Apex Stereo / Mono Power Amplifier
Gryphon Apex: The Pinnacle of Performance
It has always been Gryphon’s mission to achieve the highest possible audio performance. in terms of sheer musicality, transparency and realism. With Apex Mono and Apex Stereo, Gryphon Audio Designs elevates pure Class A power amplification a titanic leap above what was previously considered possible. Gryphon Apex takes us several crucial steps closer in the never-ending quest for a more natural and convincing musical illusion.
Years of experience developing Antileon EVO and Mephisto, as well as ongoing research in the fields of circuit topology, component quality and reliability have culminated in Apex: the new flagship amplifier of the Gryphon Audio Designs brand.
The material specifications of Apex illustrate its cost-no-object design: Apex Mono features a staggering complement of 128 very high-current bipolar output transistors (64 per chassis), 2,080,000 μF (>2 Farad) capacitor banks (>1 Farad per chassis), four separate custom-made 2,000 VA toroidal transformers (two per chassis), all housed in a magnificently crafted, constrained-layer-damped chassis. Apex Stereo tips the scales at nearly 450 pounds, while a pair of Apex Mono weigh-in at 900 pounds!
Given the massive power reserves available at all times, Gryphon Apex amplifiers simply do not “see” the loudspeaker; in other words, Apex’ virtually limitless reservoir of power and current renders it immune to loudspeaker characteristics. No speaker load, no matter how reactive, can affect Apex’ performance. This means that Apex always delivers its ultimate sound quality, regardless of loudspeaker choice. What’s more, unlike other high-power amplifiers, Gryphon’s no-compromise, pure Class A topology offers this prodigious power combined with ultimate refinement and delicacy in musical presentation.
It is Gryphon’s fundamental philosophy that all electronics in the playback chain should strive for neutrality, neither adding nor subtracting anything from the recording, no matter how “pleasing” such distortions may be. The Gryphon Apex is by nature a product for the fortunate few who can afford such a statement: a product for the connoisseurs who seek absolute purity in the reproduction of music. In short, Apex has been created for music lovers whose respect for the musicians, producers and mastering engineers inspires them to seek the truth lurking in the original recording.
Power Is Everything: in the world of High End Audio Amplification, this statement is literally true. With nearly 1800 RMS Watts into one Ohm (Mono), Gryphon Apex is ready to master even the most challenging speaker loads. Apex’ output section uses bipolar output devices (128 per Mono pair, 64 per Stereo amplifier), which have demonstrated extreme reliability in addition to unprecedented sonic performance. These transistors can be called upon to deliver very large peak power per channel without overload. Each transistor is individually bypassed with ZN film capacitors.
Apex’ driver section enjoys a separate, optimized power supply fed from individual windings on the custom-made toroidal transformers. Our unique and sophisticated mechanical design ensures optimal thermal tracking between drivers and output devices. This driver section features its own generous bank of the finest capacitors available for this application.
Apex’ power supply also utilizes capacitors especially chosen for this design. Absolutely zero global feedback is employed and DC coupling utilizes DC servo circuitry. Internal wiring in the signal path is kept to an absolute minimum. Input wiring is Gryphon Vanta single crystal solid core silver/gold cable. Balanced inputs are provided exclusively, while Gryphon’s proprietary speaker terminals debut in Apex.
Unique even in this lofty price range, the Gryphon Apex utilizes a completely independent transformer and linear power supply for display and control circuits, preventing digital noise generated by these circuits from contaminating the amplifier circuits. The new and proprietary Gryphon speaker terminals accept bare wire, spade lugs, banana connectors or any combination thereof.
Pure Class A
True Class A operation has always been a Gryphon hallmark. Why? Because no other circuit topology can match the sonic perfection of pure Class A. Unfortunately, true Class A is even rarer today than when we introduced the legendary DM100 in 1991. Rising consumer awareness has forced some manufacturers to make outrageous, unsubstantiated claims of Class A power ratings that have more to do with marketing than technology. There are a growing number of so-called “new” Class A topologies based on automatic biasing which supposedly allow the amplifier to sense when the bias should increase to ensure constant Class A performance!
Put bluntly, you can’t cheat physics. There are no engineering shortcuts when it comes to pure Class A, so we repeat with no apologies: TRUE, PURE CLASS A means heavy transformers, very large heatsinks, large quantities of expensive parts and costly assembly. While we appreciate and endorse every effort to conserve energy and preserve our global resources, our research into efforts to obtain Class A performance from class A/B 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 invented “Green Bias” (“Green” for reduced environmental impact). Green Bias offers TRUE, PURE CLASS A with considerably lower power consumption than traditional solutions.
Green bias in the new Gryphon Apex allows the user to select the amount of Class A required to run his speakers fully in Class A at any given time, encompassing such factors as speaker sensitivity, room size, musical dynamics and overall volume level. Green bias improves on our programmable bias by giving Gryphon’s fortunate system owners the option of letting the preamplifier automatically control bias.
While Green bias does not match the extreme low power consumption of Class A/B, or even the low power consumption of misleading “auto-biasing” systems, it does offer significantly lower power consumption without sacrifice or compromise. PURE CLASS A performance is guaranteed! Apex users who own legacy Gryphon preamplifiers lacking Green Bias can access the programmable bias system manually via the Apex front panel.
Exquisitely wrought from the finest materials available, Apex’ gorgeous, “Nordic Noir” chassis incorporates advanced constrained-layer-damping technologies to optimize resonance, while the specification of non-magnetic materials virtually eliminates electrical interference.
In every design and construction aspect, Apex is designed to be cherished and appreciated for a lifetime. It is an amplifier whose performance is unlikely to be surpassed. Ever. Experience Apex and we’re sure you’ll agree. Please accept our cordial invitation to visit the showroom of your nearest authorized Gryphon dealer.