Odyssey Stratos vs. Monarchy SM-70 PRo ?

Dear fellow AudiogoNers,

Once again I am appealing to your superior knowledge to help me settle a conundrum:

I just got a pair of Gallo Reference II's and I can't help but feel my Sunfire Signature is not doing them justice. For quite a while now I have been reading/hearing that although the Sunfire is a magnificent BRUTE, there are other more refined choices out there. Since I prefer classical, vocal, and easy instrumental over really hard rock, I'm ready to try something a bit more refined (if not as powerful as the Sunfire).

I have narrowed my choice to an Odyssey Stratos (maybe Extreme version?) and a pair of the Monarchy SM-70 PRo's

What are your thoughts on this? I'm guessing even if you do not have this exact same combination, your experience with either or both of these amps will allow you to give me your informed opinion...

As always, thanks a million!


Hello Luynes,
I can only comment on the Odyssey Stratos Extreme Mono blocks. I have had these running since May 2006 and have no problem giving them my highest recomendation.
I have run them with and in the following configurations:
A) Through a NAD 1700 monitor series S/State pre-amp. Not bad, quite listenable and enjoyable.
B) Through a SF Line 2SE+ tube pre-amp. Very sweet and musical, nice step up from the NAD.
C) Direct out from my Cary CDP into the amplifiers. WOW! absilutely wonderful, this is where the Odsyssey amps really showcased their abilities. If I didn't have to accommodate multiple sources I would run in this configuration all the time ... WITHOUT QUESTION!

Here is a list of the equipment currently in use:
Power Amps: Odyssey Mono Extreme’s (mono blocks)
Pre-amp: Sonic Frontiers Line 2SE+ (Tweeked pre-amp)
CDP: Cary CD-308 (solid state)
CDP: Sony SCD-333ES changer
DVD: Toshiba SD-3950
Speakers: Paradigm Reference Studio 60v2

Hope this helps and good luck in your quest.


I have a pair of Odyssey Stratos Extreme Monoblocks which I am using with either the Odyssey Candela Pre or a Modwright 9.0SE (with oil caps and Bybee filter upgrade) to drive my Magnepan 3.6R's with great success. The Stratos Extremes really control the maggies but also sound tremendous with my smaller Soliloquy 5.3's or Quad ESL 63.
I recommend them extremely highly for both their sheer power and also their finess.
Oh that's a tough one. Had the Monarchy 70s and listened to the Odyssey Stratos at a buddy's home. The Stratos sounds more rounded too me. The SM70s a little cleaner with a slight sweetness to them. The sound will be more depended on how each unit works with your speakers and the preamp used. From hearing both..I would probably give the nod to the Monarchys in transparency.Both are very pleasant to listen too.
The Stratos mono blocs in the "extreme configeration" take about 400 hours to really get broken in. I figured 300 hours would do just fine, but even at four hundred hours they still were opening up. There's a big difference in them between 200 hours and four hundred hours.
As for how they sound? That's easy! Very fast, and very smooth. Kinda like an Accuphase sound. These amps will shake the plaster with ease, and the build quality is to die for. No matter how hard they are driven they still never get hot, and usually just barely warm to the touch.
They image well (very), and are extremely open. Does reed instruments extremely well, and may have the best piano I've yet to hear from a S.S. amp. The trumpet is right where it should be, but of all these instruments it does the upright bass better than anything I've ever heard.
When I first got these mono blocs I hooked them up with a B&K tuner/preamp, and just played the 24/7 till they had about 300 hours on them. Later I tried them with a Conrad Johnson PV10 preamp, and was a very nice silky sound. Tghen I tried them out with a Sonograph. The PV10 was better sounding. Then I went on thru a battery of tubed and S.S. preamps till I finished out with a Quicksilver linestage.
Once again a very nice combo, but was doomed a little later when I came into a Candela. The candela made the Quicksilver into a door stop! I've never heard a better combo. Acoustic jazz just seems to grow on you. The sound stage is huge. Very deep & wide. Just seems to make everything sound better. My amp / preamp combo is a keeper around here
Not so tough, though I haven't heard the SM70,s. I have 2 Monarchy SE-160's, 2 Monarchy SE-100 Delux's and 1 Odyssey Extreme with the red board. The Extreme is taking the place of the SE-160's because, well, everything is ever so slightly better. The biggest difference noted are the crystal clear highs and powerful base. The Odyssey can handle speakers down to 1 or 1/2 ohm (can't quite remember), allowing them to drive any troublesome speaker I can think of. Everything I've listened to sounds effortless. Even driving my buddy's Kappa 9's which drop below 1 ohm and are known to be amp killers are perfectly tamed. Go with the Extreme version.