In 2020, the Gryphon will celebrate 35 years of exploration and innovation, well known as one of the most influential high end brands in Scandinavia, and the world, the Gryphon name has long been established as one of ‘the big names’ in the highest of the High End.

International Sales Director, Rune Skov, says that the Gryphon Essence possesses the same big heart as its top of the range predecessors, the Gryphon Colosseum and Mephisto, with levels of control and resolution similar to those which defined its bigger brothers. With an wide frequency bandwidth (0.5 Hz – 350 kHz, +0 dB, -3 dB), Gryphon Essence is conservatively rated at 50W (8 Ohm), 100W (4 Ohm), 190W (2 Ohm) in stereo, Class A and at 50W (8 Ohm), 100W (4 Ohm), 200W (2Ohm), (Monoblock), Class A.

Dual Mono Design

The dual mono design employs a custom-built shielded, high current toroidal transformer. The output stage and driver stage employ separate power supplies for effective isolation of the output stage from the input stage. A separate transformer for control and display circuitry isolates them from the signal path.

Rune says: “It is our fundamental philosophy that all electronics in the playback chain must ideally be neutral and not add or subtract anything from the recording, no matter how “attractive” such distortions may be. The Essence is by nature a product for the fortunate few who can afford such a statement, just as it is a product for the increasing number of audiophiles who seek purity in the reproduction of music, a product for music lovers who respect both the musicians and recording engineers enough to refrain from adding or subtracting anything in relation to the original intention of the recording”.

Circuit Topology

Power is the name of the game and the Essence output section uses Sanken bipolar output devices which have demonstrated extreme reliability in addition to outstanding sonic performance. The Essence Stereo uses 20 transistors per channel, while the Essence Monoblock features 40 of these devices per unit.

The separate driver section has its own power supply from individual windings on the custom-made toroidal transformers. Unique mechanical design ensures optimal thermal tracking between drivers and output devices. The driver section features its own generous bank of high quality capacitors. The power capacitor bank in the Stereo version is  a 440,000 µF array of exceptional capacitors, and 880,000 µF in the Monoblock edition, in both versions bypassed by high quality polypropylene capacitors throughout the power supplies.


The unique, non-invasive protection system offers reliable, fuss-free protection without compromising signal purity and signal path simplicity. When DC or HF is detected at the input, the amplifier mutes until the error condition is corrected. The output signal is constantly compared to the input, so that, in the presence of a difference which exceeds predetermined limits (typically a short circuit condition), the amplifier mutes until the error condition has been corrected.

Heatsink temperature is constantly monitored by a thermistor. In the event of overheating (temperature in excess of 90° C), the amplifier will shut down. Normal operation will resume when a safe operating temperature is reached. Global negative feedback is non-existent and DC coupling employs DC servo circuitry. Internal wiring in the signal path is kept to an absolute minimum. Gryphon Essence utilizes a completely independent transformer and power supply for display and control circuits, effectively preventing digital noise generated by these circuits from reaching the amplifier circuits.

Class A Gryphon Green Bias

True Class A operation has always been a Gryphon benchmark, simply because they say nothing in their experience “can match the sonic glories of pure Class A”.

Rune told us: “True, pure CLASS A means heavy transformers, very large heatsinks, lots of heat, lots of electricity, expensive parts and costly assembly. We appreciate and endorse every effort to conserve energy and preserve our global resources, but our research into efforts to obtain Class A performance from alternative amplifier topologies makes it clear that there simply is no substitute for the sheer magic of pure class A. However, based on thorough analysis of typical listening situations, we have devised Gryphon Green Bias (green for substantially reduced environmental impact). Green Bias offers true, pure CLASS A with considerably lower power consumption. Any combination of Gryphon preamp and power amp with Green Bias control allows the user to select the amount of Class A required to run their speakers fully in Class A at any given time, taking into account such factors as speaker sensitivity, room size, musical dynamics and overall volume level. Programmable Class A bias is an efficient, convenient means of reducing power consumption without compromising Class A performance”.

Essence Preamplifier

The Gryphon Essence pure Class A amplification system has been developed based on the experience acquired and lessons learned from their top of the line Gryphon Pandora preamplifier and the stereo and monoblock Mephisto power amplifiers. The strictly dual mono configuration achieves the shortest possible signal path with minimal internal wiring.

As delivered, the Gryphon Essence preamplifier is a pure line preamplifier with two balanced XLR input and three single-ended phono inputs. With no internal wiring, the only cable are a short ground lead, display ribbons and AC power wiring mounted in a shielded channel from the rear IEC socket to the power switch to minimise 50/60 Hz interference.

The range of microprocessor controlled, fully adjustable menu items include input naming with up to eight characters, maximum level, start level, input level matching up to 8 dB, AV throughput, user selectable display brightness (100/75/50/25%, Off), default restoration and Gryphon Green Bias. The Gryphon Essence preamplifier can be configured with a 0 dB AV throughput for ideal integration with the owner’s separate multi-channel installation.

As an optional extra, the Essence can be fitted with either an MM/MC phonostage or a digital to analogue converter. The phonostage is a Gryphon dual mono design based on the Legato Legacy. If you are using a compatible Gryphon Class A power amplifier, you may choose to connect the Green Bias control link for automatic regulation of user selectable Class A bias between the sockets marked GREEN BIAS on the preamplifier and on the power amplifier.

.The Gryphon Essence preamplifier can be ordered with the PS2 Phono Module factory-installed. The module can also be added later at a time of your choosing. If the module slot in your Gryphon Essence preamplifier is already occupied by the Gryphon DAC Module, then the stand-alone Sonett Phonostage is recommended as a substantial upgrade for any system

Recommended pricing ex vat will be:

Essence Preamplifier: 12,800€

Essence Power Amplifier: 16,800€

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