Gryphon input impedance. My MSB Reference is limited to 150 ohms, so that will be an interesting data point. TBD.

Regards,
Victor
Thanks...[aside from your MSB DAC direct]...given my own personal preferences and experiences, the 2 preamps I would pair with Gryphons would be the CJ GAT 2 and the Zanden 3000Mk2. I have not heard the most recent Zanden 3000 Mk2 but did spend time with the original 3000 briefly. Cannot say i know that preamp well...but i have spent a long with Zanden's digital at home and listen to a few systems at length with the pre and/or power amp in it.

If absolutely clarity is what you seek...i suspect Zanden 3000mk2 might take that prize from what 2 owners of both preamps have told me. YMMV.
 

asiufy

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Jul 8, 2011
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#45
If absolutely clarity is what you seek...i suspect Zanden 3000mk2 might take that prize from what 2 owners of both preamps have told me. YMMV.
Sorry, but if it's absolute clarity that you want, the MSB SELECT II direct into an amp is the best choice.
My choice for V-Squared' setup would be to upgrade his Reference to a SELECT, and forgo a separate preamp altogether.
 
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LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
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#46
Sorry, but if it's absolute clarity that you want, the MSB SELECT II direct into an amp is the best choice.
My choice for V-Squared' setup would be to upgrade his Reference to a SELECT, and forgo a separate preamp altogether.
Fair enough...i could see that. My comment was about choosing between Zanden and CJ. I suspect if people wish to have a preamp, it is for different reasons than only clarity. In my case, i have only ever tried the original DCS Elgar Plus DAC direct to amp...over 10 years ago, and MUCH has changed in the digital world in that time. In that case, i found dynamics, tonal qualities in particular improved with adding a good quality preamp.
 

asiufy

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Jul 8, 2011
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#47
Fair enough...i could see that. My comment was about choosing between Zanden and CJ. I suspect if people wish to have a preamp, it is for different reasons than only clarity.
That I agree with. Generally, if you already have a preamp that you like, keep it, even with the MSBs having exceptional built-in preamps.


cheers,
Alex
 

LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
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#48
That I agree with. Generally, if you already have a preamp that you like, keep it, even with the MSBs having exceptional built-in preamps.


cheers,
Alex
Hi Alex, Thanks...i also would say [at some point] for me to learn/catch up, it would be great to listen to the latest/best current DACs with built-in preamps to understand exactly how far the digital world has come. I bet extremely far. Not something on my short list of things to do, given that I am primarily focused on amp decisions right now...but nevertheless it would be good at some point.
 

LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
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#49
Well, I am blessed to say that, at the introduction of a gracious WBF member, I got in touch with an owner of a Gryphon Mephisto & Rockport system who has decided to change to super-high efficiency horns and SETs...and am now enjoying his mint condition Mephisto in the system which just arrived today...while the Colosseum remains on the market. The price was right, far less than a new one, and thus enables me to take my time on selling the Colosseum and finding it a new home.

What Philip O'Hanlon, Amadeus, and others here who know the Mephisto well have said is true:

- Relative to the Colosseum, the Mephisto is indeed delivering 'a country mile' more detail. Specifically in deep house tracks, where I have always passed over the background words of some tracks because i cannot hear them...i now know EXACTLY what they are saying in the background. A great (and for me, true) test.

- Its bass is significantly tighter than the Colosseum (which i was NOT expecting given how well the Colosseum performs in this regard). Upper bass details is noticeably greater and also tighter, more disciplined. It also appears to have greater power in the sub-bass region...not necessarily greater extension (thought it might)...but certainly the conviction the Gryphon generally has in the broader bass region carries through all the way into the sub-bass region very confidently and completely

- Overall, the voicing is very similar...i was expecting a 'darker' voice and so far have found it to be remarkably similar to the Colosseum. It also seems even more resolute than the Colosseum which I also did not expect...and because it has no fans (just massive heat sinks), the unit itself is silent.

- Of course, I need to spend more time with it...only been on for a few hours...literally in from the cold...so lets see how it settles in...
 
Oct 14, 2018
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Athens Greece
#50
Congratulations on your new end game amplifier.
 

LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
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#51
Thank you! And congrats as i read elsewhere you have just acquired yours! Elsewhere, i asked you about your thoughts on CH Precision...was it the M1 monos you heard? Also any thoughts on Antileon Evo?
 
Jul 26, 2012
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#52
Having lots of experience with Gryphon amplifiers, I strongly suggest to try only balanced preamplifiers. Matching with Gryphon amplifiers input impedance is the key to symbiosis.

Some note “darkish” sound; this is has to do more with wrong preamp match or wrong cables match, or room acoustics.
 
Oct 1, 2014
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#53
I strongly suggest to try only balanced preamplifiers.
Please treat this recommendation with the scant regard it deserves.

Matching with Gryphon amplifiers input impedance is the key to symbiosis.
On the other hand this IS wise advice & is KEY to any pre amp - power amp combo from differing manufacturers - BUT especially for those wanting to marry a tube pre with SS power & obtain long term marital bliss.
 

LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
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#54
Please treat this recommendation with the scant regard it deserves.



On the other hand this IS wise advice & is KEY to any pre amp - power amp combo from differing manufacturers - BUT especially for those wanting to marry a tube pre with SS power & obtain long term marital bliss.
I can say that for me, the CJ GAT 2 (<100 ohm output impedance) matches extremely well with the Gryphon Mephisto Stereo (20,000 ohm input impedance).
 
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#55
I can say that for me, the CJ GAT 2 (<100 ohm output impedance) matches extremely well with the Gryphon Mephisto Stereo (20,000 ohm input impedance).
Considering that the GAT2 is capacitor coupled the relevant impedance of the GAT2 for analyzing matching is 660 ohm capacitive at 20Hz - the GAT1 was around 1000 ohm. It is a great match, anyway, assuring almost flat response down to 10 Hz.
 
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LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
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#56
Thanks, Micro!!! Good to learn!
 
Oct 1, 2014
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#57
I can say that for me, the CJ GAT 2 (<100 ohm output impedance) matches extremely well with the Gryphon Mephisto Stereo (20,000 ohm input impedance).
And that is the perfect example why - the Gryphon input impedance is more than 10 times the Gat 2 output impedance.
 

LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
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#58
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
Hi Victor,

Was just reading thru this one and re-read your note. Indeed...Mephisto stereo has landed and settling in well. Did you ever try CH Precision or Pandora? Or per chance CJ GAT 2?
 
Jan 13, 2018
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#59
I have paired the Mephisto many times whit the Robert Koda K10 Preamp and together they were always a very good combo.
 

LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
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#60
You have awesome systems, Amadeus! I always enjoy reading your signature block. Would love to hear the Koda, Kagura, Kalista Dreamplay, and Peak Consult Dragon someday! And the Gryphon Kalliope as well...
 

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