The Gryphon Diablo 120 Integrated Amplifier
The Gryphon Diablo 120 Integrated Amplifier
Gryphon audio are synonymous with a no compromise engineering approach to creating beautiful sounding high end audio products. The Gryphon Diablo 120 Integrated amplifier embodies the same obsessive attention to detail in design to ensure a thoroughly captivating musical experience and continues the high end tradition into a new, more affordable price point.
High-end specialist Gryphon Audio Designs is renowned for the quality of its products in all aspects of design, be it style, engineering principles or sonic performance. The company has had considerable success with the astounding Diablo 300 integrated, a powerhouse offering which, as the name suggests, is rated at 300 watts per channel. The Diablo 300’s modular design is capable of accepting a top-shelf DAC and phono stage while bearing the usual Gryphon (for short) engineering and artistic design flair. Now, that glorious integrated amplifier sees the spawning of an offspring in the Diablo 120, a smaller sibling with just about half the power albeit with its bigger brother’s outstanding nuclear DNA running strongly through its circuit chromosomes.The concept of an integrated amplifier that embodies the same ethos, musical and sonic qualities as Gryphon Audio Designs’ most esoteric offerings, but at a fraction of the cost, is clearly an attractive proposition and through the single-minded dedication of the Gryphon team, the integrated amplifier has come of age as a serious, respected High End component, bringing legendary Gryphon performance and styling to a new level of affordable cost and ease of use.
Gryphon Diablo 120 details
The Diablo 120 is a Class-A/B, dual-mono, balanced circuit, DC-coupled, zero global negative feedback design with, as is the usual case with Gryphon products, a massive power supply, this last being always associated with extended dynamic expression and thorough bass capabilities. To support this, you’ll find a large custom-designed 1.2KVA Holmgren toroidal transformer (weighing 11kg) backed by large twin capacitor banks totalling 120,000 micro-farads. No doubt, this is a high current design further evidenced by its rated 120 watts per channel into 8 ohms which then doubles down to 240 watts at 4 ohms and capable of producing 440 watts into 2 ohms.
The Diablo 120’s dual differential input topology uses low noise BJTs from Diodes Incorporated while the driver stage implements Motorola BJTs. The amplification output stages comprise of two pairs of high power Sanken 2SA1216/2SC2922BJTs per channel. Connector quality is superb, of course, and on par with even the far more expensive Class-A power amplifiers and Gryphon’s preamplifiers. So Teflon-insulated RCA and gold plated Neutrik XLR connectors are of the highest quality and number four (includes a Tape In) of the former and one of the latter. A further RCA socket is for Tape Out. In and Out 12V triggers are provided for connectivity to external Gryphon components. Gryphon’s own proprietary speaker binding posts are provided and, in this writer’s opinion, they are among the very best in the industry. These large gold plated terminals are easily hand-tightened and hold either banana plugs or a variety of spade sizes (or bare wire, for that matter) in a rock-solid grip.
Options - Digital or Analogue
At the time of original purchase or as the need arises at a later date, Gryphon Diablo 120 can be fitted with a specially designed Gryphon DAC PCM/DSD module based on the innovative, award-winning Gryphon Kalliope digital-to- analogue converter.
The module adds four digital inputs (USB, balanced AES/EBU 115 ‘©, TOSLink optical and BNC S/PDIF 75 ‘©). Via USB, the Diablo 120 DAC module can process PCM up to 32-bit/384 kHz as well as DSD (on Windows OS up to DSD512, on Mac OS up to DSD128, on Linux OS up to DSD128 DoP); via BNC S/PDIF and AES/EBU inputs up to192 kHz/32-bit PCM and via TOSLink up to 96 kHz/24-bit PCM. Format compatibility of the various inputs is subject to change without notice.
This future-proof digital module is ready for any current or foreseeable high resolution digital format.
In the finest Gryphon tradition, the Diablo 120 also offers the alternative of an exceptional MM/MC phonostage for the dedicated enthusiasts who continue to enjoy the musical treasures etched in the grooves of the long-playing, black vinyl disc.
Gryphon Diablo 120 conveys music with unusual poise and exceptional subtlety and definition. Lightning reflexes combine with harmonic richness, articulation and refinement to create a lush whole that is very comfortable to listen to over extended periods even at realistic levels.
Gryphon Diablo 120 offers a unique level of musical enthusiasm and energy that will satisfy and delight for many years to come.
Gryphon Diablo 120 Specifications and Reviews
2 x 120 W @ 8 Ohms, 2 x 240 W @ 4 Ohms, 2 x 440 W @ 2 Ohms
Output impedance: 0.030 Ohms
Bandwidth (-3 dB): 0.1 Hz to 250 kHz
Power Supply Capacity: 2 x 60,000 ŒµF
Gain: +38 dB
Input Impedance, balanced (20-20,000 Hz): 20 k Ohms
Input Impedance, single-ended (20-20,000 Hz): 8 k Ohms
- True Dual Mono configuration
- Zero negative feedback
- Microprocessor-controlled 46-step relay volume attenuator for best sonic performance featuring only up to 6 resistors in series with signal at all levels
- Optional phonostage MM/MC module
- Optional DAC PCM/DSD module with one USB, 1 BNC S/PDIF, 1 AES/EBU and 1 optical input
- Digital formats. USB: PCM: 44.1kHz, 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 9 6kHz, 176.4 kHz, 192 kHz, 352.8 kHz and 384 kHz up to 32-bit.
- USB: DSD (DoP); DSD64 (2.822 MHz, 3.072 MHz), DSD128 (5.644 MHz, 6.144 MHz).
- USB Native DSD: DSD256* (11.2896 MHz) and DSD512* (22.5792 MHz) (currently, DSD256 and DSD512 only on Windows OS)
- BNC S/PDIF and AES/EBU digital inputs: up to 192 kHz/32-bit
- TOSLink: up to 96 kHz/24-bit
- One optional module can be installed at time of purchase or later, either phonostage or DAC
- Ultra-short signal path
- Minimal internal wiring
- Two to four-layer printed circuit boards up to 70Œµm copper
- Dual Mono Holmgren toroidal transformer
- PCB-mounted sockets eliminate wiring and shorten signal path
- Gold-plated Swiss Neutric XLR sockets for one balanced source
- Gold-plated phono sockets with Teflon insulation for four inputs and one Tape output
- Fixed-level AV throughput for uncompromising integration with surround preamplifier
- Graphical Vacuum Fluorescent Display with larger font for improved legibility
- Adjustable display intensity (100%, 75%, 50%, 25%, Off)
- 12VDC link input and output
- Flash memory upgrades via Key-Fob
- Non-invasive protection system
- Infrared remote control
- EU CE approval
- Standby power consumption < 0.5 W
- Designed and built in Denmark