Gryphon Audio Designs Diablo 120 Integrated Amplifier-DAC $15,450 Review

September 18, 2018 § Leave a comment

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“The Diablo 120’s DAC section was truly plug’n’play. Within minutes of connecting and powering it up, I was listening to music from my Mac Mini server, streamed via USB. Many would assume that no add-on DAC could be as good as a standalone DAC, but I would beg to differ, based on my experience with similarly equipped integrated amplifiers. Additionally, there’s been a proliferation of excellent-sounding, small-chassis DACs that give full-size DACs a run for their money. Properly executed, there’s no reason to believe that excellent results can’t be obtained.

The Diablo 120’s DAC module was proof of this. Neutral in tone, with solid imaging, no hardness or glare, and excellent momentum and flow, it was the perfect companion for the amplifier section. I don’t listen to much electronica, but Deadmau5’s recent Where’s the Drop? (16/44.1 FLAC, mou5trap/Tidal) has been in regular rotation here and proved to be the perfect demo recording. This album of soaring orchestral arrangements of Deadmau5’s previous work, with deep synthesized bass, gave the DAC a good shakedown — I could find no category of sound in which it was lacking.”

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