Please help to chose Integrated amp Diablo 300 , darTZeel CTH-8550 Or ....

Speakers : Sopra 2
Source : Chord DAVE and Hometheater for the front speakers.
Just sold JC1 + JC2 that i liked a lot.. but looking to upgrade.

Im thinking followig

Diablo 300 , darTZeel CTH-8550  or PS Audio BHK 300 with BHK Pre
All 3 options are priced same for me +- 1000$...
Please give me some recommendations thanks  
decided to try out myself, just got  darTZeel CTH-8550 used in awesome condition . now let me see if it plays as good as it looks :)
I have vitus sia 025 partnered with chord dave. Compared vitus
with diablo 300 before buying, very close fight, could have
gone either way but decided on vitus for its more intimate
midrange and it makes lousy recording more listenable.
I'd be interested in your thoughts regarding your darTZeel CTH-8550.
Have you heard the Diablo 300?
I have auditioned to  Diablo 300 prior to the  darTZeel CTH-8550 purchase.  Overall i did like  Diablo 300 , found it dynamic and engaging.
To me it seemed to add its own musical tone and coloring , to be hones i did like spice spice that id added to the music. 
After listening to  darTZeel CTH-8550 i find it even more detailed and bit less colored compared to the Diablo. Music flows more effortlessly and i find it more organic and true to the source. I almost can feel that it has less electronics in its signal path compared to Diablo.
Diablo build quality is very nice but  darTZeel CTH-8550 takes it to another level. Holding remote is like holding a gold bar. I wish it had bit more on the bottom end ( could be my preference ) but i have REL 212 going with Sopras and its a very nice balance.
I haven't heard a DAC as a preamp that I prefer over a preamp yet. To my ears, in my system,  dynamics and detail suffer whenever I tried a DAC direct.
Good suggestion,  but how would I do it on Dartzeel, shroud I put it in to home theater bypass mode ?  O no how can I live without pleasure control :)

i actually had Dave connected straight to bhk 250 and it indeed sounded pretty good with stock tubes, I think With  tube rolling one could achieve desirable sound .
Good suggestion,  but how would I do it on Dartzeel, shroud I put it in to home theater bypass mode ?  O no how can I live without pleasure control :)

i actually had Dave connected straight to bhk 250 and it indeed sounded pretty good with stock tubes, I think With  tube rolling one could achieve desirable sound .
Just tried setting amp in bypass mode and dac as digital preamp .

sound became too edgy, imaging got changed and overall I did not enjoy the sound of it , it sounds much nicer with more Dynamics when going in to preamp if integrated amp whatever that mode is called :) , at least it was easy to try and go back to original config . 
I am using my chord dave on two sources, an aurender and my
onkyo and plinius cd player. I use my vitus preamp on my
aurender and dave preamp on my cd player. I think you
have to give it time to settle in or break in its preamp mode
since it took mine quite a long time to settle in.. i like it for
its more forward presentation with thicker density on vocals.

I have the Diablo 300 with a Chord MScaler and Hugo TT2 and I’m using Focal Sopra 2’s. I have not heard the darTZeel CTH-8550. But I can tell you I’ve heard many other combinations including the D’Agostino Momentum, T+A, and many others and you can’t beat the sound of the Gryphon. Very organic without sounding clinical or overly warm.

It makes my system hum along with great soundstage and imaging!
Mrc4u, I have the TT 2+mscaler and will be receiving my Diablo 300 in a couple of days. Do you think that the Chord gear add brightness to the sounds, even with the Diablo Sonic signature?

I am really curious to know more about your impressions with your sistem and synergy. I will be using a pair o Harbeth 40.2 speakers and can't wait too get the Gryphon...
Hi allears,

Let me congratulate you on your purchases.  The Harbeths are great speakers.  As for the question about the Chord MScaler and Hugo TTs "brightness" I would say that is a misnomer.  As you mentioned most things are very system dependent. So for instance, if you are running certain cabling that tends to transmit higher frequencies more prominently you'll more likely hear the high frequencies dominate the musical spectrum.  The same holds true for mids and lows.  Thus the "Weakest Link Theory."

My point is the Chord combo is one of the best in the world (in my humble opinion).  That's coming from someone who has heard the dCS Vivaldi stack, Esoteric Grandioso D1,  and other fine DACs.  That said, I believe your Diablo 300 (once broken in) will produce a nice neutral and slightly warmer and organic sound that will have few peers in the integrated amp class (and I do mean few).  And while when most read "warm," they think of excessive coloration. That's not what I mean. It just doesn't have a very dry, clinical sound that many of the integrated amps in its class have. Its signature is lively, without being brash.  It's smooth without being pretentious.  There's just a certain "right feel" to it that you can't put into words, you just know it when you hear it!  Your transducers will benefit from that.  And the Chord combo will give you nice depth and very natural sound staging as well, so they should mate very well. 

Again, I wouldn't call the MScaler/TT2 innately bright at all. As a matter of fact, I think it is a bit more neutral than most other DACs I've heard with a very nice holographic sound staging.

For me system synergy is paramount.  Make sure you get some very nice speaker cables, interconnects and digital BNC's for your Chord MScaler and TT2.

As for recommendations, I'm using Audience's Au24Sx ($2k+) speaker cables and XLR's (2K+), respectively.  And as for digital BNC's cables, I'm using (3) Black Cat TRONS ($1,499/ea).

If you don't want to get everything at once I'd say wait or buy some "get by" cabling from a company like Blue Jean Cables until you can make the investment for some higher-end cables.  But I would suggest auditioning as many cables as you can.  I have found other manufacturers to be Audience's equal like Cardas Audio Crimson speaker cables and interconnects.  But for my ears Audience is great! And more than likely the last cable I'll be purchasing for a while.

Sorry for the longwindedness.  Hope you enjoy your system because it sounds like a really good one!
I had thought about getting the diablo 300 with the 40.2 so let us know allears your thoughts.

I am very happy with my pass labs with the 40.2 but the 260.8 mono blocks with separate preamp and phono even at a discount costed far more

Weird how many used gryphon 300 diablo now coming up on audiogon my guess these people have the money to move up to Gryphon separates
I have finally finished to set up my Gryphon Diablo 300 this weekend! It still needs some time to burn in properly (mine is still on 30h) but directly out of the box I can already feel Diablo's character. As described by many users and reviews, you need to experience it to understand. There is something just right about everything it reproduce. My Harbeths 40.2 are even more musical now. I still feel I need to do some cabling adjustments (currently using Nordost cables but considering Analysis Plus Silver Apex). Luxman 509 is famous for it's synergy with the 40.2, but I dare to say that that they sound a little opaque now that I listed to Gryphon. 
I will post more mpressions later in the week, but so far I can say that music is filling my room in a very engaging way!

Hi, after 35 plus years enjoying this hobby with passion I guess I can consider myself one of those audiophiles. What I’ve learned there’s two types, one who’s all about the Gear, other who’s all about the reproduction of Music, me being the latter. Maybe because I happened to be a former professional vocalist who was in the music business at one time. IMHO; Music (sound) is subjective and extremely personal. How can anyone describe to me, how anything sounds to my Ears? The least of all vocals and instruments coming out of Hundreds of different various speakers, same with the unique blend of gear considering Studio (room) sq footage. I must lessen with my own Ears, and Spirit!



Just curious if you still have your Dartzeel Integrated and if you are still enjoying it. Is there an upgrade path offered to get an 8550 upgraded to an MKII?