Gryphon Mephisto

Here is an update with my Gryphon Mephisto: Connectivity was directly from my EMM LABS DV2. After some time I found it too edgy and forward. Lowering the gain on the DV2 helped, but still not to my liking. Couldn't find a Pandora anywhere. I called John at Audio Salon, (Great guy to Do business with) never had any dealings with him before. He had a Zena. I figured the Zena would give me a pretty good sonic presentation as to what to expect from the Pandora. Sure enough I knew in the first 5 minutes. Fantastic presentation, its a very good preamp. Separate PS with the Pandora, dual AC power, will only make things better. I ordered a new Pandora. Gryphon is making one. If anyone is interested in a Zena PM me. Only thing is the Pandora will take 2-3 weeks. I'll update this after the Pandora arrives. My room is huge 30 X 26 X 26H. Big A-Frame. This creates denominators that are not typical. 
´´ Gryphon is making one  ´´

What do yo mean ?Gryphon is producing more Pandora or Gryphon is producing 
a new version of the Pandora .
No, they are making an original Pandora? Many of Gryphon products are manufactured as ordered? Not a lot of inventory floating around. What's difficult to understand?
I am not perfectly bilingual…….
And we often  interpret  , when we perceive something vague , as 
what we would wish.
Ex : Being There  , movie with Peter Seller
Is it difficult to understand ?
I believe the OP means Gryphon is building his Pandora that he just ordered.
All of the unnecessary question marks are what is difficult to understand.
Maxwave sorry to sound rude. Your bilingual writing is much better than any of the languages I dabble in. Roxy54, the questions marks came after the post, purposely placed.
I did not know that you have to order to get a Pandora.
Last week , I contacted ´´ On a Higher Note ´´ about their Gryphon
Pandora that was for sale. Soon after , it was sold.
That gave me the indication that dealers had theme in stock.

Best Regards

Onahighernote used to be the distributer. They are no longer involved with distribution. They had several pieces left from demos and inventory. As Maxwave noted they still have that Essence pair. Interesting to note the Zena preamp and the Essence are exactly the same but with different chassis. I could not find a Pandora anywhere in the country including Canada. I would have gladly purchased a demo unit if one was available. Most gear, you need to go through a dealer, unless you find something on the used market. Gryphon gear is not usually found on the used market. 
Post removed 
You should go listen to the Sim audio 850p, it is way better than the Gryphon, but it costs $32,000 US. Phenomenal pre
Lawyer203, its common knowledge that the Essence/Zena are exactly the same. Inside! its just an Aesthetic "thing". Its not like they did it to fool anyone. On a higher note is no longer the distributer. They announced it on the website, back in April I think? You can read if you go on the higher note site.
Scott Walker, if I knew I would have called. I even called Anthony to inquire as to who has a Pandora in stock! Damn it!
Havocman, lots of good Preamps including the 850p, I like matching amps and preamps from the same company.

You made the right call…Pandora is the way to go with your Mephisto and Pearl’s. Once you have it, just enjoy the exquisite sound and gorgeous aesthetics.
The Pandora with the Legato board ( demo ) was for sale at 26 800$ by
On a Higher Note . One year warrantyIt was still for sale August 9 . I was intersted in the Pandora
but I tried to negatiate without the Legato board. Unsuccessfully.
Pierre, I think they are just moving the gear without making any deals. Your better off buying from a reputable dealer. That Pandora/Legato looks like it was sold. Sometimes its better to pay a little more to protect your investment.
maxwave….Think about it, why would a dealer consider in doing so when he is trying to get rid of his inventory? The board by itself will be impossible to sell :-) BTW, you missed a pretty good deal even if you had no use for MM/MC board. Move on!

I have  Soulution INT 330  with a phono board that I have never used. I was lately looking at Audionet Humboldt . But the only demo or used one , are in Europe ( 240v)
I communicated with Dave at PI Audio ( I own their Uber Buss ) 
about a step up tranformer. He told me not to use this : sound degradation.   Dave is a great guy. I also communicated with Bill Parish of GTT Audio.
The Pandora with two Essence mono  blocks was in short list.
I think they would have paired well with my Audiovector R6 Arreté
and my LuminX1
I will move on !

Reading threads like this shows me, yet again, just how vast the range of people are that are involved in higher end audio.  Ten thousand dollars for an audio system is like buying an 8 year old Miata and saying you are a sports car enthusiast.  Spending $50,000 and more just for an amp, and then maybe the same on a pre, and then God knows how much on speakers and all the other very high end equipment some of you own — Wow!  I will never be at that level, never hear what it sounds like, and probably never even see it except in photos.  

I’m not eaten up with envy — just realizing that I don’t have any knowledge or experience compared to many of you . . likely never will. I don’t post much but read a lot of the threads, trying to understand what some are referring to.  I think a lot of people that begin to consider higher-end equipment start with an expectation of spending what for them is “a lot of money”, only to realize later that 2 or 3 times that amount is just barely scratching the surface.  It’s like seeing the tip-top of an iceberg and thinking that is it, and then finding out that a gigantic mass lies below the water line.  It keeps amazing me what some people do. 
Most of us won't experience that level of performance, but remember that a pretty good system like the type that many of us have is 80% of what those super systems are, and we all eventually benefit from the technologies in those products.
Bob, its an obsession. Friends have boats, fancy cars, and spend money in areas that I have no interest in. Your observation in regards to expectations on what one will spend is accurate. The deeper one go’s into this hobby or obsession the higher the spending bar. I got bit by this bug when I was 19 years old. I was in the Army during the mid seventies (Cold War) and GI’s could buy audio gear at 1/2 the price. I was 19-20 years old with a world class system. Over 40 years later and I am still involved. I think its some genetic thing! LOL! Look at it like this. I’m a winemaker, I don’t drink crappy  wine, I brewed beer for years because I could make better beer than what I could buy, I’m a bit of a foody, I like good food, I’m a coffee roaster, I like good coffee. The point I am clumsily attempting to make is, I think certain people demand certain kinds of quality in return? Their are different quality’s of musical presentations. When I play a piece and the hairs on my arm stand up, I have an emotional connection to the music. I hope this provides a glimpse into an audiophile’s obsession. John
Many of highend owner are not 30 years old persons.
I am well over 60. Young generations want to have what their parents finaly  got in 
their retirement . I have no shame to own good stuff. I do not play ´´ Big ´´  but from time to time  , I have to disclose what 
I own . 
An obsession — yes!  I am no youngster myself — 66 — but I only really got interested in quality audio since early 2020.  So, a baby yet.  I can imagine if you have had nice professions and really good income over the years, you are positioned to indulge your desires.  Me, 37 years a social worker, a splurge is a new compact SUV!  Still to my family and friends, they thought I had “the nicest stereo system of anyone we know”, and that was an old Sony receiver, old Jensen loudspeakers and an old Pioneer CD changer.  I tell them, “You just have no idea what really good audio equipment is!”

Speaking of showing what you own . . . how about posting some pics of your equipment?  If I can, you can!  Lol
William Blake: "The road of access leads to the palace of wisdom" Audio is just another branch of access. I imagine many people are cultivating the things they enjoy due to this covid situation. Its never too late to enjoy good music. You can sift through things and perhaps find some good used gear? I will post some pics after the Pandora Preamp gets in position. With what ever means one has Be Grateful And Enjoy...John
About posting some pics ; It is fine with me , as long as I do not have to respond to other’s comment . I am too lazy for that.

What I find tricky about posting pics ( virtual system ) is that some may evaluate the owner’s  knowledge  according to his system. And on that basis, believe every things he writes if he has a highend 
system .
For example , I own a good system but I have very little knowledge
about audio and electronics. Learning Is partly why I am an audiogoner.
An other reason , is that it is reassuring to see , other  people as crazy as I am.
All the best

@jakesnak - You're correct about John at Audio Salon. I'm fortunate to have known John for several years and live less than a mile from Audio Salon.
I recently purchased a Pandora for my Gryphon Antileon EVO Stereo amp. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.  I was pleasantly surprised by how good the phono stage is.

Best of luck.
@cycles2, Thanks for the input. I'm expecting the Mephisto/Pandora to be a great pairing. John's a good guy, he makes things easy and uncomplicated. I have spoken with Gryphon a few times, they made it very clear as to place the power supply separate from the Pandora Pre. Bigger sound stage and more separation. Because of the size of my room, that's a good thing. Best of luck to you as well...John 
Also in regards to what Gryphon explained about separating the power supply, more head room...
"You should go listen to the Sim audio 850p, it is way better than the Gryphon, but it costs $32,000 US. Phenomenal preamp."   

If you want to be taken seriously, hyperbole should be avoided at all costs. A Porsche 911 GT3 is "way better" than a Honda Civic, but to apply that same standard when comparing $30K+ preamps is ludicrous. 

jakesnak OP
Here is an update with my Gryphon Mephisto: Connectivity was directly from my EMM LABS DV2. After some time I found it too edgy and forward.
That’s not the fault of the Gryphon, if anything they are more Class-A in sound, which some say "is slightly dark", I say "smoother with no edge" and very transparent and detailed.
If it’s sounding "harsh" as you say, it’s showing up something else in the system for what it is, and not masking it.

Cheers George.
Agreed George it is not the Mephisto. I talked with other Mephisto owners, DCS Vivaldi direct and they had similar observations. He has Rockport Lyra's. I know from a electronic engineering aspect the numbers from the DV2 should align. When you run it direct its less forgiving to a large degree. With the pre its also not forgiving. Nature of a good system. The Mephisto is very neutral. I've heard slightly darker comments, tube like. That is not my take at all. My set-up is extremely transparent. The Mephisto is the most neutral, transparent, detailed amp I have had. This topic of Direct Vs Pre has been dissected over and over again. No one would have been happier than me, if Direct sounded best. I always value your opinion George. John
@bob540  Many times I wish I never got in the audio equipment upgrade merry go round.  You're fine not getting involved at the 6-digit level for a system.  It's like Sheryl Crow's lyric in her song, 'Soak up the Song'.  
I don't have digital
I don't have diddly squat
It's not having what you want
It's wanting what you've got
@jakesnake  You mention that 'Gryphon made it very clear as to place the power supply separate from the Pandora Pre. Bigger sound stage and more separation.

When Gryphon says to place the Pandora power supply separate from the Pandora pre-amp, did they mean to place the pre on a different dedicated electrical circuit than the power supply?  

Brian ...
@cycle2: Brian, What Gryphon told me was physically separate the power supply from the pre, separate shelf. I always attempt to place my gear on individual circuits. I will not be able to do this when the Pandora/Power Supply Arrives. If the Pandora and Power Supply are on the same circuit I doubt if that diminishes anything. Hope this helps...John
“When Gryphon says to place the Pandora power supply separate from the Pandora pre-amp, did they mean to place the pre on a different dedicated electrical circuit than the power supply?

What? How is this even possible when the preamp chassis lacks IEC and designed to receive power through DC umbilical cords from its own custom designed separate power supply?

A query like this makes one wonder if they actually own the component 😊
Lalitk, is correct. I should have phrased my response with a little more thought. Actually a lot more thought! I thought what cycle2 meant was splitting the AC power from the PS to separate circuits. What I should have stated is I doubt if running the power supply from the same circuit would diminish anything.  I run the Mephisto from 2 separate circuits. As Lalitk said, it would be difficult to run power from the Pandora Pre as there is NO IEC! Sorry for the confusing post...John 

Thanks for the further clarification. BTW, I did not find anything confusing about your original post,

“ I have spoken with Gryphon a few times, they made it very clear as to place the power supply separate from the Pandora Pre.”

I have not seen a bespoke approach like the one in Pandora. It’s actually a four chassis design in two chassis. Both chassis are designed with total isolation of left and right channels in one separate chassis and dedicated dual mono power supplies in 2nd chassis to protect the audio signal from any interference. Hope you got two power cords ready for Pandora just like your Mephisto :-)

You’re in for a major treat and substantial upgrade over Zena!


Am curious to hear about your experience with your Pandora.

Owning a pair of Tannoy Westminster GR and a Mephisto, I tested a few combinations, including Zena vs EmmLabs DV2. I ended up with EmmLabs DA2V2 (DAC) + EmmLabs Preference Preamplifier.

I am extremely satisfied with that combination(DA2V2 (DAC) + EmmLabs Preference Preamplifier). For more info and pictures, see Frederic Oudin's post on Facebook dated October 15 ( )

Keep me posted please.


@ Sollies Frederic: I really like matching amp/pre from the same manufacturer. From my experience it just works. The DV2 with the Mephisto (as you must know is fantastic). I love this combo!! The Pandora with the separate power supply is what distinguishes this combo. Head room is off the charts, not to mention the bias cable between the Mephisto and Pandora. Soundstage is spot on, these REL Carbon Specials help with that. Typically I'm always in medium bias unless I really want to Jack the volume up. I don't imagine you get out of medium bias? What power cables are you using on the Mephisto? The Zena was good but the Pandora brings it all to another level. I had EMM's Ref pre but not with Mephisto.


Very interesting system, I bet you don’t have to ever worry about Mephisto running out of steam with Westminster’s. When I approached my dealer, he recommended Antileon EVO for my Canterbury’s. In his experience, Antileon would be a better match for Tannoy’s due to its slightly ‘warmer’ presentation compare to Mephisto.

My system pics are here,


For sure he has enough juice with those Westminster's! I would bet that the Pandora with the Mephisto would provide a much better sonic delivery. Keep in mind I am a dealer for EMM! Their REF preamp is very good, but if a client came to me with the Mephisto I would strongly recommend the Pandora. I am not a dealer for Gryphon! The DAC is another story, because of the neutrality of the Mephisto, the DA2/DV2 is a perfect match. As @lalitk mentioned about Antileon/Mephisto. Perhaps with Antileon DA2/DV2 may not be the best pairing? A small amount of evaluating can go a long way!