Ear 912 pre with Gryphon Essence stereo , electrical match?

I would like to know if my Ear 912 pre could be a good match with the Gryphon Essence stereo power amp.
The Gryphon Essence has +31 db of gain. The Ear has +14 db.

I have for now the Ear connected to the Naim nap 250 dr. A great match, for me. No hiss, noise, dead silent, and I enjoy the combo.
However I heard recently the Gryphon Essence pre/ power. Was very positively surprised.

The Ear 912 specs:
Description: Tubed stereo preamplifier. Tube complement: five 7DJ8/PCC88. Phono inputs: 2. Line inputs: 2 balanced, 3 unbalanced. Tape loops: 1. Outputs: 1 balanced, 1 unbalanced. Input impedances, phono: 47k ohms, moving-magnet; 3, 6, 12, or 40 ohms, moving-coil. Output impedance: 600 ohms. Line-stage gain: 14dB. Phono-stage gain: 50–80dB. Signal/noise ratio: 68dB phono (ref. 2.4mV), 90dB line (ref. 1V). Frequency response: 20Hz–20kHz, –0.3dB. Distortion: <0.1% at 1kHz, 3V output.

It’s only a question. Just wondering. I want to upgrade in one year maybe. The Ear 912 is very good and its phono too. I am thinking also of an Ear 890 or 861 to match it. But the Essence is very tempting too.
I am aware of course of the synergy of Ear with Ear , like Naim with Naim.
If I had a bigger budget, I would take the Gryphon Essence pre with power and buy an additional phono. But not the plan.
552/500 is out of my budget. I had some years ago a 252/250. The Ear next was a revelation for me.

So I see only Ear 912/ 861 or 890 or Ear 912/ Gryphon Essence. Or an Aries Cerat integrated eventually

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In the end, I see you losing even your shirt… :sob: :sob: :sob:

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The end of Naim you mean ? Probably not, if I go for a second hand Nd555.

Goodness me, what is the seller of such a device, ‘the great ND555’ swapping it for?

Lumin X1…:ok_hand:

The end of your pocket and your savings, I mean, in the rabbit hole…

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I will try to find one in Germany, if possible.
The other choice is the Meitner MA3, the most musical one box streamer I could have listened to, vs Linn Klimax KDSM, DCS Rossini bare, and Lumin X1. And the least expensive of all those.

Nobody could answer my initial question : is a +14 db tubes pre can match a +31 db amp ? @Suedkiez maybe. James?

No savings, only credits for me. It will be my last credit for a 7 years period, before my retirement.

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Looking on the Gryphon web site most of their power amps have similar gain and input impedance characteristics to the Nap250dr including the Essence Stereo so as you are happy with the match with the Nap250 your ear pre might be ok serving the gryphon. Note that a couple of the gryphons including the essence mono blocs have lower input impedance (10k ohms) less than the Nap250 so those models might present a less attractive match to your ear preamp.

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The Essence power amp says it has an input impedance of 20kohms - nothing abnormal about that. With an output impedance of 600ohms I would expect the Ear to be quite happy feeding it.

I think the NAP250 has a gain of 29dB, so the Essence at 32 will be slightly louder for the same volume control setting. However, being class A it will use a lot more electricity 350W on idle (and apparently up to 1350W if running at maximum, but with normal music playing I doubt it would be much more than 350). As a consequence it will also run a lot hotter - OK in winter, as it contributes to room heating, not so good in summer - and definitely not one to leave on between sessions!


With 600 ohm output I wouldn’t expect any issue.

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Thanks Roog. Indeed I realised also a couple of hours ago that the Nap 250 dr has 29 db gain. So very similar to the Essence stereo. :+1:

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Thanks IB. sounds promising !
The Essence was a special good match with my speakers. However the speakers were top range of mine. Very similar to Naim 500 series, but at half the price for the Essence pre/ amp.

Buying on punts is all I know with such poor demo facilities. That said, I mitigate risk as much as possible by never mixing and matching. Always go for things designed together. Regardless of what’s on paper, I don’t think I’d risk the Ear/Gryphon marriage. It’s a lot of money/credit and high risk.

If you can get one second hand and think you can sell it for what you paid then you could buy it and consider that a home demo. That sort of hifi horse trading is pretty common in countries with few good dealers.

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Would it make sense to ask both Naim & Gryphon this? I’m sure at least Naim would be happy to answer.

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It does not seem the best strategy as the events ahead are glimpsed…

The problem with all electronics, not only Class A, is no longer that it gets hotter in summer, but with the rapid rise in temperatures during summers that lengthen and lengthen each time in more latitudes, it is increasingly complicated it can evacuate the heat and it can be conveniently cooled without forced air conditioning…

If I take that way I will bring my ear 912 to the dealer place and try it with the Gryphon.
The match with pre and power of different brands can give better results than the synergy of same brand with same brand.
I had the 252/250 before. The Ear / 250 gave more nuances, realism, colours, without sacrificing dynamics and prat.
But of course it’s risky. More often it doesn’t work optimally. But when it works you can have something better than the sum of the parts.

I have always done that. If not I would never be able to afford such expensive gear. 2% interest is not so big too.


Well, things change, and now they are changing very quickly, and they are going to change even more quickly, and most likely in a way that will not favor or like anything to the vast majority, and many will be surprised…

I’ll not go any further on that, this forum is no place for it; but, in the end, happiness is closely related, if not entirely, to expectations.