The layout of the amp might be similar, but only in the fact that having a tunnel for cooling, and keeping dirt out of the amplifier , is just a good common sense design.
The Transistors,their mounting, topology, pcb, rf filtering,limiting, output protiction, preamp stage,preamp power filtering, and ridiculously overbuilt power reservoirs and where they feed into the poweramp circuit, are all quite original.
Its like watching people fight over the folding of horns. Well, it is 2010 and there are only so many ways to fold a horn, port a box, and lay out an amplifier intelligently. I would take these in a flat black project box any day. The look is not for everyone, the road worthiness is not there nor was it designed to be road beaten. But they do sound like a dream, and when the money allows, are always going to be my first choice.
I had them in Level, here in Chicago for years (4 I think?) 6 days a week, about 6 hrs a night, full out House , Rap, and you name it. They never ever had a flaw. Crest CA 9 and 12's dropped like flies, Thrive never did.
Like any item, not for everyone, but for those whom have heard it, it beats the pants off of many many items.
AIS Chicago-- System Designer/System engineer www.aisaudio.com
Freelance FOH/Monitor/System Tech/Stage Manager/
Stagehand Lead/Production Coordinator/Sound Enthusiast/Speaker Design