Charles Hansen, founder of Ayre, helped in the design of the Dreadnaught. The Theta amps are not manufactured by Ayre.
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Theta amps are made by......Theta. I assume you are looking at a Dreadnaught or Dreadnaught II. Charlie Hansen of Ayre Acoustics did contribute his expertise in designing the original Dreadnaught.
The circuit topology in the original Dreadnaught was a collaborative effort between David Reich of Theta, Charles Hansen of Ayre, and Jim White of Aesthetix. The Dreadnaught II offered improvements that were designed by David Reich at Theta.
The now out of production Dreadnaught I was essentially designed by Charles Hansen of Ayre. Theta then took the basic modules used in that design and went all out to create the Citadel monos. Later, Theta took the Dreadnaught I and tweaked it to make it less musical but more powerful on the low end thereby creating the Dreadnaught II, most likely in an attempt to better appeal to the HT crowd it is primarily aimed at.
Don't forget that Ayre makes its own multi-channel amplifier in the V-6xe:
All of the posts are essentially correct except the one by Fsarc. The first Dreadnaught amp wasn't really a collaboration between myself, Jim White, and David Reich. Here's the real scoop:
I met Jim White at the Tokyo Hi-Fi show around 1998 or so. Theta wanted to get into the amplifier market. Jim White specified the feature set (up to five channels, modular design so that channels could be added, single power transformer, size, cost, power, et cetera). I designed the amp and built them a prototype. Just as I was finishing the design, Dave Reich left McCormack Audio and Theta hired him. Since they now had their own amp designer, Dave did the final production testing and made slight changes to the bias circuit and also how the input circuit switched between single-ended and balanced. That was it. The rest of the amp was my design.
Ayre Acoustics, Inc.
No need to apologize. Only a handful of people knew the facts. Theta originally was working with a much more famous designer to design their amps, but it didn't work out. When they hired me, I wasn't that well known and so they didn't want to make a big deal about the fact that I was the designer. Then when they hired Dave Reich (a great move by the way, as he is a very talented designer as well as a super hard working guy) -- unfortunately the rumor I heard was that ATI fired him as soon as they bought Theta -- I don't know if that's actually true), they *really* didn't want to publicize the fact that I designed it. It would have seemed bizarre to have just hired an amp designer but have hired someone else to design your amps! The Citadel, Intrepid, and Enterprise were all based on the Dreadnaught circuity. At this point it's pretty much ancient history. All of that happened over ten years ago. Since then they have made some modifications to the Dreadnaught to create the Dreadnaught II and also to the Citadel to create the Citadel 1.5. Hope this helps.
If you seek a multi channel amp I would reccomend the Ayre V6 which I was very happy with until I got the MX-Rs to drive the three upfront channels. Theta never appealed to me...mainly considered their CBIII but ended up with Meridian...which in retrospect given M's lack of supporting the 861 may have been my error...but sonically I think its the best processor
Can you please answer a few questions for me?
The Theta Dreadnaught and Intrepid amplifiers have specifications that resemble highly regarded tube amps more than most SS amps. Is this a coincidence or did you intend for the Dreadnaught to behave much like a good tube amp.
I own the Theta Intrepid amp, which appears to be a scaled-down version of the Dreadnaught amp you designed - is it?
I like this Intrepid amp a lot more than the other amps I have owned, but I am considering an upgrade in the near future.
How do the designs of the Theta Dreadnaught/Intrepid and your Ayre V-6 amp compare?
What SQ differences would you anticipate between the Theta Dreadnaught/Intrepid and Ayre V-6?
Which 2-ch Ayre amp would most closely resemble the SQ & performance of your V-6 amp?
The reason I am asking all of these questions is because I am considering buying a 2-ch Ayre amp for my L & R channels, and using the Intrepid amp for the other 3 channels until I can afford to amplify all 5 of my speakers with your Ayre amplifiers.
Thanks in advance,