Yes,it is quite true or should I say even when all is factored in this amp comes out most compelling.When all other factors are considered it is no go.Let the buyer beware even factoring in all the factors it is very good.
Not at this time,but one of these days I will tell you a true story of the Odyssey Mono Extremes. I to have been looking for a response on this subject.
Why can't you elaborate at this time you have left us in a quantry.
Musicalmaniac, without trying to come across as rude, I have no idea what you are saying in your first post.
Yea,my first post doesn't make a lot of sense to me either,now that I read it. What I was trying to get across was the comparison would be subjective to the ears of the beholder anyway and probably biased by the owner of either amps.Unless of course you had the chance to demo them side by side with each other. Then again the results would be unfair with so many circumstances envolved like break in time-etc. I could go on and on. As far as the second post,I have a new set of the Odyssey Monoblock Extremes with a bit over a week of break in time on them,so I must give them some more time,but they are coming along very well. I have never heard the CIA amps,but would love to hear from someone that owns or have owned them. There are so many factors when comparing amps that I feel it is virtually impossible to accurately do this. I am driving a pair of B&W 801 Matrix speakers and had been using an Audire Parlando 100wpc class A amp before the Odysseys. The Audire is a very nice amp but seems to fall short on the power,dynamics and control of my particular speaker needs.So for what my needs are the Odysseys are already twice what the Parlando was for me. If I was driving differen speaker this may be a different ball game. I believe this all boils down to synergy of the system.I appologize if I offended anyone in my earlier posts,I guess I don't make a lot of sense when I print my thoughts sometimes. When my new Odyssey monoblocks are fully broke in I can give you more info on them. I have been working around the B&W 801s for about four years now,and I am at about 90-95 percent sonic bliss right now.
While I can't comment on the Odyssey's, I can attempt to at least inject a shred of useful info into this thread.
The Modwright and CIA 200's are really nice together as you've heard. I think they really shine on jazz and vocals, really revealing nuances in the recordings like I've never heard before. Clarity, and separation of instruments outstanding. Frequency extremes all where they should be.
The only criticism I have is very subjective. It does at times sound a bit clinical. It could be the breaking in period. I probably am approaching 150 hrs. I think it sounds slightly warmer through balanced power.
While they lack the warmth my McCormack DNA Gold had, they completely outclassed it in transparency. While I may have previously preferred warm and tube like, I'm leaning more towards revealing qualities in an amp. These CIA 200's are becoming less clinical as I adjust to their presentation and my preconceived notions of what is musical.
Was the Modwright also paired with the McCormack amp?It sounds like the Modwright is a very nice Preamp also. I have to wonder how much credit goes to the modwright and how much to the CIA? Although even if the credit went to the modwright the CIA also deserves credit for its role in allowing it to be passed on.I have my Odyssey extremes paired up with a Audio Experience Symphonies Plus tube preamp that I like very well especially for the money. It's a chinese outfit. I retubed it with some Groove Tube Mullard remakes and it did good things for it if you like lush sound.So what can we gather from this so far?Is the modwright similiar in presentation with the CIA as with the Odysseys? If not,how do they differ?Also,what are we using for source-cd-etc?,and what about speakers? And let's not forget all the inbetween-ICs,Cords,Cables.I built some silver ICs,that made a profound impact over my previous Analysis Plus Copper Ovals.But it's all about Synergy now isn't it!
Musicalmaniac: I'll bet you end up loving the Extremes. They're among the best amps in existence, with very little out there that's better.
The Modwright was paired with the McCormack. Yes, the Modwright deserves a lot of credit. It was obviously more refined and detailed than the CJ 17LS it replaced. The McCormack wasn't able to present what the Modwright was capable of, at least to the same degree as the CIA 200's. Not that the McCormack wasn't an excellent amp in it's own right. There's just no way it could reveal what the CIA's did.
You're right that there are so many variables. Without getting too cerebral, the other factor was Vandersteen 3 Sigs. Since they are characterised as 'warm' and 'forgiving', in my opinion they match very well with more revealing, transparent amps and pre's. This is what I'm discovering. It's very non fatiguing, and I'm hearing layers in the recordings and subtle details for the first time. I can only compare it to going from standard definition to HDTV. Doubt if I can go back to a veiled existence.
Mdhoover, Let me guess,you have a set of Mono Extremes?What experiences have you had with them compared to other equippment? Jamnperry,I'm happy for you,it sounds like you have what it takes to make things work for you.I know that can sometimes be quite an accomplishment in itself.One of my main points however is what may work for you with your other components may not work with others.I realize we are talking about the main thread of the Modwright,the CIAs and the Odysseys,however the rest of the system must never be ignored.I personally would love to try the Modwright.One point I would like to make in my case is my bullheaded attitude to make the B&W I801s work for me,which I have done very well at,however these B&Ws are probably one of the most difficult speakers to work around due to their inheirent design.The Parlando amp I had would only drive the B&Ws at moderate levels without falling on its face,but I also have a set of Totem Hawks that the Parlando just drove the snot out of and it sounded very good for what it was-huge soundstage,nuances you never new existed-etc.,butI have yet to find a two way speaker to really give a true satisfiying full range sound as the B&Ws.I believe the B&Ws really limit me to what will work for me compared to if I got rid of them and replaced them with something a bit more forgiving.Everything has its limits and demands in the system,some are just more forgiving than others.I know the Odysseys are looking very promising for me right now. They are currently at the Jekell and Hyde stage,where they end up,who knows.I know they exibit superior control over the B&W drivers,which is a huge plus.One of my biggest concerns before I ordered the Odysseys was if they offered huge current and power to control drivers,would they still have the innerdetail,soundstage,layering-etc.that I had with the Parlando?I think I have had a preconceived notion that you can't have both attributes in an amp,just look at the small 5 wpc powered se amps and speakers with Fostex drivers-etc.,Not quite full range,but makes a guy wonder why you would really want for more.I have a little Modded Cayin TA-30 that is quite impressive for a modest price,and I hear great things of the little gain clones.But that's not what our quest is,now is it?
I need to send my amp off for some additional mods that I want to have done. In the process, I was going to get the Odyssey amp so that I could audition it and listen to music while my amp is away. Trouble is, the more I look into these amps and the more I hear about them, I'm concerned I may want them to stay in the system. I don't think they would be done justice sitting in a box or in a second system (which someday I will have).
As for the CIA/Modwright combo I heard this set-up at RMAF last fall. It was a very impressive system. Also, I have been to Dusty Vawter's house to audition the CIA amps in his system which included his passive preamp. I would have to say the Modwright has the ability to keep the transparency intact, while adding that touch of warmth I believe the amps need. The CIA and Modwright are an excellent combination.
Musicalmaniac, I have heard some Digital amps, and the extremes.... Not the CIA's however, you need to A-B test this and now is your opportunity to call them up, Tell them you want these amps for an audition to see if they will compete well on your speakers vs. A/B circuit pure muscle amps. The odysseys are EXTREMLY neutral, nothing super excited about them, just very dynamic and natural sounding, if you are looking for the absolute bottom end, or better sizzle with the B&W's you will need a flavored amp of some spice, the odysseys do not seem to provide this to me, they are just correct, Big dynamics and soundstage, some have even said they did not like them simply cause they made the sound of the stage Un-realistically large.. So it is possible if you seek a bit more Intimate sound I would suggest A mcintosh amp which is about the same class as the odysseys, but are A tad more warm or fuzzy vs. very accurate like the odyssey sound.. Of course then you run into the issue with B&W / Mcintosh combo, which could be very hit or miss from some research I have seen in the past, might be a bit to soft or not detailed sounding enough... I say get the Channel Islands and go head to head with the odysseys before you have to return them and make this decision on your own, return whichever pair you find inferrior in your setup, I am sure if you call odyssey and tell them this is your plan they can give you an extension on your return time, unless you are already past that.
I wrote a review of the Extremes on Audiogon, which I own and love. The ONLY possible candidate for an amplifier upgrade that I'm even willing to CONSIDER is the Intuitive Design Monoblocks made specifically for the Intuitive Design Summits, which I also own.
The only other amp I've personally owned is a B&K ST 140, which was very good in its own right, but nothing like the Extremes. In terms of detail, I thought they had a LOT more than the B&K, without sounding harsh (when I did the A-B demo at my house).
The statement that there's little out there that's better is second hand, but from a person who KNOWS audio and always tells the truth, whatever it may be (good or bad about any product, without mincing words). I trust his opinion completely. I did not say that there's NOTHING better, and neither would Klaus Bunge himself.
Mdhoover, I thank you for your input and sincerity on this matter.I did do my homework before deciding to purchase these Odyssey Extreme Monoblock-latest edition by the way.These amps are most probably the highest reviewed and rated components I have ran across,and it's hard to go wrong with the trial period with full refund if not happy conditions minus shipping of course.And the 20 year warranty has got to be one of the best out there. Everything I have been looking for has been posted in the reviews for what they are worth.As many reviews are there I would think there should be some shreds of truth there.I have never put a whole lot of trust in reviews however.I am located in the remote central location of S.Dak. so my opurtunities for auditions are limited. I did e-mail CIA regarding a in home demo of their D200s,but have not heard back yet I see their web says they charge a 10% restock fee on returns.That doesn's intrest me especially footing the shipping on top. In any event I will know if the Odysseys are right for me in the end. Right now they change dramaticaly daily. They have 9 days of constant playing on them now.They go from very analytical with huge detail with little base to the opposite to every in between there is right now.I have never experienced anything quite like it,it's so extreme.I'm not sure how long to expect before it settles in since I have been actually playing music 24-7 with it. Klaus claims 6-8 weeks of being powered on with no mention of running music through it for full break in.I would think this should be shortened considerably the way I am doing it unless I am misunderstanding something.The amps sound a bit dark today compared to a couple days ago.How much playing time did you have on yours before it showed its true sonic signature?
Musicalmaniac: I bought the amps used, so they were already broken in.
I wouldn't be too concerned though, since Klaus will back them to the nth degree if there are problems. I stand by my original prediction that you're going to love these amps!
I, too, own Odyssey Extreme Monos. Re: burn-in - I'd give them a solid 400 hours of playing music (I used an older, dual-well cassette deck and let it run constantly during the burn-in period.). I agree with Mdhoover - "you're going to love these amps!"