Odyssey amp upgrade recommendations....

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Arcticdeth

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Odyssey amp upgrade recommendations....
« on: 27 Nov 2015, 02:16 pm »
What do you think about upgrading these 14 year old stratos?

 Should I upgrade to full kismet only?

 Or spend a little more, and go for the stratos/kismet hybrid extreme.

I don't think either way I can lose. I will most likely get the kismet, as I do need a reference pair of mono's.
Not that the hybrid extreme's won't be amazing, but I can save a little money in the process of upgrading.

Would I be better off with the kismet/stratos extreme, or the kismet?

Just like tommy tu tone's amps. Man do those look amazing.

Your thoughts will be helpful.

Jonathon Janusz

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Re: Odyssey amp upgrade recommendations....
« Reply #1 on: 27 Nov 2015, 05:19 pm »
You're describing different faces of the same animal if I am remembering correctly.

Taking your stratos monos, and upgrading to the kismet boards and some of the caps gets you to a base Kismet - in  Stratos cases.  The only difference between what you would have and a base Kismet is the casework, no functional difference.

On top of that, you can have even more of the caps upgraded, resistors, I think wiring, and a few other bits Klaus can put in there.  There is a lot of bang for the buck in this chunk, as Klaus has said before most folks upgrading just get a lot of this stuff put in while they are at it just because it is very reasonable to do so.  Some of this is also system dependent as far as the gritty particulars of what parts go where, which is why Klaus suggests people call him to discuss.  Maxed out in all this is all the further most folks need to go, and all of these mods stack on top of doing the basic Kismet upgrades - and can be done later after your piggy bank recharges from the Kismet upgrade - but you need to at least be up to basic Kismet guts first.

The final frontier, so to speak, once all else is done, which can't be done in Khartago cases because they are dimensionally too small but does fit in Stratos cases, which only a tiny percentage of the audiophile population with a very specific set of system circumstances will get any benefit from, which lets you watch your power meter on the side of your house spin at a healthy RPM,  but although rarely advertised is in fact there for those willing to go full potato, is a power supply upgrade that you definitely want to talk directly to Klaus about before dropping the money on to figure out if it will be worth it.  This can also be done after the rest, but again requires the basic Kismet stuff to start, and isn't even really worth talking about until you've gotten everything else you can out of the amps first.

Hope that helps make sense of things.  Someday, Klaus will at least put a little bit of time (but not too much ;)) into the website to point the signs in the proper directions.  :green:

TL:DR the Kismet upgrade to your amps is a noticeable and good bang for the buck upgrade, there are some extras you can add to taste, and going all in starts treading the waters of diminishing returns depending on a lot of things specific to your situation.  Enjoy your new amps, maybe have them in for a checkup at least, and if you're trying to keep to a budget, when you think the amps are the weakest link in the chain, call Klaus when your wallet is ready.  Reading your past posts, I think you'll find some higher bang for your buck upgrades in your system before it comes time to upgrade the amps - which is a very good thing!

Arcticdeth

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Re: Odyssey amp upgrade recommendations....
« Reply #2 on: 27 Nov 2015, 05:54 pm »
I would keep the cases, just replace the interior contents. 

 I can get the full boat powerhouses, extreme mono kismet/stratos , extra transformer, etc etc.

 The basic full kismet amps, which are amazing musically I hear. 

I would keep my current stratos cases. 

I will most likely get the kismet inside my stratos, they will have plenty of room to. Breathe inside, with the extra room for parts,size of the stratos interior.

Klaus recommended the extreme hybrids for me, but with me brainstorming, and realizing I honestly don't "need" all the extras we had spoken of.  I have pretty much settled on having the stratos implemented with all the gusto and precise authority of the kismets'.  I have heard t hey do sound pretty damn good.  The kismet are klaus's flagship amps anyway, why not got for what will give me the absolute very best accurate sound.

 

Arcticdeth

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Re: Odyssey amp upgrade recommendations....
« Reply #3 on: 27 Dec 2015, 05:51 am »
My stratos basic older amps sound descent.

  Slight woofer control loss st high volume.

Would upgrading to kismet mono's give me much more oomph than the stock stratos I have now?

 More woofer control? Better sound?  Help me out guys!! 

Upgrade to kismet, or just sell them?

martinr

Re: Odyssey amp upgrade recommendations....
« Reply #4 on: 27 Dec 2015, 04:42 pm »
I upgraded to Kismet Hybrids in Stratos Cases a couple of years ago.....Kismet board with additional Capacitor upgrades, wiring and a couple of other upgrades I don't specifically recall.  I could have gone one step further and upgraded some additional capacitors as I recall that Klaus said would not be of significant benefit...bang for the buck was what I was after.   To answer your question regarding mid, bass overall sound improvement.  I used to listen to my system with the Candela Pre volume nob turned to 1/3 of the way up listening at a fairly loud volume level.  Now I rarely go past 1/4 of the way up from dead zero.  So my amps are significantly louder with more bass extension..  I would talk to Klaus, take his advice within your budget and upgrade rather than buying new amps......JMO

- Martin

DaveC113

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Re: Odyssey amp upgrade recommendations....
« Reply #5 on: 27 Dec 2015, 06:47 pm »
I have a fully upgraded Stratos stereo amp (2 PTs, black PCB, xtra caps) and I love the amp, it's a great match for my speakers but it doesn't have as much control of the woofers vs my Crown XLS amps. For my system this works better as the XLS makes my speakers sound overdamped and bass shy while the Stratos is near perfect. So it does depend on the speaker in question.... I might prefer the bass of the XLS on speakers that have loose bass to begin with, but there's more to music than bass and the Stratos offers levels of refinement in the mids and highs the XLS amps can't touch.




OSIB16

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Re: Odyssey amp upgrade recommendations....
« Reply #6 on: 2 Jan 2016, 01:22 pm »
What do you think about upgrading these 14 year old stratos?

 Should I upgrade to full kismet only?

 Or spend a little more, and go for the stratos/kismet hybrid extreme.

I don't think either way I can lose. I will most likely get the kismet, as I do need a reference pair of mono's.
Not that the hybrid extreme's won't be amazing, but I can save a little money in the process of upgrading.

Would I be better off with the kismet/stratos extreme, or the kismet?



Just like tommy tu tone's amps. Man do those look amazing.

Your thoughts will be helpful.





You could go for the KISMETS which give you a fair bang for your buck. The other option is to take your amps to an even higher level than the Kismets, just like I did. Check my STRATOS MODIFICATION link...  http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=119268.0 

Arcticdeth

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Re: Odyssey amp upgrade recommendations....
« Reply #7 on: 20 Mar 2016, 06:12 pm »
Ok, the scoop;

 I am meeting with Klaus near the date of the axpona show, as I live fairly close to it.
I will be handing him the pretty old basic stratos monoblocks to upgrade.

What do you think? Klaus, please also reply if needed.
I can get the kismet upgrade, or I can pop for the extreme hybrid , kismet board, extra capacitors and transformer.   For what I need to drive my modded cerwin vega D-9's I am thinking the extreme hybrid ones with a few extra caps and transformer, as these D-9's can take a good amount of power. I have made a few amps kneel and bow to these speakers over the past few years. 

I honestly don't play music to the deafening levels I used to when I was in my twenties, but from time to time, when I have a party, and I need to blow off some dust from the woofers/amps, I like to do a small audition for about 40 min to an hour of non distorted tunes.  Would I be better with the extreme hybrid stratos? I have heard Klaus say the kismets will do the job just fine, but during those times when I want to rattle my basement doors, will the kismets handle the challenge? Aren't they more for accurate, pure perfect amplification, and the extreme kismet hybrid may have an extra testicle when needed to be pushed? 

I need to make up my mind before axpona on which direction to take.  I am leaning towards the extreme kismet hybrid with extras, as I may need it.......

If you read this, just please, write your recommendations/thoughts as to which would be the better direction.

 I have spoken with Klaus, I know he knows his shit, so either direction I choose will be amazing, I'm just looking for why's and facts as to which option may be the best for me.

Your thoughts/ opinions are very much appreciated.





P.s. I'm fukcing stoked and happy to get this done!!!! It has taken me away too long to g et this.

P.s.s. The sound of the 15+ yr old stratos are pretty goddamn good, so I honestly can't imagine how much better the upgrade will be. But I have a pretty good idea it will be similar to rapture/bathing in a vat of Bushmills 21yr.

bunky

Re: Odyssey amp upgrade recommendations....
« Reply #8 on: 21 Mar 2016, 12:00 am »
If you have the scratch go for the Kismet upgrade.

Arcticdeth

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Re: Odyssey amp upgrade recommendations....
« Reply #9 on: 21 Mar 2016, 12:19 am »
If you have the scratch go for the Kismet upgrade.



 Kismet OR kismet extreme/hybrid? 

Ictwoody

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Re: Odyssey amp upgrade recommendations....
« Reply #10 on: 21 Mar 2016, 05:05 am »
Give Klaus your budget and do whatever he tells you to do. Either will blow your doors off with you CVs. Trust me. Power won't be an issue.

- Woody

bunky

Re: Odyssey amp upgrade recommendations....
« Reply #11 on: 21 Mar 2016, 02:18 pm »


 Kismet OR kismet extreme/hybrid?
Kismet

Arcticdeth

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Re: Odyssey amp upgrade recommendations....
« Reply #12 on: 21 Mar 2016, 04:13 pm »
Kismet


 Would the kismet sound better compared to the extreme hybrid version?

Extreme hybrid had 8 large caps per amp and extra transformer for added balls

Kismet has 4 caps per amp and 1 transformer.   

I get the "synergy" thing, I'm just curious if going with more caps and transformer with the hybrid extreme version would offer more oomph when needed to be pushed hard for extended periods of Mercyful Fate, Accept, Gary Moore, Frank Marino, Michael Schenker, Uli Jon Roth, Venom, Raven, etc etc. that's some pretty compressed music with a lot going on , unlike a symphony, or just plain ol Humble Pie, Gordon Lightfoot,  Donovan, Van Morrison, Pavlovs Dog, Amon Duul, etc etc

Yes, no? 

GentleBender

Re: Odyssey amp upgrade recommendations....
« Reply #13 on: 21 Mar 2016, 04:37 pm »
Sounds to me like you WANT the Kismet Extreme Hybrid and want us to say so. Seeing your comments here makes me think that you will always wonder what could have been if you don't. Just do it and let us know what you think.  :green: :thumb:

Arcticdeth

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Re: Odyssey amp upgrade recommendations....
« Reply #14 on: 21 Mar 2016, 05:00 pm »
Sounds to me like you WANT the Kismet Extreme Hybrid and want us to say so. Seeing your comments here makes me think that you will always wonder what could have been if you don't. Just do it and let us know what you think.  :green: :thumb:




 Would kismet offer same output as extreme hybrid?  I'm sure the kismet has a better sound in general, as this is what Klaus wanted for his flagship model.

 Would the extras in the extreme offer any more benefit?

Arcticdeth

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Re: Odyssey amp upgrade recommendations....
« Reply #15 on: 21 Mar 2016, 05:07 pm »
on.  If I had the cash, I would get both, no thought behind it.

I'm so excited past 2 weeks, more so the past week, when my wife said she would help me with this a little, just to shut me up, because she can't stand hearing a few words.....Klaus, odyssey, kismet, extreme,  amplifiers, monoblocks, she is sick of hearing me talk about it. The hard part is choosing

rooze

Re: Odyssey amp upgrade recommendations....
« Reply #16 on: 21 Mar 2016, 05:48 pm »
Why not just live with the amps you've bought. I'm sure they're very good. I doubt there's a power issue with what you have, I've had Odyssey amps driving Carver ribbon speakers which are a pretty extreme load, and they did just fine.

There's always something bigger and better and more powerful and more expensive....but you bought the amps you have, so sit down and enjoy them.

You can control the voice in your head, nice music sometimes helps... :wink:

undertow

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Re: Odyssey amp upgrade recommendations....
« Reply #17 on: 21 Mar 2016, 06:07 pm »
Arcticdeth,

From your screen name, your overall setup using "Vegas", and the fact you say your close to Axpona coming up I assume your more or less a metal head in the Chicago area? My highest suggestion is you go to the numerous audio shops in the area starting with used gear at Audio Consultants, decibel audio, or promusica. Believe it or not your Vegas will take very little to rock, but key here is not overdamping the bass region. Odyssey amps are "Good" but for the pricing your talking about, and the type of performance your looking for I honestly believe you might be even happier with something like a Mcintosh "Big Blue Meter" amp using far less damping to give you fuller less constrained bass with the Autoformers.

By the way Odysseys always damped bass down to levels I thought were a little too strict, and always wanted a more loose natural feel for lack of a better term which many other SS amps like Mcintosh will deliver. Don't get me wrong here a Mcintosh will still have an "Iron Grip" on the bass, its just normally a lot more live, and full especially with the load control using Autoformers on big classic speakers like Cerwin Vegas, or Klipsch Heritage etc... It's more about a tonal difference than any specific electrical or mechanical specs.

At least you can attempt to audition something first and return it before making the leap. Then you can decide whether to hand over the Odysseys and put more money into them, which honestly do not hold the greatest value vs. Mcintosh or other types in this range with LOADS of excess power from 300 watts a channel up to 600 for about the same pricing your looking at. I am sure you can find some bryston dealers as well that you can easily audition as a good contrast.

I owned several Odyssey iterations over the past 15 years myself. Not they are bad, or good for your application, but with your value, speakers, and tastes all in line I say "Try" an option or 2 by auditioning a big power amp for free then decide if you hear anything you like better than your current amps in the first place.

Point being to make sure you feel your doing the right thing since you seem not totally sold I suggest this method taking just a little work with a credit card, and no permanent cost to find out with your own ears at this point.

Only killer with Mcintosh amps is they are single chassis around 140 or 150 lbs! Probably pushing higher total weight than any of the odyssey mono configurations when having to move them around.

Arcticdeth

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Re: Odyssey amp upgrade recommendations....
« Reply #18 on: 21 Mar 2016, 06:56 pm »
Been there done that. Macintosh [2002]Bryson [4bst] and so many others have crossed paths with me since 1987.  I have tried so many damn amps for many years, most don't last more than 6 months, for many reasons, pops during turn on,  lack of bass, mids or highs not good enough, poor construction. I remember correctly as that 2002 was one of two macs I auditioned, and I didn't like them, there sound was to straight, or lacked the goosebumps I was given with other amps, I didn't care for the sound, the bryston is the same, it sounded to plain, sure it was accurate, but each lacked something, or didn't have something I liked.

 I also have those emotiva xpa1 monos boxed in my Basement because they severely lack clear midrange and highs, so they sit boxed. I'm finicky' do I love the strato basic ones I purchased 6 months or so ago, hell yes, they sound goddamn amazing, better than those other high end amps I sent packing.

It has been a long long road for me, and I think I am making the absolute correct and smartest decision by going with either the kismet in stratos or the extreme kismet hybrid upgrades.  Sure I love the crystal clear midrange and highs of these quite old stratos, but, if I can improve on this, why not do it.

 Crown, acurus, Aragon, Klipsch, rotel, Macintosh, bryston, and a few others have graced themselves upon my ears, and each one has been returned, or just not able to work.  Crown studio ref 1, brand new, but had a 30amp plug, and at the time my whole house was only a 100amp service, so that was not going to work, and I almost cried, I saved and sold so much to get it, and it was in front of me and I couldn't use it.  I have spent many hours with these basic stratos, and goddamn I really like them, they sound very clear, and I do like the bass they reproduce, it's not fake sounding, not electronic sounding, it's just in the middle, enjoyable and believeable. So I'm sticking to what sticks the hair up on my arms and neck.

Much like my Energy rc-70's which gave me instant goosebumps, and I just knew.....I hate high pitched treble, the softer subtle sound of the rc-70's just was "IT" for me, and I couldn't be happier.  The D-9's are different beast, but need some balls to be a little louder.

When I had the crossovers redone with mega high quality coils, capacitors, etc etc, they lost a couple DB of spl 1w.  So I need a little more oomph to drive em more. They are not stock d-9's, they are amazing d-9's.


undertow

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Re: Odyssey amp upgrade recommendations....
« Reply #19 on: 21 Mar 2016, 07:01 pm »
"When I had the crossovers redone with mega high quality coils, capacitors, etc etc, they lost a couple DB of spl 1w.  So I need a little more oomph to drive em more. They are not stock d-9's, they are amazing d-9's. "

Well this was one of my suggestions I was going to make, but the post was long enough!

Sounds good as you already did it...

By the way I only suggested these due to real world applications these amps could work better with certain types of speakers. However, I have owned and had several myself.

None of them beat the BEL 1001 Mk V amps  :thumb: Good luck finding a pair. This is just the base version much older though...

http://www.usaudiomart.com/details/649224050-brown-electronic-labs-bel-1001-power-amp/