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Gryphon’s Apollo Turntable and Siren Phono Preamp Deliver Analog Playback Like Few Other Designs Available: High End Munich 2024

Gryphon Audio has teamed up with Helmut Brinkmann to create a dream turntable system for the ultimate in analog playback.

Gryphon Audio Siren Phono Preamplifier and Apollo Turntable System

Gryphon Audio Designs ApS turned more than a few heads in Munich with the launch of its statement Apollo Turntable and Siren Phono Pre-amplifier. Our coverage team will have more photos early next week along with some in-depth impressions of what they heard, but the early word on the street is that the competition in Germany and New Jersey were slightly taken aback by this combination which apparently offers more than just some design innovations and impressive build quality.

Apollo Turntable

Gryphon Audio Apollo Turntable
Gryphon Audio Apollo Turntable

The culmination of a once-in-a-lifetime collaboration between Soren Slebo of The Gryphon Design Team, Turntable Legend Helmut Brinkmann, Cartridge Master Ortofon and the Aarhus Technical Institute, Apollo takes the “Systems Design Concept” to its fullest expression.

Building the world’s finest analog playback system required the world’s most revered turntable designer: Helmut Brinkmann. With Apollo, he has been given the opportunity to create his “Dream Turntable” without compromise.

Apollo utilizes two of Brinkmann’s proprietary Sinus™ Belt Drive Motors, placed 180-degrees from each other. While the benefits of multiple motors are well-known, overcoming the potential problems of dual motor design required a great deal of ingenuity.

Not only is Apollo Helmut’s first multi-motor turntable, it is also the first ‘table for which he developed a digital speed controller. In addition to synchronizing the two motors, Apollo’s controller is more accurate than analog equivalents and will never require calibration; at the same time, Brinkmann’s techniques for “Soft” motor control, painstakingly refined over more than 40 years, further distance Apollo’s speed controller from those of other turntables.

Gryphon Audio Apollo Turntable Front Logo with Buttons

Based on Brinkmann’s RöNt technology, Apollo’s bespoke supply employs the proprietary BZ 34 “Tube Rectifier Simulator” while semiconductors replace RoNt’s tubes. The Apollo units have a higher output current, enabling two motors to be optimally driven. A fully discrete, mechanically and electrically separated power source with dedicated transformer supplies the bearing heater and platter light. Apollo’s Industrial Design, authored by Gryphon’s Soren Slebo, combines visual beauty with ideal rigidity and resonance control.

The Apollo’s chassis is based on a laminated “Sandwich” construction of anodized aluminum, Kerrock, and “Smart Stack,” a damping compound patented by Denmark’s MENETA Group. Apollo’s motors are entirely decoupled from this structure, each mounted on its own, optimized subchassis. 

Brinkmann has traditionally hard-anodized their tonearm tubes due to the material’s very high transmission speed of sound (9.900 m/s), evacuating resonances from the cartridge as quickly as possible. To achieve state-of-the-art performance, however, required a solution that was truly cutting-edge.

Thanks to a joint research project with Denmark’s Aarhus Technical Institute, Apollo’s arm tubes are diamond-clad (technically, CrN-SD + DLC-TR), yielding the fastest sound transmission of any known material—18,000 m/s—ensuring the quickest evacuation of resonance.

Gryphon Audio Apollo Turntable Cartridge in collaboration with Ortofon
Gryphon Black Diamond DLC cartridge in collaboration with Ortofon

To achieve ultimate system synergy, Gryphon worked with Ortofon to create a unique cartridge whose performance characteristics are specifically tailored to Apollo’s. Starting with the extraordinary MC Diamond cartridge, Gryphon developed a special DLC-TR Coated, SLM Titanium body to match the Apollo tonearm and then tuned cartridge compliance to be its perfect partner. The result—The Gryphon Black Diamond DLC—is among the finest cartridges available and the ultimate transducer for the Apollo system.

Remarkable on its own, each part of the Apollo system has been purpose-engineered to elevate the performance of all the others. The ability to control all variables during the design phase, combined with brilliant designers and matchless manufacturing capabilities, has yielded an analog playback system unprecedented in High End Audio history.

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Gryphon says it is not hyperbole to state that, with Apollo, the whole is truly greater than the sum of its state-of-the-art parts.

Siren Phono Preamp

Gryphon Audio Siren Phono Preamplifier Closeup
Gryphon Audio Siren Phono Preamplifier

In 1985, Gryphon’s first product—The Head Amp—defined the ultimate in Analog playback and immediately established The Gryphon as a leader in High End Audio. 40 years, later, the Siren Phono Preamplifier redefines ultimate Analog performance.

Siren shares its sculptural, “Nordic Noir” aesthetic with our legendary Apex Power Amplifier and Commander Preamplifier. Its 4.3” TFT capacitive touch screen with 4mm hardened glass panel is identical to Commander’s, as is Siren’s Dual-Mono Power Supply Unit (PSU), which offers a power reservoir whose size and quality is unprecedented in a Phono Preamplifier. 

Weighing over 83 lbs (38 kg), Siren’s massive PSU features local, fully regulated power supplies for all sensitive voltage amplifying stages. In addition to separate left- and right-channel power supplies, a third, purpose-engineered supply for all digital functions maintains total separation of Digital and Analog signal paths, all the way back to the AC Cords.

Like Apex and Commander, Siren boasts four-layer Printed Circuit Boards with 70µ copper traces: more than twice the thickness of competitive components. These Boards are stuffed with the finest parts available for audio use, including Mundorf MCap ZN Capacitors, low inductance resistors from Vishay, matched transistors from ROHM and ultra-low noise transistors from ZETEX. Sensitive audio circuitry is floated on a proprietary isolation base whose “Constrained Layers” of Kerrock, Bitumen and Steel optimize component damping and eliminate smearing of fine detail.

Gryphon Audio Siren Phono Preamplifier Angle
Gryphon Audio Siren Phono Preamplifier

A hallmark of Gryphon components, Siren features true Dual Mono configuration, Zero Global Negative Feedback and a fully discrete, fully balanced circuit topology. Befitting a state-of-the-art component, extreme measures have been taken to ensure ultra-low noise operation. Minimal internal wiring and the use of PC-Mount XLR and RCA connectors further minimize noise and wiring while enhancing product consistency and longevity. In order to maximize system flexibility, Siren includes four user-selectable inputs—three XLR and one RCA—while MC Load Impedance as well as input can be chosen from the remote handset. 12V Buss Links simplify system power-up and power-down, while a rear-panel USB 2.0 Socket enables simple Firmware Upgrades.

Pricing & Availability

Siren and Apollo will be available late Summer, 2024 at the following prices:

  • Siren Phono Preamplifier – $69,800 USD
  • Apollo Turntable – $149,800 USD

The Gryphon Audio Designs Siren Phono Preamplifier and Apollo Turntable System will be unveiled today at HIGH END Munich, Atrium 4.1, Room E120. Gryphon’s Commander Preamp, Apex Mono Amplifiers, recently introduced PowerZone AC Optimizer and EOS 5 Loudspeakers, wired with Gryphon Vanta Cable and mounted on their StandArt Equipment Racks, complete the demonstration system.

About Gryphon: Gryphon Audio Designs ApS, manufacturer of Ultra-Luxe Audio Systems, was founded in 1985 by Flemming E. Rasmussen, whose artistic training resulted in products whose state-of-the-art technical performance are complemented by stunning visual design. Since 2002, Thomas Willum Børsting has been the majority shareholder with Gryphon employees holding the remaining shares. Gryphon is distributed in more than 40 countries worldwide.

For more information: gryphon-audio.dk

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