The Odyssey Khartago Stereo Extreme: Not a review

MWalt

Active Member
I decided to wait until I had given my new Odyssey Khartago Stereo Extreme some break in time before sharing my thoughts about it. I ordered it in late October and received it the week after Christmas. I have been playing it for hours nearly every day since then, and while it may not be totally broken in yet, it has to be pretty close to fully broken in by now. The unit I ordered was the Plus model with various additional improvements. In addition to the base model this amp has the increased doubled output capacitance of 120,000 Auf total and the full SE board upgrade which includes Vishay/Dale resistors and WIMA metal film capacitors, etc., wired with Groneberg shielded signal cable, and an encased shielded toroidal transformer to reduce RF/EMI. I also had Klaus add a set of balanced inputs to the unbalanced inputs that come standard. The SE version upgrades take the basic 110 WPC to 130 WPC into 8 Ohms. These upgrades added an additional cost of roughly 90% to the base Khartago.

The amplifier came well packaged, double boxed and arrived unscathed. Although quite pedestrian in appearance, the Khartago is a solid piece of kit and exudes build quality. I needed an amp that has solid control over my hard to drive Magnepan 1.7i's and I must admit that it does so with aplomb. The Khartago is powerful, smooth, detailed and combined with the Schiit Freya Plus and Magnepans the resulting sound stage and depth is as good as I have ever personally experienced in my home. I can honestly say that it is everything I have read about it; maybe more. I had my concerns that this amp would get hot when driving the Magnepan's. I took voltage measurements from the outlet the amp was to be plugged into 3 times a day for a week and sent the average to Klaus. He set the bias based on my measurements and assured me that the amp would only get 5-6 degrees warmer than room temperature. He was right and the result is an amp that barely gets warm even during prolonged 80-90db SPL use.

Much like my Magnepan 1.7i's, I believe I have hit upon yet another of those great audiophile bargains. I don't believe I could do better unless I was to spend upwards of 5-6k. My humble stereo system has been vastly improved in 2021. This amplifier is highly recommended.

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If I was buying new and had a budget similar to yours, there is little doubt I would end up with a setup very, very (very, very, very) similar to yours. I bet it sounds fantastic! Im also very glad a different, more powerful amp brought out what those speakers are capable of. Enjoy!
 
Great write up @MWalt ! One of my favorite things about amplifiers like this one is low-key exterior with the money obviously invested in solid performance proven technology.
 
I have a pair of extreme Kismets in Khartago cases monoblocks that I used to drive some Salk SS8s. The Salk were sold and the Kismets have since been boxed and closeted. They are as quiet as a tomb and never, ever got hot, not even warm.

I believe Klaus keeps his on 24/7 something I never did.1A054CB7-DFF6-431A-BAF2-98D3F9E80665.jpeg946E3CB1-4A54-4B2F-9EA2-4F90770C56C1.jpeg284C8B5E-8761-4AC1-BEC4-C4332FBF9973.jpegC3279EC7-A808-4CC7-A334-D1416D595DB8.jpeg
 
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I have a pair of extreme Kismets in Khartago cases monoblocks that I used to drive some Salk SS8s. The Salk were sold and the Kismets have since been boxed and closeted. They are as quiet as a tomb and never, ever got hot, not even warm.

I believe Klaus keeps his on 24/7 something I never did.
What’s the difference in the Kismet vs Khartago?

There’s a stereo Kismet for sale (pickup only) in California up for a pretty fair price.
 
What’s the difference in the Kismet vs Khartago?

There’s a stereo Kismet for sale (pickup only) in California up for a pretty fair price.

I never owned the Khartagos -and never even heard them - so I can’t say for sure. The Khartagos came before the Kismets, the Kismets have more umph and were/are considered the Big Brother to the Khartago.

ICTWOODY had both Kismets and Khartagos and could offer a more informed opinion.
 
I never owned the Khartagos -and never even heard them - so I can’t say for sure. The Khartagos came before the Kismets, the Kismets have more umph and were/are considered the Big Brother to the Khartago.

ICTWOODY had both Kismets and Khartagos and could offer a more informed opinion.
Thank you!
 
I have a pair of extreme Kismets in Khartago cases monoblocks that I used to drive some Salk SS8s. The Salk were sold and the Kismets have since been boxed and closeted. They are as quiet as a tomb and never, ever got hot, not even warm.

I believe Klaus keeps his on 24/7 something I never did.View attachment 44586View attachment 44587View attachment 44588View attachment 44589
I don't know why, but those outboard caps using speaker wire connections soldered directly to the tabs really, really bother me...
 
You’ll see that often in Klaus’ builds.
OK.

I would love to see wire-routed color-coded solid core wire + heat-shrink tubing over the terminals to prevent inadvertent shorts, instead of what appears to be speaker wire. Ruins the aesthetic + is a safety concern.
 
I guess I need to open the hood because I shined a light in there and it looks like blue and yellow wire, not the speaker looking wire I have seen in other photos. When I do, I will take pics and post them.
 
Ideally the board would allow for additional capacitance to be added or the casework would allow for better placement because I see your concern. The placement of additional capacitance definitely has a bit of a second thought, home-brew approach and aesthetically is challenging for a person (like me) who’d like some more “law and order” to things.

I’m sure one could do a few mods to over-secure wiring and shield the capacitor tops but with these amplifiers kicking around for 20+ years it likely is a non-issue.

But yes, it’s something I’d like to see addressed to soothe my nervous tendencies so I can relate.

Anyhow, I am pretty impressed with these amplifiers overall and from what I’ve read there are very few, if any complaints regarding the products- pretty universal in praise.

Enough for me to reconsider my solid state amplifiers I use in the summer.
 
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