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The Gryphon Kalliope

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KALLIOPE (a.k.a. Calliope, meaning “beautiful voice”) is the eldest of the Muses, goddesses of music, song and dance in Greek mythology. Kalliope is the goddess of epic poetry and eloquence.

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Dedicated ESS SABRE ES9018 32-bit D/A converter for each channel
Gentle digital filter roll-off for ultra-pure high frequencies
Temperature-compensated, ultra-low jitter crystal oscillators with better than 5 parts per million accuracy
Each ES9018 incorporates eight individual D/A converters in Dual Differential coupling for optimal performance
True Class A, fully discrete analogue circuitry with zero negative feedback
34,000 microFarad power capacitor banks for each analogue channel
12.5 Farad SuperCap powersupply for the Kalliope USB module which acts like a true battery supply
Discrete, ultra-low noise power supply for analogue section of ES9018 DAC
Custom-built 65 VA toroidal transformer for each analogue channel
True Dual Mono configuration
Ultra-short signal path with minimal internal wiring
EU CE approval
…og meget meget mere
Designed and built in Denmark

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In any audio system, there are certain points along the signal path that are more crucial than others. These are the intersections where the signal is converted from one form of energy into another. Such transformations occur when the needle of a phono cartridge traverses the micro-grooves of a vinyl record, converting kinetic energy into an electrical signal. At the opposite end of the signal path, loudspeakers must transform electrical input into acoustic output.

But perhaps the most critical transformation of all is the conversion of the output of digital sources into an analogue signal, ideally without loss or distortion of any kind. Despite the lofty claims of many manufacturers, what is lost or changed at this point can never be recovered or restored.

In acknowledgment of the on-going refinement of digital audio sources and the rapid evolution of high-resolution digital audio formats, Gryphon Audio Designs now presents the Gryphon Kalliope digital to analogue converter to stand as the gateway that conveys the musical signal from one domain to the next in utterly pristine condition.

The Gryphon Kalliope

Three Reasons Why Bits Are Not Just Bits
The well-worn phrase “Bits is bits” encapsulates the widespread misconception that any reasonably constructed digital system will result in “Pure, Perfect Sound Forever,” in the lamentable promotional slogan coined by the inventors of the compact disc.

1.) Digital audio is not a simple one-dimensional row of numbers, where all that is required is to keep the correct numbers in the correct order. In fact, it is a data stream of numbers flowing through time. And the right number at the wrong time is (almost) as bad as the wrong number.

Gryphon Kalliope ensures effective correction/prevention of timing errors (jitter) using sophisticated circuit topology and exclusive, custom-built components.

2.) Following digital to analogue conversion, an analogue filter is required to remove high frequency noise. The deleterious side effects of a typical steep-slope “brickwall” filter include temporal smearing, energy loss, compromised resolution and reduced transparency.

Gryphon Kalliope employs advanced technologies and an innovative, minimalist single-component filter with no adverse audible impact.

3.) Advocates of the “bits is bits” attitude tend to ignore the fact at the end of all digital signal processing there is an analogue stage. The circuit design, component selection, power supply and layout of this stage are all just as critical now in the digital era as they ever were in the analogue age.

Gryphon Kalliope draws on decades of experience in the design and construction of some of the finest analogue audio systems the world has ever known.

The Gryphon Kalliope

Stability and Control
Gryphon Kalliope reaps the full benefits of Gryphon’s uncompromising design philosophy, including strict dual mono configuration, minimal internal wiring, fully isolated separate power supplies for analogue, digital and control/display circuitry and exclusive, custom components such as precision crystal oscillators and toroidal transformers.

To ensure unlimited, pure power to all stages, transformer windings for digital and analogue sections are physically separated and the four-layer printed circuit board employs a 70 mm copper trace to ensure optimal grounding and power distribution as well as signal transfer.

For maximum control and stability, each analogue channel in Gryphon Kalliope employs a dedicated custom-built 65 VA toroidal transformer and 34,000 microFarad power capacitor banks. Built from the finest discrete components, Kalliope eschews capacitor banks based on a few large capacitors, in favour of parallel-coupled clusters of smaller, high-performance caps (a total of 28), for lower equivalent series resistance.

Kalliope’s substantial, heavily regulated high-current power supplies would not be out of place in a typical integrated amplifier.

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