If cost is no longer an object, the purest of form arises
It is only given to a few: being able to buy what is the very best. Most of us – myself included – don’t have an unlimited budget and will always have to make an equation between price & quality when buying (high end) audio equipment, untill all that’s left is the common denominator: a decent product that does what it is supposed to do, but not always in the best possible manner. That’s why we will never drive around in a Ferarri. That’s why our living rooms will never be filled with the top class components the high end audio market has to offer.
Somebody who never had to make such compromises is Danish audio designer Flemming E. Rasmussen. In 1985 he founded Gryphon Audio Designs with only one goal: building the ultimate cost-no-object audio components that are able to recreate the purest essence of a live music experience as a realistic presentation in a living room environment. Because of his studies of graphical arts and industrial product developement, and thanks to years of experience as a high end audio distributor, he seems the right man to accomplish this lifelong dream.
For this ambitious company Rasmussen wanted to have a name that clearly represents two aspects for his audience: the “unlilmited power” and the “gracious ease” with which his products can reproduce the subtelties of recorded music. The mythical figure of the Gryphon seams the perfect choice.
The perfect fusion between the power of the lion and the grace of the eagle
The first Gryphon creation was the “Gryphon Head Amp”, a high end phono preamplifier for moing coil cartridges which in 1986 was very well received at the consumer electronic show (CES) and attracted some Japanese investors, who funded Rasmussen in starting his daughter company Gryphon Audio Designs. Now the real work could begin, being able to transform his lifelong dream into results.
Untill present day Rasmussen is still responsible for the conceptualisation, the exterior design and the final voicing of each Gryphon product. He receives assistance from 5 engeneers who each have their own specific fields of expertise in the process of construction. Every Gryphon product meets the highest standards of production and undergoes several quality controls in each stadium of production. Every Gryphon product is still hand-made and in completion undergoes comprehensive listening tests.
Gryphon products are always characterized by an extremely solid design:
- Always built like a tank
- Every component is assembled according to the dual-mono principle (every stereo signal seperated from another)
- Seperate power supply and transformers
- Very wide frequency response (far above 20 KHz, the limit of human hearing)
- Pure class A (untill the introduction of the “Encore” line)
- Pure and minimalistic design without extra bells an whistles, maintaining the integrity of the input signal
- Timeless & beautiful product design
Since the dawn of Gryphon 30 years ago Rasmussen has put his stamp on the high end audio world and thanks to his achievements the bar for a higher standard has always risen. Some examples of groundbreaking products:
Are you one of the lucky few who doesn’t experience budget as an obstacle to get the things in life that are considered the absolute best, then I have only one advice for you: go visit your local hifi dealer and listen to The Gryphon products. I am sure that – like me – you will be persuaded by their musical charm. Regarding myself, I will keep to my common denominator, the best possible audio setup my budget can buy. It’s not Gryphon. Yet.
The Gryphon official website, july 2015:
The Gryphon, official website, review database, july 2015:
Gryphon Audio Designs, 2011, official brochure:
Wikipedia, Gryphon Audio Designs, july 2015:
StereoTimes, Clement Perry, Mikado review, june 2004:
Soundstage! Ultra, Jeff Fritz, march 2011:
SoundStage!, author unknown, october 2011: