Originally Posted by rynopr
Any experiences between Theta Dreadnaught I and Gemstone?
I have not tried the Gemstone but I will give you my experience with the Dreadnaught.
I have owned a lot of amps over the years from Aragon, Proceed, Parasound Halo, Krell, ADA, Bel Canto, NuForce, Earthquake, Classe, CAL MCA2500 and my favorite amps the EAD PM2000 & PM8300. There are a few other amps in there that I forget as well.
I had sold my EAD amp to supposedly upgrade and tried out a Theta Dreadnaught I to go with the Aerial 9's I had just purchased. To say I was unimpressed with the Dreadnaught would be putting it lightly. For jazz and other light musical fair the Theta was nice but for dynamic material it wasn't half the amp the EAD was. Very boring amp to listen to for movies after having a EAD. My dealer wasn't surprised I didn't like the Theta with my new Aerials as he said they need more power than the Theta was capable of delivering so he let me borrow a Earthquake Cinenova to compare which at first I scoffed at. The Theta never went back into my system and I bought the Earthquake until I could find another EAD. I won't say the Earthquake is the equal of the EAD when it comes to musicality, shear brute force dynamics and detail but it is better for movies than most amps I have tried.
I have contacted Gemstone to see about picking up one of there amps but from what I have read here who knows if I will get a response.
If you like a warmer sound and have fairly efficient speakers than the Dreadnaught may be for you. I did also try the Theta and Earthquake with the Von Schweikert speakers I still had as well and the Earthquake still came out on top and it was not close.
You will find die hard Theta lovers on this site and they do make quality components but the amps are just not for me. I also had a chance to listen to the Theta mono blocks with Revel speakers at someone elses house. I came away unimpressed as I heard the same speakers with a McIntosh amp and they had a lot more life. This is the only comparison I did not make in my own system but I have no interest in buying a pair of Theta mono blocks to compare.
From what I have heard about Gemstone amp it is a more lively sound than the Theta but that is only speculation on my part.