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To Jeff Fritz,

Hello! It's been quite a while since I last e-mailed you. I ended up with the Boulder 2010 preamplifier and 2060 power amplifier and have upgraded my speakers to a pair of Avalon Times. The system is now a bit too analytical, lacking a bit of musicality, in my opinion. I would like to add a bit more warmth to the system. 

I am looking into the Constellation Altair/Hercules and the Gryphon Pandora/Mephisto Monos. How would you characterize these two setups and what would be your preference? 

Cheers,
Chan

I have not had the opportunity to hear the Constellation equipment in my system, though I do know that it has been given some solid reviews elsewhere. My take is that, at the very least, it is very competently designed gear and will likely perform at a high level. Is it special? I really can't say.

But I can say that the Gryphon gear is special. As you likely know, I reviewed the Colosseum amplifier and Mirage preamplifier and found them to be outstanding. Gryphon equipment has a reputation for being highly musical, sometimes warm, and very analog-like, though the newest models also display great speed and transient snap. Based on that, I think the Gryphon pairing will do exactly what you want it to do in your system, particularly if the Mephisto Mono/Pandora combo is better than the Colosseum and Mirage. If my experience with Flemming Rasmussen's designs is any indication, it will be something to hear. . . . Jeff Fritz