The Perfect Home Office System That Delivers A Magical Performance

In the first of a new series of case-study blog posts, Andy Holt describes how Magico and Gryphon products enabled him to fulfil the brief to create a system that provided a full-range musical experience in a compact environment, with stunning results.

Escapism into music can be a real salve for the heart and the soul and, whilst it can be rewarding to share a piece of music collectively, there is always a time and place for some personal indulgence. This weeks system installation being a case in point; the brief being to provide a full range musical experience, that was supremely accomplished in regards to overall fidelity, yet small on stature and footprint, as its intended location was that of a small private study.

Enter the Magico A1’s, with their compact dimensions and battleship all-metal cabinet construction. Given the opportunity, these American marvels are able to deliver imaging and depth like no other at the size. They remain a rare beast in a market crammed full of similar sized alternatives, in that their build and choice of materials renders them all but immune to cabinet resonances or colouration. Also, being a sealed box, room interaction is kept to an absolute minimum, ensuring that they remain superbly flexible in regards to room placement; perfect for those smaller spaces or more challenging environments. The resulting signature is a sound that the belies its size to produce a smooth, deep and extremely well integrated soundstage that remains fully open, all without any hint of compression or compromise.

These were sited on Solid Steel SS-6 stands in an attractive raw finish, offering some lovely contrast to the brushed black anodised cabinets of the speakers themselves. These in turn were fed from the stunning Gryphon Diablo 120 integrated amplifier; a Danish work of art that provides a finesse and authority in a slim package that has to be heard to be believed – it commands the attention of the listener instantly with its resolve and sense of clarity, yet it is completely without edge or artifice, appearing to make the amplifier itself dissolve into the system as a whole. This is what sets Gryphon apart and, I would argue, is the reason for their highly addictive nature. Gryphon combine current delivery with ultra short signal paths, dual-mono construction and a zero feedback topology to achieve amplification that is so musical, effortless and engaging, that it is all to easy to forget about just how staggeringly good it is! Rather than become fixated on how the amplifier sounds or what’s most impressive about it, the Diablo’s authority over the loudspeakers, combined with its ability to fully resolve any source connected to it, means that you will quickly find yourself falling into many hours of blissful, fatigue-free listening.

The Diablo’s modular architecture also aids with keeping the system lean and appropriate to the application. In the case of this client, Roon was identified as the most practical solution, so we included the optional Gryphon Diablo DAC module and fed this, via USB, directly from the output of a Roon Nucleus. This module can handle just about any data rate or resolution that you can to throw at it, so made for an exceptionally efficient pairing and for which we opted to use Chord Company cabling throughout.

The system components combined to produce a wonderfully open, liquid and natural sound that cuts to the emotional core of any piece of music. This is definitively a ultra-high performance Hi-Fi system, of that there is no doubt, but there is no ‘showboating’ here, no flashing lights, bells or whistles – this is a system that defines itself by the quality and integrity of the music it provides. It delivered everything the client expected and then more. In all likelihood, it is one of the best sounding systems you will hear in so few boxes and one we were proud to supply.