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"Anyone Up For A Fight?"


The Danes were conquerors. 

And that trait has flowed all the way down to Gryphon products. Pit them against anything out there and frankly, they usually win.

Gryphon Audio Essence Power Amplifiers

The 'essence' of Gryphon class A amplification

Power Amplifier, Stereo, £20,000. Monoblocks, Pair, £40,000

On permanent demo at Winters Audio – by appointment only.

About The Essence Power Amplifier

The Gryphon Essence power amplifier is conservatively rated at 50W (8Ω), 100W (4Ω), 200W (2Ω) for the stereo version (Class A) and at 55W (8Ω), 110W (4Ω), 220W (2Ω), for the monoblocks (again Class A). The important feature with these figures is the exact doubling of output power as the load impedance halves, showing the huge current capability of the power supply and the ability of the output stage to ramp up to 200W as the impedance reduces. The Essence Stereo employs 10 power transistors per channel, while the Essence monoblock features 20 of these devices per unit. Configured in this way, these transistors can be called upon to deliver massive amounts of momentary peak power without overload. The upshot is virtually no effect on the amplifier (and hence sound quality) from any normal speaker impedance curve. 

As well as power, there is abundant quality here too. Fully symmetrical input and gain stages deliver impeccable transient response, soundstage depth and ambience retrieval. And all the usual Gryphon features of non-intrusive protection is employed for fault detection and overheating, separate power supplies for digital control functions – right through to the careful implementation of good electrical and mechanical grounding right through the design.

Tech Insight

There has been a lot of talk from other manufacturers about the benefits of auto-biassing of class A amplifier stages, but Gryphon just don't buy it. They say – "if such a thing were to work as claimed, it would be tantamount to a re-writing of the laws of physics. In order for an amplifier to be able to increase bias and stabilize thermally to instantaneously meet the dynamics of the input, it would have to be able to predict what is going to happen next on the recording. Auto-biasing can, by nature, only respond to something that has already happened and the bias will rush up and down in a desperate attempt to follow the last note." So when it comes to Class A the Gryphon way, there are no apologies for the fact that this means heavy transformers, very large heatsinks, lots of heat, lots of electricity, expensive parts and costly assembly.


Stereo Amplifier

  • Power: 2 x 50W @ 8 Ω, 2 x 100W @ 4 Ω, 2 x 190W @ 2 Ω at 115V/230V AC supply

  • 20 very high current bipolar output transistors

  • Output impedance: 0.015 Ω

  • Bandwidth (-3dB): 0.3 Hz to 350 kHz

  • Power supply capacity (both channels): 440,000 μF

  • Gain: +31.0 dB

  • Input impedance, balanced (20 Hz-20 kHz): 20 kΩ

  • Automatic Green Bias setting or manual Low/High bias

  • Dimensions: 47 x 24 x 46 cm (WxHxD), 45 kg net.

Mono Amplifier (each unit)

  • Power: 55W @ 8 Ω, 110W @ 4 Ω, 220W @ 2Ω at 115V/230V AC supply

  • 20 very high current bipolar output transistors per monoblock

  • Output impedance: 0.0075Ω

  • Bandwidth (-3dB): 0.3 Hz to 350 kHz

  • Power supply capacity (both channels): 880,000 μF

  • Gain: +31.0 dB

  • Input impedance, balanced (20 Hz-20 kHz): 10 kΩ

  • Automatic Green Bias setting or manual Low/High bias

  • Dimensions 47 x 24 x 46 cm (WxHxD), 45 kg net. each unit.

Matching & Setup

At this level of Gryphon amplification, there is only a need to consider speaker matching more as a preference and not so much a compatibility issue. Provided you are not trying to drive a very large room at very high levels (that's what the Apex is for), most speakers, almost regardless of impedance,  are going to be controlled to perfection with the Essence power amplifiers. These are fairly large and heavy amplifiers that will fit into a large rack, but they may be better on the floor, or ideally on a floor platform. As always with high-end equipment, a good mains setup will pay dividends too.

The Essence power amplifiers have the variable bias setting facility that enables the amp to reign back power consumption (and will run into class A/B) when the setting is on low. Or will remain fully in class A all the way up to rated power when it's set to high. And of course when used with the matching Essence pre, bias can be controlled by the pre through the Green Bias Link that varies the power amp bias depending on preamp volume setting. 

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