Stereophile's Products of 2022 Amplification Component of the Year

Amplification Component of the Year

Gryphon Apex Stereo power amplifier ($99,000; reviewed by Michael Fremer in August 2022, Vol.45 No.8 Review)

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Finalists (in alphabetical order)
Ayre Acoustics Ex-8 2.0 Integrated Hub ($6750–$8850; reviewed by Ken Micallef and John Atkinson in November & December 2021, Vol.44 Nos.11 & 12 review)
Gryphon Commander preamplifier ($63,000; reviewed by Michael Fremer in July 2022, Vol.45 No.7 review)
Luxman M-10x power amplifier ($19,995; reviewed by John Atkinson in May 2022, Vol.45 No.5 review)
Rotel Michi S5 power amplifier ($7499.99; reviewed by Jason Victor Serinus in July 2022, Vol.45 No.7 review)
Technics SU-R1000 integrated amplifier ($9499; reviewed by Ken Micallef and John Atkinson in December 2021 & January 2022, Vol.44 No.12 & Vol.45 No.1 review)

In reviewing the Apex Stereo, Michael Fremer wasn't stingy with praise. The Apex Stereo had, he wrote, a special ease—an "almost offhand casualness"; at the same time, he found himself drawn deeper into the music by "a newfound intimacy" in Nat King Cole's voice. In Mikey's review system, the amplifier was just as successful with Ravel: "Fast, precise attack; generous, lingering sustain; clean, smooth decay—these, for me, are the hallmarks of a great amplifier, and the Gryphon excelled at all three." In other music Neil Young's "voice and guitar hovered palpably between the speakers, the hall acoustic trailing subtly behind, adding warmth and a strong sense of dimensionality." Daft Punk? No problem: "Cranking it way up on 'Beyond' bathed the room in Daft Punk 3D luxury. You can crank up this amp, and it won't let you down—not timbrally, rhythmically, nor spatially. It just gets bigger and louder and never becomes hard or loses hold of the speakers."

Things got even better when Mikey introduced the companion Gryphon preamplifier—another category finalist—into the system. "The Apex Stereo amp, alone and combined with the Commander preamp, seems to up the pace of everything, as if your turntable is running fast, while simultaneously digging further down into each musical instant, making each gesture live longer, with precise attack, generous sustain, and long decay."

About the Vote
Remarkably—I didn't realize this until I checked last year's Product of the Year section for formatting guidance—this is the second straight year that Gryphon has won our top amplification award. Has that ever happened before? (I don't think so—but check out this year's Analog Component of the Year on the following page.) What's more, the company had two finalist products in the category, the winning amplifier and the Commander preamplifier mentioned above. (The preamp was evaluated separately.) That's quite a showing.

What other products did well? The Luxman M-10X and Rotel Michi S5 tied for second, just two votes behind the Apex. The Ayre Acoustics EX-8 2.0 Integrated Hub followed those two, one vote further back.

COMMENTS
Jack L's picture

......seven categories: Amplification Component of the Year,.."qtd Jim Austin

My question is: did "each reviewer" already auditioned "EACH of the 3 items in the seven categories" in order to give valid & impartial nominations ????

Otherwise, how could it be a valid nomination in case the reviewer(s) concerned never auditioned those particular candidate components out of the seven categories he/she nominated ????

IMO, actual personal in-depth audition of a candidate components is crucial of valid & fair nomination given by the reviewers concerned.

Listening with own ears is believing

Jack L

ChrisS's picture

Jack L, do some reading.

Did you even read this article?

A priori?

Jack L's picture

Hi

I have read it. That's why I asked.

YOU think you read it but you don't seem to know what you are talking about !

Jack L

ChrisS's picture

A priori!

Jack L's picture

Hi

If I were a priori, you are a big mouthing posteriori !

Hahahahahaaha....

Jack L

ChrisS's picture

...everything in your head?

Jack L's picture

Hi

Sure, better than a huge posteriori like you "listen to your great stereo with your head so far up your ASS all the time" as per your pal: johnnythunder!

Johnnythunder1: get your kissing cousin johnnythunder2 talk to me as yr mouth stinks like your ASS !

Hehehehehe

Jack L

johnnythunder1's picture

with your head so far up your own ass all the time.

David Harper's picture

ignore this guy. everything he thinks is wrong.

ChrisS's picture

...between Jack L and David Harper.

Hehe...!

Anton's picture

I don’t think it would be a conversation so much as simultaneous monologues.

Jack L's picture

Hi

Since when Stereophile Components of the Years becomes a stage for you bunch of polylogue-jokers ???

Jack L

ChrisS's picture

...believing, Jack L!

Jack L's picture

Hi

If here were a library, reading books there is believing.

Here is Audiophile, so LISTENING is believing, right?

Besides, who wants to read any nonsense from "you bunch of polylogue-jokers" here ?

Hahahaha..

Listening to music is believing

Jack L

ChrisS's picture

...Stereophile.

I can also read Herman Melville's Moby Dick on my computer.

Are we believing yet?

Jack L's picture

Hi

First off, what's Stereophile magazine in your "libray" to do with "Mody Dick" read from yr computer ??

Stereophile is about audio/music - we listen with our ears.
"Mody Dick" = The Whale, is an 1851 novel read by the eyes.

Apple to orange comparison ! Former is for real vs latter is a fiction. So you believe in fiction, be my guest ! I don't.

This is an audio/music venue, not for novels reading. Thanks but no thanks.

Listening to music is believing

Jack L

PS: I am never a novels reader since day one. Too busy with my music listening already ! What dragged me in to start my first novel reading was the billion-dollar top seller: "Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown in 2003. The thriller was sooo popular I got to wait a while for it from my neighbourhood public library !

ChrisS's picture

...go round and round.

Jack L's picture

Hi

Come on. You should be "WATCHING yr eyeballs go round & round in your mirror to look for yr ears - gone with the wind !

For no-ear YOU, reading is believing, pal. HEhehehe...

Jack L

Indydan's picture

Hey Jack L, why does everyone pick on you? Maybe it's because the L in Jack L is for LOSER.

For Jack L, SUCKING is believing.

Jack L's picture

Hi

Who cares, SOURgrapes !

What "everyone"?? The editor here is not a "LOSER" like YOU here as he does not "pick on" me.

YOU "sucking" "loser" is my believing !

Jack L

Indydan's picture

Hey JackOFF the Loser, keep sucking!

Jack L's picture

.

Indydan's picture

Hey Jack L, I am hearing from reliable sources that you pick your nose and eat it...

rschryer's picture

Btw, I'm eating dude. Gross.

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