A Full Active Gryphon System Wows

There are times when a music critic gets so upended by a recording of well-loved music that their previous plaudits for a different recorded version demands reassessment. Thus did the first movement of Leonard Bernstein’s Vienna Philharmonic recording of Mahler Symphony No. 5, played on this excellent Gryphon system, cause me to sit up in my seat with eyes and mouth wide open as I heard more emotional impact, dynamic crescendos and decrescendos, tempo changes, and drama than on Rafael Payare’s recent Pentatone recording of the Fifth. Payare’s recording deserves accolades for recording quality, but Bernstein’s first movement wins the prize for devastating impact.

Every detail and change on this recording, which sounded much better than I expected from its early digital provenance, came through loud and clear. I sat dumbstruck. Then, during the high-resolution remastering of a portion of Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s RCA Living Stereo of Bartók’s Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste, I was blown away by the beauty and naturalness of the sound and its visceral and emotional impact.

Dynamics were superb, and the strings less wiry than I heard in many a room. Definitely a room to cheer, and another of my Best in Show.

Also heard: Gryphon Eos 5 loudspeaker ($52,500/pair), Ethos CD player/DAC ($39,800), PowerZone 3.10 power purifier with Quantum Resonance Technology ($14,000), and Rosso and Vanta cabling.

JohnnyThunder2.0's picture

musicality and richness (not the syrupy kind either.) That Bernstein recording of the Mahler 5 will never be surpassed in my opinion. I can only imagine the overwhelming impact and sound of that first very mega crescendo - like 30 seconds in - on this system. Thank you Jason for always shining a light on such worthwhile music as well as the perceptive equipment reviews....

supamark's picture

You left it off the list of equipment, yet it seems to be the thing for which banners were made.

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

Yes, it was the centerpiece of the entire system. Clearly I wrote this too late at night. Thanks for pointing out my error.