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Theta Digital Dreadnaught II
6 Reviews
rating  3.67 of 5
MSRP  6000.00
Description: <ul> <li>Output: 225 Watts into 8 Ohms per mono module</li> <li>Fully Differential Balanced Design</li> <li>Input Impedance: 50 kOhms</li> <li>MFR: 0.3 Hz - 250 kHz ± 3 dB</li> <li>Size: 8 7/16" H x 17 5/8" W x 23 1/2" D</li> </ul>


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Reviews 1 - 5 (6 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Dkoukou a Casual Listener

Date Reviewed: August 4, 2011

Bottom Line:   
Extremely neutral sounding compared to other expensive multichannel amplifiers. Very detailed yet never harsh even at reference listening levels with the distinctive Theta sound at high frequencies. Drives easily my B&W 802d as well as 805s speakers without strain. I have to disagree with other reviewers that say it lacks bass. In fact bass is very accurate in a acoustically treated room. If purchased second hand price is a bargain because this power amplifier will last a lifetime.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Casual Listener

Product model year:   2008

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

Date Reviewed: August 31, 2009

Bottom Line:   
After 6 weeks with the Dreadnaught II in my system, I'll have to say that it really elevated the overall performance of both movies and music. I should not have been surprised that Theta's Casanova would work so well with their own amplifier. Removing the Vandersteen X-2 passive filter and using the Casanova's own high pass filter has allowed me to be precise in the application of a 6 db filter instead of using trial by error in selecting the proper capacitor setting for the passive high pass. Secondly, the lively nature of the Casanova is a good match with the somewhat forgiving nature of the Dreadnaught. It is a synergistic match. The greatest area of improvement is in the overall coherence of the Maggie 3.6's. With the Classe'25, the tweeter, mid-driver, and woofer seemed to speak with separate voices at times. They would disappear at times, but not consistently. With the Dreadnaught, the 3.6 almost always matches the wonderful coherence that the 1.6QR has in spades. In addition, I am able to run the front three channels fully balanced as Theta designers intended.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2007

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by djkiwi a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: October 8, 2008

Bottom Line:   
Firstly, let me start out and say II really wanted to like this amp. A friend of mine had one and it sounded very good in his system. Mine was a dread II with 7 channels ( 3 x 225 and 4 x100). I partnered it with a Lexicon MC12.

Before that I had the Theta intrepid which was extremely veiled and I got rid of it after a month.

Unfortunately the dread 2 was also veiled, although not quite as bad as the intrepid. My speakers are Tannoy studio monitors 98db efficient with 15 inch drivers. Although the dread 2 is rated at 225 watts I suspect it is not putting out enough current to control the woofers and I had trouble getting much bass out of the Tannoys. Overall I found it disappointing in both 2 channel and movies. I also had the same problem with pass labs X5. I suspect this may because the amps are working in class A and just can't produce the current needed to drive big woofers....

Even a cheap Harman Kardon 7300 I picked up for $500 refurbished on ebay beat it and the lexicon combined. I had more punch I suspect because it puts out 70 amps of current. It was also much more accurate. I did also prefer the Krell KAV500 to the Dreadnaught.

So still looking for something else. After this experience I'm included to go separates for the front 3 speakers. My experience with the side and rear speakers is you are wasting money putting good amplification with these and are better off using a cheap amp for sides and rears and investing in the fronts and cetner.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2005

Price Paid:    $3800.00

Purchased At:   Audiogon

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:2
Submitted by ckoffend a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: September 24, 2007

Bottom Line:   
I purchased this 5-channel amp used based on professional reviews and limited consumer comments in various forums. My unit was in mint condition and about 1 year old. Configured with 3 channels at 225/250 and two channels at 100 wpc. I was seeking a multichannel (5) amplifier that would not be disappointing in stereo/2-channel listening.

This is definately not that amp, it was fine and I guess I could say very good in surround applications; however, in two channel mode this amp could not hold its own against significantly lower priced 2-channel and mono amplifiers.

I am a music listener first (90-95%) and video second (5-10%) so 2-channel performance is key for my satisfaction with an amp. I listened to this amp with several pre-amps and processors:

McIntosh MX 132 (Pre-pro)
Acurus ACT 3 with ABM (Pre-pro)
Above pkus 2-channel amps via HT passthrough or unity gain
BAT VK5i via its unity gain
Cary SLP 2002 via its HT passthrough

In all areas with the above equipment it performed fine in my very low demanding video surround applications.

With all equipment above it was significantly unacceptable in 2-channel mode/listening. I suspect you can buy any of a number of $1,000 used 2-channel amplifiers (tubes or SS) and get significantly better performance than you can with the Dreadnaught II.

After owning it for a very short time I sold it to an individual in New York City via Audiogon. He kept it two weeks and re-sold it for the very same reasons - unacceptable performance in 2-channel mode.

Perfectly acceptable if your only need is video surround sound.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2006

Price Paid:    $4000.00

Purchased At:   Audiogon

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by KVD a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: February 28, 2005

Bottom Line:   
Plinius Odeon versus Theta Dreadnaught II

Also read my Plinius Odeon review.

Fully in contradiction of another review posted by SODAPOP I have my personal history of the Theta Dreadnaught II :

I am giving the Theta Dreadnaught II another chance - I did do some extensive listening on the Theta but my Classé dealer and I were both confident on the fact that this Theta was not driven by his preferred pre-amplifier (MacIntosh C45).
As a matter of fact, with this Mac the Theta sounded not good at all. Especially in all of the frequencies lower than 250 Hz. It just had no sense of bass, no bottem, no nothing. Very weard I would say.
Such a nice peace of equipment, commented world-wide as being a reference amplifier that only few can beat, sounding so awfully and remarkably weak in its bass ?
However, after turning up the volume of the Mac’s pre-amp output to more then 50 % (even to 65 %) the Theta started to sound a whole lot better, mainly in these lower frequencyrange. But then again, at far too loud the listening levels, reaching appr. 100 dba / 3 m or more.
But as already stated, at low to moderate listening levels, this combination is not good at all while lacking every bit of low level detail, and even far too bright in the mid to upper spectrum.
I would in no way ever recommend this MacIntosh C45 pre-amp on other amplifiers than those coming from MacIntosh itselfs. I guess they will do better matching with eachother than with anything else.

While the Odeon was sounding very good with each preamplifier, and best with the Bel Canto Pre6, again, and rather unfortunately, the Theta Dreadnaught II could not equal the levels of performance from the other 3 amplifiers.
Only when coupled with the Accuphase CX-260 the bass was somewhat returning to expected levels, however still
far too soft and lazy at quite to moderate listening levels.
First this Theta Dreadnaught was paired with MacIntosh, with Classé, then with Belcanto and last with Accuphase pre amplifiers. I was very dissapointed mainly with the missing basslines from this amplifier of which I expected a lot, a lot more ! Maybe the matching with my B&W N803 speakers is not of the best kind, who knows. For me it will remain a strange experience and an off-going of a well respected amp. I wonder what the Dutch importer More Music will think about this. Sorry, these are not critics, but I hope I did not get a faulty Theta. I f this was indeed the case I surely will have to reconsider these opinions.
I wish I could stay posted by them.

Conclusion :

The Plinius Odeon sounded a lot better then the Theta Dreadnaught who suffered from severe bass-lack.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2004

Purchased At:   not yet

Reviews 1 - 5 (6 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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