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Gryphon Ethos on an Artesania dedicated rack. Photo credit Joseph Cali Systems Design, Pacific Design Center, Los Angeles, CA.
Gryphon - Ethos
Hard to believe that the Compact Disc has been around since 1982 and only now are we hearing something scarily close to “the perfect sound”.
At the simplest level￼, the Ethos is a CD player. A CD player that can up-sample to high-resolution PCM or DSD, even allows you to turn off the upsampling altogether. But not only is the Ethos able to up-sample to DSD but it also has a selection￼￼￼ of filters.
The DAC on the Ethos can be accessed through different digital audio formats, making the Ethos a versatile player/DAC combo.
The DAC in the Ethos is the most sophisticated that Gryphon has ever designed and its sonic performance delivers a wonderful emotional experience, hitherto unavailable from a 5” audio disc or digital music file.
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Gryphon was rightly praised for the sound quality of the Mikado CD player and while it was a stunning CD player in its own right, it was not competitive with the best analog turntables of it’s day.￼￼
Given that the sound performance of the Ethos can easily compete with today’s finest analog turntables, speaks volumes about the absolute sound quality of this beautiful piece of functional art.￼. It does not have the bloom that vinyl adds to the music. But if you want to be honest, then let’s compare the 2 track, ¼” tape at 15 IPS to the CD and LP. I think many of you will agree that the CD sounds more uncolored like the tape. But when all is said & done it's pretty difficult to make this comparison valid because we are usually listening to different mastering sessions.
It really is a joy to rummage through my thousands of CDs & SACDs and play them on the Ethos and in many cases, feel as if I were listening to an album for the first time. Never realized there was so much information on a regular 16-44.1 disc. Amazing. Recent listening sessions comparing the CD to the LP:
Beatles - Abbey Road (2019),
Lori Lieberman - The Girl With the Cat,
Isabeau Corriveau - A Leap Of faith,
David Gray - White Ladder
Kari Bremnes - A Lover In Berlin
Jack Johnson - Brushfire Fairytales
My only regret is that I was unable to share the musical pleasure that the Ethos is capable of at HiFi Shows & Dealer Events across the continent in 2020. Hopefully next year?
Can't speak on the gear but nice to hear your thoughts on Redbook 16/44.1. I agree as there seems to exist volumes more info embedded in a given Redbook CD than previously thought. Sure, hi-rez formats can be a bit more musical but it's rarely a night'n day difference.
I love the format myself and have said for years Redbook CD is or ought to be more than sufficiently musical for even the most discriminating ear. And I'm more convinced than ever that is a generally true statement.