With decades 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. German Acoustics succeeded in establishing Symphonic Line as a true reference line of audio products, winning over a highly dedicated and loyal base of Symphonic Line owners.
When the time came to manufacture a more cost effective amplifier and preamplifier line here in the US. Leveraging the long relationship with German Acoustics, Symphonic Line designed the circuitries for the newly planned products.
With German Acoustics known only as an importer, Odysseyaudio.com started as a manufacturing company and the importer for Symphonic Line. Thus, the Stratos amplifiers and the Tempest preamplifier were planned, designed, and manufactured here in Indianapolis, Indiana. Next came the Khartago amplifier, Etesian preamplifier, and our complete loudspeaker line.
Even though Odyssey’s structure is multi-national and multi-cultural, spanning three continents, we pride ourselves on the ethics and many other charismatics of a smaller family business.
The most critical factor for us is total and complete customer satisfaction in everything 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.
The high-end audio industry’s (absurd) reality forges our product philosophy. Over the years, we’ve seen the pricing of high-end audio go through the roof. Once upon a time, 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.
This has become commonplace – it seems that nearly every manufacturer in the market is out to design and produce the ultimate statement; the needs of most audiophiles notwithstanding.
The market has gone mad, catering mostly to the same 2% – 5% base of wealthy customers. And we are in that same space with Symphonic Line products. We agree that some of the unbelievable performance exhibited in Symphonic Line and a handful of other world-class manufacturers 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 cost.
While the high end of the performance range has improved vastly, more and more manufacturers seem to abandon the affordable range of high-end audio. This trend is unfortunate because it is here that the true spirit of the hobby – the love of music – lies. In the 1950s and 1960s – the early days of the hobby-based high-end industry – the premise was to bring better sound to the market in an affordable way. DIY kits ran rampant in those days, catering to true music 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 safer, sleek, luxurious cars of today. Performance and features that seemed like science fiction decades ago are now commonplace.
The most crucial part of the ownership experience of for 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, the manufacturer has hit its mark. If one can afford to spend tens of thousands of dollars (or more!) on an elite level system, more power to them. After all, we know how amazing a Symphonic Line system sounds, and the experience is intoxicating.
Unfortunately, we now see where the love of the listening experience often takes a back seat to massive technology use for its own sake. When that happens, the concept and ultimate goal of the perfect recreation of a musical event is replaced by a technological showcase.
Unlike our automotive industry example, most high-end manufacturers have abandoned the true major market; the affordable high end. (see our link “Value Comparison). Even worse, the audio market has become a jungle. Who can keep up with the waves of new companies and products introduced each year? When we started out, there was a feeling of community and mutual help; a certain “we’re all in the same boat – we’re all sharing the same love” feeling. Over the years, that innocence has been lost, and a much more cut-throat approach is evident, where manufacturers 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 to survive, every sale is needed in such an exclusive and increasingly oversaturated area of the market, one can understand the change of the overall mentality over the years. Half-truths, pure B.S., and snake-oil are seen too often instead of honest, fundamental values.
One can argue as to what price point (more than performance points, which aren’t as easily defined) the true high end begins. Ask ten different people; you’ll have ten different opinions. While everyone would agree that entry level consumer products and devices designed to deliver compressed files fall short of the holy grail, many people enjoy their music using them.
What is the ultimate goal of a good system? We believe that most music lovers want a satisfying, even addictive listening experience. 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. It’s more enjoyable for both our customers and for ourselves.
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 it 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 wide variety of designs available. 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. However, the vast majority of companies don’t even approach the $ 1,000 threshold. This $ 1K mark is not necessarily an arbitrary number. It is indeed quite challenging 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 simply not worth the trouble for quite a few companies. The ability to do so is certainly there in theory, but not the desire. On the other hand, not everybody can design outstanding products in this price range either. There is a specific skill set of listening, tuning, – and tweaking talents and experiences needed for designers to do so with a limited budget per design. It is much easier to design a great $ 10,000 amplifier than a great $ 1,000 unit.
With our factory direct program, we’re able to offer you bona fide 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 USD 1,000 mark. And this is what we’re most proud of.
6731 West 79th Street Indianapolis, IN 46278, U.S.A.