Premiered in late prototype form at the 2013 Munich High End show, the Gryphon Audio Designs Kalliope digital-to-analog converter is now shipping.
The Kalliope’s digital circuit boards employ a modular layout for easy access to future upgrades. Firmware updates will be available via USB, we were told. Flemming E. Rasmussen, Gryphon’s founder and president, elaborates: “We designed the Kalliope to be a moving target in the rapid evolution of ultra-high-resolution digital audio. For once, hardware seems to be out in front of software, as the Kalliope offers playback of digital PCM up to 32-bit/384kHz and DSD up to 6.144MHz. This is an exciting time to be in audio and we can hardly wait for more well-recorded, interesting music to appear in these ultra-hi-rez formats. I think music lovers will be startled when they finally experience the untapped potential of Gryphon amplifiers and loudspeakers.”
The Kalliope deploys multiple ESS Sabre ES9018 DACs in a dual-differential, dual-mono topology capable of full 32-bit processing. The heavily regulated, fully discrete, class-A analog output stage employs zero negative feedback and offers both balanced XLR and single-ended RCA outputs.
The 12.5-farad SuperCap power supply of the Kalliope USB module acts as a virtual battery, delivering low-noise and stable, regulated power, eliminating the computer as a power source altogether. The Kalliope will accept digital resolutions of 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192, 352.8 and 384kHz at up to 32 bits, and DSD via USB (DoP) at 2.822, 3.072, 5.644 and 6.144MHz. Other features include user-selectable PCM and DSD digital filters; user-selectable, asynchronous PCM sample-rate conversion; first-order PCM analog filters and second-order DSD analog filters with silvered Mica capacitors; and true class-A, fully discrete analog circuitry with zero negative feedback.
The price of the Kalliope is €19,800 plus local taxes.