Clearly by now things were fully cooked. Audirvana on our iMac had identified the new USB source as 'Ethos USB' and showed 384kHz compliance. If set, resampling PCM over USB to DSD becomes DSD64. CD resamples to DSD128. Either way, Gryphon's own upsampler must be on. If it's off, so is PCM⇒DSD. Playing the short game of up/resampling and filters, I found that for USB, bypassing Gryphon's own upsampler in favour of hitting 352.8kHz in Audirvana's 64-bit code sounded best to me. I seriously doubt this was due to the final figure. Rather, it exploited the iMac's superior processing powers over Sabre's on-chip code. Resampling to DSD netted the usual heavier 'reverb' textures with their softer transitions and more billowy gestalt. On balance, I favored pure PCM for both physical and virtual media. Your tastes could vary. Particularly with edgier fare such options are boss. For filters, I generally agreed with Gryphon's hybrid default but premium recordings most benefited from filter 1 for maximum clarity.

Display insert at 100% backlight intensity shows, top to bottom, USB resampled to DSD64, USB at 384kHz with Gryphon's upsampler, finally CD resampled to DSD128. The actual player shows USB upsampled to 352.8kHz in Audirvana.

Streaming USB, the most notable/immediate difference to our domestic Soundaware D300Pro ⇒ Denafrips Terminator duo (ultra-capped USB bridge, I²S via HDMI, discrete R2R DAC with defeatable 1'411.2/1'536kHz upsampler) was bass power. Recognizable Gryphonics of zero-feedback class A outputs created more low-end oomph. Particularly on down-tempo dub from Kalya Scintilla, Mercan Dede, Desert Dwellers and Govinda, heavier infrasonic coverage suggested a virtual center-to-the-earth connection of studio trickery and synth constructs. Having speakers capable of 25Hz made that an easy assessment. To dig deeper, I simply had to become a source swinger.

Returning to the residents then back to the visitor and so forth ticked off more boxes. Denafrips played things in the more organic/deep camp. The Dane lived in the more forward vivid class. That distinction hinged on two qualities. One was my perception of leading-edge incisiveness. Ethos had more wiriness or snap. Conversion to DSD softened that but also some separation/articulation powers. I stuck to PCM pure. Two was perceived suddenness and reach of dynamic shifts. Ethos threw the bigger stones into the music pond. That caused greater ripples. Combined with transient acuity, these fast-twitch dynamic fibers had me feel energetically closer to stage. That made the tunes more forward not relative to staging but to their projection of directness. Based on prior experiences with various FirstWatt amps, I'd therefore call Ethos a 3rd-order dominant design. Whatever likely very faint THD it does have should be higher for the 3rd than the 2nd harmonic. The second tends to be softer, warmer and richer, the third sharper, better separated and more energetic. If only one word were allowed for this sound, vivid would really best capture its core flavor.

Ethos or iMac/Ethos ⇒ Vinnie Rossi L2 Signature with Elrog ER50 ⇒ LinnenberG Liszt ⇒ Audio Physic Codex, all cabling by Allnic 

The moment that paragraph formed, I realized that I'd just signed off with Gryphon's original signature. Exactly as remembered, it still combined snap, dynamics and fully developed bass for high energy. Having witnessed the spectre of Hamlet's father as the country's late king, in the 4th scene of the 1st act of Shakespeare's play, officer Marcellus finds "something is rotten in the state of Denmark". Having just heard the spirit of Gryphon, I rather thought that old Marcellus had come to entirely the wrong conclusion. Everything was very peachy in the state of Denmark. Seeing ghosts can be exactly what the doctor ordered.