Gryphon Audio Designs is known for state-of-the-art electronics and loudspeakers that express the clean Danish aesthetic of founder Flemming Rasmussen and his goal of “sonic neutrality” (presenting sound without embellished frequencies, especially in the bass or treble regions) at every point in the music reproduction chain. With that aim, Gryphon’s new Ethos CD player was conceived to be the best in the world.
Constructed with the precision of a laboratory instrument, the roughly $39,000 Ethos amply demonstrates that physical media—specifically the compact disc—is still at the top of the pyramid in digital reproduction when spun and processed on a player that is the definitive combination of CD transport and digital-to-analog converter. It has been crafted with a single-minded commitment to the compact disc: Adding to that, the Ethos not only handles standard 16-bit/44.1 kHz “Redbook” CD but also playback when connected to external sources up to 32-bit/384 kHz PCM and up to DSD512. Here, we talk through the standout features of the player.