The official Theta Owners Thread - Page 371 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews

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post #11101 of 11120 Old 12-06-2016, 04:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post
Now Morris' first company, SAE, has out what Morris feels is the very best stereo amplifier, and also the very best multi-channel amp (I think the msrp for the 8 channel amp, 300 watts per channel, is a cool $16k,and it weighs more than 120 lbs and that's unpacked):

http://hear-sae.com/products/sae-8300/
Interesting. Looks like it is fan cooled. The amp modules are bolted to a central cooling channel with a fan at one end. If they had stuck it on its nose it would have been like the Mac Pro.

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post #11102 of 11120 Old 12-06-2016, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post
In this thread we've discussed amplifiers by Theta Digital, Amplifier Technologies, Inc. and even BGW, all owed by Morris Kessler. Now Morris' first company, SAE, has out what Morris feels is the very best stereo amplifier, and also the very best multi-channel amp (I think the msrp for the 8 channel amp, 300 watts per channel, is a cool $16k,and it weighs more than 120 lbs and that's unpacked):

http://hear-sae.com/products/sae-8300/
I'd prefer the ATI Signature amp, just from the standpoint of the fan. As dusty as it is in Phoenix, I just don't like the idea of helping to funnel dust into my amplifier. I work with computers every day in my job, and I often find myself blowing the dust out of our desktops. The dust only helps to make things run hotter. Also, I had a Cary 7.250 that looked similar to the SAE (with the cover off), and I had to get rid of it due to fan noise. That SAE 8300 has a fan to allow for rack mounting.

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post #11103 of 11120 Old 12-06-2016, 09:16 AM
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Man Arizona is nice for all this. Here in Ohio I can't go to an Atmos theater anywhere close.

Cleveland back in the day was one of the largest cities in the USA. Now we are a bunch of has been 's.

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But you have LeBron James & the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Champs!!!@@@
We have the rebuilding right now terrible Phoenix Suns!

You also have a pro baseball team that came so close to winning the World Series. Ours doesn't make the playoffs.
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post #11104 of 11120 Old 12-06-2016, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevekale View Post
Interesting. Looks like it is fan cooled. The amp modules are bolted to a central cooling channel with a fan at one end. If they had stuck it on its nose it would have been like the Mac Pro.
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I'd prefer the ATI Signature amp, just from the standpoint of the fan. As dusty as it is in Phoenix, I just don't like the idea of helping to funnel dust into my amplifier. I work with computers every day in my job, and I often find myself blowing the dust out of our desktops. The dust only helps to make things run hotter. Also, I had a Cary 7.250 that looked similar to the SAE (with the cover off), and I had to get rid of it due to fan noise. That SAE 8300 has a fan to allow for rack mounting.

Dave
You folks are not "FANS" of "FANS"!!!!@@@
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post #11105 of 11120 Old 12-06-2016, 10:21 AM
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I don't mind them so long as I can't hear them. And good ones with good control are silent.

I like the fact that it is a fully balanced design rather than single-ended (with balanced to single-ended conversion of balanced input signals).

Shame there isn't a pic from the side. What I find interesting is that it appears to show the supply secondaries running alongside where the amp output transistors would attach to the heat sink. That plus the amp itself (IPS/VAS stages on the outside, output stages towards the centre) seems so close / integrated with the PSU.

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post #11106 of 11120 Old 12-08-2016, 06:24 AM
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BTW the distortion spec on that amp isn't anything to write home about, but the SNR figure is impressive if indeed it is conducted with the amp fully assembled in its case. However, I think SNR specs are very misleading because, of course, it depends on where the manufacturer decides to advertise the full rated power. Better to have a SNR spec referenced to a known value and a much lower one as that's how the amp will be used.

I can only admire the layout. The way the PCBs themselves are stacked, the fan saves a lot of heavy and expensive heatsinks etc. Very clever design. A lot of thought has gone into it, even ignoring for a moment the amp circuit design. Well done!

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post #11107 of 11120 Old 12-08-2016, 06:54 AM
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That amp is one beautiful work of art. ATI is advancing the state of the art in music production. Who would have thought to stack the amp channels?

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post #11108 of 11120 Old 12-08-2016, 07:20 AM
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You can do a lot of things when everything is integrated onto a single board and have only a small number of output transistors. The amp I am building has 16 output transistors per channel! What surpasses me is the great SNR when the PSU and everything else is on the one PCB. Perhaps that's where the fully balanced design with its common mode noise rejection really shines.

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post #11109 of 11120 Old 12-08-2016, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by stevekale View Post
Interesting. Looks like it is fan cooled. The amp modules are bolted to a central cooling channel with a fan at one end. If they had stuck it on its nose it would have been like the Mac Pro.
The SAE 2HP is designed to be convection cooled and has an auxiliary fan. I seriously doubt any home users will ever find a reason to turn-on the fan.

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post #11110 of 11120 Old 12-08-2016, 09:23 AM
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Hi Jeff - so presumably the cooling channel is finned for heat radiation? (It's just that they are on the inside of the channel) And I would have thought the fan controlled automatically via NTC temp sensors rather than controlled by the user?

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post #11111 of 11120 Old 12-08-2016, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by stevekale View Post
Hi Jeff - so presumably the cooling channel is finned for heat radiation? (It's just that they are on the inside of the channel) And I would have thought the fan controlled automatically via NTC temp sensors rather than controlled by the user?
Agreed - that's what I would think as well.

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post #11112 of 11120 Old 12-08-2016, 12:45 PM
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We are talking about 2 different amps, SAE 2HP (2 channel without fan) vs SAE 8300 (8 channels with fan)?

http://hear-sae.com/products/sae-2hp/

Regards, Can
My System & Theta Casablanca CBIII HD Mini-review CBIII HD - the processor for music lovers: stunning 3D soundstage and imaging, rich sonics, & off-the-chart dynamics!
High-End Speaker Impressions & Audio Comments Give vinyl and tube preamp a try, to complete your fantastic audio "journey."
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post #11113 of 11120 Old 12-08-2016, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by cannga View Post
We are talking about 2 different amps, SAE 2HP (2 channel without fan) vs SAE 8300 (8 channels with fan)?

http://hear-sae.com/products/sae-2hp/
I've been talking about the SAE 8300 w/fan, not the 2hp.

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post #11114 of 11120 Old 12-08-2016, 03:29 PM
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Yes, I was talking about the 8 channel 8300. (I presume all the in-rush and housekeeping circuitry is stuffed in the bottom of that cooling channel as well.)

I see that the fan on the 2HP which Jeff referenced does seem to have a user activated switch.

Oh and Jeff, I'd be interested in why Morris thinks a true balanced, fully differential architecture is needed.

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Last edited by stevekale; 12-08-2016 at 03:44 PM.
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post #11115 of 11120 Old 12-08-2016, 08:53 PM
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SAE & BGW all made by ATI so which is actually the best one to go for ATI, SAE, BGW, Theta?
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post #11116 of 11120 Old Yesterday, 09:29 AM
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SAE & BGW all made by ATI so which is actually the best one to go for ATI, SAE, BGW, Theta?
Great question!

Looks: the SAE wins, and probably the ATI Signature in second - subjective, of course :-)

Channels: max of 7 for the ATI Signature, 8 for the SAE, and on up to 16 for the BGW.

Power: SAE and ATI Signature about the same - 300 watts, but some of the BGW amps are rated for 400 - 800 watts, depending upon channel configuration.

Fans: this may not be a factor for some, but for me it's a deal breaker. Only the ATI Signature is without a fan (in a >2 channel config).

Sonics: I'd guess that these are all great sounding. However, the ATI Signature does have Morris' signature - not sure if that gives it an extra bump up. Only listening would confirm which is better. Calling ATI and asking them does not yield...anything. Unfortunately, and understandably, they won't mention much about sonic comparisons.

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post #11117 of 11120 Old Today, 09:41 AM
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SAE & BGW all made by ATI so which is actually the best one to go for ATI, SAE, BGW, Theta?
It seems ATI allows the most flexibility and options of various budgets, whereas SAE is at this point a cost-no-object solution. SAE is probably Morris Kessler's baby as that's how he made his mark many years ago (As a teen I used to be hypnotized by them at Pacific Stereo on Geary in San Francisco. Those and the Triumph TR7 + Fiat X 1/9 pair .).

ATI, BGW, and SAE are class A/B amps; Theta class D FWIW. They each will have a particular sound as obvious from users' reports on this forum so if you're OCD about sound then a **listening test is mandatory**. I would hazard a guess that the ATI, BGW, and SAE sound more alike as they appear to be Kessler's class A/B work. Theta might have more an influence from current Theta's chief engineer David Reich (co-founder of the well known audiophile company Classe). Note also I don't see a single ended input for the SAE 8300.

Kessler and Reich both design robust power supplies with large transformers for their amps. That's partly why they are so beautifully :-) heavy. All excellent choices from an extremely reputable company. A purchase of any of these will help keep Theta Casablanca going :-).

Regards, Can
My System & Theta Casablanca CBIII HD Mini-review CBIII HD - the processor for music lovers: stunning 3D soundstage and imaging, rich sonics, & off-the-chart dynamics!
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post #11118 of 11120 Old Today, 11:11 AM
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Kessler and Reich both design robust power supplies with large transformers for their amps. That's partly why they are so beautifully :-) heavy. All excellent choices from an extremely reputable company. A purchase of any of these will help keep Theta Casablanca going :-).

I agree! A big thanks to Morris and all the crew at ATI/Theta - all great products!


Dave
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post #11119 of 11120 Old Today, 11:17 AM
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I had fun going to Steve Bruzonsky's house yesterday! Steve's 2 channel is absolutely outstanding now with his setup. The bass is so clear and it overall sounds so live. Plus, it's always a pleasure to sit down and chat for a while about audio and about our lives (and while listening to some great audio!). Steve also had some friends over - really nice guys - a fun time. I'm definitely thankful for Steve B.!!


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post #11120 of 11120 Old Today, 11:56 AM
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To me the Theta Processor by far is the best sounding, out of the 3 Major Players in the 20K++ area. Datasat has a smooth signature to it. The Theta was just transparent, clean and sounded more like a audiophile DAC. I'm still hesitating on which processor to pick.

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