BHK300 and Gryphon Essence Amplifiers

I bought my BHK preamplifier and BHK300 monoblocks from the friendly local dealer. They also sell a number of other brands. One of them is Gryphon. A pair of their new Essence monoblocks arrived a few weeks ago.

They produce 50w Class A into 8 ohms, double into 4 and double again into 2, all in Class A mode. More info here

Because of recent lockdowns, they have not been able to invite potential customers to their showroom, much less break them in. I offered, and the dealer kindly agreed to trust me with his new babies.

These photos were taken yesterday. As you can see, they’re fresh from their shipping crates. I’m deeply familiar with how my BHK300 amplifiers sound. I’ll post listening impressions soon, comparing the two. :smiley:


They look really fine! Are they really $20k each? They are huge!
I want them.

For a Gryphon outer design this looks really unsophisticated … but hey, they are cheap Gryphons :wink:

Wow! I suspect you are in for a completely different level of performance when they break in.

Interested to hear how you compare and contrast.

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Really beautiful amps…looking forward to your review…

Audiobacon reviewed a Parasound JC5 amp and compared with a BHK250
and a Mcintosh MC452 amp. Gives the reader insight as to the sq of the different

Enjoy your Gryphons…

That reviewer appeared to rank

  1. JC5
  2. BHK
  3. Mcintosh

I don’t think the Gryphon’s will be in same zip code of the three above, but to be fair much more expensive.

Anyway, enjoy those amps and please post impressions

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Looking forward to your thoughts!

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you are so right on the Gryphons and due to the high order
of design construction attention to detail…they are in a different
league altogether…

I have heard a lot of Gryphon gear at several audio expos. I really love their sound.

I guess you will probably fall in love with Class A characteristics, especially resolution, smoothness of sound, lack of treble distortion, bass harmonics. The rest could also be better from the BHK, especially prat, liveliness, airiness, speed, tube-like naturalness vs. „audiophile“ sophistication…will be interesting to read about your findings.

I don’t know the BHK but I used Gryphons and other, partly very diverse sounding Class A and Class A/tube hybrid power amps for longer time.

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IMO, it would be more accurately stated to say the Audio Bacon reviewer felt a potential purchaser would have to choose between which parameters were important to them:

" Those who value soundstage and resolution will prefer the JC5. Those who want something fuller and more organic (with the option to roll your own tubes) will probably enjoy the BHK250."

Well, the reviewer said this:

“The JC 5 is more transparent, more detailed, and much quieter. It’s more holographic while the BHK is more grounded and intimate.”

When reading reviews you have to read between the lines. They almost never say something clearly better. But on balance and especially based on the quote above, most would conclude the reviewer preferred JC5 to BHK, IMO. (“much quieter” is not a BHK complement, to say the least).

I have no opinion as haven’t heard either, just stating what reviewer actually said in response to the challenge. “Transparent, detailed, much quieter, holographic” versus “grounded and intimate.” In reviewer-speak, that’s close to a landslide.

By the same token, the reviewer never directly compares the BHK to the McIntosh. He similarly threw Mc a couple bones and gave some conditions why one might prefer Mc over JC5 after praising JC5 and denigrating Mc. So me saying Mc ranks third instead of BHK ranking last was also an interpretation (some would even say a generous interpretation in favor of PSA). It seemed to me reviewer liked Mc the least of three.

But it’s just one reviewer’s opinion, not gospel


“But it’s just one reviewer’s opinion, not gospel.” Amen to that. Amp reviews that base opinions on how they mate with one set of speakers have limited usefulness. I appreciate reviewers that always contrast a component’s performance with multiple speakers of different design parameters. Many of us have had amps that were excellent with one set of speakers and duds with others. More than one amplifier has come and gone in my system after buying an amp based on a reviewer’s glowing opinion only to find its performance in my system bore no resemblance to what was reported.

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I auditioned Gryphon years ago. At that time I was less than favorably impressed. The brand had, to my ears, a distinctive house sound that I would describe as somewhat dark. Maybe these Essence monos represent a different direction. When I A/B components I do my level best not to allow either aesthetics or price tag to cloud my judgement on sonics. Will be most interested in your observations!

It does need to be mentioned that the Gryphon is 3x the price of bhk250. Heck you could get both bhk300 pair and s250 for cost of Gryphon essence I think, even though it’s the baby in the class A Gryphon lineup

I would love to have the Gryphon Collaseum but for class A that I can afford for now I’m hoping for Luxman L-590axii as my next amp, possibly with a PSA Directstream dac to drive if the follow-on goes up to at least DSD512.

Well Leonard…how are you and the Gryphons getting along?
:musical_score: :musical_keyboard: :musical_note: :notes:

Those Gryphons will also make great space heaters.
Idle consumption = dissipation is 700W!
At max power this increases to dissipation = consumption - delivered power = 2700W - 440W = 2260W!
Yikes, you won’t need to turn on the heat in winter and you’ll really want some serious AC in the summer.

image image

Simple…just run the ac a bit cooler in the summer and in the winter
wont need as much heat…

Perhaps the gryphons hysted Lawrence off to Gryphon symphonia

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Hi Leonard…
Anything to report yet on you Gryphons ?

Would like to read of your experience…

Best wishes