Odyssey Xtreme Mono's versus Van Alstine FETvalve 550HC

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Tyson

Odyssey Xtreme Mono's versus Van Alstine FETvalve 550HC
« Reply #20 on: 3 Feb 2003, 12:42 am »
Cut Throat,
That was my point, that the AVA was a hybrid amp, not a tube amp.  And that hybrid amps don't necessarily sound "like a tube amp".  Perhaps AVA is very tubelike, perhaps not, I can't say, as I've never heard it.

Although, since you say you have compared the AVA stuff to many amps (and presumably preamps), I think a lot of us here would be interested to know more about specific comparisons.

Cut-Throat

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Odyssey Xtreme Mono's versus Van Alstine FETvalve 550HC
« Reply #21 on: 3 Feb 2003, 01:13 am »


Tyson,

When listening to the AVA Fet-Valve 550ex the sound is definitely Tube Amp. The difference is that it has all the guts that you need - 250 wpc.

I have made quite a few comparisons over the years and you can search the AA forum and read quite a bit.

Briefly amps that I have had AVA Fet-Valves up against - Bel Canto Digitals (Blown Away) - Air Tight ATC Push Pull (Close AVA by a hair) - Sim Audio W5 (Model I'm fuzzy on - Blown Away). Sunfire Signiture (Really Bad - Is the Sunfire really an Amp?  ) - I own the AE-25 Push Pull (AVA blows it away) and 300b Billies (AVA has more dyanamic sound but the 300bs have that sweet pleasing distortion- I'll keep em both). Bryston (good solid state amp - But not in the 'tube' league).  Classe Amps CA400 I think (Great Boat anchors - Not as good as Bryston).

 There are quite a few other amps - I just have forgot about them.

Mathew_M

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Odyssey Xtreme Mono's versus Van Alstine FETvalve 550HC
« Reply #22 on: 3 Feb 2003, 01:42 am »
The funny thing is how tightly wound some of you are.  Jeez lighten up!  Again synergy is the key...along with room acoustics, ac power conditioning, time of day, number of beers, how pretty/ugly the thing looks.

I've only heard an Odyssey amp once (the reg. stereo model) driving some vmps speakers and didn't care for the sound.  It sounded overtly solid state and harsh which is not an opinion shared by others here.   But again it was chained to some completely foreign components that may have been contributing to it's sound character.  The rogue preamp could of been the culprit (one reason I passed it over despite having similar good word of mouth) but who knows?

Pez

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Odyssey Xtreme Mono's versus Van Alstine FETvalve 550HC
« Reply #23 on: 3 Feb 2003, 01:55 am »
Quote from: Mathew_M
The funny thing is how tightly wound some of you are.  Jeez lighten up!  


Them is fight'n words boy :x You fixin' to take me on in fight club? I dare you punk :nono:

Xi-Trum

Odyssey Xtreme Mono's versus Van Alstine FETvalve 550HC
« Reply #24 on: 3 Feb 2003, 02:03 am »
Quote from: Pez
At least I don't think the LeAmp is the end all of amps  :P


Hey, I'm out of that camp now.  I now think that the Ampzilla 2000 is the one to beat.   :lol:

Anyway, too bad you guys missed a chance to do side-by-side between it and the other $4000 amp that you all worshiped.  We did.  And we can tell you unequivocally that they pretty much sound the same... in our humble systems.   :mrgreen:

Anyway, let's not bring up old stories.  This time, the spot light is on Jman and Ajerry.  :D

Xi-Trum

Odyssey Xtreme Mono's versus Van Alstine FETvalve 550HC
« Reply #25 on: 3 Feb 2003, 02:16 am »
So, the AVA is a hybrid, eh?  Ok, I take back what I said about the comparison... since I have never heard a hybrid before.   :oops:

jackman

Odyssey Xtreme Mono's versus Van Alstine FETvalve 550HC
« Reply #26 on: 3 Feb 2003, 02:57 am »
Here is the link explaining how the Fetvalve amp works.  AVA has a patent on this technology.  I do not find the sound to be "tubey" or colored in any way.  Just smooth and powerful.  Mids are not overemphsized like some tube amps.   The amp seems to capture the strengths of SS and tubes:

http://www.avahifi.com/root/equipment/amplifier/fetvalve_amps.htm

jackman

Odyssey Xtreme Mono's versus Van Alstine FETvalve 550HC
« Reply #27 on: 3 Feb 2003, 03:25 am »
Jason:
Posted: Sun Feb 02, 2003 10:24 pm    Post subject:    

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Quote
This is all very interesting to me for a few reasons. I have heard many of the products Jackman has recommended in which he often exclaims "ZYX BLEW AWAY XYZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I'm sorry to say, but none of it is true in the slightest. I have compared the exact same equipment (albeit in a different system) rather extensively and to say that he can be over enthusiastic is an Xtreme understatement (sorry I had to do it  )


I'll keep this in mind the next time I read one of your "No punches pulled..." reviews.   :lol:  The next time you evaluate products, please do not post the conclusion at the time of the review.  Let me guess which products you will like best...

Al Garay

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Odyssey Xtreme Mono's versus Van Alstine FETvalve 550HC
« Reply #28 on: 3 Feb 2003, 05:54 am »
Fred,

Have you ever heard the Transcendent Sound T8 stereo or monoblocks?
http://www.transcendentsound.com/

I have heard the T8 stereo with Grounded Grid pre-amp and Ellis 1801 fed by a modified Anthem CD1... it had extended bass, dynamics, rhythm, soundstaging... and it is tubes... OTL design.

Klaus,

I have read wonderful things about your products and you have very loyal customers.  Ravi, who lives in Vancouver BC, absolutely loves the synergy between his Stratos stereo amp and Ellis 1801 ... perhaps, just as much as I love my 1801s with my AKSA amps and Jackman now with his latest AVA amp. We all have the same speakers are very happy with the sound coming from different components. Some are tubes and some are solid state. To each his own. And I think that's the way it should be.

Jackman has had more gear through his system than most people. He is constantly trying to improve the sound ... acquiring and selling gear all the time. Perhaps, this makes him more vulnerable to be passionate about his latest discovery. Thus, I am not surprised his review is biased towards his latest find, the AVA. He is very impressed with it as well as the deal that he got.

I did not read that Jackman said your Odyssey SUCKS!, for lack of a better word. I read Jackman describe that he prefers his new toy. Sure, Jackman is biased. He is entitled to be. And people are free to take his opinion for what it is worth.

However, your character attack is not necessary. You are asking people to choose sides. And you do not need to. Usually, it backfires. You should realize that Jackman to some of us is not the person you describe. I've known him for a short while but during that time, I trust him fully with any of my gear as he has repeatedly done with his. To me, Jackman has been a man of his word, a man who cares deeply about his hobby and sharing it with others. I admire a man who speaks lovingly of his wife as Jackman does. I trust that he is sincere in his convictions and the feelings he shares regularly. I look forward to his reviews since he describes what he is hearing and feeling so vividly that it almost places me in the room, just like the experience you get when listening to a really good announcer describe a baseball game on the radio.

You would be surprised that Jackman actually helps to sell your gear. For example, Jackman is a strong advocate of the Ellis Audio 1801. He has inspired people to build a new system centered around the 1801s. When  they search for amplification, your Odyssey products are in the short list. I know a Randy who is starting a new system, recently bought Odyssey mono blocks and Odyssey Tempest pre-amp to drive his 1801s.

Leave the bickering to Rick Craig and Danny Richie. They're good at it. And somehow, they manage to be civil in person. To me, they seem more like brothers or cousins trying to out do each other.

Anyways, the Jackman you describe is not the Jackman that I know.

Thanks,

Al

David Ellis

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Component quality and sonic signature
« Reply #29 on: 3 Feb 2003, 06:52 am »
This message string seems quite heated, but I believe that something good might actually come out of it.

First, for many months Jack has been darn happy with his Odyssey amplifier.  He has conveyed this to me via email several times.  I certainly don't think he has ever described his Odyssey amp to be a terrible product.

I think some degree of greater truth might be revealed here.

First, Klaus, are you asserting the tube in Frank's FET valve is the reason it sounds the way it does?  If so, maybe a SS Van Alstine should be compared with a SS Odyssey at a similar price window?  This might solve some of the debate.

But, maybe not.  Maybe there are reasons for what is called the Solid State Signature.  Maybe it is caused by diodes/resistors that overshoot and/or have a positive ripple.  Maybe it is caused by metallized capacitors that arc internally, or have a poor film doping.  Maybe it is caused by Electrolytic capacitors that have a very high ESR and poor power supply filtering.  I am certainly not a EE, or a good self-taught engineer, and have no concrete explanation for such things.   I do, however, belive that some of these thing precipitate sound quality from a component perspective.  Evaluating the quality of the components in a circuit might lead to some reasons why an amplifier has a Solid State Signature.  Circuit design... whew!  That is way beyond me.  I am sure this is a big factor too.

I have found that better components in loudspeaker networks are simply cleaner without loss of detail or dynamics.  I have found that better diodes (i.e Harris/Fairchild 2nd gen) in my CD player produced the same results.

Klaus, would you care to address the impact of component quality on sonic signature.  If not, that is fine.  I realize this would be a very very long post.

I will offer that I compared my Bryston 3B-ST to the FET at Kevin Becker's home.  The clean dynamic sound from the FET with NO lack of detail / dynamics was shocking.  I thought something was wrong with my Bryston.  After arriving home I realized that it always had that slightly harsh edge.  I believe this is due to cheap components inside the Bryston.  Eventually I'd like to purchase a VanAlstine product.  Such a purchase requires wife approval in my home though.  Eventually I'll visit Frank's home with my wife.

I must also offer that I have never auditioned the Odyssey, but belive it is a very respectable amplifier.

Dave

Woodsea

Odyssey Xtreme Mono's versus Van Alstine FETvalve 550HC
« Reply #30 on: 3 Feb 2003, 01:00 pm »
The point that Klauss, has eloquently made, though in very terse tones, is that Jackman has been a jackass in the past.  Especially toward Odyssey line.  He never said that the AVA line could not compare, no he said that everyone has there own bias (ears).  I almost made a comment after reading Klauss' first reply, but waited.  Glad I did, after Jackman clarified his stand on their shootout(very nice and professional), without acknowledging Klaus' and his history (suspect) I now have a clearer picture of both of these individuals.
Mr. Ellis you also skipped over what was accused of Jackman and just alluded to what others think of the stratos.  Jackman is by far your greatest fan.  Please don't pander to Jackman's ego, but also question questionable history.  Do not judge someone by their words but by their deeds!!!
By the way, your 1801's are beautiful to look at, as well as the Stratos line, unfortunately I have not had the pleasure of listening to either.

Nikko

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Odyssey Xtreme Mono's versus Van Alstine FETvalve 550HC
« Reply #31 on: 3 Feb 2003, 01:15 pm »
Klaus, I think your personal attack on Jackman is more detrimental to you and your business than anything he's said about how your amps sound in comparison to the AVA stuff. I would venture to guess that most of the people reading this thread have read many other posts from Jackman both here and on HD, are of above average intelligence, and are perfectly capable of forming their own conclusions about his review. I have spoken to Jackman on many occassions and have been reading his reviews for months. I consider myself to be perceptive enough to distinguish whether the motives for his findings are other than honorable. After reading his review again for the third time I did not find that to be the case. I think he and Audiojerry heard what they heard and unfortunately, at least to them, your amps came up on the short end of the stick. That doesn't mean that any two other people's finding would be the same as theirs. Heck, just read the tube vs. solid state thread and you'll see that everyone has their own opinion on what sounds the best. You can't win 'em all! In Jackmans review though I don't believe it came down to a tube vs transistor contest, which is what you seemed to imply. From what I've read, from Jackman and others, the AVA stuff doesn't have either a tube or solid state sound. My understanding is that it's pretty neutral sounding in that regard. Is it possible that, at least to Jackman and Audiojerry, that your amps don't sound as good as the AVA stuff? Can Jackman express himself and report his findings without being slandered and attacked for doing so? Unless you can prove that Jackman is on a crusade to destroy your business, which I don't believe is the case, you can't stop people from expressing their opinions to a wide audience in this information age. Make the best gear you know how to and let it speak for itself.

Marbles

Odyssey Xtreme Mono's versus Van Alstine FETvalve 550HC
« Reply #32 on: 3 Feb 2003, 01:27 pm »
If you want some ancient history read these threads..

Keep in mind there was no registration so anyone could post under any name at that time.  Turned out jackman used a lot of alias's...but it was him in many (most) cases.


follow the links in this post..

http://forums14.consumerreview.com/crforum?14@84.SQvhapfwbJD^141984@.eeb2acc/19

Jackman was Justin5, Dali Lama, Frank or frankie, jackster, etc.

In addition Jackman may not have been "unbiased" going into the review per his post at AA.

http://www.audioasylum.com/forums/amp/messages/10157.html

"I have never compared my recently acquired Fet Valve Van Alstine to the DM Stratos amps, but I will soon when I bring my Van Alstine (tube pre and amp) to my friend Audiojerry's house (possibly next week if he is available). I will be totally shocked if the DM's can come close to the Van Alstine's smoothness and realistic soundstage, and I'm not kidding. The Stratos DM's are undoubtedly more powerful (the VA is only a 38 lb. amp!) but the Van Alstine has a rich, refined sound that I can't get enough of."

or this thread from the same day..

 http://www.audioasylum.com/forums/amp/messages/10168.html

"There is one on Ebay. I have honestly never listened to the Tempest, but it seems strange that even the most ardent Odyssey fans do not use the Tempest. I recently acquired a Van Alstine FET valve preamp and love it. It provides a level of smoothness that really benefits solid state amps. You may want to check it out. They offer a money back guarantee trial period. You have nothing to lose.
Jack"


Given the fact that jack did try to hurt Klaus's business at AR (please see the first URL, read all the posts, and follow all the threads)  and has recently started posting negative things about Odyssey on AA, I can see why Klaus is defensive about his "reviews" and opinions.

AJ's reviews and opinions have NEVER been called into question, nor has anyone else's (by Klaus) who has liked a product better than the Odyssey AFAIK.

Just Jackman's because as mentioned above, he did try his best to hurt or ruin Klaus.

Al Garay and Nikko, maybe Jackman has changed in the past year, maybe he was just taking a break.

If you were Klaus and your livelyhood was on the line would you take the chance that Jackman has changed?

For the record, I thought that Jackman's review was fine "in a vacuum" and maybe it was fine in the totallity of things.  Given his history with Klaus, I can see why Klaus got defensive.

Marbles

Odyssey Xtreme Mono's versus Van Alstine FETvalve 550HC
« Reply #33 on: 3 Feb 2003, 02:18 pm »
Quote from: Nikko
Can Jackman express himself and report his findings without being slandered and attacked for doing so? Unless you can prove that Jackman is on a crusade to destroy your business, which I don't believe is the case, you can't stop people from expressing their opinions to a wide audience in this information age. Make the best gear you know how to and let it speak for itself.


Nikko, I do think that Klaus can prove that Jackman was "on a crusade to destroy your business".

Whether he still is or not is debatable (I don't happen to think he currently is), but Jackman DID try to ruin Klaus's business as recently as a year and a half ago.

jackman

Odyssey Xtreme Mono's versus Van Alstine FETvalve 550HC
« Reply #34 on: 3 Feb 2003, 02:37 pm »
Dave, please note that, although I have recommended Odyssey amps to people in the past, I did not own an Odyssey amp.   My amp was the disputed ODL clone which Klaus and Odyssey owners say is much different.  This is an important fact.  

I did not want this review to get mired in ancient history.  The words I posted regarding the AVA and the Odyssey were 100% true and accurate, as I saw them.  They were confirmed by Audiojerry.  I'm done with this topic.  

To all of those who posted nice things about me, thank you.  You make this hobby fun.  I have been guilty of goofing on people in the past and have had argurments with many popular people on this and other forums.  Many of these people are now my friends and we look back and laugh about the arguements.  Tyson is one of these people but there are several others.  I can honestly say, with 100% certainty, that I harbor no ill will and have nothing but love for my stereo-geek buddies.  

This morning, I was going to quit this site for good, but may stick around, albiet in a much reduced capacity because it is not as much fun.  I'm not going to go back and read any of the threads regarding the Odyssey folks.  I thought that was in the past and did not expect to have it used against me in a legitimate product evaluation that, again, was confirmed by the person whose system was used.  

The one thing I have learned through the years is that you should believe your own ears and that the opinions expressed on this any any other forum are just the opinions of people like yourself.  Noone can tell you what is going to sound good to you.  There are no experts.

Marbles: I thought all of this stuff was behind us when Klaus and I shook hands.  I said I was sorry for the past and wished him luck.  I thought this issue was completely in the past.  I sincerely wished him the best and have no ill will towards Odyssey in any way.  I will NOT be posting anything in the future on this topic or on Odyssey.  As I have repeatedly stated (you can find these words in earlier posts on this thread) Odyssey makes very good products and I expect, many people would prefer their sound over the amps we tested.  It's a subjective choice.  My comments only represented my feelings at the time.   I'm not going to get into this game, but I do not want to damage anyone's business in any way.  Klaus is a good guy and has legions of supporters whose trust he has earned.  I have recommended Odyssey amps more than any other brand over the past year.  In the future, I will not do any head to head comparisons with Odyssey.    

Adios,
Jman

Xi-Trum

Odyssey Xtreme Mono's versus Van Alstine FETvalve 550HC
« Reply #35 on: 3 Feb 2003, 02:43 pm »
Quote from: Marbles
Quoting Jackman: "I have honestly never listened to the Tempest, but it seems strange that even the most ardent Odyssey fans do not use the Tempest. I recently acquired a Van Alstine FET valve preamp and love it. It provides a level of smoothness that really benefits solid state amps. You may want to check it out. They offer a money back guarantee trial period. You have nothing to lose.
Jack"


Marbles, I actually applaud Jackman for saying this out loud.

It seems to me that Stratos owners are very vocal and enthusiatic about the products they own.  This is a good thing.  They want to help others find quality products, especially at a good price.  At the same time, wouldn't they want to let others know about products that aren't good performers, even if the products come from their favorite manufacturers?

I had talked to a few Stratos owners privately regarding the Tempest.  To be blunt, they didn't have good things to say about it.  Yet, I had never seen any post talking about it.  Strange, isn't it?  I guess action spoke louder than words, as Jackman pointed out.

Hey, if a manufacturer builds bad products, let people know about it.  If the public knows about it, perhaps the manufacturer is more willing to listen, evaluate, and come up with better products.  That actually would help the manufacturer survive in the long run.  VMPS is a classic example of a manufacturer benefiting from public feedback.  Everyone benefits from that.

Xi-Trum

Odyssey Xtreme Mono's versus Van Alstine FETvalve 550HC
« Reply #36 on: 3 Feb 2003, 02:48 pm »
Quote from: jackman

This morning, I was going to quit this site for good, but may stick around, albiet in a much reduced capacity because it is not as much fun.
Jman


Jackman, do stick around.  Don't get bully off the site.  Having someone here who speaks his mind freely is rather refreshing.

I agree with others regarding the personal character attacks.  They hurt more than they help.

Marbles

Odyssey Xtreme Mono's versus Van Alstine FETvalve 550HC
« Reply #37 on: 3 Feb 2003, 02:52 pm »
Xi-trum

I would be happy to discuss the merits of the Tempest in a different thread....

There are many Odyssey amp owners that also have the Tempest and are very happy with it.  As with everything else synergy rules.  Taken by itself, I don't find much wrong with what he said.  Taken in whole though, and with his past, I think that it is (was) necessary to look at everything that was said by him.  As mentioned above, I currently DON'T think that Jman is on a crusade.  I DO see why Klaus was defensive given all that has transpired.

Marbles

Odyssey Xtreme Mono's versus Van Alstine FETvalve 550HC
« Reply #38 on: 3 Feb 2003, 03:21 pm »
Quote from: jackman
Marbles: I thought all of this stuff was behind us when Klaus and I shook hands.  I said I was sorry for the past and wished him luck.  I thought this issue was completely in the past.  I sincerely wished him the best and have no ill will towards Odyssey in any way.  I will NOT be posting anything in the future on this topic or on Odyssey.  As I have repeatedly stated (you can find these words in earlier posts on this thread) Odyssey makes very good products and I expect, many people would prefer their sound over the amps we tested.  It's a subjective choice.  My comments only represented my feelings at the time.   I'm not going to get into this game, but I do not want to damage anyone's business in any way.  Klaus is a good guy and has legions of supporters whose trust he has earned.  I have recommended Odyssey amps more than any other brand over the past year.  In the future, I will not do any head to head comparisons with Odyssey.    

Adios,
Jman


Jman, I will email you.  I have no problems with you NOW :-)  AFAIC the ODL thing is in the past.

Klaus got defensive and attacked you.  Many who did not know the whole story needed to be brought up to date so they could see where HE was coming from.  That was the only point I was trying to make.

As far as you changing in the past year, I think you actually have.  I also thought your review was OK, and stated that.

To restate, many here did not know of the histroy of you and Klaus and were jumping on Klaus for his attacks on you (rightly or wrongly).  It was my intention to bring them up to date.

David Ellis

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For Woodsea
« Reply #39 on: 3 Feb 2003, 03:58 pm »
Quote
Mr. Ellis you also skipped over what was accused of Jackman and just alluded to what others think of the stratos.


This was COMPLETELY intentional.  I have absolutely no desire to get into that end of the issue.  I was wondering if some of the smarter guys like Klaus might offer some apologetics about the component choices in the guts of their amps.  Surely there is a reason amplifiers sound the way they do.  It isn't all smoke and mirrors.

Quote
Jackman is by far your greatest fan.


I agree about Jack being my biggest fan.  Jack was also the very first guy to purchase a pair of my completed speakers and probably has compared them to more stuff than anyone else.  There will be others.

Quote
Please don't pander to Jackman's ego, but also question questionable history. Do not judge someone by their words but by their deeds!!!    


As mentioned above, I have NO desire to get into the history of Jack and Klaus.  I don't know about this, and therefore cannot judge anything about the situation.

I am sorry for not knowing that Jack had some "ODL" amplifier - not a stratos.  I thought Jack had a stratos.  Maybe this is because Jack emailed me with a very positive remarks about the Stratos.  I probably got to two amps confused.  Heck, I don't know what an ODL amplifier is.  Did somebody copy the stratos?  I missed this deal.  Maybe the MDF dust is getting to my brain.


Dave