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You can always send it back again, this time I would say to them "one more time as the first one was a lemon", to make sure "this ones spot on" or it will come back in a flash.
I can understand at their amazing price point, things aren't bench checked before being sent out, to keep costs down to a minimum.
I have had an Odyssey Stratos HT3 since 2006. It was first used with a HT pre-pro, then a Conrad Johnson PV-11. If you can abide the limited feature-set of the C-J, used units, when they come up, are in your price range. Great MM phono section, too. The sound was excellent, but since I needed more range in the balance control than the C-J offered, I upgraded to a McIntosh C220. Now out of production, used units are probably a tad over your budget. I bought mine used from Audio Classics. I recently upgraded the HT3's left and right channels to full Kismet status. The match is great, although the Kismet is a bit more neutral and less warm than the Stratos, and less forgiving of bad source material. Still, on good recordings, this pairing really sounds great. Spacious soundstage, excellent detail, decay, and explosive dynamics. I would try to get something with tubes in it if possible. If it's still around, there is a Croft preamp for sale here that is cheap. I haven't heard it, but Croft gear is highly regarded. Good luck.
@bondmanp Thanks, one of the things I have to compensate for it that I don't listen to "audiophile music". So, though I have seen CJ stuff used I haven't really given them much thought as I believe I read/am under the belief that CJ stuff is tube/mid heavy for jazz and vocal material. Maybe thats not correct?
Funny you mention the Croft as I have been reading about them lately. Ugly but all signs point to a great sound for the price.
- 32 posts total