Looking for a different preamp for Gryphon Mephisto

WBTbabe

New Member
Aug 17, 2014
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0
0
#1
Hello Friends,
I need some suggestions with setup and matching. Would you please voice your opinion if you have a moment?

I have the follow components and thinking about if I should get a preamp. I understand I don't need a preamp but would it improve a whole lot being digital file playback as my only source of music?

If a preamp does improve a lot in my current setup, there are two choices I have in mind at the moment. Gryphon Pandora and Audio Research Ref 10. Pandora is in the shortlist because it matches with the power amp's brand and thus is "safe" but I am afraid the sound would be too dark. And the reason for Audio Research Ref 10 is because of its ability to match other components with ease and ability to help bringing up the Highs from Gryphon and therefore it wouldn't be as dark and hopefully balance the shortcomings of the Gryphon power amp a bit (my assumption) as Pandora + Mephisto.

Unfortunately, I won't be able to bring them home for audition and compare. My assumptions above are based on listening sessions I've had with the dealers so please if you have criticisms or suggestions on my current setup or choice of components are welcome. Thank you


Source:CH Precision C1
Poweramp:Gryphon Mephisto Stereo
Speaker: Sonus Faber Amati Futura.
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,873
106
63
#3
Great system...I used to own SF Guarneris and Strad...so different generation than Amati Future, but same family for the most part. I used to drive my Strads with the old Antileon. I now run the Gryphon Colosseum, and am extremely happy with my CJ GAT. I have spoken at length with Gryphon on this, and given its impedance, etc...they had no problem with it. Despite being SE only, the CJ GAT-Gryphon Colosseum sounds wonderful (to me), and i preferred it to a much older ARC Ref Pre when i tried that some time ago...just a personal preference.

The CJ GAT is a hybrid...tube/mosfet or something. But SE only. my two cents.
 
Likes: XV-1

garylkoh

WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)
Sep 6, 2010
5,429
20
38
Seattle, WA
www.genesisloudspeakers.com
#7
I had the chance to experience exactly that set-up last week - with CH Precision C1, Gryphon Mephisto and the Genesis 2.2 Juniors while setting up the demo room for a dealer in Malaysia.

We started with the "logical choice" of a Gryphon preamp - the Mirage, not Pandora. We thought the sound to be dark and un-convincing, especially since we just heard the amp and speaker in another location. We next tried the C1 direct into the Mephisto, but we loss bass definition and tonality. Detail, resolution and midrange were far better driven direct, but the loss of definition in the bass was a deal breaker.

The surprise was the Viola Cadenza - it brought the bass definition back in spades, and then it was live, exciting and organic. Not as detailed and resolved as the CH C1 direct, or with the Mirage, but far more listenable and enjoyable. I ended up almost being late for my flight.

Juniors.jpg
 

jfrech

VIP/Donor
Sep 3, 2012
1,577
14
38
Austin
#8
In the price range you're considering...I'd add the Robert Koda K10 to the list. Quite a few reviews out there and a few who'll personally recommend it like me...
 
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WBTbabe

New Member
Aug 17, 2014
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0
#9
Thanks Gary for your feedback. I like how you put it.."logical choice". That's a much better descriptive term. I have had similar experience with the C1 running through Viola Cadenza but from a pair of CH A1 and I mostly agree with you with the result. Maybe it was the speaker (I don't recall the brand and model but it was in the $40,000 range) or the A1s, the performance by adding a Cadenza pre didn't convince me enough to put it into my shortlist of preamps. I personally preferred without it based on the setup environment at the time. Nonetheless, I believe in your professional findings and I would give it another shot with my own setup environment and see they would perform well together.
 
Last edited:

redsquare

New Member
Dec 9, 2013
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#11
You're already using the CH Precision C1 so it makes sense to listen to the new CH L1 pre. It's in another class and my first pick for a reference pre.
 
May 30, 2010
15,174
545
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Portugal
#12
I had the Amati Futura in my room for a few weeks. Although I did not have a Mephisto the ARC REF40 was a perfect match for them.

The Futura's are a much better speaker than we should expect for the price. They have a tilted down balance and IMHO will not match a mellow tube preamplifier or a dark solid state one. In my room the ARC preamplifier had the wright balance. Power amplifiers were the ARC REF150 and DartZeel NH108.
 

WBTbabe

New Member
Aug 17, 2014
12
0
0
#14
I had the Amati Futura in my room for a few weeks. Although I did not have a Mephisto the ARC REF40 was a perfect match for them.

The Futura's are a much better speaker than we should expect for the price. They have a tilted down balance and IMHO will not match a mellow tube preamplifier or a dark solid state one. In my room the ARC preamplifier had the wright balance. Power amplifiers were the ARC REF150 and DartZeel NH108.
Thanks M. Well noted.
 
Oct 3, 2011
277
1
18
Stockholm/Sweden
#15
I believe the sense of a darker balance in your current setup could just as well be the consequence of the tonal qualities of the Futuras (which I have a lot of experience with). This effect could perhaps also be amplified by the rather dense character of this speaker through the mid- and bass range.

I would suggest the Gryphon Pandora or the CH Precision L1. Both should be considered "safe" choices within this context.

May I ask which cables you're using?

/ Marcus
 

WBTbabe

New Member
Aug 17, 2014
12
0
0
#16
I believe the sense of a darker balance in your current setup could just as well be the consequence of the tonal qualities of the Futuras (which I have a lot of experience with). This effect could perhaps also be amplified by the rather dense character of this speaker through the mid- and bass range.

I would suggest the Gryphon Pandora or the CH Precision L1. Both should be considered "safe" choices within this context.

May I ask which cables you're using?

/ Marcus
Thanks for your thoughtful suggestions Marcus. I should add L1 to my shortlist as well. And if I ever add a X1 to the mix both my C1 and L1 should benefit from it.
I am using the following cables.
SC: Ocellia OCC Silver.
IC: Argento Flow
PC: stock cable
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,873
106
63
#17
I had the Amati Futura in my room for a few weeks. Although I did not have a Mephisto the ARC REF40 was a perfect match for them.

The Futura's are a much better speaker than we should expect for the price. They have a tilted down balance and IMHO will not match a mellow tube preamplifier or a dark solid state one. In my room the ARC preamplifier had the wright balance. Power amplifiers were the ARC REF150 and DartZeel NH108.
Interesting feedback here. i have spoken a number of times with a fellow Wilson owner (X2s) who drives Mephisto monos with an ARC Ref 40. That said, I am told by several fellow Gryphon owners that the Pandora is a substantial improvement over its predecessors. Until the Pandora, i had spoken with numerous Gryphon owners who preferred the amps to the preamps...that tide seems to have shifted with the Pandora. Worth a try, i would suggest.
 

garylkoh

WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)
Sep 6, 2010
5,429
20
38
Seattle, WA
www.genesisloudspeakers.com
#18
Interesting feedback here. i have spoken a number of times with a fellow Wilson owner (X2s) who drives Mephisto monos with an ARC Ref 40. That said, I am told by several fellow Gryphon owners that the Pandora is a substantial improvement over its predecessors. Until the Pandora, i had spoken with numerous Gryphon owners who preferred the amps to the preamps...that tide seems to have shifted with the Pandora. Worth a try, i would suggest.
Should be worth a try, I agree. I hadn't liked the Gryphon amps until the Colosseum, and now the Mephisto is great!
 
Jun 28, 2012
16
0
1
Lisbon
#19
Dear WBTbabe,

I second the choices of CH L1 and Pandora.
Pandora is the best preamp from Gryphon and for a Wide margin and the perfect partner within the brand for Mephisto.

The C1 is a wonderfull piece of gear and if you add L1 and X1 Will improove a lot the performance. Just presented Last weekend C1 plus X1 with Marten Supreme II and loved the C1 as DAC.

In the end is a matter of your taste.

I would not go with ARC. Some tests in a costumer house with Ref40 and Ref10 and he prefered the match with Pandora.

Best regards
Miguel

disclosure: CH and Gryphon Distributor.
 

WBTbabe

New Member
Aug 17, 2014
12
0
0
#20
Dear WBTbabe,

I second the choices of CH L1 and Pandora.
Pandora is the best preamp from Gryphon and for a Wide margin and the perfect partner within the brand for Mephisto.

The C1 is a wonderfull piece of gear and if you add L1 and X1 Will improove a lot the performance. Just presented Last weekend C1 plus X1 with Marten Supreme II and loved the C1 as DAC.

In the end is a matter of your taste.

I would not go with ARC. Some tests in a costumer house with Ref40 and Ref10 and he prefered the match with Pandora.

Best regards
Miguel

disclosure: CH and Gryphon Distributor.
Thanks Miguel for your feedback. I agree it can be a matter of taste at its price level. Will surely arrange an audition with the L1.:)
 

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