Forte Audio Threshold Model 3 or Odyssey Stratos


Hi all. I'm the proud owner of a Forte Audio (Threshold) Model 3, which is a fine Nelson Pass design producing 200 wpc into 8 ohms with a high Class A bias. I love the sound; no SS glare and beautiful highs/mids. It may be a bit bass challenged, or it may just be that my Meadowlark Audio Shearwater "Hotrods" just don't hit their reported 35hz. Another concern is that the Forte runs hot as Georgia asphalt. In any event, the amp is 20 years old, and I'm wondering if I'll see any impovement with a newer amp, such as the Odyssey Stratos. I've read the wonderfull reviews about Klaus and his Odyssey amps, and I'm the kind of person who just can't (or won't) spend a lot for equipment. I have a chance to grab a pristine Stratos for $500 including shipping. I don't think it has the 120,000 uf mods, but I've heard the Stratos is remarkable even in stock form. Learned opinions welcome!!
klipschking
I own (since new) a Forte' 4a. The biggest suprise I have had was two weeks ago when I hooked up a new to me Audio Research SP-15. WOW, the bass just went from good to excellent.
So my story is sometimes it is not just the amp, but what is feeding it. My old pre was an Adcom 750 ($1,500 list ten years ago) and the new to me Audio Research SP-15 was $6,000 twenty years ago.
Elizabeth: Yep, that is another possibility. I hope I didn't waste $550.00, but then again I can always sell the one I like least. My thought was that the caps in my Forte are pretty old now, and the thing gets so hot I guessed maybe they were drying out. I also figured there has been some technological improvements in SS amps since '88, but we'll see. Any other opinions out there??
Elizabeth,
What are you running as a power amp with you new Audio Research Sp-15
Replace the caps with good ones like v-caps or Mundorf, or Rel Theta or RT Styrenes. I prefer the Forte 1A or model 4, in pure clss A. I tried the Odysssey and it is OK, but not tubes or Class A. Try the 1A or 4, and you might be surprised....
Talked to Klaus Bunge at Odyssey Audio today, and he seems to think the Stratos will be a noticible step up. Klaus is known for his honesty and frankness, so I'm looking forward to hooking it up. He offers a 120,000 uf cap upgrade that most folks think worthwile. I'll post an update once I make the comparison. Anyone else out there who has owned both?
02-06-09: Klipschking
Talked to Klaus Bunge at Odyssey Audio today, and he seems to think the Stratos will be a noticible step up.

That's funny. What did you expect him to say? That what you own is better than the amp he sells?

Klaus builds a very nice product, and he is an exceptionally good salesman.
Tvad: According to posts left by others, Klaus has actually told potential buyers that his products would not be an improvement in some instances. Given that he didn't stand to benefit from this sale, I give his opinion some creedence. My purpose in calling him was to ask about upgrades; the comparison question was an afterthought. Do you have any reason to disagree with his opinion?
I don't agree that Klaus wouldn't benefit from the sale. You already stated you called him to inquire about upgrades, correct? 'Nuff said on that.

I owned Stratos Extreme monblocks. They were pretty good. I have a hard time believing they would be better than a Nelson Pass designed Threshold amp. However, we all have different systems and different preferences, so absolutely anything is possible.

One thing that is certain is Klaus' exceptional salesmanship, which is driven by his belief in his products.
Well, the verdict is in. I am shocked, but confident, to say the Odyssey is superior to the Forte (Threshold) in every way. 0ne caveat: It seems I was lucky, because when I received my Odyssey Stratos (whick I bought used online), I actually received the Odyssey Plus (or SE). Turns out the seller did not realize the amp was a factory upgrade model utilizing the 120,000 uf capacitance upgrade and higher quality caps. In any event, this amp is SWEET. No mid-range glare, tons of current, WIDE and DEEP soundstate, and very detailed on the micro nuances. I can't understand how Odyssey Audio can build these things at such a reasonable price. The internal wiring is all Benchmark, the solder points VERY well done, and all internal components high-end name brand pieces. Clearly equal to the McCormack DNA-1, Aragon 8008, every Treshold I've heard, and close to a good BAT amp. I'm impressed, and offer an unqualified and enthusiastic recommendation. Tvad, looks like sometimes the improbable is realized.
...we all have different systems and different preferences, so absolutely anything is possible.

Tvad (Threads | Answers)

Klipschking, the Odyssey amps suit your system and preference. I never said it was improbable, but I did say I'd be surprised.

I am surprised.
PS...the Odyssey Monos are very nice amps. Enjoy them.