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Srajan Ebaen
Financial Interests: click here
Source: Apple iMac 1TB with OSX 10.6.5, AIFF files up to 24/192 and Pure Music 1.74 in memory playback with pre-allocated RAM, Burson Audio HA160D as DAC, Weiss DAC2, iPod Classic 160GB, Sieben Technology dock, Onkyo ND-S1 digital-direct iPod dock, Pure i20 digital-direct dock, Antelope Audio Zodiac Gold with Voltikus and Red Wine Audio 18VDC Black Lightning [on review]
Preamp/Integrated: Esoteric C-03 (transistor), Bent Audio Tap-X (AVC passive), ModWright LS100 (tubes)
Amplifier: ModWright KWA-100 SE, FirstWatt F5, Octave MRE130 with SBB
Speakers: ASI Tango R, Mark+Daniel Fantasia S, Aurelia Graphica [on review]
Cables: Complete loom of ASI Liveline, Crystal Cable Ultra, Zu Audio Event, Black Cat Cable Veloce S/PDIF cable [on loan], Entreq USB and Firewire cables
Stands: 2 x ASI HeartSong 3-tier, 2 x ASI HeartSong amp stand, Track Audio Precision 600 speaker stand
Powerline conditioning: 1 x GigaWatt PF-2, 1 x Furutech RTP-6
Sundry accessories: Extensive use of Acoustic System Resonators, noise filters and phase inverters
Room size: 5m x 11.5m W x D, 2.6m ceiling with exposed wooden cross beams every 60cm, plaster over brick walls, suspended wood floor with Tatami-type throw rugs. The listening space opens into the second storey via a staircase and the kitchen/dining room are behind the main listening chair. The latter is thus positioned in the middle of this open floor plan without the usual nearby back wall.
Review Component Retail: €12.500/pr, custom color as reviewed adds €1.600/pr, stands are €1.400/pr

Exclusive. Danish. Peak performance. Electronics. It's deeply engrained. That's how audiophiles view Flemming Rasmussen's prestigious Gryphon Audio Designs brand. Rightly so too (whilst it could escape that the brand abbreviates to GAD as though it were a polished form of gawd). More to the point it overlooks that half of the company's annual turnover is in loudspeakers. That part of the equation hasn't yet filtered through to popular perception.
Mojo's Seas mid/woofer
To find out what it misses, I requisitioned Gryphon's smallest speaker. That's a stand mount called Mojo. Obviously that refers to the Ethiopian railroad town near Addis Abeba. Right. The thing with obvious is that often it ain't. The thing. Mojo also stands for an African charm. Or a super villain of various Marvel comics. Or a culinary sauce from the Canary Islands and the Caribbean. Or self confidence, sex appeal and libido in slang. Working one's mojo thus casts a spell. Or grows wood and X-rated in a jiffy. (The website makes clear that spell casting is the intended meaning.)

Gryphon Poseidon. The chosen spelling is also a contraction of griffin and the Greek 'phon' for sound. As the lion was traditionally considered king of beasts and the eagle king of birds, the half-eagle half-lion griffin was thought to be especially powerful and majestic and king of all creatures. Griffins are also known for guarding treasure and priceless possessions...


One glance at the four-way twin-tower Poseidon flagship shows two ingredients we encounter again in the Mojo: a tweeter bracketed by mid/woofers; and a concave baffle for time alignment. The functional makeup of Mojo's tweeter is radically different from the dynamic units of the three dearer models however. It's a Mundorf air motion transformer whose compact profile hides great surface area between its pleats. The surrounding drivers are Norwegian Seas CA15RLY 15cm paper cones with a free-air resonance of 44Hz and 7.7g of moving mass. Inspired by trained mathematician Steen Duelund's advanced constant phase crossovers like all Gryphons, the not at all obvious 4th-order network at 2kHz combines hot-swappable graphite Duelund Coherent Audio resistors for a ±0.5dB tweeter adjustment, Jensen air-core p.i.o inductors and caps and other low-memory precision German caps.

Bandwidth mojo is given as 37Hz to 40.000Hz. There's a bog standard 89dB sensitivity, 4-ohm nominal impedance and high power mojo of 200 watts. The elegant grills string along Sonus Faber style and form a more mental than physical barrier to not touch the drivers.

The Mojo's precursor [upper left] was called the Cantata and discontinued in 2008. It sported an adjustable Linkwitz/Greiner Q controller to compensate for room gain. Like the Mojo it too combined two 5-inch drivers around a tweeter but the latter was a more conventional dome type where the newer model gains the more dynamic AMT.

From a house of not just high fidelity but high design the Mojo is naturally available in various finishes. If you can afford to, ask. The optional stand is recommended and ideally mass-loaded with sand, lead shot or similar heaviness.

Given design DNA it's fair to view the Mojo as a full-on Gryphon for smaller spaces which would overload with the bigger models. It seems to be an uncompromising ultra/über monitor that wants to offer flagship sound for stowaways who travel with just a smaller bag (20 x 42 x 52cm WxHxD) but lust after dream-boat thrills. I asked Flemming Rasmussen what else he might add: "Unlike most others the Mojo wasn't built to a predetermined price point. It was designed for seamless integration in a specific interval of room sizes. This allows us to employ fine hand-made components rarely seen in speakers of this size - or any size for that matter.

Flemming Rasmussen
  "Steen Duelund and I designed our first speaker system together more than 10 year ago. He was a close friend until he died from cancer April 26, 2005. All our speakers are based on his crossover theories. Steen and I shared the same preferences in sound. I introduced him to younger acoustical engineer Lars Matthiesen who learned everything from Steen he could so we would continue making our speakers the way Steen advocated - in phase at all frequencies all of the time."
Steen Duelund