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10-05-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,330
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 2904
Reply to: 2904
“Melquiades” amplifier: a year later.

I would like to share my observations about public perception of Melquiades - The Realty Reconstructions Amplifier.

Melquiades, or as I affectedly-abridgedly call it “the Melq” was released to pubic exactly a year ago:

http://www.goodsoundclub.com/Melquiades.aspx

Before it was released publicly there were one pair of full range Melquiades built and one pair of the Melq’s 3-chanals version - Super Melquiades built. Since then, the first full range Melquiades was sold and it problem-free is running in a NY. The Super Melquiades runs also problems-free in my own listening room. During the last year after the Melq was made available to public I have built one more Full range Melquiades, primary because I had an extra chassis and the set of the previously prepared parts, including magnetics:

http://www.goodsoundclub.com/TreeItem.aspx?PostID=2502

Over the course of the last year 3350 people downloaded Melquiades circuitry PDF file and over 20.000 of visitors read the Melquiades.aspx page. Still, the attempts to build Melquiades out there are minuscule. Currently I know about 4 people who more or less seriously pursue Melquiades. I hope when and if then will be though then will share their observations. There were a number of times within the number of the DIY-minded sites when Melquiades circuits become a subject of discussions. Unfortunately the people in those discussions have the DIY-typical limited horizon of understanding and they did not express anything besides the shallow judgment or juts plain Moronic options.  I had over the last year approximately 2 dozens of private inquiries about Melquiades and it was pretty much it. Despite of the fact that Melquiades is fully disclosed and that it is delivers a sonic results (if the mentioned requirements-conditions preserved) beyond of any known to me amplifier I do not see people out there trying Melquiades. This fact does not affect my ego, but I find it fascinating to see how even some people who knows me personally do pay thousands dollars for off the shelf amps, disregarding the opportunity to build the Milq.

Over the last year my Super Melquiades cosmetically was not changed.  A few minor things were changed though:

1) Added an impulse relay to the PS allowing the amps stage from a push-pedal
2) Added a gauge that measures the elapse time (time in use) on the tubes for each amplifier.
3) Some of the wires layout was refractored (very minatory)
4) A major flow in the Melquiades gauges were resolved. Each single plate current measurement that was made by Supper Melquiades internal gauges had to be multiplied by 25%. Please, people who read the older posts take it under advisement, as the numbers that I read form the gauges and posted wee incorrect.

http://www.goodsoundclub.com/TreeItem.aspx?PostID=1175

5) A possibility to add another channel for tweeter amplifier is being considered.

Generally I am glad with the state of Melquiades. It doe serves well in my room. I would like more folks out there try it but as any nation deserve own idiot-president the same way any audio person deserve own amplifier. My major happiness about Melquiades and public is that I did not let myself to be persuaded by a number of people in past and did not licensed Melquiades to industry production.  The further I went were a number of conversations with a few industry whores where I was very quickly detected that Melq has no ability to be understood by the typical, plugged into the industry idiots, and that those people has no justification to participate in the Melquiades distribution.

I personally do not see any further changes I might do to Melquiades. The HF channel would be a nice addition, I have the bulge enclosure-add-in but now the project is on the hold. Anyhow, two years after it’s birth and a year after it public release the Melq make me quite happy. I would enjoy if more folks embrace the Melquiades but since I appreciate animals more then I audio people it is well understood why my Cat loves to starch herself up on the warmed Melquiades…

Rgs,
Romy the caT


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
10-05-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
cv
Derby, United Kingdom
Posts 173
Joined on 09-15-2004

Post #: 2
Post ID: 2905
Reply to: 2904
Lack of Melquiades take-up
Allo

I tell you what it is that's putting everybody off, it's that bloody input stage biasing arrangement...

The other thing is that people who know enough to build it have probably read a bunch of stuff here and there, and therefore been anointed in the "received wisdom" regarding:

solid state rectification
6C33
enormous no-name PSU caps
6E5p wha? (Can't tube roll that...)

As well as the complexity of the biasing in terms of parts and hassle, it may be a case of "Not invented here" , particularly if its benefits are not theoretically obvious (in addition to its complexity).

Just guessing at the reasons...
cheers,
cv
10-05-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,330
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 3
Post ID: 2906
Reply to: 2905
Lack of Melquiades?

Interesting….. It is interesting to think about the relational of Melquiades slow take-up. I think that major contributing factor is that guy who calls himself Romy the Cat. Really, I think it’s it. The people who are capable to build amplifiers more or less are centered around the DIY movement and my position regarding the DIYer is well know and it was not once voiced from this site - I generally do not like those freaks. So it is perfectly understandable that if person is wiling to invest himself into multi thousands dollars project then he would like to be handles and treated with respect. I mostly despise them and they just can’t handle it. Here is a very typical reaction of those cretins:

Post by andyjevans: “By the time I had waded thigh high through the pompous definitions of what you should/should not be as a listener, what you should/should not have for speakers, what you should/should not do with bi-amping I'd decided that whoever could digest pages of such claptrap was welcome to the product. “

I think the andyjevans-like are very correct in their reaction. If I were a kindergarten boy and someone would explain to me the Theory of Relatively then I would not be able to connect the said into something the would make sense to me… apparently there are reasons why I look at the DIY crowd with disrespect.

 cv wrote:
I tell you what it is that's putting everybody off, it's that bloody input stage biasing arrangement...

Yes, and I heard a lot of “criticism” about it. “Why, don’t you use a simple automated bias in there?” “where is my Black Gates in catode?” Or as somebody John Caswell  elegantly put: “ Just had a look at the "Melquiades' amp cct and must admit that the bias arrangements for the input valve IMO are just OTT. A simple 3V button cell would provide all the necessary bias for the grid of V3 without the hassle of R10/12 and V2. Similarly I would not bother with the positive side but just put a hi quality C between R3 (and make that about 1M) and R5 and do away with R4/VR1 et al. Shades of the tail wagging the dog here! KISS works a treat.”

Sure, if the design of audio would be supply just the necessary voltages to the necessary parts of the circuits then each audio device would be wonderful. Unfortunately we all know that it is not the case. There is a difference between designing an amplifier and designing Sound by means of amplifiers. I hope John Caswell   with all his ‘Keep It Simple Stupid” would understand it, not to mention that I do not live in the realm of the “Simple Stupid Sound”.

 cv wrote:
…. solid state rectification

….which in combined with fast and soft switching SS diode AND input choke filters produce way more interesting result then tube rectification.

 cv wrote:
…6C33…

Actually the output tube might be whatever they wish… I have chosen the 6C33 for my reasons, other people have their own reasons. Stick in the output stage whatever you which: a properly implemented 2A3, 211 or GM70 and the amplifier should be virtually the same….

 cv wrote:
enormous no-name PSU caps

They are not no-name. They are the well-tested and selected after many months and hundreds and hundreds dollars Nichicons NR and NX. The largest Computer Grade Nichicons are Rolls-Royce among capacitors of Sound is the priority but not a cheap marketing hype. Just no one have sold this fact to the Morons-DIYvers and they “afraid”…

 cv wrote:
6E5p wha? (Can't tube roll that...)

The 6E6P or 6E6P-DR will do tube rolling. Unfortunately no one ever manufacture any tubes of the similar class. The 6E5P and 6E6P are one of the very few tubes that Russians did not steal from West and designed on their own. (BTW the 6C33C is in the same camp)

 cv wrote:
As well as the complexity of the biasing in terms of parts and hassle, it may be a case of "Not invented here" , particularly if its benefits are not theoretically obvious (in addition to its complexity).

Actually it “looks difficult” but in realty it is very simple. To feed gas tube might be made and tested separately. It is practically imposable to do it wrong, and if even you do it then… nothing will happen and it will be no damage to the amplifier or to anything else. The circuit is so stable and so well though that I even pulled the gas tube out of the amps… while the amps were up and running and with the connected speakers! Nothing happen, although I would defiantly do not suggest to try it.

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
10-06-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
drdna
San Francisco, California
Posts 487
Joined on 10-29-2005

Post #: 4
Post ID: 2907
Reply to: 2904
Why didn't I build one?
I will say that I agree with what you have said, Roman; that DIY'ers most likely to build the amp are probably a bit anti-Romy.  Too bad, I always say liten first and then comment.  Too many people in audio get wrapped up in the theory and forget to listen; when they see the Melquiades, they say "WTF!?" and then maybe think: "Romy the Cat!  He's some kind of crank!" 

As for me, what's my excuse?  I am sadly missing the living presence in my system, and I thought from your description, that the Melquiades might be a solution.  I am always a person to think outside the bix to find a solution to a problem.  But when I saw the schematic, I realized I understood electronics too poorly to attempt the project.  So I went to study and read a few books on the subject before attempting it.  Has it really been a year now?  Maybe I need to read faster.

Adrian
10-06-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Antonio J.
Madrid, Spain
Posts 269
Joined on 08-16-2004

Post #: 5
Post ID: 2908
Reply to: 2907
State of things this side of the Pond
I am not a DIYer and have no skills nor knowledge to build the Melquiades, so I contacted a technician here to have one built. He said he could make it and stated the cost at around 3000USD including his working time. He suggested some changes in the PS caps and other minor things which seemed acceptable and wouldn't change performance.
To me, having and living with a Melquiades would be more an educative matter (to learn how things should be or might get to be) in order to stablish my own audio targets, than the answer to some personal objectives. I'm still learning about music and about myself to find out which are sensible and attainable objectives for home audio. Moreover my speakers aren't adequate for an amp like Melquiades, they're commercial, not really high sensivity, nor horns, then I feared that the results I could obtain weren't really what Melquiades is about. Then I thought that building the Milq would probably be a waste of money in my present circumstances. And not exactly a small amount of money, 3000USD is quite a lot for me.
I have no room for horns, nor the knowledge and experience to build something that could work "just fine" with the Melquiades.
If I knew of some "decent" smallish speakers available which could meet Melquiades characteristics, and not to screw up its music-wise benefits, I'd have it made, but in my present circumstances, I'd better spend that money to pay Romy a visit and learn about his installation, goals, and results first hand. If I did so, I fear I'd be so depressed for what it could and should be, and that I cannot afford (not only costwise, but also for room and family reasons) that I'd drop audio forever.
I love music and listening is kind of healing after my daily practice. I think I have some idea of how it should be and what would be required to have important things done right, but the more I learn and the more I listen to people's systems and available commercial gear, the more I understand that I'll never have a system that really comes close to produce good music instead of good sound. I'm afraid I'm at Romy's second level and I have no hope to go further. I'm at that point that if I found a pair of headphones that were just right, I'd sell all my system but the sources, specially the tuner.

rgrds to all.
10-06-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,330
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 6
Post ID: 2909
Reply to: 2907
A common mistake and not only about the Melquiades…

 drdna wrote:
I am sadly missing the living presence in my system, and I thought from your description, that the Melquiades might be a solution

I think this requires me to raise my voice as I feel that this presumption is very common and unfortunately very mistaken. Melquiades might NOT be a solution. It can not be a solution as well as any other element of playback, would it be a speaker, and amplifier or a sexy capacitor, might not be a single solution of a complex and compound problem. The performance a playback is a result and reflection of composite solutions and listener’s objectives and a sidle, even the bets performing element is enabled to do anything in playback, because it is not necessary become a part of a global system of sound reproduction and global personal views of the system owner.

I have seen again and again when audio people heard in somebody else’s inhalations the results that they found worth to imitate and they ran and bought, built, borrowed the elements that they thought were responsible for the “better result”. It never worked for them and it never should.

Better sound come as a since of self-realization and realization of the nature or reproduced sound. A person should evolve his reference points and his assessment algorithms up to the point when he will be able to identify within his current sound the specific and very precise shortcomings. Then, only then a specific solution might be brought as a delta between what the sound currently is not and what it should be. ONLY THEN, that  person should bring an amplifier, a cable or a driver the will address this well-identified problems and to fulfilled his very specific objective.

http://www.goodsoundclub.com/TreeItem.aspx?PostID=432

Without it the process of making audio is similar to the countless idiots-DIYers who colder anything solderable juts in order to get “any sound” and then built the theories what this amplifiers, cable or sound should be better then “Audio Research” or “Makr Levinson”

Rgs,
Romy The caT


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
10-06-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
drdna
San Francisco, California
Posts 487
Joined on 10-29-2005

Post #: 7
Post ID: 2912
Reply to: 2909
Is the Melquiades a step in the wrong direction?
 Romy the Cat wrote:
I think this requires me to raise my voice as I feel that this presumption is very common and unfortunately very mistaken. Melquiades might NOT be a solution... A person should evolve his reference points and his assessment algorithms up to the point when he will be able to identify within his current sound the specific and very precise shortcomings. Then, only then a specific solution might be brought as a delta between what the sound currently is not and what it should be.


This is the clearest perhaps that I have heard this stated.  I wholeheartedly agree with this idea. 

Now, when I heard originally about the Melquiades, the idea appealed to me because I have high-sensitivity horn loudspeakers and use some 2A3 SET amplifiers, which make very good sounds but I am looking to get closer to the Sound, which to me is feeling as if the musicians are in the room making decisions about the way they are playing and you have insight into the whole thing in a real and palpable way.  When I heard the description of the Melquiades and the objectives set forth, it seemed to suit my situation?  Maybe I am wrong, but it is an avenue worth exploring.

Adrian
10-07-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Antonio J.
Madrid, Spain
Posts 269
Joined on 08-16-2004

Post #: 8
Post ID: 2914
Reply to: 2912
Several issues (long and probably boring to many of you, my advanced excuses):
1.- Finding specific solutions to specific problems

 drdna wrote:
.... I have high-sensitivity horn loudspeakers and use some 2A3 SET amplifiers, which make very good sounds but I am looking to get closer to the Sound, which to me is feeling as if the musicians are in the room making decisions about the way they are playing and you have insight into the whole thing in a real and palpable way...

Adrian


As I see it, one needs to know how his brain works and how it does with content-full music to know what's wrong with the results of his system. When we are not knowledgeable and experienced, and we've spent too much time focusing on "sounds" and all that jargon that reviewers, manufacturers and "basic listeners" use, we tend to identify as improvements slight (or huge) changes we can hear at swapping gear. This leads to a segmentary approach trying to get more whatever. But this doesn't help to develope an intuitive-result-oriented listening technique which allows us to understand what do we want, why do we want or even need it, and how we could get it.
Audio is all about creating an illusion. The believability of that illusion depends on: the kind of music you listen to (mainly its complexity), the ability of your brains to "swallow" that what you're listening is "the real thing", and how well some sonic cues are presented. When you, as myself, are in a very rudimentary level, it's possible to match a system that can create some credible illusion of reality with some "easy" music, that's a girl with a double bass or a guitar. At using more complex music, problems arise, but we still believe that some "pret-a-porter" solution can do the trick. The true is that changing a component, may solve some issues and get you closer to a more believable result (if that's your goal), but certainly is introducing other problems, which can be worse than the initial one.
One needs to know how "sounds" correlate with the result into his brain, and also how shaping those sounds changes the whole picture. I mean that we usually have very imprecise and multifactorial goals that need to be perfectly dissected to get one result. Only when you know what to change, are in the condition to diagnose where is the problem. Sometimes the problem is into our mind.


2.- Knowing if the problem we perceive has a solution and deciding whether the solution is available.
This is to me the most difficult problem to solve. For example, you may decide that your problem is a lack of spaciousness, which may be due to a lack of correct delay, wrong bass response, poor detail retrieval or whatever. Some issues can be corrected just by a good speaker positioning into the room, but others may come from speakers' limitations, amplifier's shortcomings or source flaws. The questions are: How you get to the conclussion that the "problem" is the lack of spaciousness?, do you have a reference (in audio) that shows clearly that the spaciousness you "need" is attainable? even supposing that the specific issue is solvable, can it be corrected into your room and circumstances? And what's worse, once you get that spaciousness, was this the problem which needed to be corrected? have you introduced new problems?
As I see it, this kind of approach is what makes most audiophiles unhappy all along their lives, always seeking for improvements that are far from being the solution to specific problems that really need to be solved. And this is what feeds the industry. I believe that there are true problems that need a solution, but there are audio shortcomings that are non-solvable because are limitations of the own audio recordings or the whole technological approach. Deciding what's a reallistic change and goal that can be done, and what's an audio limitation, or our perception's limitation, is one of the most difficult things to do.

3.- Knowing ourselves
This is another issue that must be carefully explored. It's well known that our brain is a powerful processor that can fill the blanks of what's missing in a given sensory event (any kind of visual, auditory, tactile... perception). You just need the armonics (well done, of course) of a sound to have the illusion that the fundamental of that sound is present. You can recognize your relatives by phone in spite of its limited bandwidth, and if you keep your hearing in a good shape between 250-2000 Hz you can understand most of the language you hear.
Most music lovers who aren't involved in audio, can enjoy inmensely their pocket radios and most of us have experience how "engaging" an old 78rpm can be. The brain can delete spurious information like vinyl noise, distortion, tape hiss.... Once you get into this hobby, you teach your brain not to fill the blanks and you try hardly to detect wrong things, what's missing in the sounds, and also to detect unwanted information which shouldn't be there, thus you get into a wrong listening technique. The brain also gets tired both of this attentive wrong listening, but also of deleting extra information. Filling blanks is a more natural activity which is less fatiguing. But this doesn't work the same for all us, starting for the fact that we all don't hear the same, and our hearing sensivity is not the same as years pass.
We may share an objective regarding music, but the specific sounds and sound-shaping required to meet those goals, aren't the same for every one of us. Furthermore some convivence with a given system is needed to "understand" it and once a certain performance level is achieved, things that might look wrong at first listening, show to be beneficial on the long term.

So to keep things into this thread's theme, I believe that the Melquiades can be the solution to many problems that Romy detected and which once solved, helped him to get closer to his desired results. We don't know which were those problems, and it's difficult to really understand his goals, since in spite of his explanation elsewhere in this site, translate his inner language into my inner language is a tricky process.
To have Milq working as intended, we should have speakers that match Milq electrical performance the same way it does at Romy's. We should have sources that can offer similar results (I don't think Melquiades can correct most of the garbage that SACD o upsampling DACs introduce into the music) as his, and also we should have his very same "musical sensivity" which I believe is at other perceptive, intellectual, emmotional and probably even social levels than mine and of many of us, I guess.
That's why I decided not to build the Melquiades but if I had it built, I wouldn't look at it as a "solution" but as an educational tool to learn what could be wrong before in my system, why does Romy look at it as "the best amplifier available for his purposes", and also to know a bit more about myself. Finding someone whose goals and procedures are like our owns, can be a lot of time and effort saving to reach the desired results.

If you got to this point, thanks for your attention spam. Rgrds,

A.
10-07-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,330
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 9
Post ID: 2916
Reply to: 2914
Melquiades is juts a tool not a solution.

 Antonio J. wrote:
This is to me the most difficult problem to solve. For example, you may decide that your problem is a lack of spaciousness, which may be due to a lack of correct delay, wrong bass response, poor detail retrieval or whatever. Some issues can be corrected just by a good speaker positioning into the room, but others may come from speakers' limitations, amplifier's shortcomings or source flaws. The questions are: How you get to the conclussion that the "problem" is the lack of spaciousness? do you have a reference (in audio) that shows clearly that the spaciousness you "need" is attainable? even supposing that the specific issue is solvable, can it be corrected into your room and circumstances? And what's worse, once you get that spaciousness, was this the problem which needed to be corrected? have you introduced new problems?

The answer is very simple: do not listen reproduced music as reproduced music. Also during the evaluations do not listen played or performed music but listen how your inner-you reacts to the core of the musical context. Everything that is on the way of your consciousness, that impediment your perception are the bi-products of performing or reproduced art. It is very easy to distinct them: the performing problems have reasons. The reproduced problems have patterns….

 Antonio J. wrote:
I believe that the Melquiades can be the solution to many problems that Romy detected and which once solved, helped him to get closer to his desired results. We don't know which were those problems, and it's difficult to really understand his goals, since in spite of his explanation elsewhere in this site, translate his inner language into my inner language is a tricky process.
To have Milq working as intended, we should have speakers that match Milq electrical performance the same way it does at Romy's. We should have sources that can offer similar results (I don't think Melquiades can correct most of the garbage that SACD o upsampling DACs introduce into the music) as his, and also we should have his very same "musical sensivity" which I believe is at other perceptive, intellectual, emmotional and probably even social levels than mine and of many of us, I guess.

I do not think so. The Milq is juts a good amplifier with a very lucky balance between the volume of data and speed of data exchange. It has a number of interesting idiosyncrasies, from my point of view in way unique idiosyncrasies, but it defiantly not a magic stick that can fix the randomness of audio person’s listening objectives.

Rgs,
Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
10-07-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Antonio J.
Madrid, Spain
Posts 269
Joined on 08-16-2004

Post #: 10
Post ID: 2917
Reply to: 2916
I would take it as that
But one needs the right tool for the right job. I don't think Milq could teach me what I need to learn using my current speakers, in spite I've driven them with low power SETs with acceptable (just sound-wise) results.

 Romy the Cat wrote:
...The answer is very simple: do not listen reproduced music as reproduced music. Also during the evaluations do not listen played or performed music but listen how your inner-you reacts to the core of the musical context. Everything that is on the way of your consciousness, that impediment your perception are the bi-products of performing or reproduced art. It is very easy to distinct them: the performing problems have reasons. The reproduced problems have patterns.....

LOL I know that, but probably you can handle your consciousness in a different way than I can control mine. If I just pay attention to the music by the reactions it produces in me, then I can forget about flaws or problems, unless they're gross. If I switch on the "detection mode" then I'm aware that I'm not listening to the music, but to the sounds. In fact my system as it is now, lets me enjoy music and "feel" it most of the times if the music is interesting and it's a good performance, but sometimes I know that there are things that are wrong and could be better, sometimes because I'm distracted from music for the sensation that it's sounding good. Sounds paradoxical, but it's the way it is. Most of the times is for things that are clearly wrong. The problem is knowing "who" is doing things wrong and "how" could I fix that. I resist to believe that the only solution not to have distractions is building huge multi-way horn speakers. On the other hand it could be that the problem is not the system but the music I'm listening to in those moments I feel something is wrong.... Don't know, probably I'm not experienced and knowledgeable enough :-)

rgrds,

A.
10-07-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
drdna
San Francisco, California
Posts 487
Joined on 10-29-2005

Post #: 11
Post ID: 2918
Reply to: 2916
the Milq as part of a toolbox.
 Romy the Cat wrote:
The answer is very simple: do not listen reproduced music as reproduced music. Also during the evaluations do not listen played or performed music but listen how your inner-you reacts to the core of the musical context. Everything that is on the way of your consciousness, that impediment your perception are the bi-products of performing or reproduced art. It is very easy to distinct them: the performing problems have reasons. The reproduced problems have patterns…. the Milq is ... defiantly not a magic stick that can fix the randomness of audio person’s listening objectives.

The difficulty I have is that I do not know how to relate the impressions I have about whether a musical presentation is lifelike, brings me closer to the Sound, etc. to what things to change in a stereo system to fix the problems.

But I think that for a listener with Roman's goals and sensibilities, if he builds the Milq, perhaps it may be a step toward this goal.
10-07-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,330
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 12
Post ID: 2919
Reply to: 2918
Milq as part of a toolbox: do not get me wrong.

Guys, I would like do not send a wrong message and it is important to understand it. It is perfectly possible to identify, practically intentionally what is wrong with a playback. I’m not talking about the reasons for the sonic failures (this might be very complicated and enormous process) but to name the quality/qualities witch present the delta between the Real Sound and the Garbage Sound. To name the problems it is mostly enough 5 seconds of listening for any well trained and experienced listener, who has well-evolved listening inelegance and who knows what to listen. However, even if the problem in the sound are names and the prospective directions are set then I do not think that there are any person (a least I do not know of any) who have a knowledge or even strong “opinions” HOW those directions could be fulfilled. There is a big difference between knowing were to go and knowing how to do it. I mostly know exactly what I would like to accomplish in Sound but I very seldom, if ever, know HOW to get there. The “ways to go there”, the implementation techniques are completely different subject and could not be visualized:

http://www.goodsoundclub.com/TreeItem.aspx?PostID=2770

The caT


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
12-04-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
darkmoebius
Posts 7
Joined on 12-04-2006

Post #: 13
Post ID: 3234
Reply to: 2904
Obvious reasons why it's not being built...
 Romy the Cat wrote:
Despite of the fact that Melquiades is fully disclosed and that it is delivers a sonic results...I do not see people out there trying Melquiades...I find it fascinating to see how even some people who knows me personally do pay thousands dollars for off the shelf amps, disregarding the opportunity to build the Milq.

That's because "off the shelf" amps can be easily resold for little or no loss of money if they are not to the buyer's liking. The Melquiades, on the other hand, leaves the builder with $3,000 worth of parts not easily resold if it doesn't fit well with the builder's musical goals. So, there is a far greater financial risk involved in chosing Melq over a commercial amp.
It is interesting to think about the relational of Melquiades slow take-up. I think that major contributing factor is that guy who calls himself Romy the Cat. Really, I think it’s it. The people who are capable to build amplifiers more or less are centered around the DIY movement and my position regarding the DIYer is well know and it was not once voiced from this site - I generally do not like those freaks. So it is perfectly understandable that if person is wiling to invest himself into multi thousands dollars project then he would like to be handles and treated with respect.

Your attitude(and writing style) certainly doesn't help the amp get serious consideration amongst those most capable to build the amp(of which I do not qualify). Also, I think most profficient builders are more comfortable in discussing  how things work or are designed rather than the listening experience because the latter is extremely subjective and filled with unknown variables whereas the "nuts & bolts" of building is filled with known reference points. It seems to me that you (Romy) are more focused on the listening experience itself.
Generally I am glad with the state of Melquiades. It doe serves well in my room.
And that's the most accurate reason why no one else has really tried your amp - the Melquiades serves you well, in your system, in your room, for your tastes/goals. Not many people have any idea what your system and room actually sounds like. And since your repeatedly say that 95%+ of other people's systems and components are junk or horrible and they lack the mind to understand music, there is no common reference point to encourage people to risk $3,000 on your design.

Speaking for myself, I am seriously considering the Melq, but that is a LOT of money for me. A huge risk financially because there really isn't much third party validiation of the amp's true performance. A "Catch-22" really. Not enough people have had success with it to encourage a large amount of others, yet that can't happen without someone stepping up to the plate.

Since I am overhauling my system for a new set of priorities, the idea of Melq has me once again looking it over. I had an Almarro A318B integrated, 18wpc SET - 6C33CB, in my house for 4 months this year and certain aspects of it's sonic  presentation were unique and superior to the 300B, EL34, and PX-25 SET amps that I have. With all other things being the same in my system except the different amps, I found the the Almarro had signs of being the least colored and neutral tonally. It was by no means a perfect amp, but it did give me an inkling of what might be possible with that output tube with a no-holds-barred design. So, I am defninitely intrigued by the Melq's potential.

Hopefully, a few more people will build your amp because it might nicely fit into the new direction I'm taking my system with a set of cornerhorns designed by RCA's Dr. Harry Olson using his legendary 15" LC-1C coaxial drivers - (picture 1 & 2). The cornerhorns were never commercially produced.

The owner of The Ah! Horn Company has provided public access to a sketch, given to him in the 70's by Dr. Olson,  of what Dr. Olson considered the ultimate cornerhorn for his ultimate driver. A rough mockup of the driver and cabinet had terrific free-air frequency response.

Even though, they have moderate high(er) efficiency, I wuld like an amp capable of exemplary current drive to control the large drivers, plus great LF response.


12-04-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,330
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 14
Post ID: 3235
Reply to: 3234
Some anti-Melquiades propaganda

 darkmoebius wrote:
That's because "off the shelf" amps can be easily resold for little or no loss of money if they are not to the buyer's liking. The Melquiades, on the other hand, leaves the builder with $3,000 worth of parts not easily resold if it doesn't fit well with the builder's musical goals. So, there is a far greater financial risk involved in chosing Melq over a commercial amp.

It is difficult to argue. I never seen any person with Audiogon URL instead of ears or brain who was ever was able to accomplish any interesting Sound.

 darkmoebius wrote:
Your attitude (and writing style) certainly doesn't help the amp get serious consideration amongst those most capable to build the amp.

I am well familiar with it and I am in a way quite comfortable with it. I have little if any interest in the “serious consideration” of DIY-type people. Quite opposite, to understand “how” and “why” the Milq sounds a person should be well beyond the typical DIY mindset.

 darkmoebius wrote:
Also, I think most profficient builders are more comfortable in discussing  how things work or are designed rather than the listening experience because the latter is extremely subjective and filled with unknown variables whereas the "nuts & bolts" of building is filled with known reference points. It seems to me that you (Romy) are more focused on the listening experience itself.

Yes, it is correct. I still hardly understand why the Milq’s driver stage sound in the way it is. BTW, some greatest minds of audio engineering, way more inelegant then  your typical DIY Morons, also have no idea what responsible for the Milq’s driver stage Sound.

 darkmoebius wrote:
And that's the most accurate reason why no one else has really tried your amp - the Melquiades serves you well, in your system, in your room, for your tastes/goals. Not many people have any idea what your system and room actually sounds like. And since your repeatedly say that 95%+ of other people's systems and components are junk or horrible and they lack the mind to understand music, there is no common reference point to encourage people to risk $3,000 on your design.

Yes, I would agree.  Also in the Milq release note I insisted that the person who would like to pursue the Melquiades should have “mature and refined expectations in sound reproduction”. I did not say that “95%+ of other people's systems and components are junk. However I do always said and I do insist that 95%+ of other people's expectations in sound reproduction are junk. Think about the difference.

 darkmoebius wrote:
Speaking for myself, I am seriously considering the Melq, but that is a LOT of money for me. A huge risk financially because there really isn't much third party validiation of the amp's true performance. A "Catch-22" really. Not enough people have had success with it to encourage a large amount of others, yet that can't happen without someone stepping up to the plate.

The reality is that Melquiades is insultingly cheap and even from its $3,000 it could be substantially made less expansive. I described how I made it but I did not care about economics. In reality the Melquiades could be made for no more money than a typical mass-market 300B amp. The "Catch-22" with Melquiades is not the Melquiades price but the fact that I SPEND NO EFFORTS TO CONVINCE ANYBODY to build it. It would be easy to bring witnesses of the Milq’s sound or to let the guy who bought the first Milq’s to publish his feedback. The problem is that it would be TOO EASY AND TOO PRIMITIVE, at least for me. Why do you think I should case why amp you use? I made the Milq available and frankly speaking for myself, I feel more gratified that I revealed the Milq’s circuit then the fact that I was able to get out of Milq the necessary sound. The Milq is out and my job is done. It is up to others to embrace or to reject it. Trust me; it will hardly affect me, or even my ego, if the Milq’s progress would goes one way or another.
 darkmoebius wrote:
Since I am overhauling my system for a new set of priorities, the idea of Melq has me once again looking it over. I had an Almarro A318B integrated, 18wpc SET - 6C33CB, in my house for 4 months this year and certain aspects of it's sonic  presentation were unique and superior to the 300B, EL34, and PX-25 SET amps that I have. With all other things being the same in my system except the different amps, I found the the Almarro had signs of being the least colored and neutral tonally. It was by no means a perfect amp, but it did give me an inkling of what might be possible with that output tube with a no-holds-barred design. So, I am defninitely intrigued by the Melq's potential.

“the no-holds-barred DESIGN”? Hm… I do not think I ever had these objectives. I think that orientation to “no-holds-barred design” is a fundamentally faulty when one think about Sound. Frankly, I would not suggest the people with ““the no-holds-barred design” objectives DO NOT try Milq.  I hardly believe the “no-holds-barred BS” correlates in anyway with what Melquiades is. The Milq does what is necessary to do and the “the no-holds-barred design” is the stupid metaphors that the BS audio-writers implanted into the minds of audio public. The “no-holds-barred design” but it does not exist in the realty of Real Audio. It might be possible “a no-holds-barred implementation” of a selected design but it is also very controversial subject….
 darkmoebius wrote:
Hopefully, a few more people will build your amp because it might nicely fit into the new direction I'm taking my system with a set of cornerhorns designed by RCA's Dr. Harry Olson using his legendary 15" LC-1C coaxial drivers - (picture 1 & 2). The cornerhorns were never commercially produced. The owner of The Ah! Horn Company has provided public access to a sketch, given to him in the 70's by Dr. Olson,  of what Dr. Olson considered the ultimate cornerhorn for his ultimate driver. A rough mockup of the driver and cabinet had terrific free-air frequency response. Even though, they have moderate high(er) efficiency, I wuld like an amp capable of exemplary current drive to control the large drivers, plus great LF response.

“exemplary current drive to control the large drivers”… Hm…. I kind of feel a pain in my teeth… Where you people dig all that BS?  Anyhow. if you are for “great LF response” (that would be hardly possible in context of RCA drivers) then be advised that I believe in DSET and I do not feel that a full range SET should driver LF section. You see, there are some very intricate nuances of LF dumping with SET. It is highly possible that you would need differently load your output stages for LF and MF sections it order to have the correct Sound. Unless you are of course incredibly lucky….

Rgs,
Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
12-04-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
darkmoebius
Posts 7
Joined on 12-04-2006

Post #: 15
Post ID: 3237
Reply to: 3235
To clarify...
 Romy the Cat wrote:
The "Catch-22" with Melquiades is not the Melquiades price but the fact that I SPEND NO EFFORTS TO CONVINCE ANYBODY to build it...I made the Milq available and frankly speaking for myself, I feel more gratified that I revealed the Milq’s circuit then the fact that I was able to get out of Milq the necessary sound. The Milq is out and my job is done. It is up to others to embrace or to reject it. Trust me; it will hardly affect me, or even my ego, if the Milq’s progress would goes one way or another.

I wasn't referring to your motivations when I mentioned the "Catch-22", rather it was to offer some insight why others may not have made the attempt yet.
“the no-holds-barred DESIGN”? Hm… I do not think I ever had these objectives.

It's an old American wrestling term that I used to imply "without external limitations being imposed" like the marketing and production choices commercial companies have to make in order to hit certain product price points.
I described how I made it but I did not care about economics.

That, is exactly what I meant by "no holds barred", nothing more.
“exemplary current drive to control the large drivers”… Hm…. I kind of feel a pain in my teeth… Where you people dig all that BS?

Don't read anything into that term, it was a quickly typed sentence while I was at work, nothing more. I was trying to convey that I think most SET amps have a hard time controlling large drivers. My limited experience has been that designs capable of delivering more current do a better job with 12" & 15" drivers than those that do not.
Anyhow. if you are for “great LF response” (that would be hardly possible in context of RCA drivers) then be advised that I believe in DSET and I do not feel that a full range SET should driver LF section. You see, there are some very intricate nuances of LF dumping with SET. It is highly possible that you would need differently load your output stages for LF and MF sections it order to have the correct Sound. Unless you are of course incredibly lucky….
Sorry, I should have provided more context about the relative term "great" when i used it. Unfortunately, I have agreed to reduce the size and amount of living room space that my audio system occupies. So, I am probably doing away with my dual subwoofers and large(ish) double-horns. Cornerhorns were the negotiated settlement with my girlfriend because they are "out of the way". Like it or not, these are the limitations I will live with for right now - so "great" is within that context.

I've never heard they LC-1C's(the last of 3 versions) and don't think many human beings have ever heard that particular cornerhorn design(have you?), but Dr. Olson was a brilliant man and knew a decent amount about tube & speaker design, so I'm willing to give it a try. The cost of the drivers isn't too much(relatively) and they are easily resold, it's just the cabinets that will take some effort to properly build. For me it's worth a try.

After finding the RCA's and reading up on the Melq', I was surprised to come across this  statement below by you. It's very similar to what I have heard several other people say:
There is one interesting contestant thought…. I have unconfirmed evidence that the infamous Harry Olson had his own 15-inchers Dual Concentric driver. I heard a speaker that reportedly was Olson’s speaker and it was very interesting, free from some problems I observed in the Tannoys. Unfortunately during that the only listening session the Olson’s speaker was in context of an installation where was very difficult to say anything more critical…

It may not be the "best"(what is?), but within it's limitations and in the proper system, it may have great potential. I'm not hoping for "the last octave", just accurate bass response within it's(and my) limitations.

Now, I also need an amplifer capable of letting it's full potential "shine through".


12-04-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,330
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 16
Post ID: 3238
Reply to: 3237
Cornerhorned Melquiades?

There is a difference between “no holds barred" implementation of a specific design end no “no holds barred design”. The later is bogusness. Still, I would insist that even the first one is very frequently is bogusness. “Expensive” implantation very frequently is not the optimum chose for a chosen topology. A unit should do what it should do technically and sonically and it should be it.  The notion “no holds barred" I feel is very much not applicable as objective for amplifier as it instantaneously set the non-existing price-result rational….

I heard Olson speakers twice, not the cornerhorn. I head among many cornerhorns juts one installations that I liked, it was not Olson. Still all cornerhorns, regardless of design have a lot of limitations – they all spread imaging across and behind the back wall, making all sound volume-flat. Anyhow, let do not talk about it anymore and this thread is not about the cornerhorns.

 darkmoebius wrote:
Now, I also need an amplifer capable of letting it's full potential "shine through".
Remember the “Romy’s Second Law Of Audio” - never even consider any change before you clearly undefined for yourself what are sonic imperfections your playback currently has…

The caT


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
12-04-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,069
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 17
Post ID: 3239
Reply to: 3235
going without feedback
As I read that darkmoebius wants the amps for a vintage dream "never-built" Olsen cornerhorn I have to ask myself if Melquiades is the first choice for his project.  For one thing, do I remember correctly that you eschewed feedback altogether?  As much as I love the idea of NF, it hardly works in practical terms without VERY careful load matching (and so, probably, limited bandwidth applications),  and likewise with SET in general, at least if we want the "next level" of fidelity, and dm did say he's tried (and rejected?) several SETs already, in the context of Klipsch Horns.

If you ever said that Melquiades is the amp for all seasons and all reasons, I missed it; yet I wonder how many people run across it and gloss over what you say about it and think it's some sort of plug-and-play proposition they can just build and then use to drive whatever.   And of course you probably think that's funny, and likely you'll be even more amused when someone still doesn't get it after all my flailing.

Anyway, I'm not saying it can't work, just that maybe he's right when he hesitates because of risk.  I am not talking about Melquiades' intrinsic value or place on the audio evolutionary scale, etc., but I am looking at what he says he wants and thinking it might not be as difficult and/or risky if he first tried ML2s or Pass Alephs, or something like that to drive first his Klipsch Horns and then his Olsen corner horn prototypes.

 At any rate, I take your (cat-like) warning, and I hope dm does, too.

Best regards,
Paul S
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Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,330
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 18
Post ID: 3240
Reply to: 3239
The direct-heated Melquiades ?

You are correct about the load matching, for the Super Mild LF channel a half-Ohm of loading change bass quite dramatically.  Still, the idea was to make this SET completely without any intentionally implemented feedback. It is juts not necessary in there…

Anyhow, if a person has high sensitivity speakers that it is very easy to make Melquiades for all seasons and all reasons. You see, I suggested using for full range operation the Lundahl LL1627A transformer.  That sucker has multiple secondary sections and it could be configured to drive absolutely anther. You can combine the sections, using primaries as secondary and vise versa, and have a LOT of flexibility without using any taps.  I feel that whatever other SET can drive the Melq could drive as well. If you have not enough power and dull sparkers then put instead the 6C33C some kind 211, 845, or GM70 – the Milq’s driver stage will drive them perfectly fine and it will be the same amp only with the “bid tube sound” . Still I’m not a big fun of the large high voltage tubes:

http://www.goodsoundclub.com/TreeItem.aspx?PostID=2182

In fact to try in the Milq output stage some small, perhaps direct-heated, tubes might be more perspective…

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
12-05-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
darkmoebius
Posts 7
Joined on 12-04-2006

Post #: 19
Post ID: 3241
Reply to: 3239
Egads!
 Paul S wrote:
and dm did say he's tried (and rejected?) several SETs already, in the context of Klipsch Horns.

No, I didn't say that at all. I said that the were aspects of the 6C33CB's presentation via the Almarro A318B SET, that possibly gave a hint of the tube's greater potential which is why I started looking at the Melquiades. I also said there were aspects that I found better than EL34, 300B, and PX-25 SETs that I have. I never mentioned Klipsch speakers at all.
If you ever said that Melquiades is the amp for all seasons and all reasons, I missed it; yet I wonder how many people run across it and gloss over what you say about it and think it's some sort of plug-and-play proposition they can just build and then use to drive whatever.   And of course you probably think that's funny, and likely you'll be even more amused when someone still doesn't get it after all my flailing.

I think you guys over analyze other people's words and sometimes miss the mark(perhaps I wasn't clear, my fault). I simply offered a few reasons why people may be studying the Melq, but not building it  and used my particular reasons for considering it as illustration. NOT, that I was going to build it, or that I saw it as the perfect solution for my situation, just trying to illustrate why I, personally, came back to to look at it(Melq, not Super Melq) as a consideration or one of many points of reference for my system changes.
Anyway, I'm not saying it can't work, just that maybe he's right when he hesitates because of risk...but I am looking at what he says he wants and thinking

Eeeks! Now, I can see how casual comments can become run away debates on this forum. I would never just jump in and attempt to build the Melq (or any other amp) without months of studying the design and how it fits within the context of my overall system and if it is within my limited skillset. I was just trying illustrate why I was looking into the Melq in answer to Romy's rumination over why no one was building it.
it might not be as difficult and/or risky if he first tried ML2s or Pass Alephs, or something like that to drive first his Klipsch Horns and then his Olsen corner horn prototypes.

The ML2's are way out of my financial ballpark, though i've heard a few Alephs. I don't have Klipsch Horns and the Olson prototypes are an experiment that will only cost me the plywood involved and the sweat equity of building them. If the performance is not up to snuff, then the drivers are easily resold. In the end, I'll possibly have one more point of reference/experience in my mental audio library. I'm relatively new to this, so the more experiences (good and bad), the better.

Anyway, back to original thread tangent, why more people aren't attempting the Melquiades....
12-05-2006 Post mapped to one branch of Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,330
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 20
Post ID: 3244
Reply to: 3241
There is difference between features-centric and goal-centric designs….

 darkmoebius wrote:
I would never just jump in and attempt to build the Melq (or any other amp) without months of studying the design …

Good motivations. To simplify everything: the Melquiades was at attempt to make two stages, capacitor coupled, no feedback SET, having the cathodes sitting on ground and using the unique 6E5P as a driver. My selection of output tube was because at that time I meant to use it with Lamm ML2 but now only. The 6C33C has enough power to drive my bass and very good sound, at least in context of ML2 (I did not like any other amps that I heard with 6C33C)

The first versions of Melquiades were not what you see now and it was typical to many other similar attempts by other people. For instance Russian designs Anatoly Manakov had his version that takes advantage of the 6E5P:

Mankov.jpg

There were few others.  I will not comment what I do not kike in the Manakov’s amplifier and why, I juts say that Manakov amps is a reasonable electronic implementation of the tubes operation points but it has hardly to do anything with Sound.  Still the Manakov’s amp should sound OK and I sincerely feel that it should over-perform the most of the pop-corn sounding 6c33C amps that you accustom to hear.

However, my objectives were much further then just proving a concept that such an “unplugged” person as I am would be able to make an objectives-driven amplifier. Anyhow, after all events, mistakes, experiments, false concussions, moves to the wring directions and so on the Melquiades (as it reviled) is a tip of the iceberg of quite complicated though process about audio generally and amplification in particularly. Quite few people are turned off by obnoxious, demanding, overly confident and assertive tone of my release notes…. and I feel it great. The release notes are a low order filter that reduces the amplitude of Morons who might consider building the Milq.

You, or anyone else, might or not might consider approaching the Melquiades built but my view toward the subject will not change.

Rgs,
Romy


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
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