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Thread: Soundstream making a comeback?

  1. #1
    Car Audio Moderator durwood's Avatar
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    Soundstream making a comeback?

    After browsing to Soundstream's website I was pleasantly surprised. A few years ago Soundstream was bought by Power Acoustic, which is more of a flea market brand. I watched the quality of soundstream amps go in the crapper :shiver

    Then I read some of their press a year or so ago and heard they hired back a good engineer. And low and behold, the Reference line is back with some upgrades possibly? I don't know. The power specs are not rated like they used to but that never helped sell amps. It was good for competitions because they were under-rated. The Tarantula series also look promising, but as with many manufactures they put a dumb logo to make it look cool (the tarantula of course). Anyway, I like this re-emergence of better quality amps. I hope the rest of the market is realizing this concept. Go SQ!

    Reference Line
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    Tarantula Line
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    and for the bass heads...

    The XXX line
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  2. #2
    Constant Bitrate
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    How does the sound quality of the Soundstream reference amps compare to other amps? For example, I see that the older Soundstream reference 405s is in my price range. I realize that it's only a ~200 watt amp, but I care more about SQ than wattage.

    I probably won't play the amp louder than 200 watts anyway, so there's no point to more wattage..

  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate Dennis5587's Avatar
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    eh, I'll hold off until someone cracks one of those open, this could always just be soundstream capitalizing off of their earlier sucess with the reference amps... may just be a nice case and thats it.

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    FLAC XC-C30's Avatar
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    I don't know for sure, but I thought SS was back on track since a few years already? Those tarantula's and the new references are already in the running for some years as far as i know.... unless they're talking a second gen of the tarantulas and a 3rd gen of the references

    edit: did they stop retailing them in the US or something?
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    Car Audio Moderator durwood's Avatar
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    eh, I'll hold off until someone cracks one of those open, this could always just be soundstream capitalizing off of their earlier sucess with the reference amps... may just be a nice case and thats it.
    Sometimes they make changes to make them better, sometimes they makes changes to build them cheaper, sometimes they make changes to make use of newer technology which could be good or bad. This would be the Third generation really.

    1st-Without the "S" in the model number
    2nd-With the S
    3rd-".2" added to model number.

    I don't know but there were some problems with particualr parts in the the first gens, although they were some of the best. Soundstreams were very easy to kill if not correctly wired and setup. As far as SQ on the old ones, they are pretty decent, although I found them to be a bit lacking when I did a side by side comparison to a my current A/D/S amp. I did a rough listening test on my bench between a kicker ZR, A/D/S PH15, and a Soundstream Ref604 with a pair of bookshelf speakers. Nothing super scientific, just my own ears. Here was my order of liking

    1) A/D/S (More dynamic, clean, gave the music sor tof a warm feeling)
    2) Soundstream (overall pleasing, clean and plenty of power, but sounded a little flat or dull)
    3) Kicker ZR series(loud and super clean, but lacked any umph in the midbass section, it seemed to emphasize the midrange)

    Either way, Soundstream never did skimp on parts on the reference series. Tons of transistors on the output stage, the power supplies could have been built a bit tougher but they were unregualted to make use of more power when running at 14.4 instead of 12V. It sounds like they beefed up the power supply section and changed the output transistors to a different type all together one the new ones. That pretty much makes them completely different then the first gen, I just don't know if its better or not.

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    Car Audio Moderator durwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IC-C30 View Post
    I don't know for sure, but I thought SS was back on track since a few years already? Those tarantula's and the new references are already in the running for some years as far as i know.... unless they're talking a second gen of the tarantulas and a 3rd gen of the references

    edit: did they stop retailing them in the US or something?
    Well A year or so ago they had some that looked like knock off JL slash series amps and their website said they in the process of bringing back the old school sound. Now I see they finally updated their website, but I don't know of any retailers carrying them here. It looks like ASIA might have had these for a while. I dunno???

    Could you buy these in Europe IC?

    EDIT: Maybe I just missed it. I hadn't heard anything about them for awhile. Unless these came out last year and I missed it? I wasn't paying much attention to car audio last year

  7. #7
    FLAC XC-C30's Avatar
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    You can buy em already for at least a year in Europe, that's why your first post surprised me... The tarantulas are in stores also for over a year.....

    Freaky since the US normally is quicker on things like that....

    edit: I only knew about the old references and these actually..... maybe they never retailed the second gen in EU?

    edit: Or where the 2nd gens those black ones? Getting confused here.... the first ones were blue....Then IF I'm not mistaken there was a black generation, and now (3rd?) again blue....
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    Car Audio Moderator durwood's Avatar
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    I don't ever remember seeing black ones, although they did a limited run of chrome ones for the class a 5.0/10.0 and some of the s/sx series.

    After the S/SX they went to the Rubicon series but they were still blue.

    I never paid much attention to the Tarantula series so I don't know. I think maybe Soundstream was selling the garbage ones here to capitalize on the people who wanted cheap crap.

  9. #9
    MySQL Error scott_fx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by netchris View Post
    How does the sound quality of the Soundstream reference amps compare to other amps? For example, I see that the older Soundstream reference 405s is in my price range. I realize that it's only a ~200 watt amp, but I care more about SQ than wattage.

    I probably won't play the amp louder than 200 watts anyway, so there's no point to more wattage..
    one of my favorite sounding systems that i've heard recently had older SS ref amps and dynaudio components. if the older ss amps are in your budget, i'd jump on them. If i were go get a daily driver i'd probably hook it up with oldschool SS ref amps
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  10. #10
    FLAC XC-C30's Avatar
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    they surely ain't bad! maybe, as durwood said: the PSU could be a little beefier.... But if you're carefull with them, really I'd buy one, If I hadn't already had my Mc's.
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