Odyssey Audio Stratos Amplifiers

Stratos

  • INPUTS: RCA & XLR
  • POWER: 150W x 2-channels
  • OUTPUT CLASS: Class A/AB
  • FREQUENCY RANGE: 2 - 400,000 Hz
  • CURRENT DELIVERY: 45 Amps

  • User Reviews (145)

    Showing 1-10 of 145  
    Audiofanj   AudioPhile [Aug 16, 2016]

    This is a review of the Odyssey Khartago Extreme SE++ power amplifier. Essentially, this is the Khartago amp with all the top of the line parts upgrades of the transformer, caps, main circuit board, wire and binding posts. My version actually built in 2016.

    AlI can say is, combined with my Rogue Audio RP-1 tube preamplifier, this is by far, the most enjoyable amplification combo I have yet heard in my listening room to date.

    I purchased this combo to solve one problem that my full tube integrated amp couldn't quite do for me, namely, reproduce cymbals with the relaxed, detailed, pristine, airy presentation without sounding too recessed or worse, like white noise. Listening to Steely Dan's Gaucho lush recording is just incredible now. Very real equally balanced sound across the frequency range is the holy grail of sound reproduction that I have been searching the past 4o+ years. Yes, the Odyssey Khartago was the missing piece to my system. I have all my electronics wired with silver interconnects and speakers are single wired with heavy gauge copper wire with copper jumper cables. All wire by Signal cable.

    Needless to say, this version of the Khartago sounds like an $8,000+ piece of gear. Coming from one who has owned McIntosh, Hafler, Threshold, Aragon, Primare and Plinius, that's saying a lot. Kudos to Klaus Bunge for bringing this product to market for such a reasonable price!

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    david brow   Audio Enthusiast [May 28, 2012]

    odyssey audio stratos mono extremeswith dual torodial transformers .

    The monoblocs work very well with magnepan 3.7 speakers. Plenty of current to play at loud levles without getting hot.They do not shut down when driven hard all day. (most other amps do) Very reliable and very musical on maggie.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    August West   AudioPhile [Feb 22, 2012]

    I owned these amps in the past and was thoroughly disappointed in them. They suffer from poor construction and ac hum, and just don't sound that good. They may be decent for the money but certainly no better than that, and paired with the Odyssey solid state preamp they were lean and fatiguing to my ear.

    I decided to give them another listen in the Manufacturer's room at the 2011 Rocky Mountain Audio Festival, where I found Klaus giving court to a small group of young audio buffs. I listened carefully and did not hear the ac hum, but I did hear the same sound signature that irritated my ear in my living room and made me feel relieved to be rid of them when I sold them on AudiogoN where they are readily available on the used market every time I have checked. I just don't see that level of turnover in truly well made, good sounding amps. I give two stars because I didn't experience catastrophic failure of the amps, nor did they seem to have any permanent negative effect on my speakers or any of my other equipment. Unfortunately that's the most favorable thing I have to say about them after my experiences with them.

    There are some good solid state amps by McCormack, BEL, even NAD, and other manufacturers that I would choose over these in a heartbeat. I would steer a friend toward a modestly powered tube amplifier if suitable for their speakers and musical tastes.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    2
    VALUE
    RATING
    3
    PerryC   AudioPhile [Mar 14, 2011]

    WHERE THE HELL DID MY SPEAKERS GO? That's what happens when you start listening (broken-in and left on all the time). For the price, this amp is simply AMAZING!!! Imagine what the price would be if there was a middleman. Maybe the the price will double, the way the STRATOS sounds. I'll make it short. Put all the positive reviews here all together and that will be my review.If you call their tech support, you talk directly to the owner/designer, not some random guy.

    I bought mine used for $500...can't complain. And this is a basic model. I'm planning to have it upgraded in the future but for now, I mam very happy with it.

    Highly recommended!!!

    Equipment used:
    Odyssey Stratos
    Audible Illusions Modulus 2A
    Thorens TD 125 MkII
    Rega RB 600 Incognito wires
    Shure M97XE
    CANARE Wires
    SONY CDP 102 (1985)

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Ross76   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 29, 2010]

    I have a Stratus extreme plus. it was upgraded to that as I had shipping damage on initial delivery. Klaus and Mike have been great in handling the shipping incident and, of course, shipping accidents are not their fault. However, a couple of months after the shipping incident my left channel went kaput. It may have been related to the shipping damage. Nevertheless, Klaus and Mike took good care of me ( twenty year warranty, TWENTY). I have had the amp now, again, for about 4 months. Everything is going great and it sounds great. Meaning, it reveals what is on the recording. Great recordings sound absolutely stunning in clarity, imageing, soundstage, depth, low end and lack of high glare. Poorer recordings don't sound as good ( of course )but do benefit from the ultra revealing nature of the amp. Bottom line I am VERY HAPPY with the service I have got from Odyssey. I also am very happy with the sound of the amp. The only reason for 4 stars is that I had to ship it out twice for repairs. Tthough I don't beieive it is due to poor manufacturing. With trouble free operation for a few more months and I would certainly raise my rating to 5 stars. I have Nestorovic 5AS speakers, Cascade tube pre-amp, OPPO universal, Phillips turntable, PS Audio Duet power conditioner, Transparent, the link, cables. .For the price and performance I am happy I chose Odyssey.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Norman Cameron   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 21, 2010]

    After reading the reviews, I talked to Klaus one evening about the Stratos as I was shopping around for a new amp. He asked me what kind of speakers I was using and told me that it would be a good match (this turned out to be true). Klaus says there's a special going on and I'll receive $500 worth of free cap upgrades. So I put the order in and received the amp 7 weeks later. Klaus is very busy these days so don't expect the 4 week turn around delivery time. I plugged in my xlr cables and a hum came out of the speakers. According to Klaus it was wired wrong and offered to fix it. But since I can get it done locally for the cost of shipping, I'll leave it for the time being and use the rca inputs. At first the sound is flat but detailed. After about a week the sound stage gets a bit deeper and holographic. I thought at this period the amp sounded kind of "cool" as in psychodelic. It goes through a couple more weeks of brighter and darker periods where you feel like experimenting with cables. But resist the urge. After about a month or so, you get pretty close to the natural sound of this amp. Compared to my Classe CA 150 I owned previously, this amp is much smoother and grain free. I have now started looking for brighter sounding cables as I had used darker ones in the past to try and hide the upper mid range glare that accompanies so many solid state amps. Compared to the Classe, the Stratos has more lower end oomph and a smooth but detailed top end. I would like a little more open and transparent top end and will experiment with some silver cables for this effect. In any case I can vouch for the positive tributes that other customers have stated about this amp. It simply allows me to enjoy the music for hours without fatigue and not worry about switching this component or that.

    Highly recommended.

    My system includes Newform Research R630 speakers, Simaudio P5 preamp, Classe cdp .3 cd player, Cambridge Audio T-500 tuner and cabling by Cardas, Unity Audio, Xindak, JPS Labs and ohers.


    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Indy123   AudioPhile [Mar 16, 2010]

    I have owned this amp for over 8 years. About Christmas time I had inadvertently crossed the speaker wires and blew a channel on the amp. I sent it back to Odyssey to get fixed, and while doing so I decided to do the extreme upgrade to update it. Klauss is absolutely great to deal with, he is knowledgeable and helpful once you provide him with input on what you desire in the audio realm. With all his history and knowledge, I would expect a difficult persone to work with (like ordering wine from a French wqiter). In fact he is totally oldschool and just that into it. He listened to all my gripes, and they were many, all while he was getting together a 25 piece order to Russia. My amp sounded great upon arrival, I mean it's not even broke in yet!! I listed to Radiohead Kid A, The Shutter Island Soundtrack, and John Willians The Seville Concert- Wow what detail in every drum from kick to typani. The voices and guitar are always sweet and never harsh, the amp never sounds like it is working hard while it puts out 200 watts plus to each channel ( I metered it). The old Stratos with the Cap upgrade I had was exceptional, but this is otherworldly. I have played guitar for over 25 years and consider my ear to be my most vaiuable and refined sense I have also worked in several sound studios for the last 22 years off and on and this amp is exeplary in comparison to many high dollar studio setups. It is detailed yet musical. It evokes emotion and is by far a better value than many amps 3 times the price. I have a 6 year old Bryston 4BSST and this amp is everybit as powerful and far more musical. I don't know if it's the board upgrade, the Groneberg wiring, or the WIMA film capacitors but this thing is plain great. Just so you have backround my setup: I have the Odyssey Tempest Preamplifier, Bel Canto CD player, Dynaudio Audience 72SE, and Canare interconnects. If you are on the fence about an amplifier take the plunge, at 1600$ the Stratos Extreme plays with the big boys. It will embaress amps that cost twice as much and hang with ones that cost 4 times as much.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Anil   AudioPhile [Feb 27, 2009]

    I finally registered at Audioreview because my conscience could not let me sit ungrateful, enjoying my Odyssey Stratos, Magnepans and Outlaw gear, without acknowledging the joy and pride they have brought me. Before these, I used to own a Yamaha receiver and Polk speakers. I had always wanted to upgrade but sheer laziness prevented that. But before my recent move to India, I realized it was then or never. So I bought myself Odyssey Stratos and Stratos HT-3 (with cap upgrades), an Outlaw 990 pre, Magnepan MMG-Ws (3 pairs for 6 channels) and MMG-C for center. I retained my earlier M&K (V-125) sub and Harmon Kardon FL8450 CD. Out of all this, only the MMG-Ws were a compromise, I would have liked bigger Maggies but shipping and space restrictions prevented that. Still, with all this gear, now I live in musical (and HT) Nirvana!

    But this is about the Odyssey. As said before, Klaus was a dream. He built the Stratos with 220V power supplies, burned in at short notice and shipped me those behemoths in time for shipping to India. Except for one broken speaker post, everything else arrived safely in those hefty white boxes. He promptly sent me new posts and some solder wire (relying on my rusty soldering skills). Since it was 220V, I could not test them in the US.

    The Stratos survived the shipping to India without a scratch (in the original packing). I was quite apprehensive about the initial current surges and blown fuses etc, all the big warnings I had heard about the Stratos. So I gingerly powered them thru a servo stabilizer, not quite trusting the erratic power supply in India. After connecting the rest of the system, I sat down to listen and..... heard nothing. After checking everything, I finally got rid of the stabilizer, plugged in the two Stratos directly into the grid, turned on the music and.... reached Nirvana!

    All that apprehension about long warm-ups, high current surges, hums, blown fuses were nowhere to be seen. The capacitors seemed well charged within a couple days and the sound was fantastic from the beginning. But even during the supposed 'warm-up' period, I didn't hear any dropped volumes/notes or anything other than pure, unadulterated sound. It has been about 5 months now. I have not had a single issue with the Odysseys (touch wood) and the only thing that happened was my CD player died (I was running it on a step-down transformer but that was sure not the cause).

    Of course, my musical nirvana is also due to the Maggies (5 stars) and Outlaw (again 5 stars). But I was most apprehensive about the Stratos because of all these reported issues. As I said, I didn't have any so far. I even ran them (5 channels into 5 Ohm Maggies) on an 800VA inverter as well (for a brief period). Again, no issues.

    For the first 4 months, I had the amps always plugged in. For the last couple weeks, I have been switching them off when not in use and generally turn them on an hour before I listen (which is every evening). But even after almost 18 hours of switching off, I don't hear any noticeable degradation of sound.

    As you might have guessed by now, I am very happy I bought these. The blue Odyssey logo is cool at night. In India, the whole setup (especially the Stratos and Maggies) have a tremendous wow-factor. All my old CDs sound more fabulous than ever, whether classical (Indian ans Western), rock, pop, bollywood, reggae, gypsy, whatever. With my old gear, I used to listen to my favorite artists. Now I feel I meet them.

    BTW, Odyssey's Indian support is also fabulous. They gave me a lot of info and help on the phone even though I was not there customer (since I bought the Stratos in the US).

    And oh, one issue I had between the Outlaw and Stratos had to do with the differential cables. The pin order is different between the Outlaw and Stratos. Ouch. My straight-thru cables caused a big hiss from the speakers. I am using non-differential cables now (Blue Jeans or Blue Denim, I forgot. But very nice cables indeed). One of these days, I will use my rusty soldering skills to rewire all 7 differential cables. But I may never get to it. I am enough in Nirvana already!

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    KefKing   AudioPhile [Feb 12, 2009]

    Well, here goes...another fantastic review. I can't help it; its true, this is the original "giant killer." I just bought a used Stratos online. I bought it on a whim, and then began to regret it, as I felt like it wouldn't perform as well as my Forte Audio Model 3. The Forte is a 200 wpc solid-state amp produced by Threshold and designed by Nelson Pass himself. I had already resigned myself to listing the Odyssey on Audiogon and resolving to quit buying things on impulse. When the amp arrived, I reluctantly hooked it up and gave it a listen. As my teenage daughter would say, "OMG"!! This thing is among the sweetest-sounding solid-state amp I've ever heard. And I've heard, and owned, many. People who haven't heard the Odyssey will scoff, but the only SS amo I've heard that sounds as sweet as the Stratos is a $5,000 Plinius. The bass response is perhaps the most noticeable attribute of the Stratos' presentation, but more importantly, the soundstage is wide and deep. I mean really wide and deep. It is difficult to find a SS amp that can accurately produce piano, and this is one area where the Stratos really excels. I popped a Diana Krall CD in my trusty Arcam, and the goose-bumps popped up on my arm!! Talk about "being in the room" with the performance!! This thing accurately telegraphs piano notes like few other amps can. Only the very best (and expensive) tube-amps are noticably better. Another astonishing attribute is that mid-range "glare", which is present in almost every solid-state amp, is virtually absent!! Really, really nice. My hat is off to Klaus Bunge and the engineers at Odyssey for making such a fine amp available to the average joe. 5 stars and then some!

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Amap   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 28, 2009]
    Strength:

    Musicality, robustness

    Weakness:

    Heavy

    Before my recent move to India, I bought the Stratos Extreme (a 2-channel and a 3-channel) from Klaus. As everyone now knows, Klaus was always up and ready to help even at 2am. He built a 230V power supply which I couldn't test in the US before my move. After moving to India, I plugged in both the amps and all my favorite music turned into magic! To me, the amps sounded magical even without any warm-up, certainly not measured in months. I never had any intermittent missed sounds or any such thing. They were simply great the moment they came to life and continued to reach perfection ever after. I had also switched to Maggies (small MMG-Ws) due to lack of space in my Indian apartment. Even with the wall-mounted small maggies, the combination with Odyssey is amazing. The HT setup is alive and the music in stereo mode is heavenly. I am using Outlaw 990 for my pre and an M&K sub. BTW, even Odyssey's Indian support team is amazing! As many have said before, Odyssey and Maggies are the best audio buys I have ever made.

    Customer Service

    Awesome

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Showing 1-10 of 145  

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