Posted on 11th April, 2019


Danish audio aficionados, Gryphon, has just announced their striking new Ethos CD player. If you're heading to AXPONA 2019 tomorrow or over the weekend you will be able to meet it there.

The Gryphon Audio Designs Ethos CD player sports sleek lines along with a low profile and stylish blend of metalwork and high-gloss acrylic. Gryphon believes that in the Ethos they have successfully delivered the ultimate combination of CD transport and digital-to-analogue converter.

Gryphon Ethos CD

The Gryphon Ethos has been designed with a single-minded commitment to the compact disc. To that end, the new player not only handles standard 16-bit/44.1 kHz “Redbook” CD, the Ethos also offers playback when hooked-up to external sources up to 32-bit/384 kHz PCM and up to DSD512.

Furthermore, as well as retaining Gryphon's dual mono design and fully symmetrical balanced philosophy, the Ethos is fully balanced throughout the digital DAC domain as well. Under the hood are eight DAC's in full dual differential mode. This configuration drastically lowers the digital noise floor and contributes to the expansive soundstage and sharply focused stereo image of the Gryphon Ethos.

Gryphon Ethos CD

Timing issues (jitter) are sorted by two independent, specially designed, temperature-compensated crystal oscillators accurate to better than five parts per million.

Gryphon upsampling allows the use of a simpler, lower-order analogue output filter, for dramatically increased resolution, detail, spaciousness, focus, transient accuracy and harmonic integrity.

Gryphon Ethos CD

The company tells us that “correctly implemented upsampling eliminates the need for conventional, steep-slope analogue filtering altogether.” Within the Gryphon Ethos, the filter is a single, silvered Mica capacitor acting as a simple, first-order analogue output filter. Using such a design preserves the integrity of the audio signal for a pristine presentation staged against an utterly silent, “black” backdrop.

The heavily regulated, fully discrete, fully balanced Class A analogue output stage employs zero negative feedback and offers both balanced XLR and single-ended phono outputs. The analogue section is supplied with +23 Volts, and careful attention has been paid to power supplies with separate transformers and comprehensive regulation.

Gryphon Ethos CD

Finally, the Gryphon Ethos has a modular design to keep pace with digital technology as it evolves. A convenient modification of digital or analogue circuits by a local authorised Gryphon service centre as upgrades become available will ensure that your Gryphon Ethos remains on the cutting edge of CD playback.

Like every Gryphon product, the Gryphon Ethos is designed and manufactured in Denmark. We have been told that the Ethos has an RRP of €24800 + tax.

If you are attending AXPONA 2019, you can find Gryphon in #1 Schaumburg C at the Renaissance Schaumburg.

Gryphon Ethos CD

Tech Spec

  • Exclusive, CD-only CD-Pro8 transport with all-metal chassis
  • Extensive mechanical decoupling of the CD transport
  • Dedicated ESS SABRE ES9038PRO 32-bit D/A converter for each channel
  • Each ES9038Pro incorporates eight individual D/A converters in Dual Differential coupling for optimal performance
  • User-selectable, 7 different PCM and 3 DSD digital roll-off filters
  • User-selectable, asynchronous PCM sample rate conversion to 384kHz and PCM to DSD conversion to DSD128.   
  • Temperature-compensated, ultra-low jitter crystal oscillators with better than 5 parts per million accuracy
  • USB input compatible with following audio formats via PC/MAC:
  • PCM: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192, 352.8 and 384 kHz, up to 32 bits
  • DSD via USB: DSD64 (up to 3.072 MHz), DSD128 (up to 6.144 MHz), DSD256 (up to 12.288 MHz) and DSD512 (up to 24.576 MHz)
  • No USB driver required for LINUX or MAC OSX
  • USB driver available for Windows
  • Super-Capacitor (12.5 Farad!) power supply for USB module - for a true battery source
  • Digital BNC and XLR inputs compatible with PCM: 22.05, 24, 32, 44.1, 48, 64, 88.2, 96, 176.4 and 192 kHz, up to 24 bits
  • Balanced 110 Ohm XLR AES/EBU digital input
  • Single-ended 75 Ohm BNC S/PDIF digital input
  • Balanced 110 Ohm XLR AES/EBU digital output from CD transport
  • Galvanic isolation of all digital BNC and XLR inputs and outputs for minimal jitter
  • Comprehensive noise regulation of all digital circuits
  • Modular digital audio sections for possible future upgrades
  • True Class A, fully discrete analogue circuitry with zero negative feedback
  • First-order PCM analogue filters and user selectable second-order DSD analogue filter with silvered Mica capacitors
  • Analogue output stages with low noise +/- 23 VDC regulated voltage supplies for low THD and noise suppression
  • Custom-built 32 VA toroidal transformer for each analogue channel
  • 20,000 microFarad power capacitor banks for each analogue channel
  • True Dual Mono analogue and DAC configuration
  • Balanced XLR analogue outputs and single-ended phono outputs
  • Ultra-short signal path with minimal internal wiring
  • Four-layer 70 mm thick copper trace PCB's
  • Vacuum Fluorescent Display with variable illumination
  • Personalised naming of each input
  • Solid aluminium top plate
  • Gold-plated CD clamp
  • Polished acrylic base
  • Brushed, aluminium arm
  • Side-mounted heatsinks
  • Gryphon designed Atlas adjustable feet
  • Constrained layer damping vibration control
  • CD well with LED lighting
  • Automatic standby mode with user-selectable interval
  • Standby power consumption less than 0.5W in accordance with EU regulations
  • 12V link in
  • Infrared remote control


      Jay Garrett's avatar

      Jay Garrett

      StereoNET UK’s Editor, bass player, and resident rock star! Jay’s passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.

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      Posted in:Hi-Fi
      Tags: gryphon  axpona  high end munich 2019  munich2019