Sorry to have taken so long, but wanted to give update.
I have recieved my Theta DReadnaught II with optional grid top,and it is beautiful and big! Will have tomodify cabinet in rear to accomodate a long 23.5" otherwise I have plenty of room.
Unfortunately, while I was waiting for delivery, I discovered a problem with my Proceed AVP! SO it had to go to Harman. BUT My dealer managed to misplace the Preamp for 3 weeks!
Harman says they have defined problem with Dolby locking up system, and its front channels were playing both right (Mono). Dealer who sold me Theta said the AVP was one of the 2 or 3 best pre-amps on market in his opinion, even better thanmost of the Mark Levenson equipment it supposedly was derived from. that's another subject, suffice to say I was always pleased with the unit.
Other changes I am excited to hear is one obvious need taken care of an ISOLATED 20 AMP circuit was installed last week. The outlet was also upgraded to PS Audio "Power Port".
Into one circuit will be the Theta and the other will be Richard Gray Power Company 400S Mark II. Off of one of those I will connect a PS Audio Juice Bar. Gray says anything connected to the shared circuit will benefit from the properties they explain on website.
I like the idea of having some surge protection, and line conditioning without having to resort to a unit with its own isolated amp coloring the sound.
Another upgrade will be to take advantage of the 2 balanced outputs from Proceed for 2 channel music and I bought a pair of XLR cables from Cardas (neutral reference).
So, hopefully in a few weeks I can come back and share my experience. And I hope the AMP sounds half as good as it looks!
I understand many have spent MUCH more on their system than I have, but this Theta upgrade is the most I have spent on any single component, but I have a feeling it will be well worth the investment.
The amp I understand runs fairly hot and needs room and air, I have 8" above 2" on either side, and I NEED to cut out back panel of entertainment unit behind the Dread, so a) it can fit and b) it will get better air flow. I will also reposition exhaust fan.
Take care, and good listening.....what a hobby!
I haven't heard the Dreadnaught II, but I own a pair of Enterprises and an Intrepid (5x100), which should be fairly similar, tonally, to the Dread. I am very happy with both of them, and the soundstage, imaging, and detail from Theta Digital amps are what I really love about them.
I'd go for the DreadnaughtII, although I am certain that the EAD is also a worthy option.
My email to Dealer who sold me the Theta Dreadnaught II
Craig Shummer TheatreMax (ph# 732-780-2019) **(he did NOT ask me nor did he know until my email I would give him credit as dealer, he is a great guy!)
A courtesy call to say just 2 words THANK YOU and 3 words OH MY G-D
Short and sweet: *(well not really! LOL)
I got a surprise phone call at work and because of a cancelation, a crew could come right over from Gramaphone.
WHen we got her all hooked, and put on a test CD Pat Metheny "One Quiet Night" solo guitar, they seemed flabbergasted...."sounds like he's right in the room" "you hear every screaching of his fingers on the guitar strings".
I put on a few other things, incredable. Put in Mask Of Zoro, first 5 minutes, again, once PRoceed was adjusted properly, it blew them away. I think had I not gotten up to take it off, figured they had somewhere else to go?...I believe they would have stood there and watched the hwole movie!
I guess it was by chance I met you, and meant to be I decided the Theta was for me.....but I couldn't be more pleased.
Only bad thing for you......is my KLipsch's (Chorus II's) sound unF'ing real now! LOL I took the Velodyne down to lowest setting
40 HZ and the volume was a hair above lowest setting, for the first time my KLipsch's were delivering SOLID bass and mids.
Note:other equipment used( PS Audio Power Port and Juice Bar. Existing MIT interconnects,PS Audio Statement Front SPeaker Cables, Difinitive Bi-polar Surrounds wall mounted, and BW center channel, Sony S900ES DVD/CD,Proceed AVP preamp)
The Richard Gray(RPG 400 Mark II) and Cardas (Neutral Reference) XLR's didn't hurt, but it was the Theta I am sure which was delivering the performance. It was there, the there was just MORE there, and all of it was there!
On JAckson Browne's wonderful The Naked Ride Home, and it is SO good, nice recording, the subltness was there when slow or accoustic, and when it picked up the Theta SLAMMED down in your seat. The vocals has PRESSENCE, and ALL that was on recording was THERE, all in its place. The background vocals were not "hidden" anymore, they had their space too. *(other music tested was Echo And Bunnymen "Flowers" and Steely Dan's "Two Against Nature")
If there is something better out there, to me it would be like a dog whistle, I don't think I would hear it!
I am going to finally post my review of the Theta on Audiogon, and I will mention your company as the one I Purchased it through. I hope that brings you more business.
Thanks again, until next time. PS...and all THIS with 2 hours of listening NOT EVEN broken in!!
Congrats! I'm glad you are pleased with your Dreadnaught II. Craig Shumer is, indeed, a fine person to work with. I picked up my Enterprises (and a good bit of Cardas cable) through Craig, and he has proven to be a very valuable resource. He really knows his stuff regarding install tips and tricks, and he had given me much great advice.
A few more insights as I break my Theta in.
I was very concerned that AMP not get overheated and have a thermal shutdown....many BOLD warnings in manual.
And the Amp is a hefty 23.5" deep! SO, if you have an enclosed entertainment unit as I, I needed to make a few alterations.
I was able to give it 2" to either side, and a full 9" above to next shelf. Just behind amp I had the back panel cut out A) so it would FIT! B)so it could breathe some. An exhaust fan was placed just below upper shelf to vent excess heat....and if running all 5 channels it does get toasty, but it didn't seem a problem with precautions I took.
How could I have not mentioned how STUNNING this amp looks, curvey stainless front panel, very simply laid out and the optional vented top is a must, and it also looks great!(black would not do the look justice in this case, and it matches the stainless accents of my Proceed.)
My system (I wil eventually take some digitals and post them) is certainly not the most elaborate, but my scheme was to keep it simple. I am not much for elaborate equipment with complicated schemes.
That is why I added the RIchard Gray unit, little guy weighs in a hefty 20 lbs, along with PS Audio outlets, the Theta was absolutely silent, not a hum. Most line conditioners have isolated amps inside, I didn't want anything putting its siganture on my Dreadnaughts power...I am sorry I cannot qauntify the "little" things I did, use of Cardas XLR's s I listed ealier or PS audio Power Port, but these were sensable things to add to make sure the THeta could go full bore...and sound its best.
I cannot stress enough how GOOD IT SOUNDS.I always liked my system, but I Knew it had its faults, and I was missing some info, some definition and gutsy mids...overall I ove the sound of my KLipsch Chorus speakers, and for the money nothing beats them I have heard.
The soundstaging I have read about, all the nuances the experts, the Audiophile critics wirte about in their columms I was experiencing them now in my system.
Theta has a unique technology no one else uses, No GLOBAL FEEDBACK, and if that means your music comes ALIVE, then that is what I hear.
POWERFUL vocals, captivating, air around it (I'm reaching here! LOL), ressonaces....reverberations...the nusances of that recording place..it's all there.
You don;t go craning or straining to hear something you think is in background because it has its own space....the sound seems "warm" am expletive you wouldn't usually use with a KLipsch speaker.
You see my other equipment and cables I Listed, not the exotic stuff, straight forward equipment....no special DAC's or transports...just a good SOny S9000ES. The Proceed holds its own on both sides with the best equipment, IMHO.
But for whatever reason, this all works well together, I couldn't tell you what Cardas speaker cables would have done or high end VAhalla's, and it wouldn;t matter, the sound is SO GOOD, it is REAL.
Here are a few other recording I was able to partialy listen to on the DREAD! A wide variety (I a not into classical)I love to share as we ALL LOVE music, is why we do this.
UNITONE "A Portrait of STrings"
Govi "No Strings Attached"
Jeff Galoub "Soul Sessions"
Jeff Lorber "Midnight"
Leszek Cichonski "Thanks Jimi" (GrooveYard Records)
David Wilcox "Underneath" (You will swear its James Taylor)
Wide Spread Panic "Everyday" (wife hates guys voice, but this band is tight)
5x225 is ONLY way to go, equal power to all channels especially for movies.
My unit came with frst offered Pulse 12V Trigger switch, and it just turns unit off stanby and back when your preamp is turned on or off.
I did not fel comfortable running unt 100 hours straight to "break in"...then surely the beats would GET HOT! It sounds so damn good now, how could it get better when "broken in".
And as I also suggested, the THETA would do ANY DVD justice and shaking your head. If I had more than 2 thumbs.....they would be unequivocably UP!
And definately call Greg Shumer,whatever I left out, he will fill in. I bought from him sight unseen,smooth buy!
At some point, you gotta stop reading reviews, and go with your gut! REading the Theta site and talking with Greg convinced, and I will never regret it nor look back. Happy listening all....time to crank it up!
A friend and my brother just came over to hear my Theta,and we took a bunch of Digital photo's of my family and system, so if interested, when I get them and if I can figure out how to post them I will do so. It shows the surround wall speakers, the whole shootin' match.
Played some music, my friend was sweating he said he loved the sound so much, and he was familiar with my old system.
I then put on my favorite movie The Gladiator, and.....well it was messmerizing, every clinkity clank swoosh of arrows, everything was there....wonderful.
I love that my setup is in my family room, right nest to our kitchen, it is open to whole house, the stereo and entertainment system an avid part of our everyday life...I would not want a "special room" for it.
Tell me to stop,and I'll stop posting, but for now I will keep track of ANY other observations I encounter.
My mains are 12 FT apart, and the CENTER IMAGE is FULL and LARGE,this is the extreme distance before center begins to break down, but the 12FT is cool. Then 12FT from each speaker to me...for 2 channel.
A few CD's expanded my perception of the Theta and my own ability to believe where all of these sounds were coming from.
Govinda "Entwined and Entranced" is so unusual, at time the sound is swirling around and between the speakers and extending above and beyond them, and the sounds are so unusual, I had never really heard them fully before.
The violin in one song was as sweet as the most advanced speaker, again, never was until now a strong suit of the Klipsch, but the Theta delivers the ressonace...the passion.
Richie Sambora in Wood and Steel GUitars II has solo accoustic, and he is amazing,,,,and there are sounds delivered a mystery...a cluncking of guitar case, maybe a block of wood.
Like I said, this is the first time in all my building, I felt I had a world class system.
A friend says the SPEAKERS is where he starts when building, he will spend the most there, but my THETA is the heart and soul of my system, somehow helping my speakers over achieve. They do sound so damn good I would have a hard time ever parting with them.
It is the soundstage, I have the luxury of space, I am usd to having them far apart, 12FT probably the MAX it should be, but with high ceilings of wood and wood floors....the stage is expansive, but it is excellently defined.
Before you buy any amp, some how demo this, call Craig SHummer talk to him, read the website and reviews, but after all of that, what I am telling you I hear, I go to bed thinking of playing it, and wake up wanting to play my stereo and keep digging out discs I haven't heard for awhile, and realizing before this, I hadn't heard HALF of what was there.
And it really doesn't matter what kind of disc you put on, the past experience of listening to it is blown away!
Tonight the guitar music I had on I Lowered from Proceed setting of normal to medium loud 60....it was late so I lowered the volume to 45, hwere before I wouldn;t hear much...and to my surprise, at much lower listening levels, the AMP can be delicate when it has to, and still deliver detail and enjoyment at below normal levels.
Maybe I find the Dread an assault on the senses, because it delivers as much detail as the human mind/ear can stand.
ONce I break it in, I suppose by then I will stop shaking my head!
Ya'll take care
My Virtual system is now online under done for now if link doesn't work.
Popped in for a quickie. Family was out, so I settled into my sofa and soaked in more playing time.
Creed's Unleashed.....was unleashed upon me with FURY and POWER and crispness....ripping guitar virtuoso never overdone or harsh, just RAW POWER.
AN unexpected surprise, and now in my TOP 10 BEST CD'S RYAN ADAM'S GOLD, if you don;t have this CD and love rock with GREAT song writing, this is a must have and it is the kind of CD that GROWS on you.
Several songs drift across so SWEETLY...softly....with Ryan's expressive vocals wafting by.....then a little guitar...soft, clean....then some understated but solid drums.....
This AMP is so DAMN sweet sounding, and it can be mellow when called up and unleash a otrrent of power and fidelityy just as easily.
I swear, every CD in my collection islike REALLY HEARING it for the first time.
And as best as I can describe, like a slight reverb from guitar or hum or pluck.....I have confidence in what I am hearing is exactly what it should be! and as I have never heard before.
Now, when you consider I have NO exotic equipment per se, and in fact I have 13 yr old KLipsch Chorus II speakers that cost me $1600 for the pair...thenmaybe you understand HOW GOOD this amp, and why Iam so excited about it...My Klipsch's need NOT be replaced.