Is Odyssey Power amp Stratos better than Krell?


Would like to ask you guys about odyssey stratos power amplifier (extreme & monoblock range). Does this amp really good compare to, i.e Krell, plinius?

lots of reviewers gave high rating (audioreview) and they claimed that the sound is better than Krell, Plinius...very transparent, firm bass and imaging.

I'm using Krell KSA80B, are they better for a change?..I Listen to Sting, norah jones, Sarah McLachlan, Radiohead, Coldplay..etc.

Thanks for any inputs
I had a lot of fun reading their booklet that i picked up at
New York show.Reminded me of a Bose infomercial.Here everybody,take a laugh:
"Some class 1 amps (Odyssey ($1100=00),Plinius) are musically natural,with a wonderful neutral balance between the best solid state sound and the best of tube sound.
Class 2 amps(!)(they mean lower class indeed)Levinson 33H,Krell FPB300 are attemping to sound musical but instead they succeed in being veiled and defocussed.
Class 3 (the worst) like Chord and Copland have utterly failed to advance beyond the hopeless artifice of early solid state sound with its obnoxious glare ande glazethat covers and blocks so much of the music."You gotta give them,they got some balls.
cant compare to a krell-all i know is i have a fondness for my odyssey extreme monos-just plain old musical amps,cant keep your toes from tapping type of sound-lots of air guitar also-lol

dave mathews,jack johnson,stones,floyd,alison kraus and union station,ac/cd,gunsnroses-ect
i have found the odyssey amps sound more musical (less harsh) than the krell's. imo, if you compare amps in the same price category as the krell's (mcintosh, classe, pass, etc...), the krell amps don't sound as musical as these do either.

well, yes, that was a great laugh indeed. For one, thanks for coming by my room at the NYC show, but your comment is very mean spirited, misleading, and incomplete.

Maybe you should have mentioned that you're quoting a review from J. Peter Moncrieff in IAR, International Audio Review, a reviewer for 2 decades with a great reputation, and also a magazine / newsletter, that doesn't take advertising to stay completely neutral in the political arena of this audio industry.
So, yes, thanks for quoting this, because I'm indeed very, very proud of our reviews.


Klaus @ Odyssey
By the way, let's not lose sight of the fact that the Odyssey room was by far one of the biggest audio revelations at HE2005. Superlative sound. Bravo, Klaus!

You may remember me as being one who didn't quite "hear" your quote on the price of the power amp on Friday. All I could say was "WHAT?!?" Then, after hearing that the power amp and preamp combination were $995, I was pretty much awestruck, and as most of the Audiogoners can attest, I don't impress so easily. Definitely what I consider the premier value in audio today.

And, my friend being an artist loved the speakers that hang on the wall. Don't be surprised if she ends up with an Odyssey system.
I am not an Odyssey Customer, but I have known Klaus through the Adio Circles for severl years. I have never known him to bash anyone elses equipment. In fact, he is honest and will even direct people to other equipment when he feels his stuff would not have synergy with the client's existing system. he was simpy using a quote from a review in his literature, something all mnufacturers do!
Thanks Guys for the kind words.
No, I never bash other equipment or companies, but on the other hand I won't recommend bad gear or unstable personalities either.
Man, I'm trying so hard here to make a livelihood and like all of you, support my family and kids. I'm trying to make sure that for people who don't have $$$$ of disposable income, the real high end is still obtainable. I never ripped anybody off, and I truly, truly believe in decency and honesty above all. As a matter of fact, I'm a pretty bad business person because otherwise I wouldn't do so much work pro bono or at cost in order to help out some of my customers. This is VERY, VERY important to me, to keep a friendship sort of relations with customers if they want it, of course. The human side is all that. After all, yes, this is my living, but it's also a hobby for all of us, a shared interest, let's never forget this.

This is now directly directed towards Overhang:
Man, your post was really disappointing, and yes, I know what you just did earlier today, which is really, really low. Did I offend you that much in clarifying your response ? Are you that much insecure and willing to damage somebody elses reputation and livelihood nilly willy because you feel like it ? Don't you think that there are consequences to others ?

Anyway, Overhang, this deeply disappoints me on a human level, and you should be ashamed of yourself. Think of it in terms as to somebody showing up on yor job and putting you down, trying to get you fired. Somebody you never knew.

Klaus, as someone who has met you, talked to you, looked you in the eye, shook your hand, and read your last post, I can say beyond the shadow of a doubt, you are a first class, decent human being.

After listening to you, I must say that I am most impressed. I think the audio community should really be given a far greater insight into who you are, and what you are actually out there doing. I think many people would then investigate the gear from the much underexposed Odyssey.

What Klaus is doing is taking the very highly regarded, very upmarket (read expensive), made in Germany Symphonic Line equipment, and manufacturing it in the USA. Taking advantage of the cost savings in labor, shipping, currency fluctuations, etc., he is able offer this equipment for truly a fraction of the price. Along the way, he is providing us with great sound, fantastic customer service, jobs in the USA, and an immediately apparent dedication to the hobby. Personally, I find the whole thing to be most remarkable,
Really you believe it was revelation, I have found them very unrefined, coarse sounding, one of the worst. I'm not kidding.
For me revelation was Wavac, BAT (Sound&Singer) on the cheaper but still not cheap side: VAC,Manley I know they are much more expensive, and it could be heard... They were revelation I cannot afford (at least now), Oddyssey I could but I would not be able listen to it, sorry.
Sorlowski, I am sorry to hear that you feel this way.

While one of the bigger tube afficianados on the site, I think you can see where I stand as far as Odyssey goes. My friend who is not an audiophile gave it a serious listen, and found it fit into her budget after she began to hear the differences between true high end audio equipment and what she had always assumed was available to her.
Joe, thanks for the kind words.
Sorlowski, well, what can I say. If it's not your taste, then so be it. That's cool with me. However, doesn't sound like everything was 100 % then. So, did you listen to our amp or the ODL copy ? what was the system, and what about the synergy ? What was the room acoustics, and did you have an A/B with another amp in the same system to see whether you listened to deficiencies in the amp or the room / rest of the system ? Was the amp biased correctly or was it totally out of whack.

Let's assume for a minute that it was the amp indeed, and obviously something was wrong. Bias gone off or somebody played around with it. Well, if any of my customers or new owners of used amps doesn't believe that it is that good or right, then I offer a FREE !!! test and tune-up.

So, under these conditions it should perform well than.
Having said that, I've never ever claimed that it's the best amp around. Damn, there are so many amps that I'd personally rather have than my Stratos. HOWEVER, none of them remotely for the cost of the Stratos. So, I'm absolutely and strictly aiming at the bang for the buck.


Nevermind, I did the research here.
Sorlowski, yes, you heard my room at the 2004 show. Which system was playing ? Well, was that sitting or standing near the door ? That's a legitimate question, since everybody, in every single magazine, and even John Atkinson and all the other Stereophile guys, remarked on how open the sound was. The same sound that you described as boxy in the past.

Well, to be totally honest though, the room dynamics and the fact that the system wasn't 100 % broken in didn't let the bigger system with the Stratos shine completely. I messed up with procrastinating a bit too much and yes, the sound was sub-par to me even though 9 out 10 more than liked it. Go figure.

Anyway, I really wish you could have made it to last months HE 2005 in my room, because this time I was properly prepared, and personally, very satisfied with the result.


Yes, I have heard it on HE2004 and I believe on HE2003 too.
In both cases I did not like it, but I do have some kind of aversion toward SS, I do not find musical even Mark Levinson gear, Krell is just putting me off :)
It is very subjective of course and it is only my opinion, it sounds this way to me. Only musical SS I have heard it was Jeff Rowland and I believe Bluenote form Italy on CES2005. I was surprised because I have come to believe to SS is just not able to play music to my ears. Why it was so disappointing to me because I have heard so many good things about Stratos (some kind deal of the century according to so many), sorry its struck me as very unrefined. But it is cheap, I do not believe that one can have good refined sound for below 7-8k$, it would be the miracle, you got what you have paid for, and it can be heard.
I used to have $1500 SS amp from MF A300, never like it very unrefined too, all cheap SS amps sound that way to me. It is my curse I guess. I would love to hear music from cheap amps, I could spend many on travel instead :)
I sold my Stratos and bought the new Krell 400xi integrated amp. I'm not going back. The Odyssey was "fine". Not outstanding in anyway. But it proved to be unstable when pushed. My Krell is a monster, controlled, balanced, detailed and clear. Not as warm as the Odyssey.
i also sold my odyssey monoblocks recently along with a classe preamp and went with the dk design vs1 integrated. imo, the odyssey sounded more musical (less harsh) than any of the krell amps/integrated amps that i have auditioned, including their recent amps. the odyssey's and the dk unit power ineffecient totem mani 2 speakers and they both do/did a fine job.
I owned one had a few other SS amps inc krell and BC At the same time the oydessey with upgrades is a good SS design but not better than the fpb 200c krell .The krell was much better everywhere and it should it cost about 3-4x as much the BC had better in mids. The oydessey had good bass extention a detailed mid but a wee bit of glare in upper range.I do perfer Tube amps so my bias might show here.They are worth the cash and well built good looking product, keep up the good work Klaus.PS how about a 25 watt pure class A mono block design for us SET guys? Something that maybe you could hang on the back of a loudspeaker? Just a thought if you use my idea I expect a pair at
I know nothing about Krell, except hearsay: "detailed", "harsh", "great", "terrible", etc. Will plead ignorance on that.

However, I absolutely love my Odyssey Extreme Monoblocks, which replaced my venerable B&K ST140. Wow! I think they are fabulous, detailed and not harsh. Maybe not as mushy as tubes, but I like a little BASS, so...

A dealer friend of mine who does NOT sell Odyssey (duh, they're factory direct!) helped to confirm my suspicion that I had stumbled onto a fabulous product. He said, based on his knowlege of the Symphonic Line, that these are one of the top 20 amps in the world--and this is a person who does NOT mince words; if anything would have an incentive to slam the product, not praise it. Even said it was better than a lot of what he sells, which is really high end stuff (won't name any brands, but it's the niche stuff--smaller companies for the most part, etc.). He doesn't carry Krell.

Klaus has been personally available, pleasant and informative each & every time I've pestered him on the phone with what most would consider annoying and unanswerable questions about his Lorelei loudspeakers. A great (and patient) guy.

Klaus: Yes, your extreme monoblocks are reasonably priced (in high end audio terms, anyway) and indeed provide a great bang to buck ratio, but that doesn' mean that they are in any way "mid-fi". For example, how many other power amps at ANY price have 360,000 microfarads of total capacitance????? (I saw a "Bear Labs" pure class A with 500K microfarads a while back, but retail for that is about 14000...)

The man referred to above is a true veteran, knows what to listen for, is a "2 channel guy", likes tubes, and is an absolute STICKLER for smoothness. Even though Odyssey is a "competitor", he had nothing but high praise for the amplifier (he was unable to comment on the Tempest preamp and had not heard the Lorelei speakers). He feels that the Odyssey Extreme Monoblocks are the strongest component of my system, and has basically suggested rebuilding AROUND them, even though he sells some very fine high end amps.

Klaus rocks!
It is possible that some people prefer "tube based distortion generators" to SS based equipment that tries to reproduce the input signal with a higher level of linearity. If one doubts that this is possible, try taking a look at this link to a post that Steve Eddy made over at AA. Many of the makes and models are products from very highly respected and well reviewed manufacturers.

What does all of this tell you? It tells me that it all boils down to either listening skills and / or personal preference. In this modern day of massively over-priced and under-designed "high end" audio, i think that more people demonstrate a penchant for personal preferences due to their lack of listening skills than those that have actual listening skills and put them to use. Then again, that's just my "personal opinion", so take it for what it's worth. Sean

Thanks for the link.

I agree - a lot of the discussion about tubes vs. SS is
personal preference. Depending on when you grew up, and
what you were listening to; you form your own opinion about
what an audio system is "supposed to" sound like.

Dr.Gregory Greenman
I agree it is personal preference, and I do not care if amp have 1% or 0.000001% of distortion or if it have 1F capacitance or only 100.000microF, what I care if it sounds like music to me. And Odyssey did not, like so many others. Most musical amps I have heard so far have been tubed but some was SS too.
Well.... well... well... sometimes there are unknown brand out there that are really better than the well known brand. Plus your dollar will really go for the sound not the name and most of us does not really realize that.
This is like medicine, brand name versus generic and the result is the same. The worst part is the brand name sometimes is made by the generic manufacturer. This is nothing to do with Krell or stratos but .... Now let us go figure!!
I know of no other amps that can compete with Odyssey at their price point. They represent a tremendous value! I also agree with Klaus, that there are at times, unjustified bashing going on in the forums, if you don't have anything positive to add, don't say it! I believe there is an underlying code of conduct here. You may personally state your preference on any given product over the other but to attempt to destroy an excellent product's reputation which is second to none because your having a bad day is ethically wrong. Interestingly enough, if you run a thread as to which power amp is the best, you will get at least 100 different answers. Just my opinion.
"if you don't have anything positive to add, don't say it!"
I could not agree less !
this way products would have only positive reviews like in Stereophile ? Because even mediocre products would finally found somebody who would like it. I personally know somebody who really loves his $100 worth audio. Does it mean it is great. No it is subjectively great for him, as Stratos are for you.
This is free forum. I have read 200 positive review of SPONY 9000ES, I wish somebody would have written one negative review it would make me listen to it first before purchase, I would have avoided big disappointment.
I understand that you like Stratos, that is Ok, as it should be that others do not like it.
maybe you should publish list of equipment which nobody should criticize :),
I do not think that anybody was trying to distroy anything.
Sorlowski, we just agreed to some extent. Let me explain my opinion further as I should have. There is a clear difference between constructive criticism & bashing a product or person. This may also be the very reason why some members are reluctant to express their opinions. I am not saying that one shouldn't state why they prefer a product over another. As you said above & I agree, without opposition the forums would be useless. I am suggesting to keep it tasteful without offending the other persons opinion. I believe that bashing a product or person falls under the category of being distasteful & rude. It is known that the Odyssey Stratos garnered many excellent reviews on and I agree with them. If a person don't like it or prefer another product more, say so but keep it civilized. For example: I started a thread on the Belles 150A & its attributes. There was some opposition to my findings but the member disagreed in a appropriate manner. Anyway I wanted to try Krell but Krell personally told me it would be the kiss of death with my horn loaded speakers.
"It is known that the Odyssey Stratos garnered many excellent reviews"
so did SONY, Krell, and I do not like any of them, I used to care about what reviewers had to say about equipment, but after a lot of listening , audio shows I'm free man now. When something sounds to me like crap I have courage to admit it to myself (and others) even if everybody around seems to like it and oposite way too. I hate OTL amp for example :) they sound lifeless and weak to me. But it is very subjective, I have friend who hate my sweet sound and like his stinging sharp Krell sound.
His comments about my sugar Supratek are not uncivilized to me (only funny) but could be to others. Critique is good thing if you know how to take it.
So do not take it personally but I was excited when I noticed Stratos in 2004 and 2005 in NY (read so many great reviews about them, more nearly order them based on price and common love to them), so I was so disappointed because their sound I identify with mid-quality audio I used to have for 15 years.
And this is not objective statement but MINE subjective impression. And there is nothing in the world what would change my impression.
As a consolation I really did not like on HE in NY "Atma-Sphere - weak, lifeless", "Bel Canto - bizarre sound", "Spectral - powerful but souless", "TACT - superb imaging but I got headache".
Is this bashing product or person - I do not think so.

I loved VAC, Manley, Jeff Rowland, Viola, (system with Cox speakers).
Sorlowski, I don't think anything you said above is out of line as your entitled to your opinion! If I got a headache from listening to the Tact, I would say so as well. I also appreciate your opinion on the Spectral as I was thinking of trying that amp! I am happy for you that you believe your ears & not the reviews (not everyone can go to audio shows & may rely more on accurate reviews) but your not really free until you can be satisfied with one system & maybe you are. Might be a tall order for most audiophiles as I am making my own efforts here. Also your very fortunate to live near or in New York & have access to all those fine audio shows. I live in a country setting and have to climb a telephone pole just to answer the phone. Just kidding! Anyway it is my opinion that when purchasing a pair of speakers that your laying the foundation to a great system hopefully & will effect your choices on other components, matching can be critical here. That is why it may be important to see what speakers the reviewer is using. But in regards to power amps, it has been said that one mans bright sounding amplifier is another mans extended amp which I think you basically said as well.
"but your not really free until you can be satisfied with one system & maybe you are"
Not yet, I'm not free in that department, still looking, far from it..., But I can say that with Spratek/Clayton I'm much more satisfied (with previous MF A300 I was extremely unhappy even Streophile glorified it and I bought it to my latter dismay !!!), but I still do not own decent cdp (bought Sony SACD after glorifying reviews - what a piece of c...), so there is long way in front of me,
"not everyone can go to audio shows " sometimes I'm not sure if going to them is good thing, after show I'm not able for a month to listen to anything, and after every show bar is rising, you are becoming more demanding dreaming about VAC, WAVAC ... (having SS nightmares :)
Hang on a second... the reason tubes (in certain topologies) sound lush and smooth is due to the predominantly even-order harmonic distortion they possess... heck, my 300B amp has it in spades.

Looking at the Soundstage measurements for the Odyssey Khartago, it appears to have dominant even order harmonic distortion... compare those figures to single-ended tube amplifiers (or amplifiers that try and be 'tubey') reviewed by the same site and you can see the similarities... as opposed to solid-state amps (or push-pull tube amps) which have odd-order harmonic distortion.

So if the Khartago is similar to other Odyssey amps (and it should, they all use the same circuit board) then their line will definately sound more tubey than most solid state gear, and perhaps more 'tubey' than a lot of push-pull tube gear! Based on those measurements alone, the Khartago is definately an amp I would like to at least *try* if I want to get a bit more power than my 300B SET amp provides, yet retain the tube-like sound. A good place to start at least considering how affordable it is!
Jsujo, good answer. I just purchased some new CDs & a couple of records the other day. Its time to start listening to music! Sorlowski, don't attend too many audio shows, you might get bitten by the upgrade bug again. What you don't know can't hurt you.
Well, I like Klauses personal approach to music. Building the amps is complicated, his goals are simple. he is an emotion/reaction first guy, specs are secondary.
"don't attend too many audio shows"
Why not (I have attended at least one yearly since 1997), not so many years ago I thought that I like SS that tubes are obsolete, that future is in digital amps and SACD, shows can be true ayes openers :)
I only wish that small companies could be present on the shows, because big companies sometimes want big money for big nothing (my subjective opinion).
The future could very well be in digital amplification but at this given point in time they still fall short of a well designed conventional amp in my opinion. There are some things they do so superbly right & for that reason they definately give us a glimpse as to what may come. With more tweaking they may eventually out-do conventional designs. Currently I am using both solid state & tube amps. There are things that a SS amp can do that tubes can't and vice a versa. When I get tired of one sound I switch to the other. Anyway, one of things that awestruck me about the Odyssey Stratos (besides the fact that it was built like a tank), was the level of sound quality it posessed. Transparency, fine detail, holographic (3D) sound & power were there in abundance, more so than other amps in that price range. When used with other quality components, it can be tough to beat!
It is common knowledge that SS have better bass, but Conrad Johnson on HE 2004 have bass equal to the best SS I have heard, with exception to Spectral (I have never heard anything like this before it was vulcanlike rumbling). But musicality of tubes will be hard to beat for year to come if ever possible. As for Digital Amp they were able to make Grand Utopia to sound mediocre on HE 2003 it is big achievement, the some speakers years earlier with Lamm monoblocks mesmerized me, I could not believe my ears, IT WAS MUSIC, MUSIC!!!
I cannot say much about Krell, as I've never owned any, but the Odyssey Stratos-yes. I owned a pair for a few months. Found them harsh in upper treble and "hummed" in my system. The Odyssey had some awsome attributes- great soundstage, depth, bass and presence, but one big BUT- fatigue. I could not listen to these for long periods due to the graininess in the treble. May have been cables, may have been my room,etc. The best match for my Avalon Eclipse were a pair of BAT 60s.
I cannot recommend The Odessey.
Oregon, that is an interesting conclusion & a good point! Imagine all the different variables that come into play when a person does his review. The type of cabling, associated gear and or tube preamps (the tube types used) & the type of speakers being used. When I finally get my system up & running, after doing all the different tweaks to obtain the perfect sound, sometimes I screw it all up by inserting a new component. I have to start all over again, its crazy. I have learned a long time ago to keep on hand different cables, at least two different types of preamps, various tubes, & finally a couple of power amps. This way you can reach your final conclusions on a piece of gear since you tried most everything else. We all got to love this hobby!
How do you know that Odyssey are great components ? Maybe instead of keeping bunch of cables and preapms would be enough to replace Odyssey ? I believe that manufacturer did great job to find right pre, cdp and cables to present them to audience of HE 2004, 2005.
And even that I did not like them, to say delicately, not that I liked any equipment in that price range.
Sorlowski, I own a Odyssey Stratos amp with cap upgrade, picked it up used on Audiogon sometime ago. I have never owned an Odyssey preamp. I have tried various CJ & ARC preamps on the Odyssey amp with excellent results. I would select interconnects (from my stash) that I know would tame any brightness present or increase it. I have to admit that long before Audiogon, I was bringing home gear every weekend from a local hifi shop just to try so I had a good idea what sounded good. Your right who would know better than the manufacturer as to what cables etc. to use at the audio show on the other hand who would know better than I, what combinations sound good together in my home. Sorlowski you must know audiophiles that have more than one system or at least a couple of different power amps/preamps, correct?
you are right, audiophiles are positively crazy and able to get the best from the component :)
I would think that the Odyssey amps could hang with the Krell Kav line of amps...depending on taste of course.

The big Krells, no how. They don't have the power supply or the build quality of the Krells.

I wonder if the reason some of you guys mess around with so much tweaking is because maybe we are choosing the wrong gear?

I usually try to find stuff I love outright, I dont go nutz over cables, cones, etc etc...It just seems too compulsive to me.
Jsujo, it is not a matter of choosing poor gear than trying to make it sound better with cabling but rather extracting the maximum performance from gear you do have & love. I use to think that these tweaks don't make a difference but they really do. They won't however transform an inferior system.
I hear ya...maybe I am just to lazy, or my 90% performance is good enough,,,in all fairness, it can be fun...

I think once I have my dream system, I may feel compelled.
Jsujo, I looked at your system you have posted & I think it looks spectacular! You may have already achieved 100% of the sound your looking for and can be satisfied with. Only real way to find out is to compare to other similiarly priced systems. I would love to bring my favorite CDs to your home and listen or fly in and listen to some of the other excellent systems that are posted, not always practical. The best thing would be to live next door to an audiophile.
Next to an audiophile...well, if she is cute, you bet!

Well, anytime anyone is around the GA south boonies, email me!

Actually I do love the sound of the system..but I have an experimental mind sometimes...and i find that more fun than the stability...
Well! All I can say is that the only option I had in replacing my Odyssey Mono Extremes was to buy a Jeff Rowland 112 Amp.
Ever since I have been involved in audio I know for a fact that Krell Amps are as cold as ice and and still somehow balanced in the low frecuency department. It is an amp for those driving low efficiency loudspeakers. The Odyssey is a more speaker friendly unit by a whole lot.