Theta Dreadnaught only way to go!
8 responses Add your response
You might want to take a look at the Gemstone Bluediamond. It did really well in a shootout over in AVSForum. They had the bryston and theta amps, as well as Sherbourne, Plinius, Lexicon, ATI, and some others I think. Anyway, they felt the bryston was too polite, and the Theta was nice but lacked dynamics. The Gemstone did really well, and when you factor in price, around $2,200 (5ch version) it killed the others. It was interesting to read a review by amatures, most professionals will only compare products to much more expensive items and sum up with some canned responce about how great a value it is. The biggest difference in audio gear is the price.
Personally, I would go with the EAD 8800 Pro paired up with a Theta Dreadnaught II. I own a Theta Intrepid and a pair of Enterprise monoblocks, and I have to agree that the dynamics are by no means a weakpoint. In fact, both amps seemed to equal an Edge NL-10 (which I auditioned in my home) in this regard, and the Edge amps have exceptional dynamics. Please note, though, I do have a dedicated amp line (9AWG Romex).
When I talked to the folks at Theta, they claimed that their goal was to reproduce the low end accurately, so that a string bass sound like a string bass, and an electric bass sounds like an electric. They claimed that certain amps with a lot of low end (not naming any names here!) tended to make everything so low end present that it started to make upright bass start to sound like an electric bass. Being a bass player (upright, acoustic, and electric), this was important to me. I have Thiel CS3.6's, and the folks at Thiel stated that they have had very good results with Theta amps driving their speakers, and they felt that their low end reproduction was excellent.
Nevertheless, it is always interesting to hear someone with a different perspective, especially a group of folks such as where Durbin directed us. Thanks for sharing that with us! However, I do feel that perhaps my personal listening preferences don't match up entirely with that particular test group.