Odyssey Audio Khartago SE Mono Amplifiers

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earlmarc

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Odyssey Audio Khartago SE Mono Amplifiers
« on: 20 Apr 2006, 11:19 pm »
My Khartago SE Mono Amplifiers arrived today. Many would probably like to know what the "SE" adds to the standard Khartago Mono Amplifiers. The key differences are: First, the memory is 240,000uf vs. 120,000uf; second, is the upgraded Pitron 400V transformers vs. 300V transformers; third, current delivery is 120amperes vs 60amperes; fourth, internal wiring is upgraded to the Quattro Ref.; fifth, is the addition of the new red circuit board; and sixth, is the addition of WBT RCA and Speaker binding post.

I will be posting a review after the amps have a good break-in. Stay Tuned.

earlmarc

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Odyssey Audio Khartago SE Mono Amplifiers
« Reply #1 on: 29 Apr 2006, 05:08 pm »
I'm approaching 300hrs of break-in own the Khartago Mono's SE and ready to post some of my findings.

The Odyssey Khartago Mono's share a similar sonic signature to the Khartago Stereo amplifier. That signature offers a sweet, openly extended sound with musical dynamics and a wide soundstage. The Mono's, however, offers these attributes on a bigger scale. Thus, they draw your attention and connect with you better due to their greater presence. The Mono's offers an increased depth and widgth of stage. Dynamics have more impact in rise and decay. Bass has a quicker attack  and punch. Midrange presence is more intimate with a sweet and natural tone that is openly more expressive. Extension is twice that of the Stereo Khartago and extends far into space with a natural decay.

I find that the Khartago Mono SE's offers most of what Odyssey Audio has to offer among there line-up of amplifiers and in my opinion the best value too.

Comparing the Odyssey Audio Khartago Mono SE's to the Belles Ref. 350A is an interesting comparison and definately shows that the Khartago SE's aren't uncomfortable being compared to a outstanding reference amplifier. The Belles Ref. 350A does several things better than the Khartago Mono's.

The Belles Ref. 350A handles spacial seperation better with a more silent black background. The sense of space between performances is more lively with the Belles. The ability of the Belles to hear more into these spaces and provide delineation with blackness seperates it from the Khartago Mono's SE. The Khartago SE's provide excellent seperation and delineation but without the same degree of black silence between spaces.  

The other two areas that the Belles Ref. 350A excels over the Khartago SE Mono's is coherency and transparancy. The Belles is more tightly fit from top to bottom, allowing its presentation to flow with a sense of ease. The Khartago is fit and flows naturally and musically but without the same sense of ease from top to bottom. The Belles flows with ease and offers that sense with excellent transparancy. The Khartago is just as transparent and may have a slight advantage with midrange expression, however, the Belles seems more transparent because of its cleaner background.

The Belles is 2x plus the price of the Khartago Mono's and one should expect better performance. The Belles Ref. 350A is the better amplifer in my opinion, but the Khartago Mono SE's aren't far behind. The areas where the Belles excels over the Khartago are minor differences and none are to a large degree. Bottom line, the Khartago Mono SE's are an extremely satisfying and musical amplifier that I can live with for sometime. As much as I like the Belles, I'm quite happy with these.

TheChairGuy

Odyssey Audio Khartago SE Mono Amplifiers
« Reply #2 on: 1 May 2006, 04:06 pm »
Interestingly, I have what I believe to be the same amps (serial number 2645 and 2646) as earlmarc - probably with a few more hours burn in time on them.

Frankly, I was so happy with the Khartago stereo unit I had before this one, that I didn't ask what the model name, or even internal compenentry was of these amps I now have.  Klaus just told me they are second to only full out Stratos Mono's....it's funny, but with almost any other maker I'd want to know more details to know if I was getting a good 'deal'. With Klaus, you just know you will.....and have the comfort of an unbelievably long warranty to boot.

I think my requirements for an amp are less finicky, or fine tuned than earlmarc and others...I simply want it to sound effortless for the 8+ hours daily I have tunes on, and have boundless reserves to meet dynamic peaks in my 12 x 15' room. This is the first amp I've ever owned that has met both criteria 100%....tho, each of the prior amps I've owned have been less expensive.

The grab-'em-by-the-balls character of this amp is truly virtuous. My Maggie MMG's, notoriously difficult to play dynamically (delicate 48" ribbons are less impactful than circular cones) - almost pass for cone sound now (in all the right ways).  Prior to this, the best 'amp' that drove these were the diminuative JVC F10 Hybrid Digital receiver....the lower end control that 'digital' amps have over most traditional SS units really helps control those long ribbons.  The Khartago Mono's maintain that lower end without letting it get wooly , with an abundance of everything else.  These speakers really sing now.

btw - I'm having the MMG's modded by Jeff over at Sonic Craft now - outboard crossovers with Alpha-Core inductors and Sonicaps, rewired with Alpha Core wire (the only wire that consistently sounds like an upgrade to me, no matter the cost), upgraded connectors in a nice wood box.  With the Mye stands, I'll have the world's most expensive MMG's....with only $1300.00 into it for what I hope to be a world class pairing with the Khartago Mono's.

I simply love these amps and I believe they will be the foundation of my system for many years to come (unless that damn Klaus finds another way of siphoning off my earnings :wink: )

Eric

Odyssey Audio Khartago SE Mono Amplifiers
« Reply #3 on: 2 May 2006, 07:45 pm »
Marcus,

Did the 10A have any trouble driving the low impedance of the Odyssey amps?

TheChairGuy

Odyssey Audio Khartago SE Mono Amplifiers
« Reply #4 on: 2 May 2006, 08:57 pm »
Mine are paired with Dynaco PAS-4 tube preamp and find the fit (sonically) quite nice.

earlmarc

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Odyssey Audio Khartago SE Mono Amplifiers
« Reply #5 on: 2 May 2006, 09:18 pm »
The 10A works wonderfully with the Khartago Mono's and have no issues with low impedance.