I have been meaning to put this Hegel H590 and Gryphon Diablo 300 article together for a while now as it has been a while since I talked about the Hegel H590. I really liked that amp and think it is one of the more stylish higher-end amplifiers you can buy. Sure, it is expensive as hell, but in comparison to the Gryphon Diablo 300, you may think it is a steal. I am a big fan of what Gryphon does and their Diablo 300 is truly a remarkable amp and it is one of the most expensive pieces of tech I have ever had the pleasure to play around with. However, it has a very cool style and I think its style goes great in a head-to-head with the H590 and that is really the main reason I wanted to write this article today.
Our Hegel H590 and Gryphon Diablo 300 debate starts off in the same place that these things always do and that is looking at the price. Both of these are expensive and if your experience with amplifiers before this was those that were in the 50 to 100 bucks range, you are in for one heck of a shock here my friend!
The asking price for the Hegel H590 is around $10,000 to $11,000 if you were to find one of these things brand new at a dealer. I have looked at many very expensive amps (thanks to a good friend who has a store) over the last year and I have to say that while this is a very expensive item, I do not feel that they are out of line with what they are asking for this. I have seen this thing pop up on eBay a couple of times, most recently a seller out of the country had one on there for seven grand. Granted you will have a hefty shipping fee on top of that, but it could still save you a couple of thousand bucks so being patient and shopping around for this could be worth your while.
Gryphon Diablo 300:
The Gryphon Diablo 300 is one of the most expensive pieces of tech that I have ever looked at. You are easily looking at $20,000 (give or take a few hundred) to purchase this thing and add it to your setup. As of me writing this, this is the big boy amplifier from Gryphon. They do have a smaller and “more affordable” version of this in the Gryphon Diablo 120. I had a look around on eBay and in the UK, I did find a few people selling these and they were priced all over the place, I saw one at £14,000 and another at the very reasonable price of £8,945.00, however that seller was only offering local pickup! There can be deals found, but if you are shipping a monster like this internationally, you will have a massive cost when it comes to shipping, not to mention the stress of it making its way to you unscathed!
The Verdict: At RRP or close to it I have to say that the winner here is the Hegel H590. I just do not see any universe were paying nearly double the price for an amplifier is a good idea. Perhaps if you are really rich and money is no object then by all means go for it and more power to you. However, for me personally, there is just not enough of a leap in the sound department to warrant such a massive leap in price to the Gryphon Diablo 300.
Next up we are looking at the design of these amps and the whole reason that I wanted to put this article together was for the sole purpose of this round right here. These are two very stylish and sexy amplifiers and I would have either one of these right in the middle of my entertainment center…. If I could afford one of these of course!
Hegel H590: The first time I talked about the Hegel H590 I said that I felt it was one of the coolest and best looking amps that I had ever seen and I am sticking by that! Just check out this Unboxing and Review of Hegel H590 Music Systems inside what is the best audiophile room set up. and you will see exactly what I am talking about. It has a very modern and cool look about it and the shade of black that the unit is appeals to me greatly. It is a decent size as it comes in at 17.5” x 6.73” x 16.9”, but that is smaller than what the Gryphon Diablo 300 is. Plus, this weighs 48 pounds which is significantly less than the Diablo 300! The overall design is very simple, but that is what I love about this. In the middle of the amp, you have a very sleek looking LCD and then you have the Hegel logo just above this. On one side of the LCD, you have the volume dial and then on the other, you have your input selection dial. I just do not see there being any way that you do not think this is one of the coolest looking amps you have ever seen!
The Hegel H590 also has these really cool feet that it sits on. 9/10 I would not even comment on the feet of an amp, but I think these do add a bit more style to the overall design. The Hegel H590 offers you both digital and analog connections as it has a built in DAC which is awesome. All of your inputs are evenly spaced out and they are clearly labeled too to make hooking all of your gear up to it as easy as can be. This also comes with a very cool and high-quality remote control that gives you complete access to everything that this can do!
Gryphon Diablo 300: I really like what they have done with the Gryphon Diablo 300. This is the biggest and best integrated amp that these guys make and it is a bit of a monster in its scale. It comes in at a very large, , 18.9” x 9.2” x 18.1”. However, it is the weight of 83 pounds that really blows my mind, this thing is heavy and bulky, but man does it look cool. It has a similar kind of black and modern design as the Hegel H950 does and that is why I wanted to put these two in the ring together. All of the “features” are on this bar along the middle of the unit. Here you have your LCD and then you have a series of touch sensitive buttons that give you access to the various features such as input selection, volume control, and so on. It is a very cool and sleek design that I really do like. The only thing I am not super into is the air vent thing on the front, I get why it is there, but it really does stick out like a sore thumb.
On the back of the Gryphon Diablo 300, you will see that you have a very generous selection of analog ports. These are spaced out well and labeled nice and clearly to make hooking your various things up as easy as can be. There is also a large door and this is where you can attach their DAC attachment to it if you decide you want this thing to be both analog and digital, but that adds a considerable amount to the overall price tag. I really like the remote control that Gryphon gives you with this! It is chunky, feels like it is very solid and it makes controlling the features of the amp as simple as can be. It has that same kind of premium look and feel as the actual amp does.
The Verdict: These are two very cool looking amps that have a similar kind of style, but for me, there is a clear winner here. The Hegel H590 takes this round and it actually takes it in a pretty convincing fashion. You know, as I started putting this together, I realized that the Gryphon Diablo 120 might have been a better match. The main reason that the H590 delivers such a knock-out blow is because of that rather large air vent the Diablo 300 has.
The main event of this contest is looking at the sound these are going to offer your music collection. Now, on paper, this should be an easy win for the Diablo 300, but that is not actually the case and I will explain to you why I feel that is!
Hegel H590: The Hegel H590 sounds amazing! This thing is awesome and I have not seen anyone who has used this say otherwise. I was very impressed with how this thing produced such a real, raw, and balanced kind of sound to every type of music. I really put this thing through the wringer with some of my favorite records like my Hybrid Theory – Exclusive Limited Edition Red Colored Vinyl LP by Linkin Park. We have to go to the song, In The End here. This song is a great example of what the Hegel H590 can do! It has a great mixture of rock vocals, rap and then we get a section where Chester Bennington sings with a much more relaxed and calm voice and it sounded beautiful. It truly does everything nearly perfectly and I was absolutely blown away. We ended up listening to his entire album while hanging out and we both said multiple times that it was just fantastic.
We put a few different records on and they all sounded very good, but as this also has a DAC, we had to connect a CD player and see what that was like. My CD collection is completely out of hand (it drives my wife nuts) and we literally have hundreds of CDs in the attic. However, I do keep a few of my favorites around and one of these is Results May Vary by Limp Bizkit which came out as the band was starting to fall in popularity. However, I freaking loved this album. It was so varied with the songs that it had and the Hegel H590 brought this CD to life in a way that I had never heard before. It was just so rich and real that I felt like I was in the studio with Fred and the boys as they recorded the album. I cannot comprehend how there could be anyone that is not impressed by the sound that this thing is bringing to the table.
Gryphon Diablo 300: I have read over the incredible tech that is inside the Gryphon Diablo 300 a million times. I have always watched many videos like this Gryphon Diablo 300 and PMC Fact 12, Enter Sadman video that shows this thing in action and people are always singing its praises. Many people like to say that this is perhaps the best of the best when it comes to an integrated amplifier. I am positive that at the time of writing, this is the very best that Gryphon can put out and their engineers should be very proud. I have listened to many different albums on this thing such as Live In Japan 1988 by Guns n Roses which my wonderful wife got me for Christmas last year. Now the sound quality of this record is certainly passable, but it is far from great. However, the Gryphon Diablo 300 managed to breathe some real life into this thing and it was the best I ever heard it! It was so good, that when I went back to my house, I listened to the album again on my own setup and noticed a pretty big difference.
I really think that if you have a record that is pressed to perfection and one that springs to my mind is the Iron Man 2 album by AC/DC. It is going to sound truly incredible and just how the people behind the record intended it to sound. On the flip side of this, if you have some crusty old record that you bought at a thrift store for 2 bucks that had certainly seen better days, it is also going to sound great pumped through this. I am not debating the fact that the Gryphon Diablo 300 sounds amazing, I do not see how anyone could. However, for me, I just do not see how anyone could say that it is twice as better as the Hegel H590. The massive price tag that this has does not make the slight bump (if you even notice any) in sound quality that you get. I have had some “audiophiles” explain to me that I am wrong and how this sounds better than anything and to their ears, that may be the case, but for me, it was not.
The Verdict: While I will admit that the Gryphon Diablo 300 sounds amazing and if I had to pick which one I felt offered the richer, more powerful, and real sound, I would say the Gryphon Diablo 300. However, is it like ten grand better? Absolutely not! The Hegel H590 sounds amazing in its own right and I am sure many people would not be able to tell the difference between the two in all honesty with you.
Which Is The Better Amplifier?
Thanks for joining me on this Hegel H590 and Gryphon Diablo 300 journey that we have been on today. I love both of these amps and think that if you had either the Hegel H590 or the Gryphon Diablo 300, you are going to be very happy. For me, there is a clear winner here and that is the Hegel H590. I prefer the way that it looks, I like how it is about half the price and it also sounds fantastic. Plus, it has the DAC built in as standard so it has all you need to play your entire music collection right out of the box and without any extra expense. While I truly do appreciate what they have done with the Gryphon Diablo 300 from a technical level, I just feel you get way more bang for your buck with the Hegel H590.