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Gryphon Diablo 300

To Jeff Fritz,

I have a basic question in reference to your review of Sonus Faber's Venere 3.0: I am a newcomer to audio systems and struggle with the specific (and unintelligible to me) "hi-fi language" that sales representatives seem to consistently use. It does not help me at all to make an informed decision.

I would like to invest (what to me represents) a significant amount of money in a first system. An avid music listener, I spend hours at home listening to all kinds of music (from hip-hop to electro over rock, funk, and jazz) at moderate volumes, on vinyl, CDs, and in digital-download formats. I also use a home-theater system for my movies (5.1 thus far: Sony STR-DN1040 receiver coupled with Q Acoustics Q7000i speakers). In the past, I have managed to listen to the Venere 2.5, which I loved. Would you have any idea how they compare to the 3.0? If not budget-constrained, which one would you go for? Also, would you know which amplifier would best pair with them (budget of up to approx. $2500 USD)? Would they work with the Sony receiver (as a start)? Finally, which cables have a good price/quality ratio fitting this system (and what, if any, would be the advantage of biamping them)?

Thank you very much in advance for any reply.

Kind regards,
Sébastian Trenner

I opted to purchase the Venere 3.0 review samples that I had in. I thought they were that good for the price and I have not regretted the decision. I would opt for them versus the 2.5s because, in my room, the added bass response was welcome. In a smaller room the 2.5s might be more than sufficient, but if your room can handle it, the 3.0s would provide deeper bass response and perhaps lower distortion due to the three-way configuration and that extra bass driver.

As to which electronics would pair best with them, I think the Sony receiver would be fine to start with. I know Sonus Faber designed the Venere series to work well with receiver-based systems. Having said that, I also think the speakers are resolving enough to warrant better electronics when possible. I would personally look at Cambridge Audio and NAD. One other option would be the new Hegel H80 integrated amplifier with built-in DAC, which retails for $2000. I bet that would be a terrific combination.

As for cables, don’t go crazy on them but do get good wires. Stick to your budget and don’t get too caught up in the hoopla. I know the budget-conscious lines from AudioQuest and Nordost are quite good. Have fun with your new system and, please, do let me know how it all works out. . . . Jeff Fritz