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  »  New  Melquiades: too early for a verdict?..  Non-Melquiades amplification: not good anymore.......  Melquiades Amplifier  Forum     6  56379  03-27-2005
  »  New  Myth: High-efficiency Low-power..  It is perfectly within your constitutional rights…....  Horn-Loaded Speakers Forum     12  58581  12-28-2005
  »  New  Initial thoughts about new/old Lamm ML2s..  Voltage Divider in ML2 Input Stage...  Audio Discussions  Forum     215  882671  10-12-2006
  »  New  My (Amplification + Acoustic System): what is next?..  Macondo and Melquiades in the NEW room....  Audio Discussions  Forum     41  156144  01-10-2008
  »  New  The “Melquíades” début...  Your builder shall know....  Melquiades Amplifier  Forum     10  51584  02-13-2005
02-05-2005 Post mapped to one branch of Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,287
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 636
Reply to: 636
A quest for a better SET.

I admit that regarding many subjects in audio I love to sound, to act or just to be a compulsive. However, I feel that my compulsiveness does make sense to me and ironically it does make sense, quite frequency, for some others (unless they are Morons or Republicans)….

Anyway, taking under consideration that “life is what we sell to ourselves” I begun to sell a couple years back an idea to myself that no one care about my audio-desires and that my quest for a better Single Ended Triode will never be satisfied. I mean that taking under perspective my demands about what "might be got" out of an amp and my consideration of the specific duties that I impose to an amplifier I feel that have reached a level where is practically imposable to get anything out of “ordinary amplifiers making people” out there. Really, after the years of being spooled with Lamm’s ML2 something is got permanently “fixed” in my head and any amp that I have seen or heard was remarkably not interesting, not to say juts insulting. Talking about the ML2 “integrity”…

Generally, I might talk for hours about some uniqueness of ML2. The problem with this amp is that there are very few people out there who actually understand what the conversation would be and most likely - no one would understand what I might say. The reason for this is that there is no know to me speakers that would be able to handle all ML2’s ability. Yes, all known to me people who do use ML2 and who adore the ML2’s sound do not have in their room Sound the I would be consider interesting or worth any serious audio-attention. Furthermore, each and single reviewers who did write thier full of ML2’s admiration reviews did not get out if this amp even 30% of it’s capacity and were in an ultimate darkness about this amp’s abilities.  There are multiple composite reasons for the domination ignorance about the ML2 and, as I said, the absent of a sensitive, discrimination of tone and contrast capable, dynamic-gifted, real-bass-enabled, musical loudspeakers is one of the most important.

Anyhow, running my installation with ML2 multi-amping and loading them to very sensitive and very contrasty, high impedance loudspeakers I approximately 3 years ago (when my speakers took a drastic move forward) began to question if it was all that might be got out of an amplifier. Following my essential rules:

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

I compiled a few years ago a list of all shortcomings and limitations that I observe in ML2, and this list is keep growing since then. Then I began to ask if anything out there would be able to address my detected “nuisance”. Yes, there were a few amps that were able to push the ML2’s envelop in one or another area but all of them were completely unusable in many other areas; and all-together  they never were able to compete with ML2. I do not know if a luck of real engineering expertise or a general limited cultural level of the different amplifier manufacturers and builders prevented them to push Sound further then ML2, however, despite all my intends to find something better then ML2 it still was comfortably positioning at a very top of amplification summit and without any visible contestants.

A couple years ago a friend of my – a Russian Designer Dmitriy Keeriev (‘deemon’ at this site) told me that he somewhere in the end of 90s he discovered one very intriguing tube that no one at that time ever tried for audio.  The tube was initially used in Russian laundry machines for fastening of thier drying cycle*.  According to him that tube demonstrated some abnormal audio qualities that he was feeling takes Sound at the very different level. When I complained to Dima (sort for Dmitriy) about my frustration to found anything that would be able to top the ML2 he suggested that his tube, if to use it properly, might be able to furnish the competition. Month after the month it were juts conversations. I got those tubes, send them to some local friends of mine who performed some analyses with them and concluded that it was something totally out of this world. At that time Dima and I came up with some concepts about what the proposed amp might be all about. The clouds on the SET horizon were gathering…

Eventually, Dima came up with the final design of the circuitry using some semi-radical means combining his own engineering expertise, intuition and his own experience of using this tube in his multiple projects. It took for us a couple months to come up with the specification and nail down the best possible components and we did bult this amp. We named it “Melquíades” ** after the inflames foretelling gipsy of Gabriel García Márquez...

What can I say? The “Melquíades” is something very strange and something is very special. I do not know how much of the Melquíades’ quality derives from the Dima’s tube, how much derives from the other interesting decisions that Dima put in the game in the amp and in it’s PS. The amp initially was bult with an intention to be able to work in bi-amp configuration to drive my upper-bass horn. Initially I would be VERY pleased if the “Melquíades” was able to work with ML2 in bi-amping (no one amp that I trued did it OK).  At the back of my consciousness I hoped that I might try to compete or even to push the ML2 but I was very skeptical. However, the sonic result that I got out of “Melquíades” kind of stumbled me. It did addressed each and single point of my “ML2 frustration list” and took sound way about all my expectations…

Currently, I’m kind of in “skeptical mode” trying to detect what “Melquíades” dose wrong. I am doing many experiments with it and some of them (partially technical and partially listening analyses) are quite interesting and superbly enlightening. I do not know at this point if “Melquíades” will end up as my “it’s it” amp but so far, the amp is very noble contestant that in many aspects has  already put MlL2 in unspeakable shame. The amp now it too fresh but it getting better dally, partially due to some very minor changes/adjustments and partially because it keep burning in. I will keep the site’s visitors posted about the further fate of “Melquíades” and will eventual post some pictures.

Rgs,
Romy the Cat

PS: I am at this point do not divulge any further information about the amp, unless until I load my storage with those tubes :-)

* juts kidding

**Melquíades was a gypsy who brings technological marvels to Márquez’s Macondo and befriends the Buendía clan. He is the first person to die in Macondo. Melquíades serves as José Arcadio Buendía’s guide in his quest for knowledge and, even after dying, returns to guide other generations of Buendías. Melquíades’ mysterious and undecipherable prophecies, which torment generations of Buendías, are finally translated by Aureliano (II) at the end of the novel—they contain the entire history of Macondo, foretold.




"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
02-08-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,287
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 2
Post ID: 640
Reply to: 636
A better SET- a snick preview.
First draft of the "Melquíades":

Melquiades_Preview.jpg


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
02-12-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,287
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 3
Post ID: 649
Reply to: 640
A better SET - yes, Yes! YES!!!

Yahoo! I was able eventfully to educate myself how to get out of the “Melquíades” the sound that I needed (using some blood injections from Dima)! Now the project with  the “Melquíades” amps is slowly converting from a labor to a pleasure!

“In March the gypsies returned. This time they brought a telescope and a magnifying glass the size of a drum, which they exhibited as the latest discovery of the Jews of Amsterdam. They placed a gypsy woman at one end of the village and set up the telescope at the entrance to the tent. For the price of five reales, people could look into the telescope and see the gypsy woman an arm’s length away. “Science has eliminated distance,” Melquíades proclaimed. “In a short time, man will be able to see what is happening in any place in the world without leaving his own house.” A burning noonday sun brought out a startling demonstration with the gigantic magnifying glass: they put a pile of dry hay in the middle of the street and set it on fire by concentrating the sun’s rays. José Arcadio Buendía, who had still not been consoled for the failure of his magnets, conceived the idea of using that invention as a weapon of war. Again Melquíades tried to dissuade him, but he finally accepted the two magnetized ingots and three colonial coins in exchange for the magnifying glass. Ursula wept in consternation. That money was from a chest of gold coins that her father had put together over an entire life of privation and that she had buried underneath her bed in hopes of a proper occasion to make use of it. José Arcadio Buendía made no attempts to console her, completely absorbed in his tactical experiments with the abnegation of a scientist and even at the risk of his own life. In an attempt to show the effects of the glass on enemy troops, he exposed himself to the concentration of the sun’s rays and suffered burns which turned into sores that took a long time to heal. Over the protests of his wife, who was alarmed at such a dangerous invention, at one point he was ready to set the house on fire. He would spend hours on end in his room, calculating the strategic possibilities of his novel weapon until he succeeded in putting together a manual of startling instructional clarity and an irresistible power of conviction. He sent it to the government, accompanied by numerous descriptions of his experiments and several pages of explanatory sketches, by a messenger who crossed mountains, got lost in measureless swamps, forded stormy rivers, and was on the point of perishing under the lash of despair, plague, and wild beasts until he found a route that joined the one used by the mules that carried the mail. In spite of the fact that a trip to the capital was little less than impossible at that time, José Arcadio Buendía promised to undertake it as soon as the government ordered him to so that he could put on some practical demonstrations of his invention for the military authorities and could train them himself in the complicated art of solar war. For several years he waited for an answer. Finally, tired of waiting, he bemoaned to Melquíades the failure of his project and the gypsy then gave him a convincing proof of his honesty: he gave him back the doubloons in exchange for the magnifying glass, and he left him in addition some Portuguese maps and several instruments of navigation. In his own handwriting he set down a concise synthesis of the studies by Monk Hermann, which he left José Arcadio so that he would be able to make use of the astrolabe, the compass, and the sextant. José Arcadio Buendía spent the long months in the rainy season shut up in a small room that he had built in the rear of the house so that no one would disturb his experiments. Having completely abandoned his domestic obligations, he spent entire nights in the courtyard watching the course of the stars and he almost contracted sunstroke from trying to establish an exact method to ascertain noon. When he became an expert in the use and manipulation of his instruments, he conceived a notion of space that allowed him to navigate across unknown seas, to visit uninhabited territories, and to establish relations with splendid beings without having to leave his study. That was the period in which he acquired the habit of talking to himself, of walking through the house without paying attention to anyone, as Ursula and the children broke their backs in the garden, growing banana and caladium, cassava and yams, ahuyama roots and eggplants. Suddenly, without warning, his feverish activity was interrupted and was replaced by a kind of fascination. He spent several days as if he were bewitched, softly repeating to himself a string of fearful conjectures without giving credit to his own understanding. Finally, one Tuesday in December, at lunchtime, all at one he released the whole weight of his torment. The children would remember for the rest of their lives the august solemnity with which their father, devastated by his prolonged vigil and by the wrath of his imagination, revealed his discovery to them: “The earth is round, like an orange.”

From “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.




"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
08-02-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,287
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 4
Post ID: 14156
Reply to: 636
Still, there is something in it.
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As many know I sine move in the new house do not have a fully functional Macondo and most of the time I listen Dunlavy with SS amp. Melquiades sit in there, collecting dust , waiting what it will be called to duty again. This weekend it was called and I again and again got a feeling that something does live in this beast.

I was listening all Sunday Bach’s organ works by Simon Preston. It is 14 SDs and I wish it was 114 CDs – so good it is. Still, listening Preston’s play I was feeling that at different dymick ranges the expressively of performance is different. It like Mr. Preston become more or less caring about music with volume goes up and down. Dunlavy are know dynamically-stupid loudspeakers but the vibrancy of sound rendering was obviously was coming from amplifier.

I shut down the SS toy and turned Melquiades with the remaining Macondo. God, I forgot how good it is! The ability of Melquiades to glide the peak and values of sound is staggering.  It is not that it has dynamic range but it rather the fact that it renders dynamics in so uniquely-wonderful way. It does not toss the huge dynamics but it does it in very smart way, sometime slowing down and sometimes accelerating – but always doing it in very measured and superbly condoled manner. It is like the amplifier has an operator inside who rides the volume control with respect to the played music.

In away what Melquiades does with dynamics reminds me how I was taught to drive a tank.  To drive an older tank across a complicated terrain is a truly artistic form of expression. The older tanks did not have very good axis stabilized gun controls. It used gyro stabilizers that that help to maintain the aiming point to a degree. Still, when the  terrain it too wild and the tank goes up and down too much then the stabilizers can’t handle it anymore and then the artistry of tank driver take a control. Working with gas, the tank’s mass inertia and many other aspects a good tank driver can make the tank do not dive too much in values and do not rise too much on the hills. A normal person would driver a tank across holes and bumps and the tank will reflect them. A very good tank operator will drive the tank with the same speed but the tank will be literally gliding above the terrain with not too much vertical movement of the tank body.

I think what Melquiades does very much reminds me what a very good tank operator does – the amp gliding the dymick of music in a very unique manner. I have written abs about the Mil’s “dymick viscosity”, so it is nothing new but I juts forgot how interesting and addictive it is….

Then Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
Page 1 of 1 (4 items) Select Pages: 
   Target    Threads for related reading   Most recent post in related threads   Forum  Replies   Views   Started 
  »  New  Melquiades: too early for a verdict?..  Non-Melquiades amplification: not good anymore.......  Melquiades Amplifier  Forum     6  56379  03-27-2005
  »  New  Myth: High-efficiency Low-power..  It is perfectly within your constitutional rights…....  Horn-Loaded Speakers Forum     12  58581  12-28-2005
  »  New  Initial thoughts about new/old Lamm ML2s..  Voltage Divider in ML2 Input Stage...  Audio Discussions  Forum     215  882671  10-12-2006
  »  New  My (Amplification + Acoustic System): what is next?..  Macondo and Melquiades in the NEW room....  Audio Discussions  Forum     41  156144  01-10-2008
  »  New  The “Melquíades” début...  Your builder shall know....  Melquiades Amplifier  Forum     10  51584  02-13-2005
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