They are supposed to be a fantastic amp. I've recommended them to two friends who purchased them and both had excellent things to say about them.
I've never heard them but you just can't find someone to saying one negative thing about the Stratos.
They're fast, powerful, ergonomic, and the 20 year warranty should make that final decision rather easy.
Not to mention the money saved that can be used for other items.
I heard the Odyssey at the Festival Du Son in Montreal and thought it sounded quite nice, espically for the asking price. The designer/owner of the company has been around for a long time and everyone seems to love these amps. Go for it! If you are looking in the $2k area there are some other lucrative options but for less than a grand for a single Stratos I don't think a person can go wrong.
I am glad someone has opened a thread about theses amps. First off, has any body wondered how these amps got over 69 postive 5 dot reviews on audioreview. Think about that, 69 reviews all with 5 stars, Hum do I detect a little baiting the ole hook here. I hardley ever see these amps for sale, and to top that, they have not been out long enuff to warrant
that type of feed back. Go to audioreview and look to see what amp has the most reviews and out of those reviews how long has that company been around? Also see if out of over 15 reviews they all earned 5 stars nothen less. Iam sorry people but there are a hell of alot of amps out there and threw all the reviwes someone in the crowd will find fault. If this amp is so great why is it not plasterd on every Audio Magazine cover on the market? I heard these amps (At One Time) were being assyembled in the owner of the companys garage and that the amp is a replica of a French made amp allready on the market. One should really take note of the 69 reviews and ask. where did all these reviewers come from?? "Prehaps the garage that they are being assyembled in" !! (Just A Thought) Iam not knocking the amp in anyway, I am seeing a trail of a company building amps from his garage (from what I was told) and useing someone else's blueprints and gaininng all this posstive feedback, when in fact they were not his or her design to start. We have alot of well known companys here in the U.S. and in other countrys that have slaved their butts off to build a decent product from their own design, And every review, be it postive or negative has been earned. It Just Makes Me Wonder About The Marketing Behind The Odyssey.
This is a free speach America and Forum and theses are my thoughts on this topic
Hifying, you have every right to be concerned, suspicious, and even wrong.
The european amp that you speak of is the German amp (not french) Symphonic Line.
Klaus Bunge who is/was the U.S. importer for the Symphonic Line made a deal with them to build one of their amps in the US and sell it for under $1000. Because the Symphonic amps were so expensive (so the story goes).
Don't know if it is made in a garage or even in the back of a white van and don't care.
The results are supposedly astounding. The Absolute Sound gave it a Golden Ear award last year. The amp has been out there for over three years.
There have been legitimate reviews done on this amp and each one has sung it's praise.
Again, I have not listened to this amp myself, but I know two people who own the monoblock paired versions and both really like them.
Go to their website and find the reviews that have been done on this amp.
Actually, the count now stands at 75 perfect review (not to be taken as either an asserion or a snide remark, just a factaul comment).
Never heard one these amps but have seen raves and questions about them. I do know that Moncrieff of International Audio Review fame gave them a very tall thumbs up, especially for the cash involved.
In case you're not familiar with J.Peter Moncrieff or IAR, he's not afraid to say that a product is a piece of XXXX or let you know exactly what his thoughts on a product are. This doesn't mean that he knows everything or that i would agree with everything he says, only that the "good reviews" come from both users and reviewers.
By the way, IAR doesn't accept advertising or advertising dollars. Sean
Since when does magazine exposure and acceptance equate value and quality? Please, many well known audio publications will proclaim the most expensive pieces of equipment to be the best which is utterly ridiculus. However, without the support of many of the big, expensive well known hi-end companies these magazines would not have any chance of survival. This is simply some of the unfortunate but true politics of hi-fi.
Thorty40, point well taken. And I've heard this point many times before. And because of what I think I know, I have in the past and do agree with you now at least to a very good extent.
However, I kinda' bounce back and forth. For example, when somebody says a product is highly suspiscious and no good, and I've heard nothing but the contrary, then I'll use those same reviews to substantiate my opinion. Even though I don't put much weight into the reviews.
Good point though.
Oh, well. It's just a hobby and 50 years from now it won't matter to me anyway.
The weight of any given reviewers "golden ears" just irks (spelling?) me to a certain extent at times. I understand the urge to feel weary of any products with an undue amount of hype but when its hype from the consumer audio community it seems to be more sincere than the acceptance of any given reviewer.
Not to say that I never read the mags, I do and I occansionally enjoy articles and the comments of certain reviewers at times.
This hobby gets so silly sometimes, I guess the controversy is needed at times in order to generate insightful input to others interested. But at any rate, good listening and always use your own judgment in the end.
First of all, the marketing person in charge would be me. Second, some of the points of reviews are very well taken. On the one hand you have politics, and on the other (with personal reviews) you have ownership pride. Always look between the lines.
We have a total of over 1000 pcs sold, and the vast majority of customers are through the different web sites like this. We've been back ordered over 6-8 weeks for the past 8 months now. Of course, there's also a much higher % of our customers posting on the web as well, considering that this is much more a priority area to them than the "regular" customer who shops in stores.
Having said that, we can certainly back up everything with professional reviews as well. Now, as for the design, "Stehno" is absolutely correct in that it's actually the Symphonic Line RG 11 amp from Germany. I always make a point of the fact that this RG 11 is a SL, and that it used to be $ 3,400. We actually improve upon the PS and the case, and drop the price 70 %. That's why our customers are so nuts about the amp. It's all in the price / performance. We simply want to offer a great amp at a great price, period.
As for the manufacturing, the amps are build by a multi-million $ company near Syracuse. They operate under ISO 9000 compliance, and the reason why we do that is because their quality is outstanding. I'm very, very proud of all the quality and work that goes into these amps, and especially the price point that we're able to hit with the direct marketing. However, to imply that we're writing all the good press on our product is just a little shy of character assassination. Maybe in turn somebody should take a look at possible motives ??? We've seen this many times before, close to 20 reviews had to be removed (anything from 1 star to 5 star ratings) because of bogus reviews. People who never even seen the amp tried to bring it down for whatever reason. The same people also forget that they're playing with other's livelihoods as well. It's crazy.
Anyway, if in doubt, just email some of the posters. That simple. As for the used market; over 95 % of our amps are still in the original owners hands, and if a unit is on sale like here at audiogon, it usually sells within a week and for about 85 - 90 % of the new price. Indication enough ? Or maybe we buy all the used units off the market as well ??? I hope that this explanation helps to prevent further rumors.
Klaus @ Odyssey
I've had my Odyssey Stratos Monoblocks for about a year now. They replaced an Onkyo M-508 and an Onkyo M-504. I think they sound fantastic. Made my system sound so much more detailed and musical than it did. In the past 5 months I've also purchased an Odyssey Stratos HT-3,an Odyssey Tempest preamp and Groneburg Quatro Ref speaker cables and I/C's. I've been very impressed with all the products that I've purchased from Odyssey. And their customer service I'm also impressed with. Klaus cares about his products and his customers. And his feelings are genuine. You can't teach that to someone. You either have it or you don't. Enjoy the music!!
I guess a brick is just going to have too fall from the sky to wake some people up. I have talk with alot of people in the past 10 months concerning, Amps, Preamps, Cables, and Source. and through all the dealings and talk with theses people,(From All Ear Leavels Of Audio) only one person had brought the topic of theses amps up. I have unpacked and packed 6 different brands of amps in the past 10 months before I found a amp (IMO) that was worth its stay in my home. My point here is, if this amp is so damn good, then why was there only one person that even brought this so called jewel into play? Where are all the reviewers from Audioreview living?? On the moon? under the ocean? Why has none of the audio stores I have bought from or listeners I have bought from or sold to ever brought this brand into play? Now at 75 reviwes (ty for the update Killerpiglet)
on a new product thats is claimed to be so good, where are the people who switch out audio gear as much as we gas up are cars? "Think About It"
As for me, I'll stay with my new found love (Clayton M100's) and know that what I paid for was not a victum of an over blown marketing game. As for Stehno, How could you recommend something to someone you have not even heard yourself?
Good luck Nikonf in your quest for a new amp.
So is there a better amp than Odyssey at this price point? Just trying to get people further into the topic at hand.
If you all have questions about the Stratos, join all of us happy owners over at www.harmonicdiscord.com there is a Odyssey specific forum that the owner Klaus will respond to all of your questions. And yes the amp is that good. I compaired it to a Sonic Frontiers Power 2 Tube Amp and the Stratos was right there with it for 1/4 of the price. Please note I am not saying that it has a tube like sound, just that the sound quality and control is very good.
Here is my $.02. I will likely some day end up with a pair of stratos monoblocks. Because the hype intrigues me so much and because several people on audiogon who I think know their business love them. Since I was pretty close to buying a pair I contacted two people who had already sold theirs on audiogon figuring this is a good way to get the other side of the picture. One person said he thought they sounded ordinary in his system and he tried to post a three star evaluation on audioreview and for whatever reason they would not post it. The second said he in general found it equal to other amps in its price range. I have noticed that in reading the audioreview adds an awful lot of them are posted by people who are upgrading from really old midfi receivers/amps. Not a negative comment as I did the same not that long ago. I talked with Klaus once and agree he is refreshingly polite and helpful. I had hoped that they had a demo/loaner to try versus having to use a brand new unit and having to keep it on during its long burn-in and the guilt trip of returning it if not wanting it. I hope that someone here has had some of the great amps out there and this amp and can give a real world comparison. From the audioreview posts its hard to think this is not one great product.
Sorry to ramble.
A little over 1000 Psc. sold and close to 10% of them buyers ran over to audioreview and posted feedback. HUM... seems strange that we have amp mfg. that have sold 10% more then odyssey and be it a good or a bad review, their posting on audioreview dont even add up to .5%. And that just dont go for amps. Iam talking preamps, source, audioracks cables ect, ect,. fkb says maybe I should email the posters of the reviews!! Good point, If I was nyeve to the internet and did not know that 1 person could create multible email acounts, then perhaps I would. Now a new question comes into play from jetter's post "One person said he thought they sounded ordinary in his system and he tried to post a three star evaluation on audioreview and for whatever reason they would not post it." Is someone being paid off here??
Let me say this again I am not here to bash or discredit this amp, And I want to thank (Ton1313) I just took a trip to the Odyssey Forum and raed a few stings and have come to relize how this amp got so many reviews. It seems that there is a group of owners that talk back and fourth about many audio topics but I would tend to beleave that a major % of them own the Odyssey amp. So bringing all theses owners together would warrent the issue on the amount of post reviwes this amp has recived. Just still wondering why the X owner of the amp could not post his review that was not a 5 Star.
Another point on the Audioreview angle. 5 "overall" stars come pretty easily there. Klaus himself will admit that the monoblocks better the steroe Stratos and some of the Symphonic line amps better the monoblocks. Klaus himself will tell you that. So take all that with a grain of salt and realize all your seeing are happy customers trumpeting their product.
That said, the fact that nobody has posted less than five stars is rather amazing and to a certain extent ridiculous. As a stereo Stratos owner, I suppose I should go out there and put in 4 stars overall, 5 stars for value.
As an addition to my previous post I would like to clarify that to be honest I cannot remember if the individual said that audioreview "did not" or "would not" post his review if this difference is relevant.
Btw, if you read the reviews (at AR and elsewhere, I went back and re-read them because of this thread) one of the points that comes through many times is customer support, and Klaus himself.
Although I did not buy the Stratos, I spoke with Klaus on a couple of occasions and he came across as a very knowledgeable, pleasant, and straight-forward person to deal with.
When you buy a product, you are in effect buying a small piece of the company that makes it. There's no worse feeling than feeling abandoned by a manufacturer, and conversely feeling that the manufacturer will stand behind an item you just put good money down for will certainly increase that item's 'value' as well as overall satisfaction.
My understanding is that Odyssey is quick to remedy consumer issues. This is the kind of behavior that leads to a very loyal customer base. One of the reasons I bought Rogue amps was that I saw a similar type of feedback on the company and its owner.
First of all, I don't have any idea about any of these reviews, and it's an open access forum. I'm not really buying it, though. We only make sure that the reviews posted are from legitimate owners. After all, this is our livelihood, and just like hiflying, there are quite a few people (you can figure out yourself who they are) who want to see the amp being degraded. Multiple motives here. As for this individual here, let's see what was posted so far: implying that we write our own reviews, that people are paid off by us, that the product can't be all that good, but that it's a result of hype, it's a cheap garage build unit that's a knock-off, etc. etc.
No thanks, but I don't have time for this nonsense. We've had discussions like this before, and I'm not going deeper into this with people who obviously are trying to damage our reputation and business for whatever reasons. This is unpleasent at the best, and a legal situation at the worst. Especially by someone who's never even seen our amp and who doesn't have any idea how much we put into every unit to make sure that our customers get the best possible deal. Exactly the opposite of rip-offs.
As for the reviews, the 5 star rating is defined. 5 stars means exceeding expectations, which indeed is price related. Is the amp the best there is ? No, of course not. There are tons of amps out there that are at least as good in many respects. There are other great products that are extremely enjoyable and with which I could happily live ever after / just not for our price point. The price/performance is the main issue here, and that's why people go nuts. Would we still have the same results and feedback if the amp would be $ 4-5 k? No, of course not.
As for the 2 owner's of monos who found the amp merely "ordinary", I don't really buy that either unless I'd talk to them personally. After all, we have the money back guarantee, and if a customer isn't 100 % convinced, then, of course, we'll take the units back.
Why so many owners of other products don't take the time and write reviews ? Well, again, that's more an issue of the web - interest by internet - direct customers. The highest % of owner reviews are indeed from internet direct companies, and this can easily be traced.
As for 75 reviews being ridiculous, I don't know. I'm very, very proud of this fact, and obviously put a lot of blood and sweat into making sure that I have very satisfied customers, before and after the sale.
If anybody's in doubt here, please make sure to call me personally, and I'll take as much time as needed to set any record straight.
I'll stand corrected by Klaus, now that I've looked more closely at the rating scale in Audioreview. I just assumed for the overall rating: 1 meant crappy product, 5 meant the best. As it turns out while 3 is "average product" and 4 is "very good product", 5 means "far better than you imagined". So all those folks got a product that is far better than they imagined it would be. While I think the Audioreview's progression from a 4 to 5 rating is a bit screwy, I can't knock the people that use it. As a happy owner, I can believe that the Odyssey has exceeded expectations.
A$$, you, me - I got it! Sorry about the mixup.
As an owner of Stratos and Monos, I should say that these AMPS are freaking amazing value for $$ AND ABLE performers.
I have not yet posted my review on AR(I will soon)- but I should add that the review of Odyssey Amps is like the Titan II LE Subwoofer- happy customers, amazing product and excellent price-point. If one is saying that many of these reviews are shit-take a hike.
Back to Stratos- they offer great dynamics and slam and have been very consistent in different set-ups. The monoblocks are even better :)..I am dying to bi-amp my speakers with monos.
You will not be disappointed with the stratos or Klaus who offers excellent customer service and is no BS guy.
I just read Klaus' response and what I wrote and see why he thinks I was talking about two people with monoblocks who thought they were "ordinary". Well I have to clarify again what I meant to say. I meant to say that I am considering buying the Stratos monoblocks and contacted two people who had sold their Odyssey Stratos, which is to say they were not monoblocks. Now that I have said that I have more to say. First Klaus, 99.9% of us are not out to discredit you or anyone else. Universally you are known as a gentleman, I sure thought so after talking with you and by golly I bet we are also, except those of us who are gentlewomen. That said, we are pretty close to exactly where this started, with no one giving any indication of how the amp compares next to another amp that we might be familiar with. I almost emailed Nikonf to thank him for asking the question yesterday before there were any responses because I have been wondering exactly the same thing. A lot of us live out here in the country (Vermont for me) without a person around with your equipment.
HELLO TO ALL, I AM NEW TO HIGH END AUDIO,YOU MAY HAVE NOTICED BY MY NAME NIKONF,I AM A PHOTOGRAPHY BUFF,HAD THE INTEREST SINCE I WAS 12,I AM FEEL VERY PLEASED TO HAVE 20 RESPONCE'S TO A THREAD OF MINE,JUST MY FEELING,IF THE ODYSSEY AMP'S WHERE SO BAD THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN TRASHED BY NOW ON A SIT LIKE THIS,I THINK THE AUDIO FIELD MAYBE LIKE THE PHOTOGRAPHY LENS MARKET,EVEN THE NON-MAJOR BRANDS LIKE SIGMA,TAMRON & TOKINA ALL MAKE HIGH GRADE LEN'S NOW,I WOULD BE HARD PRESSED TO TELL A WHICH LENS TOOK WHICH PHOTO,ETC.SO IF I PUT A CARD BOARD BOX OVER YOUR AMP & SWITCHED BRANDS COULD YOU TELL ? THANKS TO ALL,I THINK I AM GOING TO GIVE ODYSSEY A CHANCE AND PLACE AN ORDER,I WILL POST MY RESULT'S IN A FEW WEEKS
Well said, Klaus. Some people will always be skeptical. The more info you give them, the more they love to fire back at you.
From all that I've heard, Klause has really done a magnificent job of taking a product design, reworking it (with permission) so that those among us who cannot afford expensive gear, can reap the same, or even better sonic benefits than gear costing multiple times. He is to be commended for not only trying such an endeavor but for apparently succeeding quite well.
I almost purchased a pair of monoblock Stratos last Spring. But in the end, I held out for a McCormack DNA-2 LAE (Limited Anniversary Edition). The only amp the IAR (Intern'l Audio Review) reviewer claims is better than the Stratos back in 1999 and costs about 7 times more retail.
Because they are mail-order only, I've never listened to the Stratos, but my brother and a friend purchased a pair of mono's 6 months ago, and they thoroughly enjoy them. A third person just emailed me two days ago to say he just put his order in for one Stratos.
Now if only Klause would loan me a pair of Stratos so I could A/B compare them to my DNA-2 LAE. Then I could really speak with authority. :)
No problem at all. My response wasn't directed at you at all. As for A/B compos, well, it's a very personal hobby after all. Even if somebody tries to be as fair and objective as possible, the whole listening environment, system setup and synergy, etc. might be in favor of one amp over the other in this particulat setup. No problem at all, since this is pretty much taken for granted.
There's a reason why there's ss and tubes, dynamic, ribbons, and Estats out there, and I'll never argue with somebody's personal taste. Hey, as a matter of fact, I'm actually selling tons of pre amps for several tube manufacturer if our customers want to run a tube pre. It's a no bullshit approach, of which I'm very proud of. Also, the factory direct marketing allows me this and gives me other areas of freedom as well. Personally, I love the discussion of comparing a variety of products within the umbrella of system synergy, and with my 14 years of experience in this business, I think that I have a pretty good background.
HOWEVER, if somebody blatantly tries to discredit my business, and ultimately also my life's work, then of course, I have to act somehow and set the record straight. Guys, think about if somebody's doing the same thing at your work - business place. It's not a pretty idea, and because this is a hobby industry, and as such very shaky in the first place, one can do real damage in a heartbeat because with the freedom of such great forums such as this also comes flipside in that it can easily be abused for alternative motivs or plain mean behavior.
Just my thoughts, and thanks for the support from you guys,
Why so many great reviews? Ask why someone trashes them when they havnt even listened to them. I want to hear from people who know of what they speak (have at least heard the thing they are trashing). Who has compared these amps to other well known amps? Skeptical is one thing but you gotta give it a fair shake.
I own the Odyssey Monos. Probably some of the first Klaus did. I bought them from a local dealer when Odyssey wasn't sold direct. I have had them for 3+ years and haven't looked to upgrade and I haven't posted a review on AR. I have compared them to a number of other amps. Did other amps sound better? Sure there were other amps that I liked marginally better, but the price was more than marginally higher for the other amps. These amps took a long time to break in (longer than 30 days Klaus), but I haven't regretted this purchase in any way. I will say that before the monos I had the stero Stratos and that the monos are much better in my setup.
I was one of the original people who purchased the monos. They are very fine amps and are hard to beat at 2K. I would have to say that they are very musical amps that are amazingly fast and detailed. I sold my pair of monos a few months back and have replaced it with a custom amp built by Andy Bartha. For a "stock" amp the Odyssey is very hard to beat.
I have owned Symphonic Line amps. First,the RG1 mk2.It was a good match with my Martin Logan CLS 2 with the old copper version of the audioquest lapiz and clear cables. I played and compared it with the old Krell KSA50 (too dark in sonic character), VAC90C (not enough power,but a killer at moderate volumes with female vocals), Melos 400 GOLD (talk about huge holographic images popping in my living room), and Rowland 8 (I mostly fell asleep while listening to music). Above are the personal snapshot impressions I've come up with over a few years of audio listening comparing Symphonic Line to other namebrands. Today I own a RG4 MK3 monoblocks. I am in the process optimizing the system by trying out Straightwire cables. So far I have gotten good results matching the amps with CAT SIG pre-amp, SONY SACD, and a good assortment of copper and silver cables from Music Metre, XLO, Tara Labs,and Dunlavy. However, I am getting the itch to switch back to tubes again. Perhaps an ARC VT200 for my ML CLS2Z, and Thiel 2.3, I heard they work well with these speakers,hmmm... Isn't this fun?
I was (was considering) the Odyssey line but after reading all responses and seeing first hand Reviews being removed by Audioreview of less than 5 I'll go with a brand I'll feel more comfortable spending $2000.00 on. I don't see Pass, Mccormack,Belles having less than 5 star reviews removed. Their reputations speak for them!
Mfb33. Did you have too much chile last night?
Stehno! How did you know I ate too much chile last night?
Habanero's as a matter of fact! MFB33
Unbelievable. Well, everybody's prerogative as to what's important to them. To me, it's important that there aren't ant bogus reviews on audioreview. The 2 reviews that were pulled where # 1. pulled by the reviewer himself. Neither AR nor us had anything to do with it, and # 2. was a bogus review, written by somebody who doesn't own the amp, hasn't heard it, and only designed to harm us.
Well, if MFB feels that it's important for a company to have some negative feedback, then that's obviously fine with us. I'd rather make sure that our customers understand that the amp is indeed the wonderful, $ 3,400 Symphonic Line RG 11, tweaked and improved for 18 years now, with dozens of international awards all over the place, and absolutely speactacular with Infinity speakers. That's what's important to us, and the fact that you see only the feedback of real Odyssey owners at AR.
How do you know that all those (5) reviews are from real Odyssey owners? As far as a company having negative feedback just look at VTL and all the good and bad things people have to say about their product and customer service. Do you see Luke Manley scanning Audiogon forums and Audioreview and saying this is my livelyhood so don't be saying anything bad about my product.
I have listened to these amps as recently as a week ago at a friends house. They are very good indeed. They deserve a listen by all skeptics. They are grand, grainless, open and fast. I heard them with two different speakers and they were great with both. Recordings sounded very different, a tribute to the neutrality of the amps. I do not own them nor have a vested interest in how well they sell. I do hope that other companies take note however and learn how to build amps of this quality and price point. They are a steal. I have heard my share of tubes, Levinsons, Krells, CJ etc. I appreciate that quality can be affordable. And yes, I could live with them if I didn't already have an amp I am happy with. Klaus...Job well done. Jallen
Well said, Jallen. 18 months ago, I ordered a pair of Stratos monoblocks, then cancelled because I found the one amp that I thought was better. I've never listened to the Stratos but I've known people who have owned them and I've only heard very positive praise for them. Unless of course somebody ate too much chile the night before.
Klaus and Odyssey Audio are to be commended for their efforts and obvious successes at making truly hi-end amplifiers at dirt cheap prices. Not to mention their 30 day money back satisfaction guaranteed or their 20 year warranty.
Personally, from what I've learned about the Stratos and some of the competition, I'd still choose a couple of Odyssey Stratos monoblock amplifiers over any Levinson or Krell amplifier made. Hey, I'm entitled to my opinion. And yes, I realize some of these other amps cost 15 times more than a pair of Stratos.
It's nice to see somebody take their amplifiers seriously like Odyssey Stratos. If their amp is half of what people say it is, then the addage: "One must spend a lot of money in the hobby to realize one needn't spend a lot of money." applies directly to the purchase of these amplifiers.
I don't have time for this nonsense, but guess, I have to respond to some moronic statements again. Here is goes in short form:
- I really don't care as to what other companies do about attacks / bogus reviews, etc. against their company.
- However, as for us, I do have my fingers on the pulse on a daily basis. As for AR, we check every day, and try to keep it clean and honest at all times. I also know that we're not the only company doing so.
- This means that there aren't any bogus reviews. In the past couple of years, quite a few of these bogus reviews have been deleted. These were rated from 1 stars up to several 5 stars. How do I know if these 5 star reviews are real ? Well, for one, we pretty much have every owner in our database. Because we have the 20 year transferable warranty, and because there were relatively few units for sale over the last couple of years (less than 5 %), and because we only sell direct, we have a good handle on where each unit is.
- As for me asking not to say anything bad about us, what a crock. If there's a person that had bad experience with our products or with me, then by all means, go ahead. It's your right to voice it.
- However, by posting BS bogus in order to damage our business in any way, shape, or form, be it by posting a bogus review, spreading a rumor, making accusations (see in this thread above the remark that we've written all the reviews ourselves, etc). is indeed a pretty shttty way to deal with somebody's livelihood. Be it ours or any other manufacturer's. It's just wrong, and unfortunately, I see it everywhere.
- As for some of the previous (about 15 months ago) postings on AR, we've decided to go legal against one individual, due to the extent of the lies and the potential damage. Hehe, kind of surprise to find out who that person was, and where the motives came from. We finally accepted an apology instead of going forward with damages, (which is not that easy, believe me. Not easy, but possible) to get that unpleasant situation behind us. However, sometimes I'd recommend this legal route to other manufacturer as well, as this BS is out there way too much. Of course it's ok to disagree and to be cautious.
- Which brings me to MFB, or Joel. He openly insinuates that we have a bad reputation in this very thread. Also, looking at the last 4 weeks, he initiated several discussions about the Stratos amp. He overwhelmingly received positive responses, I've answered his questions, and several of my customers mailed me that they've personally emailed him to answer all of his questions. Well, after all of this, he openly attacks us with the issue of the removed reviews pretty much stating that we're unethical. Your guess is as good as mine here.
- I hope that for once and all, I explained the issue with the reviews. Yes, I'm proud of the 5 star ratings, of course, and I'll always try to have false reviews identified, as (and stated in the user policy of AR) reviewers will have to verify that they're indeed legitimate owners. BUT, what I'm really proud of is that our customers are happy with the amps and with my service. Yes, I'm having fun, but it's also my livelihood, true. If I'm awake, you can get ahold of me. I have the phone always forwarded, late at night or at the weekends. I want to be available for anybody as much as I can, and that seems to be appreciated. I also talk pretty much how I see it, torpedos be damned (however, I never bad mouth another company or product. there really isn't that much rip-off in the $ range that we're in) This is my opinion and my experience, but people seem to appreciate this very much as well, even if they might disagree. Ultimately, however, and keep in mind that I still make money, and as corny as this might sound, I truly believe that I offer a service to our customers. The way in which we were able to shave off 70 % off the Symphonic Line designs by improving the amps, and finally making this kind of performance available for this price range and a wider range of potential customers, is unique to my knowledge.
- The question then becomes if everybody is happy with the amps and / or my service. Well, out of every 100 amps shipped we receive a bit more than 2 amps back under our money back guarantee. Of course we don't hit a 100 %, and of course the Stratos isn't the best amp out there or suited for each and every system. that's why I take so much time talking to the customer, making sure that everything fits nicely, and that's why I also refused sales in the past. Having said that, hardly any of the people who sent back an amp had something really bad to say about the amp. In nearly every case, it just didn't fit the taste 100 %. Did I have to deal with customers from hell ? Hell yeah, but thankfully only a couple of them so far.
- Again, I want to make sure that this is understood before I get more moronic responses here, and that's why I state it again: no, I don't think that the Stratos is the single best amp out there. there are many amps that are better, no matter what. Just for what price ??? Is the Statos the perfect amp for the money in every system ? No, of course not. Synergy, synergy, synergy. However, I do swell with pride by saying that it's pretty darn good in most systems. Does a 5 star rating on AR mean that people think it's better than anything else ??? No, read the guidelines carefully and see what the rating is all about.
- So, here you have it. Repeating pretty much my answers from above responses in the very same thread because some people just couldn't get the point. I truly hope that this answers all the issues once and for all. And mfb, I really hope that you'll be happy with your system once you've settled on an amp that suits you. There are many good choices out there for you.
Are you any relation to Santa Claus? If you are please tell him I would like a pair of monoblocks under my tree. Any faceplate finish is fine. I've been good for hours now.
Seasons Best To All
I am a very happy owner of the Stratos, I have found the positive reviews scattered throughout the web not to lie, not in the least. A question, though, if I may? With all the internet craze over the Odyssey amps over the past few years, I am amazed that Stereophile has not requested a Stratos or Monoblocks for review. I am at least a little bit curious as to if an amp has been submitted. Not that I put much weight on profesional reviews myself, an especially little weight in audiorewiew.com reviews, I still find the comments useful in evaluating similar products, should the reviewers findings be similar to my own, so I can then gauge what other reviewd products are worth looking at. A pro review in a respected (well, somewhat respected) magazine would seem a good way to silence many of the skeptics....
soundstage review choice award should tell something:
I was a happy stratos owner (with maggies 1.6s) until I went back to a SET route. Definitely nothing wrong with the amp.
Klaus himself is great person to do a business with as well.
For the stereophile review, did someone remember the Triangle speakers being thier class A (and B) at the same time as the large ad page in the magazine?? That should tell something as well in this business world.
Klaus, at least you don't have reviewers like this one (my favorite AR review ever - reader beware). God forbid you engage this user in an A/B comparison of ANYTHING!
Reviewed by: Teddy , an Audio Enthusiast
I applaud you for standing up for what you believe in, and stating your case clearly - and I agree about keeping facts factual and civility civil. The internet is all too full of aholes, and not all of them have a sense of humor.
I seem to remember a review in The Absolute Sound last year where they compared the Stratos to similarly priced amps from Rotel and B&K. I think they liked all of them for different reasons and I don't remember any one being a strong front runner.
mine was loud but lifeless no musicality try tubes
I had the Stereo Stratos with Symphonic cap upgrade, and thought they sounded excellent. Going to the monoblocks with Symphonic cap upgrade placed them in a whole new league, and now the latest upgrade with Plitron transformer makes them significantly better - well worth the 500 bucks, and the blue backlighting is very classy.
Some of the pioneer tuners are starting to be recognized as top tuners, where before they were asleep. I know someone is going to differ with me, but I never could stand pioneer products (personal experience). What people seem to judge things by (not discluding myself), are not fool proof formulas. I am trying to enjoy what I have, so I can focus on school.
There doesn't seem to be a way of measuring sound, yet there are these percieved differences, that do make a difference to me, but because I may not know as much as I seemed to have thought that I did, I tend to get caught up in a lot of hype and not knowing which direction to take.
I never heard the Odyssey, but I tend to write it off as
something within it's price range. A $600. tuner (Luxman T 117) at TIC stood above tuners costing many $$ more. A $1200. (now $400. used) Sony 333es made stereophile class A, where players costing way more weren't even mentioned. Still the reviews at Tuner Info center were someone's own subjective views. Still I see that it is hard to not pass things by, because they do not cost as much. It is confusing. I just am trying to enjoy my system, and I really do like it. I would love to hear an odyssey stratos after reading these threads. I also get real good feelings about some McCORMACK products.
The T117 was an average sounding tuner with very good sensitivity and selectivity. The audio sound performance was just average though. This tuner, like so many on the market, employed the standard do-it-all op-amps in the audio section yielding the standard op-amp results (thinness and haze).
The Pioneer 9800, on the other hand, was an excellent sounding tuner. It also had all the sensitivity and selectivity of T117 but with much better sound. Full, extended and no haze, grain or thinness. One of the biggest mistakes I ever made was selling mine. I have had many tuners and the Pioneer 9800 was my favority. I still look for one on the used market but to no avail.
So Pioneer does, and did make some nice products but they are few and far between. I don't think the 9800 tuner would have drifted off to sleep if Pioneer had made it longer. They were in such a hurry to cash in on the digital craze and, of course we were the loosers.
Sorry to get off the subject of Odyseey and McCormick. Both of these amplifiers are highly lauded and, in some iteration, are still in production. I don't think either of these will drift off to sleep anytime soon. Digital amplifier technology may eventually threaten their sales but I doubt emerging analog technology will render them to the flea markets since this technology in amplifiers has historically moved very slow.
At the Tuner Info Center it (T 117) is in third place, right below the TU X1, among 25 tuners. I have never heard it, but these people have trained ears, and even though I don't agree with them altogether, they altleast know more than I probably do. I have an accuphase T 100 that I learned about here at audiogon from reading.
I have always wodered about certain amps, after hearing so much about them. The citation 7.1 also sounds like a good amp, but I now have heard that it isn't really all that, yet still nice.
Well, I guess it's time that I weighed in for the what it's worth department. I've known Klaus for over 2 years now (although we haven't met in person), having origially purchased a Stratos power amp and a Tempest pre (which were ordered in December 2000). At the time, I was looking to get into separates and upgrade from an Arcam integrated I had. During all the time I've dealt with Klaus, he's never attempted to up sell me - I've always been the one coming back to him. Why? First, I'm convinced that the products he's selling into the market are the best value in high end today. (One can read my review on AR). Second, I have never received the level of customer service I receive from Klaus from any other dealer. He's never rude, has never talked down to me - and never degraded any of the other components I have in my system.
I upgraded from the Stratos to monoblocks - which were heavenly. I have since upgraded from the Odyssey monos to Symphonic Line RG4s. Not once had Klaus suggested that I upgrade. It's been more like getting the next fix - the sound quality of the predecessor product was so incredible, that I just wanted to go to the next level. I'm convinced I'm set for life, and convinced that no one can go wrong with the Odyssey line of products.
I have the stratos with a 100,000 cap upgrade. This was what Klaus had left over before he went to the 120,000. I have never had a problem with this amp and I am proud to say that I have given great reviews on this amp and a couple on audioreview. I saw the bogus review and I look at it as someone who wants to just be the one who can ruin a perfect review or he is just plain jealous! That amp they also reviewed in TAS didn't have the cap upgrade. Klaus wanted to see what he could do by keeping his amp under a grand. With the cap upgrade which would have taken it barely over a thousand dollars, there wouldn't have been a competition with these other amps that cost 600-1000 more than the basic stratos. Klaus has always been a gentlman to me and most audiophiles. He doesn't push his products and as a matter of fact will always recommend other manufacturers preamps to go along with his Stratos amp. I have had numerous amps including tubes which I owned for years. I don't go out comparing every one's amp to the stratos anymore. Guess that means I am happy with what I hear and that is what this hobby is all about!