Munich HIGH END Show Report 2016
Gryphon Audio Designs had one of, if not the most fave loudspeaker, at HIGH END 2016. Their large floorstanding Koto (€220,000) is without a doubt a truly impressive design and it sounded mind-blowing! Gryphon was also showcasing their smaller stand-mounted Mojo S (€20,000) as well, yet we'll get to that in a moment.
Many of you might remember my coverage of the outstanding Gryphon Poseidon semi-active loudspeaker system in 2004 with built-in 1000 Watts of bass amplification. Well, enter 2016 and we get something.... more. Like every loudspeaker ever made by Gryphon, the Gryphon Kodo ensures that all drivers are in phase at all frequencies at all times just like my favorite 6' high highly modded Dunlavy IV Signature. The problem with the Dunlavy speakers is, well, they are out of business plus our new home here had made these 6; high speakers seem like merely medium-sized floorstanders. Yes, the new listening room here is quite large in ever dimension, and so the Dunlavy speakers are a big small.
Getting back to the Gryphon Kodo, they use special synchronous filter theories developed by the late Danish mathematician Steen Duelund. Gryphon loudspeakers achieve inter-driver phase for phase-matched behavior between multiple drivers that no other manufacturer can claim. The four tower system stands 7.775' tall, incorporating 38 of the world's finest drive units. The MDF side panels of the tower modules are reinforced with 5mm aluminum panels. Stacked modules incorporate additional 8mm aluminum panel supports.
Each Gryphon Kodo bass tower houses eight custom designed 8" drive units and a built-in Gryphon power amplifier capable of 1000 Watts continuous output. Of course the amplifier was specifically designed for these drivers. Peak power is approximately 4000 Watts, or 4.5 horsepower for those curious. Of course there are specialized adjustments to ensure the bass tower seamlessly integrated within your listening room.
The upper frequency range is handled by three mid/bass units and two midrange units housed in two separate, isolated chambers to prevent any unwanted interaction and reinforce structural integrity. The 11 drivers in total share the workload from 200Hz to 25kHz. The mid/high tower is extremely efficient, 96dB/W/m, which means even a small tube amplifier will work as the impedance never dips below 4 Ohms. To say i want a pair of these speakers is akin to asking me if i'd like to take an 'at-speed' drive within a Formula 1 car around some of the world's most famous street tracks. Am so wanting a set of these speakers within my enormous listening room that am wondering how to make this possible. Am very familiar with time/phase accurate speakers and these will do quite nicely thank you.
Bringing things down a notch, Gryphon Audio Designs' Mojo S is their third-generation of the company's stand-mounted Cantata (2002-2008) and the current compact champion. You might recall my review of the Mojo in March 2011 and it truly made me rethink my then other current sound system. Drawing heavily on the heritage of the Gryphon Kodo, the Mojo S inherits components, technologies and assembly techniques developing specifically for the Kodo. The high-frequency driver is the acclaimed Mundorf Air Motion Transformer that moves air by driving an extremely low-mass folded sheet in a semi-perpendicular motion via a powerful magnetic field. As one of my fave tweeters, the AMT driver moves a large air volume with minimal motion for lightning fast transients with flat frequency response well beyond 38kHz and negligible distortion and a total absence of compression. Gryphon mated the tweeter within the Mojo S with a special SEAS 6” bass/midrange unit with a free-air resonance of 44Hz and a mere 7.7 grams of moving mass. Pulp paper cones, chosen for excellent linearity and controlled behavior well beyond the driver's designated operating range, eliminate any need for invasive corrective measures to reduce the negative effects of cone break-up.
Like the Kodo, much attention has been paid to the crossover network and thus it borrows heavily from a wide array of exclusive components newly developed for the top of the line Gryphon Kodo system. All parts are hard-wired point-to-point with special Teflon hard-insulated silver wire, eliminating high-resistance printed circuit boards. Extreme hand-trimmed Duelund graphite resistors, legendary Jensen air-core paper/oil inductors and reference class, low-memory, precision Mundorf capacitors are components rarely seen in commercial loudspeaker designs because of their prohibitive cost.
Gryphon Audio Kodo Loudspeaker
Side Note: For those of you who have paid any attention what-so-ever to speakers of my past that have been longstanding 'references' of sorts, it begins with Tannoy 1969 12" Gold monitors, then the Stentorian 10", KEF 104/2 (modded by me) and LS50, Quad panels, Reference 3a monitors.... and Dunlavy SC-IV Signatures (modded by me). What do these loudspeakers (generally) have in common? As a scientist in human hearing and sound perception as it pertains to... what is a very basic prerequisite for a loudspeaker?
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