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Gryphon Diablo 300

To Garrett Hongo,

T.H.E. Show Newport Beach is coming at the end of May. Will you be there? Two weeks ago I heard the new Audion SET integrated amp running KT120 tubes with my Quads. It sounded great. I am wondering if you have heard any Audion equipment, specifically their Black Shadow 845. Have you heard the Audion Quattro four-box preamp? Have you heard any 845 amps like the Sophia Electric, or Mastersound? Do you think the 845 amp would be a good match with my Quads? Thanks for your input.


I will indeed be at the Newport show, covering it for SoundStage! Global on my semi-regular blog.

The only Audion amps I've heard are the EL34 ones at a couple of audio shows and I thought them terrific with Sonist Concerto 3 and Recital 3 speakers.

As for 845 amps, I've heard all in the Mastersound line, from the Compact 845 to the Final 845 (reference level). You might look at these two reports I've written, one on Mastersound at Top Audio (Milan) and the other a factory tour.

It's hard for me to say whether any of the Mastersound 845 amps would work well with your Quads, however. A lot depends on the interaction of the amp with the impedance swings of the speakers. Whatever the case, I'd think you'd at least need the 50W monoblocks for the higher output power. These Mastersound 845 monoblock amps would output about the same power (50W) as a pair of deHavilland KE50As.

Finally, I'm in the process of arranging an Ultra Audio review of the Viva Solista 845 integrated amp -- likely this coming fall. But if you've already auditioned the Audion integrated with your Quads and they were terrific, why not listen to what your ears say? . . . Garrett Hongo