FAQ

Who owns Gryphon Audio Designs?

Gryphon is owned by Valdemar Børsting and Gryphon’s founder and Chief Executive Officer, Flemming E. Rasmussen.

How long has Gryphon Audio Designs been in business?

The first Gryphon product was released in 1986. For more detailed Gryphon history, please see the company Profile.

How often do you introduce new products?

As satisfied Gryphon owners are well aware, we are never in any great hurry to bring new products to the marketplace. Refinement of musical performance is not a process to be rushed or neatly scheduled to coincide with the new season or the next hi-fi show. Nor do we believe in the widespread practice of minor revisions which manufacturers use as an excuse to launch Mark II-III-IV versions, as if they were achievements worthy of the Nobel Prize.

Because we finish the job before introducing the product, the Gryphon XT preamplifier remained in production for an unprecedented five years, dismissing all contenders to its crown.

We take pride in the fact that we have a very long model life. Historically, Gryphon models have a lifespan of 3-5 years. By not constantly introducing new "Spring and Autumn collections", we allow ourselves all the time it takes to develop new products. This also protects your investment in Gryphon, ensuring that your purchase will not be outdated any time soon.

Because we take our time developing a product, we can introduce products that are real improvements and are ahead of their time for years to come.

Do you have any upgrade policy like some manufacturers?

We do not have an official policy as such, but when we design new products or discover potential significant improvements to existing products, we always investigate the possibility of offering them as upgrades to current owners. But we always look critically at whether the cost of an upgrade represents a worthwhile investment for our customers.

Also, a lot of so-called upgrades are really just manufacturers making the customer pay again when they finally get around to correcting design errors or shortcomings that should never have been released in the first place. In the automobile industry these events are known as factory "recalls" and are, naturally, paid for by the auto maker. In audio, they call it an "upgrade" and let the customer foot the bill.

The Gryphon policy of taking the necessary time to get it right the first time ensures long product life. We refuse to release inferior work and then charge the customer for "upgrades" to the level of performance which he should have had to begin with.

Can I buy a Gryphon directly from the factory?

Check out the dealer section on this web-site to find the closest Gryphon reseller. He will be able to provide you with advice before and support  after your purchase.

What about warranty and service if I import my Gryphon from another country?

Service under warranty is the sole responsibility of the distributor/dealer who supplies the product. Do not return the product to our factory with a warranty claim unless authorized in writing by the dealer.

Compared to most other brands, Gryphon amplifiers are very big and heavy for the same power ratings?

The heart ¨C or motor- of any amplifier is the power supply. The stiffness or "torque" of the power supply defines its ability to deliver power (voltage times current) into loads below 8 ohms, which is the standard static test load for power specifications. Unfortunately, speakers are never a simple 8 ohm load. (Life would be simpler, if they were.)

A stiff, high-current power supply means heavy transformers, large heatsinks, lots of heat, lots of electricity, expensive parts and costly assembly. This is why Gryphon products are larger and heavier than other products with comparable nominal power ratings.

Some consumers may be impressed by a manufacturer’s claim of high power ratings in 8 ohms, but in reality an amplifier with a somewhat lower 8 ohm rating, but designed with a high current power supply, will subjectively be experienced as much more powerful and give the user a wider choice of speakers.

Many times the "sound" of a speaker is really defined by the amplifier’s ability (or inability) to drive a real-world dynamic load. Seriously, the weight of an amplifier is probably a more useful guide to its performance than its nominal power rating, assuming that it is well designed and not filled with bricks.

Why does the Gryphon Class A amplifiers run hotter that some other brands with a higher Class A rating?

Gryphon’s Class A power specifications are conservative, real-world Class A ratings. We have also seen manufacturers claim as much as 16,000 Watts "pure class A," or amplifiers with almost no heatsinks claiming as much as 250 Watts "pure Class A." This is simply not true and not even possible.

There is no getting around it: real class A means heavy products with very large, very hot heatsinks and high constant AC power consumption.

True Class A performance is a very expensive approach to making amplifiers and many manufacturers falsely claim Class A performance in order to add non-existent value to their product. Class A/B amplifiers can be very good, but in general they are less expensive to manufacture and lack the ultimate authority and resolution of true Class A designs.

Which speakers do you recommend for your amplifiers?

Because Gryphon amplification is designed to be utterly neutral with no sonic character of its own, any high quality equally neutral speaker that is agreeable to your room, musical tastes and general sonic preferences will be a good match.

Which cables do you recommend for your products?

Once again, Gryphon’s basic philosophy is one of sonic neutrality. We prefer to leave interpretation to the musicians and singers. Therefore, you should not need a cable with a particular "sound" of its own to balance or "equalize" your system. Unfortunately, in some circles cables have become an acceptable equalizer in the audio High End.

Take the advice of your authorized Gryphon dealer in selecting interconnects and loudspeaker cables for your Gryphon equipment.

Naturally, Gryphon’s own range of interconnects, loudspeaker cables and power cords is used in the development of Gryphon products. Gryphon cables are designed for ultimate neutrality and resolution. They are extremely revealing and will allow the ultimate quality of your Gryphon system or any fine audio components to come through clearly and undiminished.

Should I use powerline conditioners with my Gryphon?

In our experience, most external powerline conditioners do more harm than good. The sound may be very different, but not necessarily an improvement. Listen very critically and for an extended period of time, before making a final decision about purchasing a conditioner.

Gryphon products incorporate heavily regulated multi-stage power supplies which act as effective mains conditioning filters and will in most cases not be improved by the insertion of an outboard powerline conditioner in the signal path.

Why do you supply a standard AC power cord with your products rather than a High End cord?

High End power cords are expensive and should be selected based on personal preference, specific electrical conditions in your area, etc. We do not believe that it is fair to force our clients to pay for a very expensive cable that we choose for them.

We do recommend the Gryphon Online AC power cord which can be purchased separately.

Gryphon product literature usually contains very little technical information.

We could definitely write a long paper about the relevance, irrelevance, use and misuse of technical data. More often than not, outrageous specifications are published in the hope that technically unsophisticated consumers will be unable to see through a smoke screen of numbers and jargon.

Generally, audio specifications tell you as much about performance as the number of pages in a book tell you about the quality of its contents. One of the distinguishing characteristics of the serious audiophile is a willingness to trust his own personal judgement, even when it flies in the face of audio orthodoxy or is at odds with what reams of published specifications tell him he should be hearing.

It is our belief that the discerning individual who buys a Gryphon product is more concerned with how it performs, rather than why it performs. The fact is that in analog technology, new circuits are very, very rare. That is why most brochures and white papers are little more than new creative ways of describing very well known technology. Usually, there is more creativity in the marketing materials than in the actual product.

In digital technology, there is certainly room for more groundbreaking developments,but given the nature of the technology race and competition, serious designers like Gryphon are simply not willing to share our secrets. Please understand our reluctance to give away for free the detailed "recipe" for a successful design which may have been years in the making and cost a small fortune to implement.

As a general rule, you will find that anything really interesting is never published in detail.

Can I change the voltage of my Gryphon if I move to another country?

No, but if the need arises, you can at any time return the product (return freight prepaid), and we can make the necessary modifications . You must obtain prices and return authorization from service@gryphon-audio.dk.

I am considering buying a second hand Gryphon, what about the warranty?

Gryphon warranty is granted the first owner of the product.

Audiophile Fuses?

A fuse is actually a quite complex component, which has to both protect the device against overvoltage, spikes and intermittent dropouts – and to protect the device against consequential damage if an internal fault occurs.

If replacing a fuse, it is very important to replace with a quality fuse of same rated current, characteristics, rated voltage, breaking capacity and a suitable safety classification. It is unfortunately our impression that not all special “Hi-End” fuses comply to these parameters and have the required safety classifications.

You will not automatically loose warranty if using other fuses, but we might reject a warranty claim if the unit fails or is damaged due to use of wrong - or questionable quality - fuse types. 

Mechanical noises from amplifiers

Hum/buzz – not from the speakers

The quality of the AC-mains electricity in most countries are degrading due to higher pressure. This results in contamination of the amount and purity of power. Air conditioning units, computers, low voltage lighting and industrial equipment are responsible for this, often the AC ground serve as a common sewer for noise.

Amplifiers with large transformers, such as Gryphon amplifiers, can respond to this by generating a hum from the transformers, the amount of this depends on location and often on the time of day, depending of numbers and kind of devices connected to the AC-mains grid. Audiophiles often agree that systems sound better in the night – less users - cleaner power.

REAL class A amplifiers loads and stresses the house AC capacity higher than traditional class A/B amplifiers (99.9% of all amplifiers).

Traditional amplifiers also hum when they are working (playing loud) - but then you won’t hear it.

REAL Class A amplifiers are working all the time (also when not playing at all).

This kind of noise is normal and is not indicating that anything is wrong.

 

Mechanical, short mechanical “clank og ding” noises – not from the speakers

Gryphon amplifiers are either pure class A or very high biased towards class A. Consequently, they run hot and are designed to do that.

However, physics tell us that metal expands or shrinks depending on temperature. The amplifier may shortly make these noises when it warms up and do the same when it cools down. It is perfectly normal, it may sound alarming, but nothing is wrong and nothing is breaking.

If you after driving your car, is sitting it in while it cools down, the same phenomenon is often heard.

I am considering to purchase a second hand unit from a seller in another country, and need to get the mains voltage changed on the unit. Why can’t you ship to another country than where it came from?

Shipping products between countries as private person is fairly simple compared to shipping as a commercial company.

When an EU company receives a product from outside the EU (even for service) it has to declare the product for custom clearance, the product must have a stated value that is reflecting its real value (Danish customs know the value of our products). Gryphon will be charged 4% duty and 25% VAT. Only exception for this are products returned for repair, these can be in the country for a certain period of time if returned to the original shipper. If not returned they are subject to duty and sales tax.

If such a product is exported to another country outside EU, Gryphon has to make an invoice of the products value and this invoice must show in our books as turnover - meaning that there has to be a matching payment. This invoice will unfortunately also be the basis for custom clearance in your country if it is outside EU.

We cannot offer to be in the middle of a second hand deal between 2 parties

Usually when such a product is purchased from ebay or another auction site. The buyer has not actually seen inspected and approved the product that he is buying.

If the product arrives to us with damage and not as described by seller, we can be in the middle of a dispute of the seller claims that there were no defects when he shipped it. In worst case we could receive a box of bricks and the seller could deny it. This is not a situation that we wish to put ourselves into.

We sincerely hope that, after reading this, you will realize that it is not because we do not wish to be helpful or understanding, but there are some very factual problems preventing us from helping, the way that we would like.