Odyssey Khartago vs. C. Johnson's 2250A??

Odyssey Khartago amp has received good reviews. At the same time, Conrad Johnson's 2250A though issued in 2002 still gets serious consideration from many audiophiles. Both are solid state amps and approx.120RMS.

Despite CJ's reputation, which amp might sound better with a pair of Acoustic Zen Adagios and a Bel Canto PRe3 line stage pre-amp.... By better I am referring to overall musicality, transparency and bass depth and control. I have read many of the reviews on the CJ 2250A, but am not convinced it will sound better than the Khartago which is a newer design. And I don'want to drop $1000 for the CJ, only to find that it is only average. Thanks, Jim
As an exercise in engineering the Khartago is lightyears ahead of the CJ. How that translates into your needs or how it "sounds" in your system is very subjective.
To Zenblaster, That is a good point! BUT how is the Khartago "light years ahead" of the CJ in engineering. I am not technical, but know there can't be that many basic amp design variations.

I currently am using a pair of Red Dragon mono blocks which are class D, and good. but not good in the bass and not the last word in resolution. Maybe, I am asking for the moon with the above mentioned amps, but I refuse to spend $6000 plus for any PASS LABS amps which are more hype than performance. Thanks for your reply. Jim
I have an upgraded Khartago, and while it is incredible for the price, my Pass X250.5 is way better.
Again, it's all about what works best for your preferences/system/room...
I should have prefaced my post with fact that I do not have unlimited funds so value is important to me. If money were no object I would be perfectly happy with either assuming it integrated well with the system.
I thought the Khartago was very nice the several times I have had to use it. I have an older CJ amp and preamp and with the right speakers it is magnificent.
How they work with your speakers in your room is critical.

The Pass 250 is a sensational amp and clearly in another class than the Khartago on so many levels including price at close to $10k, the Oddyssey cost $895. They perform two vastly different functions. Again, a matter of symmetry.
You can get the Khartego with various upgrades. Speak to Klaus at audio and he will recommend what you should get. He is very honest. I loved my Khartegos but replaced them with a pair of Gilmore Monoblocks. I would go with the Khartegos over the Conrad Johnson amps CJ makes great tube amps but there solid state amps are ok but nothing special
I owned the CJ-MF-2500A,And still regret selling it!It put my system notches above anything ive had since.My system with the CJ in it was better to me ,than many of the other systems ive heard,some much more money! The CJ MF-2500-A holds its own with todays poweramps .And what you can pick one up for,makes it a very good buy.Also good service from CJ.
It does things that many high dollar amps do,like depth,room filling soundstage beyond the walls.Very good textured bass and seductive but tight mids,sweet treble.Of course that is my opinion in my system. I cant believe the engineering would be light years ahead with the Khartago,light years is pretty strong a description .
Hi Ray,
Perhaps light years is a little strong. Check out the specifications for each and you will see the difference.

CJ MF2500


I'll bet the Khartago would sound pretty good in place of your MF2500.
Zenblaster,I could not say ,as ive not heard the Khartago.A lot of people like them, so they must sound good.I would love to hear one! Ive never banked on specs being a great indicator of good sound. I did not post to debate whether any amp in particular,sounds better than the other,or which one has ,the best specs.I did post to share my experience with the CJ .Which was a very good one .
As I said,I would love to hear the Khartago.
Zenblaster,I would be interested in the engineering differences concerning both amps.I am openminded,please share your knowledge.I love learning about these things.
Sunnyjim,Please let us know what you end up with.The synergy was very good in my system with the CJMF-2500-A ,but it may be considered a little laid back to some that like a more in your face balance ,have to take into consideration your system balance.In my system it worked out great,a very powerful full rich sound ,with good detail as well.Good luck!
Nobody should buy an amp because of specs. Usually, you would buy an amp to power speakers. Your speakers are going to require an amp of certain power, current, impedence and a host of other specifications to perform at their best.

I left 2 clickable links to the specs of the CJ and the Odyssey on my previous post. You will find a big difference in THD, CJ is +/- .1% and the Khartago is .04%.

Good sound is the result system synergy.
You will find a big difference in THD, CJ is +/- .1% and the Khartago is .04%.
Why is this difference important, and how does it relate to sound quality?
Zenblaster, I quote from the independent test on the CJ 2500 carried out by Stereophile:

"While the Conrad-Johnson MF2500 will drive 4 ohm loads with music, the output specification is given as 240Wpc (23.8dB/W) for 20Hz–20kHz, at less than 1% of IM or harmonic distortion, both channels driven into 8 ohms. Don't be concerned at that high-looking figure of 1% distortion—in practice, the figures are much less than this. What this figure reflects is C-J's disdain of slavish conformance to the artificially low distortion figures adopted by many companies without regard to sound quality."

I haven't seen the test for the CJ 2250 the OP is considering but knowing the quality of CJ amps I wouldn't be concerned about specs.
I wish McIntosh would revive their " ON THE ROAD" amp clinic where MAC techs would check out your amp for free by measuring for RMS power within spec both channels driven. Peak power with a THD figure, and THD figure at mid power both channels driven
Which did you get Jim?
To J135, So far, nothing done. Will keep you posted. Thanks, Jim
Sorry Zen, a link to the description of THD does not answer my question. I was curious as to why you think the difference between .1% and .04% is significant, and determines the CJ amp is inferior.
Lower distortion is a good thing so the THD specs for both units speak for themselves.
I never said the CJ was inferior. In my experience with both amps I liked the Odyssey. I would be very happy with the CJ also but given a choice.
I have a CJ PV-10 that I am currently using and I think it is a great sounding preamp. They are a first rate company that has been very helpful anytime I need help with any of their products.
Zen, sorry if I misunderstood your post about the CJ, must have been that “light years” thing, and you are certainly entitled to your opinion about THD. Guess I’m in the camp that as long as it’s reasonably low, differences like the one cited here are just meaningless. It is interesting that some well respected companies don’t list the THD, and others say something like “typically less than 1%”. Also, speakers produce much more distortion than electronics at moderately loud listening levels, but you rarely see any of these specifications published.
I agree with TLS49. I would go further and say, as someone with an extensive technical background and someone who certainly recognizes the value that specs can provide (especially in identifying combinations of components that are likely to be poor matches with each other), that THD numbers for amplifiers are generally worse than useless.

Extremely low THD numbers are commonly accomplished by heavy-handed application of feedback, which in turn will worsen Transient Intermodulation Distortion (TIM), which is not normally specified, and for which I believe measurement standards have not been defined. And which well respected researchers, starting with Dr. Matti Otala (who is generally credited with first identifying TIM during the 1970s), as well as many respected high end designers, consider to be more relevant to music reproduction than sine wave-based THD measurements.

Also, THD numbers say nothing about the DISTRIBUTION of the distortion among different harmonics. It is well established that extremely small trace amounts of certain odd order harmonic distortion components will be vastly more objectionable than much larger percentages of low order even harmonic distortion components.

Basically, IMO, the only potential usefulness of THD numbers is that they can suggest caution in choosing an amplifier having exceptionally "good" numbers.

-- Al
Thank you again to all who responded. I am curious if the McCormack DNA 125(standard) not upgraded is competitive with the above two amps. SMc upgrades DNA125 to the gold level for approx. $3000, and claims it will compete with amps in the $10,000 range.
We all agree that words will never adequately describe the synergy between amp and speaker. You have to listen to amps with various speakers to get a taste of what they bring. Speakers can go from majestic to muddy with the switch of an amp.
Nothing will replace getting out and listening to various setups at shows. I have been blessed with going to CES and THE SHOW for the past 8 years and experiencing all types of rooms. What I usually come away with? - how much I have to learn!
A newer Khartago Plus will sound better and be less expensive than the 125, and may have the remainder of a long warranty.