Odyssey Audio Stratos Mono Blocks Amplifiers

4.98/5 (49 Reviews) MSRP : $2395.00


Product Description

150 watt mono block. Priced per pair.


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Reviews 1 - 5 (49 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by AnalogDog a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: December 12, 2009

Bottom Line:   
This review is for the 'plain vanilla' Stratos monoblocs. The Extremes, and Glass Ceiling'ed Extremes, and now the Kismets have gotten the lion's share of bandwidth lately, as well they should. Klaus has taken the extremely strong foundation of the Stratos monoblocs, and built them up into something extraordinary, with these latest additions to the Odyssey line.
But the Stratos monoblocs remain overachievers in their own right. I'm gonna cut to the chase, and not restate what so many others have already said very well. These are THE FIRST solid state amps I could live with long term(and have!), and are already THE BEST solid state amps I've ever heard in my system. They drive my Magnepan 12QR's to absolute jaw dropping levels of clarity and punch, with great finesse, while never sounding harsh or strained. Bass control and depth is Stygian, mids are clean and clear, and the treble is grain free, unusual in a solid state amp. There is a stop on a dime quickness to these amps that make them sound way more powerful than they already are. They serve the music so well, they disappear. What more can I say? I am a customer for life.I will be sending 'em back to Klaus I hope at some point, to Glass Ceiling Extreme them, or maybe even have him shoehorn a pair of Kismets into the cases (if it's doable, he'll do it, including making a one of a kind amp for you. They don't come better than Klaus). But if I never get around to doing that, I'll still be happy. They're already THAT good. So, if you have a current hungry pair of speakers (like Magnepans), these are your amps. BTW, the plain vanilla monoblocs are rated at 180 watts into 8 ohms, not 150, and the Extremes are rated at 200 watts into 8 ohms. The Extremes have more and better capacitors, another 400VA toroid stacked on top of the first, and upgraded other components. I don't know WHAT he does to the Glass Ceiling's but I bet it's really impressive. Regardless, the plain Stratos monoblocs are still WAY more amp than you'll probably ever need. So find a pair used like I did, pair them with a GOOD tube preamp, and just enjoy the music the rest of your life.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2007



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by antero a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 2, 2008

Bottom Line:   
This review is for a pair of Stratos Mono Extreme SE built around June of 2007. They had the latest Symphonic line boards available at that time and were about 3 months old when I got them. I became their third owner at that point!

I was quite happy with the amp section of my previous solid state YBA passion integre (100 wpc) and only went to the mono's because my speaker manufacturer used them to voice his/(my) speakers. When I initially introduced the Odyssey mono's into the system, I felt that some of that tube-like midrange richness (which the YBA passion series carries) was lost and the sound seemed balanced but somewhat mundane Furthermore, the entire sonic spectrum seemed lilfted by an entire octave. This seemed to me quite strange. There were some obvious improvements though. The highs were more extended and had better decays. The soundstage was considerably better defined and increased in size. Dynamics and transients were clearly better.

After calling Klaus, he assured me that the amps were not yet fully broken in and that this point would be reached around the 6 months mark. He also told me NOT to turn the amps off at all (if possible) during the first year as this would complete the break-in period in case of the amps being turned off for more than 24 hour (i.e. FULL charge up from that point on would only take 2-3 days).

All I can say is that I'm glad I was patient and I hope that the previous owners have gotten amps that satisfy their needs. After living with these mono's for about 1 year, and having lost power twice (once at 9 months and once at 11 months), I have come to regard them as some of the finest amplifiers I've heard. These are NOT HiFi amps!!! ... they rightfully belong in the audiophile class. I

For me, it took about 6 weeks for things to fall back into their normal place. After that music became an amazing experience.

Anyone familiar with Symphonic Line knows that their Kraft mono's are among the top 5 amps in the world. The Odyssey Mono Extreme SE essentially represent the Symphonic Line RG4 MK4 with a much larger powersupply and a different chassis (their third-best amp). The RG4 MK4 is used by numerous studios in Europe as a reference amplifier. It is completely neutral, extremelly detailed in all areas of the spectrum and never fatiguing/overbearing.

The Odyssey Mono Extreme SE are very good in stock form. Upgraded feet make a significant difference in terms of PRaT and real life dynamics. Upgraded powercords help with palpability and soundstage depth/width/height.

Overall, I find that these amps just beg you to turn up the volume. That's how musical they are. The music just simply becomes more real, more papable until you suddenly feel that the musical event is unfolding right in front of you. And throughout the entire experience your ears never feel strained/tired, you get no headaches afterwards and you really get to appreciate what each music album has to offer. In my experience, the only other amps with similar qualities (but better) are the Tenor mono's (350 HPs).

Overall a reference product!!! ... even NEW the price is unbelievable.

The SL RG4 MK4 costs 9500 Euro.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2006

Price Paid:    $2800.00

Purchased At:   audiogon



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by davet a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: June 1, 2008

Bottom Line:   
This is my first review, and as i am not one to have ever put sound into words. I will keep it simple and breif. The review is for a pair of "Glass ceiling" upgraded monoblock extremes.
I have bought and sold several amps and preamps (Tube and Solid state) over many years looking for that just right sound.
I have found that sound with Odyssey!
They have a tube type warmth that i have never heard in a
solid state amp before. Smooth liquid mids, tight and deep bass, smooth and extended highs, Soundstage and instrument placement like no other in it's class.
The Odyssey products make listening to music a true pleasure like it should be.

My system consists of Odyssey Statos Monoblock extreme SE recently upgraded by Klaus, Odyssey Candela Tube preamp, Jolida jd100 tube cd player,
Pro-ject RM5SE turntable w/ Sumiko blue point 2
Jolida jd9 tube phono preamp, Furman ref 15It power center, a pair of Magneplanar MG 1.6qr speakers and a pair of Vandersteen 2W Subwoofers.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2005

Price Paid:    $1700.00

Purchased At:   Audiogon



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Doug Sharp a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: March 17, 2007

Bottom Line:   
Confession. I've been a customer since 2001 and haven’t been that great of a customer that’s when I bought my first amplifier from Odyssey Audio. Yep, I shopped around for an amp upgrade as I slowly build up a reference system for both stereo and 5.1 channel duty. I realize this review is long but I want the reader to understand why I made the choice to return to Odyssey. Value, service and sound quality!

The original Stratos Plus (stereo with 120K cap upgrade) is still kicking so my initial plan was to use it either for surrounds and replace the mains and center power or retire it and use it in my less than reference downstairs system. I was shopping for more juice since I own Magneplaner 1.6QR main speakers and they are wonderful but hungry. Watts aren't the issue I don't listen loud but I do need the headroom and I listen carefully to jazz, blues, classical, rock and even blue grass. The preamp processor is an Anthem AVM-30 but loads of folks use them with tube pre-amps. Anyone who has listened to Maggies with enough current and space knows not to complain about a lack of slam, just add a true subwoofer for part of the bottom octave.

This review is about Odyssey, Klaus and the Extreme Mono SE’s that replace the classic stereo Stratos which Klaus is rebuilding to do three channel duties for center and surrounds. This was not my original plan but Klaus is so supportive and customer oriented after I auditioned a lot of more pricey products I returned to build on the value of my investment. He just asked what my budget was and suggested based on our conversation. It seemed like a great idea to me and certainly a perk with the resale value of most electronics.

The mono blocks have 180K per channel of capacitance for 360K total in the pair. That and the two custom toroid power transformers per channel result in massive power supply reserves. The SE version also has special caps, wiring and resistors in critical paths. That translates to speed and transient response that can be startling. They should be left on all the time as Klaus instructs. The penalty for turning the amps off is that you really need to power them up at least 24 hours before any critical listening sessions. Everything you hear about burn in is entirely correct. Out of the box they sound a little muted although some midrange glory appears just to make you smile.

They run warmer than the original Stratos (I suspect this is due to more class A output) but no matter how hard you drive them you can still hold your hand on the heat sinks in comfort. They also weight a ton but the solid mass plus the audiophile grade feet translate into better sound, heat dissipation and a killer industrial look. You also need space to place them and a rack that can hold 65 to 70 Lbs. per chassis! Guess I also listen to heavy metal. Get a friend to help you put them in the rack the heat sinks make great handles.

After the break in period... and these will make a total believer out of you if you don’t think breaking is important. These amps sing! Vocals are real and instruments are clearly defined. You can delineate placement on well recorded material as well as tell (if you go to enough live performances and have good memory) in some cases the maker of the equipment the musicians are using. These are truly amazing amplifiers.
You've read about commercial reviewers getting caught up in the toe tapping and rushing to their collections to listen to standards and find new sounds? I am totally there folks. The high end is clear as a bell and decay and transient response are very natural. Crash, splash and ride cymbals sound right, and the bass end is tight and correctly in balance. Fretless bass, upright acoustic and even Stanley Clarke’s piccolo bass sound like they do in a really good club or hall. All of the original acoustics of a good recording return you to that space because the sound stage and depth and tonal balance are superb. The midrange is extremely close to that produced by a very expensive tube amp. I'll refuse to name them because I have met one of the company principles and the price vs. performance comparison would be a huge embarrassment to them.

I’m gushing but you can easily spend $10k and get less. I have auditioned amps that cost five to six times the price and figured I could never afford sound of this quality. Thanks to Klaus I have been proven wrong. He told me I would love them. These are highly recommended no matter what your system and the company owner is a joy to deal with and wouldn’t intentionally steer you wrong. Save your money and take the leap.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2006

Purchased At:   Direct



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by 85CJ7 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 13, 2007

Bottom Line:   
If you are considering solid state amplifiers, consider the Odyssey Stratos Mono Extremes and if the Special Edition is available and you have the means buy a pair. I have owned several SS amps and the Mono SEs trounced them. I can not comment on any comparison to tube amplifiers since I don’t own any nor have I listened to any but going back to SS, the Odysseys are great. I’m driving a pair of Thiel CS3.6s and they sound phenomenal. Previously I drove them with Rotel RB 1090s but I sold those once I heard the Thiels being powered by the SEs. A further improvement was adding the Candela preamp to the system but without the Monos to control the Thiels first, the Candela probably wouldn’t have shone as highly. The Thiels require more than power otherwise the Rotels would have been a great match with 700 watts into 4 ohms. As such my system with the Candela, Stratos Mono Extreme SEs, and Thiel CS3.6s competes with almost any system. The key word here is competes. I’m not saying it is better, but it is good.

What makes the Stratos Monos good? Tonal quality, speaker control, timing etc…All those words which hold little meaning unless you listen yourself. So if you have a demanding speaker I recommend Odyssey Stratos Mono Extremes Special Edition. Even if your speakers aren’t as demanding give the Odysseys a listen. My Paradigm Reference Studio 100 v2 benefit from the SEs too.

It is worth noting that the above price for the Odyssey's is for the regular Monos. The Extremes are $2895 and the SEs are $3400.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2006

Purchased At:   Odyssey




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