How Gryphon Built the Perfect Preamplifier
Since our company’s founding nearly 40 years ago, the philosophy of Gryphon Audio Designs of Denmark has remained constant: the relentless pursuit of sonic perfection without commercial compromises in design, construction or cost. All Gryphon products have been conceived in this same perfectionist spirit: uncompromising engineering in the service of music. Impeccable build quality complemented by our original, highly refined “Nordic Noir” aesthetic sensibility and absolute simplicity of use.
The culmination of Gryphon’s four decades of philosophies, design goals and engineering expertise are fully realized in Commander: the most advanced preamplifier ever made.
Our starting point for Commander was Gryphon’s extraordinary Pandora, widely regarded as one of the world’s finest preamplifiers. Commander shares Pandora’s Dual-Mono layout with separate chassis for signal and power supply circuitry. Pandora’s single-ended Class A input buffer is retained, as it offers the compelling advantage of passing the signal through the smallest possible number of electrical components–two transistors and a single resistor–yielding sound that is exceptionally transparent, fast, natural and open. Neither preamplifier employs any global negative feedback
Naturally, Commander embodies major advances in many sonically-critical areas,
including a high-precision, extremely low noise voltage reference in connection with the analogue series regulators which supply the amplifier stages. The Commander’s voltage reference has approximately 50 times lower noise than the already-excellent reference used in Pandora! A pair of fully discrete, linear power supplies feed each channel’s analog circuit while a third is dedicated to the digital control circuitry, thus maintaining absolute mechanical separation and electrical isolation between digital and analog sections.
The distinctive finish of the Gryphon Commander and its companion Apex power amplifier symbolizes the authority and vitality of their music reproduction, which set new standards in such crucial aspects as timing, bass control, dynamic expansion and transparency. Commander’s power supply includes four custom-made toroidal transformers—two per stereo channel—engineered for minimal noise. Two of these (one per channel) power the dual-mono preamplifier circuits while the second pair are reserved for upcoming Gryphon source components, thereby ensuring a future-proof upgrade path.
Extensive use of aluminum chassis components lays a solid foundation for performance, yielding a highly stable, non-resonant enclosure that minimizes both mechanical and electrical degradation and providing optimal working conditions for Commander’s sensitive amplifier circuits. Unique to Commander, a constrained-layer-damped bottom plate—a “Sandwich” of three individual layers of Kerrock®, bitumen and steel—reduce resonances to an absolute minimum. All amplifier and analogue power supply circuit boards float above these bottom plates on specially-designed isolators, providing a pristine, virtually vibration-free environment for Commander’s sensitive circuitry. A quartet of Gryphon Atlas Spikes under each chassis move resonance control even closer to theoretical perfection.
Needless to say, every part of Commander is the finest available: from the Charcroft Audio ultra-precision resistors used in our volume control to the premium, oversized Mundorf MCap® ZN foil capacitors specified for local power supply decoupling to the four custom-made 36VA toroidal transformers, no expense has been spared ensuring performance and build quality that defines the state-of-the-art.
Presented in an extra-thick, 4mm glass window, Commander’s 4.3” TFT capacitive touch display has been designed to ensure an utterly intuitive user interface. Volume can be controlled from either the front-panel display or the included Gryphon IR remote control. Customized system set-up is facilitated by extensive Commander menu control of such functions as start-up level, left/right channel balance, maximum volume level, source level matching, input naming, display brightness (including Auto Dim On/Off), dedicated AV-throughput for integration with Home Theater systems, output level and Green Bias adjustment for use with Gryphon power amplifiers. In a unique design flourish, Commander’s display changes with the listener’s distance from the system; in this way, Volume and other settings remain uniformly readable regardless of the listening position.
With the Commander, you’re in control! Take command of the world’s finest audio system: only from Gryphon.