17 years of audiophile commitment. Odysseyaudio.com is essentially an extension of Klaus Bunge's German Acoustics, which started distributing high end audio products from Germany in 1988. A year later, German Acoustics imported the first Symphonic Line amplifiers. Over the years, German Acoustics succeeded in establishing Symphonic Line as a true reference line of audio products, and won over a highly dedicated and loyal base of Symphonic Line owners.
At the end of the '90's, plans were made to manufacture a more cost effective amplifier and preamplifier line here in the US. Due to the long relationship with German Acoustics, Symphonic Line designed the circuitries for the newly planned products.
Since the old German Acoustics was known for audio imports only, Odysseyaudio.com started as a manufacturing company as well as the importer for Symphonic Line . Thus, the Stratos amplifiers and the Tempest preamplifier were planned, designed, and manufactured here in Indianapolis, Indiana. Over the past year, we also started to offer the Khartago amplifier, Etesian pre amplifier, and our complete loudspeaker line. Right now, we are working on a line of digital amplifiers with the goal of infusing some of the emotional qualities of the Stratos and Khartago amps into a digital design and creating a radical departure from overly analytical digital designs of our time.
Even though Odyssey's structure is multi-national and multi-cultural, spanning three continents, we pride ourselves to have the ethics and are in-fact close to a smaller family business. The single most important factor for us is a total and complete curtomer satisfaction for everything that we do, and offer, before and after the sale.
Odysseyaudio.com is an Indiana corporation. The manufacturing facilities are located in Indianapolis and Brownsburg, Indiana, as well as in Germany.
High end audio industry (absurd) reality forges our product philosophy. Within the last 17 years, we've seen the pricing of high end audio go through the roof. In the 1980's, a $ 10,000 amplifier or a $ 15,000 pair of loudspeakers was seen as obscenely expensive and ultra-exotic. It was hard to justify these prices for audio. After all, this is a hobby, and hopefully a passion for music that we all share.
A decade later, these price tags don't even evoke a shrug or smile. Super expensive products have become common place, and it seems that nearly every manufacturer in the market is out to design and produce the ultimate statement; sell ability notwithstanding. The market has gone nuts, catering mostly to the same 2 % - 5 % base of wealthy customers. Nevermind that we're in the same market as well with the Symphonic Line products. We do agree that some of the unbelievable performance exhibited in Symphonic Line and a handful of other world-class manufacturer does come at a price. The internal designs and the quality of parts and craftsmanship have reached an incredible plateau, which, unfortunately, also comes at a price
While the high end of the performance range has been improved in giant steps, more and more manufacturer seem to abandon the affordable range of high end audio. It is here, however, where the true spirit of the hobby, the love for the music lies. After all, most of the early hobby-based high end industry in the 1950's and 1960's was based upon the premise to bring better sound to the market in the most affordable way. DIY kits ran rampant in these days, catering to the true lovers and hobbyists. Since then, the quality and the market overall has improved tremendously. One could relate this development with that of the automotive era from the model T to the newest, baddest, and most luxurious models of personal transportation today. The bar has been raised to such levels, people could have never imagined possible decades ago.
The most important part in the ownership experience of an audio system (and everything else for that matter) is the satisfaction and pride of the purchase. If one is happy with the product quality for the money, than obviously the manufacturer hit it's mark. If one can spend tens of thousands of $ for a killer system, more power to it. After all, we know how amazing a Symphonic Line system sounds, and the experience is intoxicating. However, we also see tendencies where the love of the music takes a back seat for the technology-for- technology's-sake. Where the idea and the goal of the perfect recreation of a musical event is being substituted with a technological showcase.
Thus, unlike our automotive example, the vast majority of high end manufacturers have abandoned the true major market; the affordable high end. (see our link "Value Comparison) Even worse, within the last 10 years the audio market has become a jungle. Who can possibly keep up with the waves of new companies and products that are introduced each year? When we started out, there was a feeling of acceptance and help; a certain "we're all in the same boat / we're all sharing the same love" kind of feeling. Well, over the years the innocence has been lost, and a much more "cut-throat" approach is evident, where manufacturer and a minority of dealers alike will do anything to make a sale and keep other products out of the market's survival fringe. We believe that this is wrong, and that there should be enough space for honest and fair competition. However, when one's price range is rather high, and in order to survive, every sale is needed in such an exclusive and increasingly over saturated area of the market, then one can understand the change of the overall mentality within the last 10 years. Half-truths, pure B.S., and snake-oil have been delivered too many times instead of honest, good values.
One can argue as to what price point (more than performance points, which aren't as easily defined) the true high end starts out. One can ask 10 different people and you'll have 10 different opinions. While everyone would agree that a "boombox", "walk-man", or MP3 player/computer falls shy of the holy grail, many people nevertheless enjoy their music with these mediums. Most music lovers would also agree that a good system that delivers a satisfying, if not addictive listening experience has to be considered the ultimate goal. It always comes back to the love for the music. This is why we started Odyssey. Our goal has been simple from the beginning: offer this addictive listening experience to the real - world market. We see this as a "mission", and we work hard to make the buying - and ownership experience an enjoyable and satisfying one, rather than being in a market segment full of pressure sales. This is also more enjoyable to us.
It doesn't matter whether one prefers solid-state over tubes, hybrids over "patented" designs that are very exotic on paper, or anything in between. We get the point that there are different tastes among music lovers and audiophiles. Different levels of experience, loudspeaker systems, priorities, listening environments, physical abilities, etc. demand different amplifiers, it's that simple. Even though we truly believe that our products are outstanding for the price, we won't argue with personal choices regarding the varieties of designs. We only ask you to give us a fair shot for your best possible decision.
Yes, there are still many great, honest amplifier values from companies such as Adcom, NAD, Creek, Hafler, some Japanese manufacturers, etc., but the vast majority of companies don't even approach the $ 1,000. mark. This $ 1K mark is not necessarily an arbitrary number. It is indeed very hard to design and manufacture amplifiers with this price in mind. Even more difficult is the willpower it takes to do so. Ego aside, the maximum net profit is not worth the trouble for quite a few companies that in theory could deliver good products at this price point. On the other hand, not everybody can design outstanding products in this price range either. There are true listening, tuning, - and tweaking talents and experiences needed for designers to do so with a limited spending budget per design. It is much easier to design a great $ 10,000. amplifier than a great $ 1,000 unit.
With the new factory direct program, we're actually able to offer you true high - end, the Khartago/Cyclops amplifiers family, Stratos amplifier family, Candela and Tempest preamplifiers as well as our Lorelei and Epiphony II speakers for real-world prices starting under or just over $ 1,000 USD mark. And this is what we're proud of the most.