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anoutsos
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Mola Mola Kula vs Gryphon Diablo 300

I am trying to decide between the two amps mentioned in the Subject, but they both cost a lot of money and I was wondering if, before auditioning them, I could get some advice from this forum. So, the main difference I can see is the amplification, 300W vs 150W (both doubling at 4 Ohm) but I don't know what that means in practical terms:

– Are they both able to _comfortably_ drive, e.g. speakers like B&W 802D4 or Dynaudio Confidence 40?
– The Gryphon seems more robustly built. Is it a better investment for the money, in terms of durability, support and flexibility? For the last one (flexibility), I noticed that the Diablo is easy to integrate with my home theatre amps, as it allows HT bypass; I am not sure the Kula can do that.
– Is the difference between Class AB and D in this case important? I hear the the Kula is as "analogue"-sounding as anything else, so it may not be a consideration (and it will be cheaper to run). Is this correct?
– My current speakers are the B&W 805D, which I run together with a sub, as the 805 bass is weak (in my system). I don't expect the 805D's bass to become much deeper with either of the above amps, so adding a sub until I upgrade might be necessary. The Diablo has this functionality but the Kula is more barebones. In your opinion, is this a critical difference or connecting the sub via the speaker connection solves this equally well?
– My last question is somewhat unrelated. I am also unsure whether investing in high-end 2channel amplification is a better investment of my money compared to having uniform 5ch amplification by, say, getting the Mcintosh MC255. My interests currently are 60–40 (Music–Movies). How big is the difference in musicality/resolution between those very high-end integrated amps and the 5ch Mac, given that I may not be able to afford 30k speakers (but could perhaps go for something around the 15–20k mark). Would the better sub integration with an HT processor and a good power amp produce similar sound? I should note that I sometimes like to listen to surround music (e.g. John Williams concerts, SACDs, DVD-As), but of course my 2ch collection is much bigger.

Thank you so much in advance for your advice.

Old Audiophile
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Lotta Questions!

I am, by no means, an expert on any of this but I'll take a stab at one of your questions. Generally speaking, when you see an amp can double its power from 8 Ohms to 4 Ohms and so on, that is an indication that it has a very robust current supply. I'm not sure if this applies to Class D designs but, in my direct experience in demos with Class A/B amps, this is certainly what my ears found to be the case. For example: I recently demoed a pair of Aerial Acoustics 6T speakers that made me instantly fall in love with them. At the time, they were powered by a McIntosh MC275. Can't remember what the pre-amp was but that was McIntosh, too. Immediately afterwards, in the same shop, same sound room, same everything, I had the salesperson swap out that big MAC stack for a McIntosh MA5200. Those 4 Ohm Aerial Acoustics speakers still sounded wonderful, but my ears could instantly tell they sounded much better with the big MAC stack. The MAC MA5200 could drive them alright, but the Aerial really needed more juice to make them sing to their fullest potential. Hopefully, someone with more technical knowledge can chime in on this and explain why this is.

anoutsos
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Thank you very much, Old

Thank you very much, Old Audiophile. Both amps I mentioned double their power between 8 and 4 Ohm, although, actually, I read somewhere that the Kula doesn't quite deliver 300 W at 4 Ohm – which perhaps makes the Gryphon more robust. The question is: what is more important, the absolute amount of power or how linearly it increases with decreasing impedance? So, for example, is a 300 W amp that is not linear going to drive the speakers better than a weaker but linear 150 W amp? The Kula has half the power of the Gryphon but is still (I am assuming) as linear, so I am guessing it can handle short bursts of high current as easily but may not play as loud. Is that the difference between the two? I am asking because I don't normally listen to my music very loud but would love to have increased dynamics and bass control even at low volumes. It is nice of course to have the extra power, but I want to understand if it is worth the extra power consumption of Class AB, if that extra power is only useful for listening at loud volumes.

wsxaudioguy
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Not sure if this will help;

Not sure if this will help; however, I had the NAD M33 which is a class D amp putting out 220 watts into 8 ohms and I think close to doubling into 4 ohms for approx year and half paired with my Wilson Audio Sabrina X. In my time with it I was very pleased.I auditioned the Gryphon Diablo 300 and it wasn’t close. The Diablo 300 is much more powerful, musical, dynamic… I could go on and on… it’s much more everything. It blows the NAD away. It really is a monster. It’s also 3X the price… so I expect to wowed with that price gap and Gryphon delivered… Wilson’s are also known to need strong amplifiers and are current hungry with many of their speakers dipping down to 2 ohm territory. I was very surprised as the Diablo 300 elevated my Sabrina X to a level I was unaware of. That said, I bought it and have been extremely happy. This will be a keeper for some time to come. I hope this helps.

liquidsun
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Also, I would like to share

Also, I would like to share my experience as well, hope so you will find it valuable. I owned Primare i35 Prisma which I still think is a great amplifier. My speakers are Sonus Faber Olympica II. I switched to Pass Labs INT-25 and I can say I got a whole new level of experience in terms of Dynamics (micro and macro) slam, oomph and bass control. The INT-25 is rated at 25 wpc@8ohm while the Primare 150@8 and 300@4 ohms. Don't let the watts fool you, the Pass plays with much greater authority and scales at least three times better. My conclusion is - nothing can change a big massive oversized power supply, nor the latest class D technology

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