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Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Sources: 27" iMac with 5K Retina display, 4GHz quad-core engine with 4.4GHz turbo boost, 3TB Fusion Drive, 16GB SDRAM, OSX Yosemite, PureMusic 3.01, Tidal & Qobuz lossless streaming, COS Engineering D1 & H1, AURALiC Vega, Aqua Hifi Formula, Fore Audio DAISy 1
Preamplifier: Nagra Jazz, Wyred4Sound STP-SE MkII, Vinnie Rossi LIO (AVC module), COS Engineering D1
Power & integrated amplifiers: Pass Labs XA30.8; FirstWatt SIT1, F5, F6, F7; Bakoon AMP-12R; Crayon Audio CFA-1.2; Goldmund Job 225; Aura Note Premier; Wyred4Sound mINT; Nord Acoustics One SE Up NC500MB monos; LinnenberG Audio Allegro monos
Loudspeakers: Audio Physic Codex; EnigmAcoustics Mythology 1; Boenicke Audio W5se; Zu Audio Druid V & Submission; German Physiks HRS-120; Eversound Essence
Cables: Complete loom of Zu Event; KingRex uArt, Zu and LightHarmonic LightSpeed double-header USB cables; Tombo Trøn S/PDIF; van den Hul AES/EBU; AudioQuest Diamond glass-fibre Toslink; Black Cat Cable redlevel Lupo; Ocellia OCC Silver
Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all components, Titan Audio Eros cords between wall and conditioners and on the amps
Equipment rack: Artesania Audio Exoteryc double-wide 3-tier with optional glass shelves, Exoteryc Krion and glass amp stands [on loan]
Sundry accessories: Acoustic System resonators
Room: Rectangular 5.5 x 15m open floor plan with two-storey gabled ceiling, wood-sleeved steel trusses and stone-over-concrete flooring
Review components retail in Europe: €8,900 Diablo 120 [add €3'400 for DAC, €1'800 for phono], €20'000/pr Mojo S in standard gloss paint w. stand [add €1'500 for metallic paint]


Gryphon's Diablo 300 super integrated collected awards across the audiophile press like bees collect honey; including from us. It then was just a timely matter until our Danish makers felt that the devil we knew should beget a smaller devil we didn't; as yet. Now the baby Diablo replaces the company's long-running Atilla integrated. It inherits from the 300 the dual-mono architecture, the modular digital/phono options, the power doubling into 2Ω, the black aluminium/acrylic package with touch-screen display, the gold-plated 2-to-4-layer PCB with 70µm copper traces and the socketry. The remote wand is new.


The 120 of the name signifies 8Ω output from two pairs of Sanken transistors per channel. That's slightly less than half the power of its big 300 brother. But a stout 1'200VA Holmgren toroidal power transformer and 60'000µF/ch. capacitance show that even half a devil still lives large. Anything less wouldn't be a Gryphon. Cue Jack Nicholson from the Witches of Eastwick.


A passive microprocessor-controlled relay-switched resistor array controls volume. The setup menu hides all manner of calibration niceties like four levels of display brightness, min/max volume, eight-character source labeling and an A/V bypass function. There's a 32/384PCM DSD512 DAC option based on the Sabre ES9018. This 4-layer PCB module inside a metal case includes a 12.5 farad super-cap power supply for its USB transceiver to act as virtual battery. It runs 1st-order PCM and 2nd-order DSD filters with polypropylene capacitors. When installed, the digital module shows up in the display with its active input, sampling frequency, digital filter setting and file format. For analogue there's an MM/MC phono option. There's also 38dB of voltage gain, input impedance of 8kΩ RCA and 20kΩ XLR, output impedance of 0.03Ω and -3dB bandwidth of 0.1Hz-250kHz. What none of these shiny specs can reflect is cachet and renown. That's encapsulated in the Gryphon name. If that branding elicits no reaction, you haven't paid attention. Under the stewartship of soft-spoken giant Flemming Rasmussen, these Danes have positioned themselves at the very top of our sector for already decades. In an industry where reviewers routinely won't agree on much, everyone respects the winged lion and reviews are invariably most laudatory. Today's Diablo 120 is their most compact all-in-one solution. But one brand's entry-level model is another's very best effort. Even a baby Gryphon is still quite the beast.


click image to enlarge

To complete a full Gryphon system in the same spirit of what we'll call the proudly luxurious entry level, there's the winged Mojo S. This 3-driver two-way monitor disguises its actual speaker box beneath curvy cladding like a motorcycle hides its engine. In Gryphon's portfolio, the S-for-superior Mojo usurped the original Mojo's 7-year rein. That had ended the Cantata's rule of 6 years. No short-lived product cycles in this catalogue. With its dedicated sand-fillable stand, the Mojo S is an über monitor which uses an air-motion transformer tweeter from Mundorf. Surrounding that on the concave baffle are two Seas 6-inch pulp-paper mid/woofers with a 44Hz free-air resonance. Those couple to dual 52Hz rear ports. The 2'000Hz filter network is a 4th-order type. Claimed response is 37Hz-40kHz -3dB, sensitivity is 89dB/4Ω. Snap-in graphite Duelund resistors on the rear afford a three-step ±1dB tweeter adjustment without switches. The cabinet floats its three 38mm front baffle sections atop a 22m sub baffle via rubber gaskets. The cabinet's rear is aluminium. Its inside panels are lined with bitumen whilst the tweeter chamber gets a felt and wool mix. Though a reasonable 39x47x122cm WxDxH, each compact Mojo S puts a solid 65kg ship weight on the scale. And as an exclusive Scandinavian product, finish options are mostly limited by the client's imagination.


This review will assess the Diablo 120 and Mojo S on their own before teaming up our Danish dragons for Gryphon's take on a simple system. Just add file player and cables. That revisits the concept of last year's Diablo 300 and Pantheon review where I presented Gryphon's next-size-up proposition on building a high-performance system around a super integrated.

... to be continued...

Gryphon website