Never tempted by shortcuts or compromise of any kind, Gryphon Audio Designs has consistently pursued new levels of realism in music reproduction for nearly a quarter of a century. Through the years, the Gryphon name has come to stand for the world’s most revealing High End components with peerless finish and build quality to inspire lasting pride of ownership.
Now, the most comprehensive and intensive research and development project in the history of the Gryphon brand culminates in the launch of the Gryphon Colosseum Solo single-channel power amplifier.
Building on the success and acclaim accorded the two-channel Colosseum, the monoblock Colosseum Solo exudes strength, painstaking attention to even the minutest details, uncompromising stability under virtually any operating conditions and exceptional transient response, phase response and current capability. Armed with enormous current reserves, it will never be caught off guard by the complex impedance loads of even the most demanding loudspeaker.
While monoblock power amplifiers are by no means rare in the uppermost echelons of High End audio, few – if any – are executed as conscientiously and uncompromisingly as the Gryphon Colosseum Solo. More than 90% of all other mono amplifiers have been “designed” easily and speedily, simply by bridging the two channels of an existing stereo model.
Unfortunately, while bridging increases nominal output power, other critical parameters, such as distortion and damping factor, take a major hit. Most crucially, bridging doubles output impedance, thereby reducing current capability by a substantial 50%.
By implementing parallel-coupling in the Gryphon Colosseum Solo instead of bridging, distortion is cut in half, damping factor is doubled and output impedance is cut in half, doubling current capability and enabling absolute control of loudspeaker loads as low as 1 Ohm.
The implementation of two physically independent audio channels on separate chassis effectively eliminates any interaction or interference between the two channels for infinite channel separation and the rock-solid holographic imaging that has become a Gryphon hallmark.
As a practical and stylish side effect, monoblock configuration and vertical orientation of the Gryphon Colosseum Solo invites the owner to place each amplifier in the immediate vicinity of its loudspeaker.
The slim, majestic high-rise tower of the Colosseum Solo occupies minimal floor space. With end plates machined from solid blocks of 40 mm black polyvinylmethacrylate and smart, curved side panels of your choice, the Colosseum Solo is a strikingly handsome minimalist sculpture that will enhance any space.
Any attempt to describe or analyze the audible characteristics of the Colosseum Solo is simply doomed to failure. As should be the case at this exalted level of ambition and engineering skill, it possesses no discernible sonic signature or identity of its own. Consider it a doorway that opens wide into the original recorded space, revealing performers in a supremely natural re-creation of three-dimensional reality that will take your breath away.
For Your Convenience
For ultimate convenience, the Colosseum Solo can be configured to turn on automatically when your Gryphon preamplifier turns on and to shut down following a period with no signal. A software-based user interface permits easy, intuitive access to practical user-controlled features.
A sophisticated protection system with no current limiting or other signal degrading effects protects the Gryphon Colosseum Solo in the event of DC, short circuit, overheating, LF or HF.
Pure Class A and Green Bias
Gryphon Audio Designs remains committed to discrete circuitry and Class A bias in the Gryphon Colosseum Solo power amplifier. As a result each monoblock weighs in at a hefty 80 kg.
True Class A operation has always been a Gryphon benchmark, because there is no substitute for the sheer musical magic of pure Class A. The Colosseum Solo operates in true Class A mode with maximum power instantaneously available at all times, for unrivalled speed, control and accuracy. Once you experience the effortless realism and musicality of pure Class A, there is no turning back.
Because 180 Watts of pure Class A power is overkill for the vast majority of applications (in particular with efficient loudspeakers, in small rooms, or at low listening levels), the Gryphon Colosseum Solo incorporates proprietary Green Bias circuitry which automatically adjusts bias level to match the selected volume setting when paired with a Gryphon Mirage or Sonata Allegro preamplifier. Tracking bias in this way significantly reduces power consumption and heat generated by the amplifier without compromising Class A audio performance.
For use with a preamplifier without Green Bias, the Gryphon Colosseum Solo features three-step (High, Mid, Low) manual bias adjustment.
A Personal Design Statement
In selecting a finish for your Colosseum Solo, the possibilities are limited solely by your imagination. Because the side panels are based on an innovative modular construction, your dealer can remove and replace them in a simple operation. With Gryphon, your choice of finish is no longer a lifetime commitment.
This exclusive Gryphon service gives the proud Colosseum Solo owner access to virtually unlimited custom finish options not only at the time of original purchase, but also at any time after that and as often as you desire.
Whenever you re-decorate or move, you can have your Gryphon Colosseum re-dressed and updated to always keep pace with your evolving personal style and interior decor.
This exclusive service and extraordinary level of flexibility was pioneered by Gryphon for our Atlantis, Trident and Poseidon loudspeaker systems and remains unique in home audio. Now, the design of your Gryphon system can be an ongoing adventure of exploration and invention.
The ultra-wide frequency bandwidth of the Gryphon Colosseum Solo, with frequency response extending beyond 350 kHz, ensures high slew rate and perfect phase characteristics essential to correct soundstage reproduction.
Amplifier circuitry is suspended between the curved, de-coupled side panels in a unique configuration that provides optimal layout and operating conditions for all components. Dual 1,400 Watt transformers are isolated and effectively shielded to prevent unwanted interaction with other components.
Unique mechanical design ensures optimal thermal tracking between drivers and output devices. The separate driver section has its own power supply from individual windings on the custom-built toroidal transformers and features its own generous bank of proprietary Gryphon capacitors.
The output section employs Sanken bipolar output devices for extreme reliability in addition to outstanding sonic performance. These transistors deliver momentary peak power of 7,000 Watts per channel without overload. Each of the 48 transistors per channel is bypassed with individual film capacitors.
In the best Gryphon tradition, the Colosseum Solo utilizes a completely independent transformer and power supply for display and control circuits, creating an effective firewall that prevents digital noise generated by these circuits from reaching the amplifier circuits.
Negative feedback is not used and DC coupling is achieved with DC servo circuitry. Internal wiring in the signal path is kept to an absolute minimum, using only the finest Gryphon Guideline Reference silver cable.
The Gryphon Colosseum Solo is fitted with a single balanced input. Eliminating phono sockets in the signal path ensures the integrity of the sensitive audio signal.
The custom-built Gryphon speaker terminals accept bare wire, spade lugs or banana connectors for a tight, reliable connection.
Keeping It Real
Despite its timeless beauty and imposing presence, in actual use, the Gryphon Colosseum Solo is essentially invisible, an utterly transparent conduit that lays bare every aspect of the recording, the location and, most crucially, the musical performance itself.
The Colosseum Solo reproduces all the subtlest timbral shadings, the beauty of music in three dimensions and a rock-solid rendering of the soundstage. In addition to its exceptional dynamic capabilities, there is a striking absence of “grain” in the extreme high frequencies, which remain liquid and coherent.
The integration of the highs and the upper midrange is ideal with a seamless continuity of tonal structure when different timbres mingle above 5 kHz.
The amplifier’s silky-smooth nature allows the listener access to a previously concealed universe of micro-details that bring the performance to life. Extreme deep bass is rendered with such power that the amplifier delineates and illuminates every corner of the recording space.
Rarefied levels of transient speed and dynamic headroom ensure that the Gryphon Colosseum Solo will never lose its firm grip on musical events even in the presence of the most extreme transient peaks.
Control, fluidity, clarity and an effortless naturalness mark the Colosseum Solo as a breed apart. It stands unconditionally in the first rank for its faithful translation of the soul-stirring language of music.
For protection in transit, the Gryphon Colosseum Solo is shipped in a specially built wooden flight case with metal fittings.