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Odyssey Stratos

Wharfedale Diamond 12 Series

sidvee

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I recently bought an Odysssey Stratos Extreme and burnt it in for about 40 hrs. Last night I hooked up to my Usher Be718's and they made sweet music together. I think I have found the amp I was looking for that mates well with the Ushers. Sound was smooth, fatigue free and most importantly the bass was tight and taut. Soundstage depth seemed more enhanced than I am used to and there appeared to be decent layering of instruments in space. I still fell the bass could be tighter but will have to wait for the prescribed 100 hrs burn in by the Mfr. Down the road i am going to try a few preamps - including the Promitheus TVC - to see which mates the best.
Also it was an excellent buying experience from Sridhar at ARN who really went out of his way to make the purchase smooth. I am a highly satisfied second time buyer:thumbsup:
Cheers
Sid
 

sidvee

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Absolutely audio_engr I am sure that the TVC will make the Stratos sing:). Some other preamps that I am planning to pair with the stratos are:
1. Nuforce p8
2. Belcanto pre3
3. Conrad Johnson 17ls2
4. Modwright SWL9.0Se
and another preamp in the $4k range that I plan to acquire soon (I have 3 or 4 choices that I have heard last fall in the US). Hopefully one of these will create that magical synergy I am lusting for.
Cheers
Sid
 

odyssey

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Hi Sidvee

Can you share what $4k preamps you are referring to? Is First sound among them? Do let us know how these preamps fare with the Stratos, I will find this information useful :)

cheers
 

sidvee

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Amen to that audio_engr, when i used the tvc with the quicksilver amps (push pull tubes), I felt that gain was absolutely inadequate. Had the vol turned up well beyond 12 '0' clock, though like you mentioned the sound was beautiful.
Cheers
Sid
 

sidvee

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Hi Sidvee

Can you share what $4k preamps you are referring to? Is First sound among them? Do let us know how these preamps fare with the Stratos, I will find this information useful :)

cheers

Sure Odyssey - these are the pre's I am going to consider:
1. Cary SLP-98LF1
2. Aesthetix Calypso
3. Parasound JC2
4. Pass Labs XP10

If I have time I will also audition the bryston bp-26, Ayre-5xemp ,Sutherland DLS and the first sound presence deluxe mkii (not sure about this - it weighs 70lbs). Sure I will post my experience.
Cheers
Sid
 

sidvee

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audio_engr - are you referring to the CAT SL1 MKII - if this is the one the only concern is that this beast weighs approx. 60lbs with the power supply, not to mention its $6k price (unless audiogon nets me a good price) - and my plan is to bring it in a checked in bag:lol:, so probably will be an issue, not so much for checking it in with excess baggage charges, but more so because of what the baggage handling neanderthals will do to it - my CJ pre was damaged in a past trip - so i am wary.
Cheers
Sid
 
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square_wave

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Hi Sid.

Good to see that you are enjoying the odyssey amp. Wait some 200 hours. It opens up a bit more and bass gets tighter. The amp needs a bit more warm up time than most other ss amps. An hour is good. Half a day of warmup and the soundstage opens up even more.

Enjoy :)
 

square_wave

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Hey Sid,

Now that you have the Extreme, I would love to hear a comparison between the 805's and the Be 718's :)

rgds,
Square.
 

sidvee

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Hey Sid,

Now that you have the Extreme, I would love to hear a comparison between the 805's and the Be 718's :)

rgds,
Square.

Absolutely will do Square_wave, as soon as I have the amp burnt in some more.
Cheers
Sid
 

sidvee

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I have about 80-85 hrs on the extreme. Yesterday I hooked up the Usher 718 to the Stratos via my Belcanto pre3 using SE inputs. Source was my Rega Apollo as a transport into the musical fidelity xdac-v8 (in the solid state setting) and all cabling was Nordost blue Heaven. Right there I think I hit the sweet spot (I used the following pre's - nuforce p8 and modwright swl9.0se which did not sound good ). I was rewarded with a beguiling sound - the bass is quite well controlled and extended now and the treble is smooth. I feel that now they are about equal to the 805 in areas of imaging, excelling the 805's in macro dynamics and in bass extension, though I still prefer the quality of the bass through the B&W's (hopefully as the stratos burns in some more this may change in the favor of the 718) as the 805 seemed more fleet footed. They seem less expansive in soundstage width though, whereas in the depth they seem slightly better than the 805 with better layering . High frequency reproduction is still the forte of the B&W's as in I prefer their brass instrument potrayal with Miles Davis's horn sounding silky smooth. In the critical mid-range both speakers are about the same. So in summary I am beginning to warm up to the Usher 718 though in certain areas I still prefer the 805. In a few weeks time I will introduce the promitheus TVC to see its impact. One thing that I am convinced of unequivocally is that the 718's need a high powered class a or a/b amp, which is a little disconcerting as in my heart of hearts I am partial to tubes and love my quicksilvers which make the 805's sing and purr. As always just my humble subjective opinions and not statements of facts.
Cheers
Sid
 

square_wave

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Sorry, I missed this post.
Some of what you noticed with the BE718 mirrors my experience. I miss the warmth in the highs (for brass and western classical) when I hear them through the 718s. Pin point imaging, micro/macro details and bass are the 718s forte. But I tend to like the micro details with a bit more warmth.
 

sidvee

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Hi square_wave
I understand that now there is a diamond tweeter that is field installable to the current be version. Maybe this will make the critical difference by imbuing the brass sections of classic jazz performances with the smoothness that is highly desired. I for one am eagerly awaiting a review of the diamond version.
Cheers
Sid
 

arj

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Interesting..so it becomes a large Monitor from a Bookshelf ! that too 3 way
 

marsilians

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Sorry, I missed this post.
Some of what you noticed with the BE718 mirrors my experience. I miss the warmth in the highs (for brass and western classical) when I hear them through the 718s. Pin point imaging, micro/macro details and bass are the 718s forte. But I tend to like the micro details with a bit more warmth.

I have heard the Ushers and B&Ws a fair bit and what you notice with the Ushers are the absolute neutrality of the signal. Most people tend to mistake this for "analytical" sound. However its being true to its source and that is one of the great strenths of this model.

B&W tend to colour a bit and sound warm. Now it becomes a personal choice as to what listeners want.

This is not a dig against any one brand but just to expect different sound signatures when auditioning them.
 

marsilians

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Somehow I missed this thread since January :sad: Anyways not too late to congrat sidvee on the Odyssey Stratos. Its a fantastic amp and I took a very close look at it but could not afford esp. when I got a real good deal on a Para Halo A21. I really liked the sound then and woudl consider down the road. SO far the A21 has been very nice to listen for 2 channel applications.
 

sidvee

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This may not be the appropriate place to post this BUT then - am sure it would catch notice of < sidvee > , < dinyaar > and other users of B&W 805.

In the recent CES-2010, B&W announced that their 800-series will ONLY be Diamond now, hence 805S becomes 805D and so does the 804S to 804D.

Here it is : Its no longer a small bookshelf but a larger one. It has become a 3-Way with Kevlar Midrange mounted in FST, a bass Woofer added with a Diamond Tweeter. Cabinet volume has also increased considerably now with substantial increase in height. Price gone UP big-time, 100% increase or just doubled from the earlier 805S. In India, AVI used to sell for Rs. 2.10 L. Now, it would surely be around Rs. 4.25 L mark... oouchhh!!!!
US List: 805S = $ 2,800; 805D = $ 5,700

new805d.png
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Thanks for the update there audio_engr. In the past I have never warmed up to 3 way designs in large book shelves, but it will be interesting to hear the b&w implementation. Now with this introduction I guess the 2way 805 will move into history (IMO the best book shelf for under $10k).
Cheers
Sid
 

arj

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hey Audio_Engr, Actually i was wondering on the same lines ie was it Marketing driven OR Product engineering driven..was hoping for the Latter but considering how Consumer "Focussed" B&W is these days it very well is the Former.

I guess it might just do better commercially :rolleyes: if not for the higher volumes at least from higher margins.
 
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sidvee

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Sid, the marketing guys at B&W are getting too greedy & over ambitious IMO! With this strategy, they are restricting entry into 800-series as earlier top-model CM-line or even 700-series buyers would go for the qualified 805. This is just not possible now as the new asking rate for admission is over $ 5k. Quite a large number of members in other Forums are flaming!

P.S. The 2-way 805 is sure to become a 'classic'.

I concur audio_engr - this price rise is a pity - infact I would have considered an upgrade in the near future if the price rise was more controlled, but now, especially with the India pricing, I am definitely out of the contention:sad:, though as Arj put it, maybe B&W will do ok with the higher margins.
Cheers
Sid
 

dinyaar

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Thanks ae.
Yes the pricing is high. I hope the speaker dazzles. Looks a bit dis proportioned to me though. I thought they would improve the tweeter and keep the rest similar but this is going to be a very different speaker.

Classic or not I intend to keep the 805s as I like them a fair bit. The 804 I am bumming of to a friend and then I may or may not look out for another speaker pair.

Incidently since we are on about B&W, an uncle bought the CM HT package for his den. CM 9, CM 1, CMC & I forget the model No of the SUB. Its yet not set up as they are still moving homes BUT the CM series is just NOT A REPLACEMENT for the 700. I prefer the 700 in EVERY WAY. I got a good deal on it so I guess its OK. It beat the MA Silvers/Golds in their opinion.

Congratulations on the amp Sid.
Rgds
 
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