Gryphon Diablo vs. McIntosh C2700/MC611

I know similar questions have been asked, but I was looking for input regarding the Gryphon Diablo and the current Mac separates.  I currently have Harbeth Super HL5+ XD speakers. I listen through a Technics turntable and will be getting an Aurender N200.  I will likely change speakers down the road.  

I am replacing my Peachtree Nova 500.   I have narrowed my pre-amp/amp choices down to a slightly used Gryphon Diablo with DAC and a McIntosh C2700/MC611 combo.   I will be able to audition the Mac combo this week but am not able to audition the Gryphon Diablo. The non-audio pluses and minuses are:


Mac - dealer close by, I prefer its traditional layout

Gryphon - less expensive, one box. 

Does anyone have any experience with the Diablo and the current Mac separates?  Most threads that I read were before the C2700 with its DAC 2.  Also, if I upgrade speakers, it would likely be to the Harbeth 40.3 or the Sonus Faber Amati, Serarino or Guarneri Traditions.






Mc is a unique sound.  I think you 100% need to listen to them.

The 4 amps I suggest people listen to and compare are usually:

  • Pass
  • Mc
  • Ayre
  • Luxman

because I think most audiophiles will come out of those auditions with very strong preferences.

Dealers that carry McIntosh gears , also carry Sonus Faber.

Stricly , on money stand point , you would have better deals if you buy both brands

from the same dealer.

And may be , Sonus Faber pairs very well with McIntosh.

Just my 2 cents.


Thanks.  I have heard Macs with SF’s before and I like the sound.  On Tuesday I will be able to demo the Max C2700/MC611 with the Harbeths that I have.  There is no place to demo the Gryphon, so that would be a leap of faith and only if the Mac/Harbeth combo sounded really off. The Mac combo is about $10k more than the Gryphon Diablo but I can get comfortable with that. 

@lewl28 Although the Mcintosh Como is more expensive, nothing holds it's value better than Mcintosh if  you ever decide to sell.

MacIntosh is a very unique sound. I think it is great for rock music… and “heavy” stuff. There is a huge group that love them. Great resale value. A real American icon… like Harley Davidson… well except reliable.

I love the look… I have repeatedly gone in over the years to reconsider and like the sound and within seconds decided the sound is not for me. It is midrange heavy… good… and bass heavy… but really light on details… probably why it is often matched with B&W speakers.

I am not trying to discourage you, but listen to it before you commit. 

Yes, I will definitely audition with an open mind.  I fall into the classic rock genre (Beatles, Traffic, Stones Grateful Dead) but also blues and older stuff and acoustic music.  I generally don’t play very loud, so I would like a full sound at lower volumes.  The Macs I can try. And I would also be purchasing from my local dealer (Overture) whom I would like to support.  And I take comfort that they will be there to support me.  I can also try other things there as well. The Gryphon Diablo piqued my curiosity because of the glowing praise that it receives.  But I would be buying it without a test and not from a local dealer.  

Overture is great. I have dropped by a couple times (I live on the west coast)… they are really good at listening and helping you achiever the sound you are looking for.


I recently auditioned a Diablo 300 non-DAC being fed by a DCS Bartok. The Diablo is a great integrated; as crazy as this sounds, the Bartok ruined the presentation; too clinical of a source. Diablo's bass is incredible! The mids and highs were slightly bright to me, thanks to the Bartok. Over the years, I have auditioned various Mac products, but none ever wowed me. The C2700 and MC611's are a great combo, but I do not think better than $10K. The DAC in the Diablo is dated; there are much better DACs out there. Go the Gryphon route and purchase a Lumin X1 used; you can stream directly to the Gryphon and have a little fun by utilizing the X1 DAC. If this was your system, I am confident it would outperform the Mac system on all parameters. 

The staff at Overture are extremely knowledgeable and helpful.  Strongly recommended.  

I think many people here are relating to the older Mac sound, the new McIntosh sound is not rolled off, I have a C2700 and 275 amp, running into Spendor D9.2's and they are not rolled off. they are very neutral and detailed IMO. Id say you can adjust the sound somewhat with tubes as well. The new Mac is not the same as the older mac. and the C2700 just does everything well, has a ton of inputs, can integrate with a TV if needed (ARC), has tone controls if needed etc etc. not many preamps on the market that have the features of the C2700. 

Thanks for all of your valued input.   I auditioned the Mac C2700/MC611 combo with my Harbeths and really liked the sound.   I am going with the Mac system over the Gryphon.   Plus I like supporting my local retailer.  

Congrats, I'm using the Mc 611's with a c49 to drive my Kef Blades and I'm getting the best sound I've heard anywhere at any price.