High End 2013

The recently reviewed Gryphon Trident is no more, replaced by the Trident 2, a taller, slimmer and better-looking alternative. The narrower baffle is now heavily contoured and segmented to improve both diffraction and facilitate potential future driver upgrades. The low-frequency electronics package and driver lineup remain substantially the same, with four Gryphon 8” bass drivers (with a new improved coating) and two 4” midrange drivers a side, but the big news is the inclusion of Mundorf’s latest AMT tweeter. Roy Gregory was mightily impressed by the original Trident, and we suspect the new model is a serious step forward from there, making it a very attractive prospect -- assuming that you’ve got a spare 97,000 available.

Less imposing (it’s the bottom chassis in the right-hand stack in the picture) but in some ways an even more impressive achievement is Gryphon’s latest DAC, the Kalliope. Built into the house-style chassis are no fewer that eight ESS Sabre ES9018 DAC chips in a dual-differential, dual-mono topology capable of full 32-bit processing. The unit offers a comprehensive suite of wide-bandwidth inputs, including DSD and DXD via USB at full 6.144MHz and 384kHz/32-bit resolution respectively. The heavily regulated, fully discrete, class-A analog output stage employs no negative feedback and feeds both XLR and RCA outputs. The power supply and engineering are everything that you’d expect from Gryphon, while the complete feature list is way too long to cover here. Priced at 19,800 and with modular digital audio sections to allow possible future upgrades, the Kalliope seems set to be central to Gryphon’s range for quite some time to come.

The Audio Beat • Nothing on this site may be reprinted or reused without permission.