I plan on putting a lot more time in with the new addition to my audio system, but here are some initial impressions.
I took delivery of the Butler TDB 2250 amplifier this past Monday, but until this weekend I had only put about an hours listening time in with it. I have two young children and a pregnant wife, so things are very busy from the moment I go to work to the moment I hit the hay. This weekend, however, I put in a few more hours with the amplifier, and so far so good. The sound stage depth got dramatically better, not to mention the width and overall envelopment. While listening to albums like Keiko Matsui's "Sapphire" or Joe Satriani's "Professor Satchafunkilus and the Musterion of Rock," I could swear my rear speakers are on. I did get this effect with my old amp, but not to this extreme. Imaging is much more pinpoint/precise with the Butler...the sound is just so much more enveloping; I love it! Finally, the bass is quite different, with there being more heft and weight with the Butler. I don't know which is more accurate, but the Emotiva sounds thin and lean in comparison. I prefer the Butler, whether its more true to the source or not.
The only odd thing about the Butler is it ran 2.5 dB quieter than the Emotiva. Due to this I had to reduce the gain on my subwoofer amps and receiver's subwoofer output to compensate, else the bass was a bit overpowering below the crossover. I am guessing the difference in input sensitivity and impedance is what caused this. Either way, once I realized it and re-adjusted it was no longer an issue and was easier to compare apples to apples. Even after the reductions the bass control is still better using the Butler, so I don't understand why some people say its too lean. I found it to be the opposite.
I will continue to listen, but the more I do, the more I like this amp!