Amp shootout: Moscode 300 vs Odyssey Stratos - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
Forum Jump: 
 2Likes
  • 2 Post By Ratman
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 17 Old 11-18-2018, 08:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
bing!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 577
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 322 Post(s)
Liked: 234
Amp shootout: Moscode 300 vs Odyssey Stratos vs Primaluna Prologue 4

Today, I picked up a used Odyssey Stratos. I am doing A/B testing between it and my Musical Concepts modified Moscode 300 Hybrid tube mosfet power amp.

The Moscode creates a wall of sound. It makes guitars and horns come alive. It can give the feeling of sitting next to a bass guitar amp. It's really good.

The Odyssey produces well controlled, fast and punchy bass. Staging is wider. Imaging more pinpoint. However, voices sound a little less life like vs the Moscode.

Right now, I am leaning to my circa 1985 Moscode. I'm quite surprised. I really thought the Stratos would whup my old FET amp.

The previous owner says it takes 2-3 hours to warm up the Stratos. He says he tries not to turn it off for that reason. I can't say Ive ever done that.


Last edited by bing!; 12-24-2018 at 07:39 AM.
bing! is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 17 Old 11-19-2018, 06:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
bing!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 577
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 322 Post(s)
Liked: 234
I left the amp on the whole evening. Woke up and played some classical music. Vivaldi and Bach on vinyl. Hmmm, what the seller told me is true, when kept on, or given a good long warm up (1hour +), the amp does sound much better.

More on bass: the tube hybrid amp produces bass with a lot more timbre. The Stratos's bass is deeper, less heard, more felt.

Quick question: Is super fine detail added "color". The Stratos gives fine detail not available on my Moscode. I'm not talking about resolving, both do that in their own way. The Stratos puts a lot of the detail at the same level allowing the listener to pick at them individually. The Moscode layers the detail and spaces them out much more, quite far from each other. This evidences it self in some instruments and voices that reaches out and touches you, taking over the moment, diminishing the presence of other detail. I would compare it to adding Tobasco sauce to a steak. Just a touch too much tobasco, and the steak disappears in the background.

For example, I learned this test from a friend. Dinah Washington's "What a difference a day makes", 25 seconds in, right after the line " 24 hours", in the background, a subtle click can be heard, supposedly a shift in weight by Dinah during recording. On the Moscode, that detail is muffled, barely there. On the Stratos, its a discernible click, almost like two drum sticks struck together.

Last characterization. The Moscode is like dating a hair dresser, she's a little nuts but helluva good time. The Stratos is like a hot dentist. She's good looking and all, but I can't help but stare at those perfect hands.

I'm torn between the amps. Gonna give it more time. I was hoping to keep just one.

Any good speaker switches available out there?

Last edited by bing!; 11-19-2018 at 11:56 AM.
bing! is offline  
post #3 of 17 Old 11-19-2018, 07:37 AM
Advanced Member
 
vzphoneman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: upstate New York
Posts: 719
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 149 Post(s)
Liked: 171
I have tried 4 different FLAC versions and they all sound muffled. What version are you using.

The lazy man finds the easiest way ... Ben Franklin

Rouge Audio Cronus Magnum II integrated amp, Goldenear Technology's Triton 2+ speakers, Schiit Bifrost Multibit Dac, Technics SL-1200MK2 turntable with Audio Technica 440ml cartridge, Teac X-1000R reel to reel, custom computer as main music source

Last edited by vzphoneman; 11-19-2018 at 07:41 AM.
vzphoneman is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 17 Old 11-19-2018, 07:50 AM
Advanced Member
 
vzphoneman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: upstate New York
Posts: 719
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 149 Post(s)
Liked: 171
You should check out this thread;

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/173-2...est-track.html

"the crickets test"

The lazy man finds the easiest way ... Ben Franklin

Rouge Audio Cronus Magnum II integrated amp, Goldenear Technology's Triton 2+ speakers, Schiit Bifrost Multibit Dac, Technics SL-1200MK2 turntable with Audio Technica 440ml cartridge, Teac X-1000R reel to reel, custom computer as main music source
vzphoneman is offline  
post #5 of 17 Old 11-19-2018, 09:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
bing!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 577
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 322 Post(s)
Liked: 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by vzphoneman View Post
I have tried 4 different FLAC versions and they all sound muffled. What version are you using.
Just the Spotify version streamed through a Sony UBX800 player coaxed into a 100 dollar SMSL DAC. I havent spent much on digital.

Last edited by bing!; 11-19-2018 at 10:40 AM.
bing! is offline  
post #6 of 17 Old 11-19-2018, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
bing!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 577
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 322 Post(s)
Liked: 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by vzphoneman View Post
You should check out this thread;

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/173-2...est-track.html

"the crickets test"
Tried on my office headset. Couldnt hear it. Looking forward to hearing it at home. Thanks!
bing! is offline  
post #7 of 17 Old 11-19-2018, 11:10 AM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
Ratman's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Collingswood, N.J.
Posts: 18,908
Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2159 Post(s)
Liked: 2008
If you hear them... are they chirping Yanny or Laurel?
vzphoneman and 18Hurts like this.



If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough – Albert Einstein
Ratman is offline  
post #8 of 17 Old 11-19-2018, 07:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
bing!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 577
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 322 Post(s)
Liked: 234
Crap. I'm going boinkers making a choice.

Black Sabbath "War Pigs" "Iron Man" and Pink Floyd "Money" "Speak to Me", the Moscode wins hands down.

Halsey "Without Me", Sunflower "Post Malone", Imagine Dragons "Bad Liar", ODL wins by a wide margin.

Kellis "Milkshake" they both excel.

Man.

EDIT: one last comment. The ODL amp is amazing, after an hour or more, it morphs into a heavenly sounding amp. But really? 1 hour? That is borderline unacceptable. This is despite keeping it on the whole day.

Last edited by bing!; 11-19-2018 at 08:24 PM.
bing! is offline  
post #9 of 17 Old 11-19-2018, 10:26 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
alan0354's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Silicon Valley
Posts: 2,257
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1617 Post(s)
Liked: 418
You own both, what's the problem? It's not as if you have to choose one and give up the other.


BTW, if the picture shows how you place the speaker, I strongly advice you to move the speaker out first before you compare. You speaker is being put into a tight corner between the wall and fire place( guessing). The speaker needs room to breath. I used to have speaker kind of hiding before, I experimented moving the speakers out, it made quite a bit of difference on the sound stage and separation. Do that first and compare the two amps again. What do you have to lose? I read from another thread just a few days ago, I thought it's crazy, but I tried it anyway and I'm so glad I did.

Own designed power amp, own designed preamp, JM LAB Spectral 913.1 speakers, Rythmik F12SE sub.
Not hooked up: Nakamichi Stasis PA-7 power amp, Velodyne VA1210 sub, Kef Reference Series center, Kef Bookshelf speaker, Monitor Audio bookshelf speaker, Infinity rear speakers. Acurus 3X200W amp.

Last edited by alan0354; 11-19-2018 at 10:31 PM.
alan0354 is offline  
post #10 of 17 Old 11-20-2018, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
bing!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 577
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 322 Post(s)
Liked: 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by alan0354 View Post
You own both, what's the problem? It's not as if you have to choose one and give up the other.


BTW, if the picture shows how you place the speaker, I strongly advice you to move the speaker out first before you compare. You speaker is being put into a tight corner between the wall and fire place( guessing). The speaker needs room to breath. I used to have speaker kind of hiding before, I experimented moving the speakers out, it made quite a bit of difference on the sound stage and separation. Do that first and compare the two amps again. What do you have to lose? I read from another thread just a few days ago, I thought it's crazy, but I tried it anyway and I'm so glad I did.
6 inches to the right, 2.5 feest to the left and 1 foot from the wall. I wanna stay married. It is what it is.
bing! is offline  
post #11 of 17 Old 11-20-2018, 05:42 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
alan0354's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Silicon Valley
Posts: 2,257
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1617 Post(s)
Liked: 418
Quote:
Originally Posted by bing! View Post
6 inches to the right, 2.5 feest to the left and 1 foot from the wall. I wanna stay married. It is what it is.

Move out 2" might do miracle.

Own designed power amp, own designed preamp, JM LAB Spectral 913.1 speakers, Rythmik F12SE sub.
Not hooked up: Nakamichi Stasis PA-7 power amp, Velodyne VA1210 sub, Kef Reference Series center, Kef Bookshelf speaker, Monitor Audio bookshelf speaker, Infinity rear speakers. Acurus 3X200W amp.
alan0354 is offline  
post #12 of 17 Old 11-20-2018, 07:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
bing!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 577
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 322 Post(s)
Liked: 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by alan0354 View Post
Move out 2" might do miracle.
Oh, that. It's gone forward and backward as much as a foot more and against the wall. That is were the mids sound best after much positioning.
bing! is offline  
post #13 of 17 Old 11-20-2018, 08:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
bing!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 577
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 322 Post(s)
Liked: 234
I made a determination. It took a while as A/B testing with cold amps was not ideal. Listened to them carefully and let the Moscode warm up at least 20 minutes and the ODL a full hour before running test racks. The ODL Stratos is super clear, but sounds clinical. The Moscode works well with the Zu speakers, not as resolving but is a lot more exciting.

The ODL will be relegated to home theater duties and matched to a set of ELAC UF5s that I have. I will be retaining the Moscode for 2 channel listening.

Last edited by bing!; 11-21-2018 at 09:48 AM.
bing! is offline  
post #14 of 17 Old 12-24-2018, 07:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
bing!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 577
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 322 Post(s)
Liked: 234
Just finished my amplifier shootout/selection process.

The title now should be NAD vs Moscode 300 vs ODL vs Primaluna

Background: I'd started with a decent NAD power amplifier and was really happy with it. Then I chanced on a NYAL Moscode 300 on Craigslist, and for less than 500 bucks, I though I'd give it a whirl. Loved it. Being that the Moscode was my first foray in non-mainstream amplifiers, I started wondering how much better I could get my system to perform.

My system is as follows:

Rega turntable
Sumiko cart
Sonneteer phono stage
Sony CD and streamer with SMSL DAC
Jolida tube preamp
BJC interconnects
Monoprice speaker cable
City power cords
Zu Omen Def speakers

Next amp purchase was the ODL, a straight up clone of the Symphonic Line RG11 MkII and the Odyssey Stratos. Its was good, clean, crisp and very deep bass, but it wasn't as engaging as the Moscode. I gave it a try for 2 weeks. Biggest gripes, a little darkness in the highs. Subdued vocals. Biggest positive - deep and powerful bass performance.

Then came a brand new Primaluna. I rolled in it EL34's and KT120's power and Telefunken/RCA signal tubes. It is a great amp, ultra detailed, low bass, but still, too analytical, no emotion. Gave it 2-3 weeks, and it's going bye bye as well. Biggest gripe - too analytical. No excitement. Biggest positive - sweet mids.

Moscode - Biggest gripe - a little noisy like live sound Biggest positives - lotsa pop. Elements jump out of the track. Soundstage is awesome.

I think my search is ended. For as much as I want to spend, I think I have the best I can get. It's not perfect, there criticisms I can throw at it if I were to listen analytically, but nothing even comes close to the toe tapping the Moscode induces in me and my wife.

I have a friend with a similar set up, but runs a Conrad Johnson tube amp with Zu's, and he even says, I can't put my finger on it, but that system rocks.

And thus is the end. My quest is over, spent a decent amount of money and own all 3 amps, and I ended up almost exactly where I started.

I know at least one or two people here live in West LA. I'd love to have someone bring over their favorite music in CD or vinyl and give it a good listen. Maybe tell me, "what you hear is snake oil, there is no magic".

Happy holidays everyone!

Last edited by bing!; 12-24-2018 at 08:27 AM.
bing! is offline  
post #15 of 17 Old 12-24-2018, 10:47 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
alan0354's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Silicon Valley
Posts: 2,257
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1617 Post(s)
Liked: 418
You can still return the Primaluna after all these?


You give me hope on my future hybrid amp. I already have the design, just have to get to it.

Own designed power amp, own designed preamp, JM LAB Spectral 913.1 speakers, Rythmik F12SE sub.
Not hooked up: Nakamichi Stasis PA-7 power amp, Velodyne VA1210 sub, Kef Reference Series center, Kef Bookshelf speaker, Monitor Audio bookshelf speaker, Infinity rear speakers. Acurus 3X200W amp.
alan0354 is offline  
post #16 of 17 Old 12-24-2018, 10:57 AM
Advanced Member
 
Sal1950's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Central FL
Posts: 693
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 446 Post(s)
Liked: 464
It's amazing what a bit of harmonic distortion can add to the sound of those tube amps. Just depends on your preferences between accuracy to the source, and some technicolor additions.
YMMV

Sony XBR75-X940D, Samsung UBD-K8500 UHD-BD, Xfinity X1 Voice DVR, Marantz AV-7703 Pre/Pro w/Auro, (3) Adcom GFA-545II amps, (2) Adcom GFA-535II amps for ATMOS speakers.
HSU Research 5.2 speaker system (4) HB-1 MK2, (1) HC-1 MK2, (2) STF-2,
Klipsch HT500 satalites (4) for ceiling mounted ATMOS playback
DIY Linux desktop w/Clementine bit perfect media center. Emotiva Stealth DC-1 DAC
Sal1950 is offline  
post #17 of 17 Old 12-24-2018, 11:28 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
alan0354's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Silicon Valley
Posts: 2,257
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1617 Post(s)
Liked: 418
I don't think it's just harmonic distortion. Tube amps are much more speaker dependent. Tube amp is about impedance matching like it match the impedance of the tube to the speaker by the specific output transformer. The damping factor is very close to 1. Meaning the amp does not control the speaker, it works with the speakers. If the characteristic doesn't match, then result is not going to be as good.

Own designed power amp, own designed preamp, JM LAB Spectral 913.1 speakers, Rythmik F12SE sub.
Not hooked up: Nakamichi Stasis PA-7 power amp, Velodyne VA1210 sub, Kef Reference Series center, Kef Bookshelf speaker, Monitor Audio bookshelf speaker, Infinity rear speakers. Acurus 3X200W amp.
alan0354 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply 2-Channel Audio

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off