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Gryphon Diablo 300

To Jeff Fritz,

Unfortunately, I'm not sure I'll be able to adequately answer your question about how Devialet might compare to the likes of Gryphon or Soulution. However, your question about whether it was better than the best prompted me to head over to our local retailer and listen to the D-Premier that they still have in stock. While I know that it is an older design and (from what I've heard) not on the same level as the newest models, I wanted to give my impressions of the unit.

First, a disclaimer: I am not a particularly critical audiophile. I am not someone who is likely to ever purchase any of the units you review. I'm 27 and quite happy with my modest system (Magnepan 1.7s, Peachtree novaPre/220, Marantz SA8005 and TT-15S1 with a Vincent PHO-8 phono stage). Do I think a $10,000 set of speaker cables sounds better than a $100 set of speaker cables? Yes. Do I think they sound 100 times better? Nope, but I also don't think that should stop anyone from buying what they want. I prefer to listen and look; if I like it and can afford it I'll buy it. However, I digress . . .

I was able to listen to the D-Premier with B&W 802 Diamond and 805 Diamond, Sonus Faber Olympica III and Stradivari, and Magnepan 3.7i speakers. Across the board, I found it interesting how each of these speakers simply sounded more like themselves. It was as if an amplifier simply wasn't present.

Sources varied from LPs on a Pro-ject Xtension 10 to 24/192 PCM recordings of artists such as Ilya and Jesca Hoop played via USB through my Ubuntu-based laptop. We also listened to some Beethoven sonatas on SACD through Oppo BDP-105 and Marantz SA8005 players. Again, I could tell the difference between, for example, the Oppo and the Marantz, but it was almost like they were plugged directly into the speakers. I was able to hear exactly what the Xtension sounded like, if that makes sense.

This was my first experience with that kind of neutrality (the closest I've gotten to it was a set of Magico S5s on Constellation monoblocks, but it was at an audio show and, while still the best system I've ever heard, I doubt it was showcased as well as it could have been). It was highly revealing.

A note about form factor: As much as I love the idea of having a set of Gryphon Colosseum Solos standing proudly next to some Q7s -- so heavy that once they're in place that is their permanent resting spot -- it's quite nice to be able to pick up an amplifier and take it with you from speaker to speaker, hook it up, and audition a variety of equipment without the use of a forklift.

Anyway, there's my two cents.

United States