To Hans Wetzel,
I read your wonderful review on the amazing Gryphon Diablo 300 on your website.
I have read a lot of reviews about it and it’s always praised highly. I have decided to actually buy it! But I have a question about its compatibility. Usually these integrated amps should be paired up with the correct loudspeaker to sound really high end.
I am about to buy the Bowers & Wilkins 800 D3, which is an amazing high-end speaker. I am wondering if you have any experience with that? It has two 10” bass elements in each speaker, and its impedance is usually 8 ohms, but dips as low as 3 ohms, meaning it requires a lot of current and power. I am wondering whether the Diablo 300 will be able to run these beasts? I know that the Diablo 300 delivers 300Wpc @ 8 ohms, 600Wpc @ 4 ohms, 950Wpc @ 2 ohms, and has a power supply with 136,000μF of capacitance.
But it is well known that B&W speakers are very difficult to drive. They usually require a lot of watts and are often paired up with monoblocks at high-end showrooms. They will sound too forward and “thin” if they aren’t driven well. B&W speakers are known to be slightly light on the bass if not provided with enough current. For me, the biggest speakers aren’t necessary, but the ones that can be driven well by the Diablo 300. The next alternative is the B&W 802 D3, the little brother of the 800 D3. It has only two 8” bass elements per speaker, and thus probably a bit easier to drive, I think.
So what are your thoughts? Do you think the Gryphon Diablo 300 has enough power to drive B&W 800 D3, or should I go with the smaller 802 D3? Thank you in advance for your time!
I think Gryphon’s Diablo 300 is a terrific choice for either of the B&W speakers that you mention. I have heard the 800 D3s in person and enjoyed their sound. While, admittedly, they were driven by monoblock amplifiers when I heard them, I do not think monoblocks are a prerequisite. Both the 800 D3 and the 802 D3 are listed as being 90dB-efficient, with a nominal 8-ohm impedance that dips down to 3 ohms. Any decent class-AB amp with a robust power supply should be able to handle that with ease. And the Gryphon is hardly just “decent” with a “robust” power supply -- it’s a brute, with a monster amount of both power and current on offer. Provided you can offer the 800 D3s sufficient breathing room away from your front and side walls, I think they’d be a great match for the Diablo 300. I’m confident that they’ll sound anything but thin. It sounds like you’ve got an epic system in your future! . . . Hans Wetzel