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02-23-2005 Post mapped to one branch of Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,249
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 672
Reply to: 672
The “Melquiades” Sound - beginning of the story.

Many peoples since I begin to harass my site visitor with the “Melquíades” paranoia have asked me questions about the sound of those amps. Try to put aside my excitement about the FINAL result of this project I will try to convey what exactly I appreciate in the “Melquíadeses” and why I consider that my introduction to those amps was one of the few most remarkable and significant mind-opening experiences that I ever had in audio field so far.

Before I go further I would like to point out (and people who know me personally can confirm it) that I am absolutely free form any thinking that my “kids are prettier” (despise of the primitive expectations of many audio-idiots who run after me over internet). The fact that this amp is mine is absolutely irrelevant to me. Should the project turned out to be not good I would not have any problems to acknowledge it, announce it and to move forward. So, my overly drooling reaction about the “Melquíades” is not the result of my master’s pride but very objective and very evolved evaluation of a person who preoccupied with Result but not about the observation of myself walking to the result. I certainly do play many egomaniac games. However, I do have my reasons to play them and I am well aware when and what I do. So, my ego trips and my self-admiring attitude have nothing to do with the seriousness with which I will tell you about the “Melquíades” sound. From a different perspective… Igor Stravinsky did stated what each single note that he ever composed was composed with no other objectives then to assert his own self-worth and to enrich his own ego.

Anyhow…

I first announced about the “Melquíades” existence at the following thread:

http://www.goodsoundclub.com/TreeItem.aspx?postID=636

with a consequential posting of some additional information:

http://www.goodsoundclub.com/TreeItem.aspx?postID=650

After the amps were designed and bult they were quite aggressively evaluated and the project was declared as a success.

 The “Melquíades” had unmatchable speed, which surpassed some of the crazier OTL that I well familiar with. However, contrary to all OTLs “Melquíades” contained a fantastic harmonic stricture, even more interesting then ML2 has (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). This combination of lighting speed, astonishing, absolutely unseen by me in any other amps transient response, and the ability to accelerate across the dynamic range combined with an ability to maintain AT THE SAME TIME a full harmonic stricture without going “#” was exactly what I was looking for. Also, “Melquíades” did not loose to ML2 in bass and as far as I concern the ML2 is undisputable kind in bass reproduction. From a certain perspective the “Melquíades’s” bass was even more interesting, it had sort of mass and implacability of SS electronics but still a softness and harmonic indigence of ML2.  There was multiple arias where “Melquíades” was not just better them ML2 but completely left ML2 in dust. One of them was a “Melquíades” ability to run to the dynamic and to the frequency extremes. The ML2 always hold down and do not let the excessiveness to flow. It reminds me how some German conductors leading some Italian operas when they do not let the anxiety-loaded Italian singers go for thier final topmost pitch. I would not call it a “subdued sound” but it certainly has some room to go in this direction. The problem with ML2 is, the always was, that there is no other amplifiers that would go there, but do anything else correct at the same time. There are multiple other limitations with ML2 but I do not write a review about the Lamm’s SET. The “Melquíades” quite effectually took care about almost all fundamental ML2 faults (with exception of two) and plainly speaking was much more advanced amplifier.

So, when “Melquíades” was born and I got what I was targeted and I was quite delighted. I spend a few weeks learning how to get better sound out of it, consulted with Dima’s how to finalized the design, tuned it up in the way I felt it should sound, and as the result I do a 15W SET that first time for many years let me to get more sonically-impact full and musically-loaded auditable experience then I was able to get out of ML2. To me, it was quite of accomplishment. I did conducted multiple listening session using know to me “proper evaluation techniques” (here is were the ego comes, anyhow you would be very surprised…) with quite serious material assuring that “Melquíades” do not slipping in the very multiple slipping areas and does all necessary for me things, that I have mentioned (and you did not read!!!) in the “Introduction” and the “Objectives” of my playback section:

http://www.goodsoundclub.com/Playback/MyPlayback.aspx

A couple weeks back I thought that I was victoriously through with my “quest for a better SET” project. How little I knew what was coming….

The following two weeks was not juts a radical change in the fate of “Melquíades” but a revolutionary, completely radical turn over of all my believes about the capacity of entire sound reproduction, I am not kidding. I am not trying overly dramatize the events and the results that came next but they really turned my relationship with audio into a very new and very different coordinate system, and I never knew that it is possible to go in there. The “Melquíades”  amp was exposed to slightly different expertise and the amp was slightly changed. Now, the “Melquíades” do not “sound” even remotely close or similar to how it sounded 2 weeks ago. How does it sound now?

:-)

Certainly this assay will be continuing in a day or tow whan I have time. 

Rgs,
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
02-23-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Antonio J.
Madrid, Spain
Posts 269
Joined on 08-16-2004

Post #: 2
Post ID: 674
Reply to: 672
Congratulations
I feel a kind of "healthy envy" for the way you have been able to get the sound you were looking for, and I mean sound in the sense of conveying more clearly the purpose and content-load of the music. I can't help thinking that after all, everything that music has, can be reduced to sonic attributes which we can modulate and tailoring to our liking and needs, but the journey to understand how those sonic attributes work and how to handle them, is a long and tough one. I'm still on my first steps and I get better results from my headphones than from my "big rig"... Anyway, keep writing about Melquiades, it's very ilustrating.

Regards,

A
02-25-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
MusicLover
Tulsa, OK, United States
Posts 18
Joined on 01-07-2005

Post #: 3
Post ID: 680
Reply to: 672
How does your project amp measure?
Do you have any frequency curves, as well as distortion curves?
ML
02-27-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,249
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 4
Post ID: 690
Reply to: 672
The “Melquíades” Sound - continue of the story.

 Romy the Cat wrote:
The following two weeks was not juts a radical change in the fate of “Melquíades” but a revolutionary, completely radical turn over of all my believes about the capacity of entire sound reproduction, I am not kidding. I am not trying overly dramatize the events and the results that came next but they really turned my relationship with audio into a very new and very different coordinate system, and I never knew that it is possible to go in there. The “Melquíades” amp was exposed to slightly different expertise and the amp was slightly changed. Now, the “Melquíades” do not “sound” even remotely close or similar to how it sounded 2 weeks ago. How does it sound now?

So what happened during those “following two weeks”?

I have a friend of mind - Geoff Cook, an old school engineer with many radical and way out of mainstream views and experiences. He is a person who was one of the founders of so called High-End Audio engineering but then abandoned the audio field due to his luck of interest to interact with the idiocy and BS that this industry readily absorbs. Many his visions about sound reproduction helped me to shaped my view and to understand various technical aspects of sound reproduction. For instance the Melquíades uses the PS that was designed by me but that design was a direct consequence of countless hours when Geoff educated me how PS perform sonically and why it should be in one way or another. There are many other technical aspects that I intuitively implemented in Melquíades that were heavily influenced by the awareness that I bult up because of Geoff.

So, when I told to Geoff about the wonderful success I got with Melquíades he, after familiarizing with the circuit, suggested that there are many aspects of Melquíades that might be substantially improved. Interestingly that he informed me that those improvements have nothing to do with what I knew or with what is commonly understood as “audio quality”. He explained that there are very different ways of "engineering" thinking and if they applied then this amplifier might depart at the very different unknown to me level of listening experiences from Audio.

Geoff gave me some practical recommendation and some strategic direction to think and to experiment and left me to try. What he proposed was quite bizarre or I would say that it was certainly out of a typical way of thinking about the electrical circuit operation. I decided to try incrementally the Geoff’s topological changes within the Melquíades. At that time I did not know that the result would shake the performance of Melquíades with the force of hurricane that destroyed Macondo….

It took two days to implement Geoff’s idiosyncratic recommendations (it was not just a tweaking but an actual topological modification) and the very first seconds after I turned the amps on I did lost my virginity about my realization regarding of what amplifiers could do with Sound! It was not juts better or worse sound but it was COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SOUND. Everything about this Sound was different, radically different and although I acknowledge that Sound instantaneously but it took for me days TO UNDERSTAND that Sound. The complexity of understanding of that Sound was that I never heard anything, even remotely similar, from any other amplifier or from any other playback system in my life. Interesting that all that knew about audio, and even considering my quite evolved audio vocabulary and creative semantics, was not able to describe the colossal leaps that newborn Melquíades took form any other amplifier. I spent a few hours listening in a complete disbelieve that such a level of reproduction is possible form a playback and then I called to Geoff. After I report him about the result he replied: “Well, I’ve been suggesting you that concept for 4 years and I was expecting this phone call”. Then he with the great details and precision described the sonic benefits that I got after his modifications and he was spot on. I felt completely mentally raped but I was grateful for an each second of the “ceremony”…

So, how the Melquíades sounds now?

Well, to explain the Melquíades sounds is the intention of this thread and I will continue in a few days when I got more time…

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
02-27-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Antonio J.
Madrid, Spain
Posts 269
Joined on 08-16-2004

Post #: 5
Post ID: 693
Reply to: 690
I hope you find the time soon
This is very interesting. I hope that new "sound" makes for a better music understanding for you ;-) I'll have to start saving to buy me a ticket to Boston and pay you a visit ha ha ha ha.
03-02-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,249
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 6
Post ID: 695
Reply to: 672
The “Melquíades” Sound - further continuation of story

People, keep asking me about the sound of Melquíades and I feel strange as I really can’t not explain how it sounds. It does not make any sense as I initiated this thread with the objective to explain or at least to inform about the Melquíades’ sound but the more I involve into understanding of this sound the more I’m learning that I can’t not explain or describe this sound and it has no reference to what we in audio are accustom to comprehend.

First of al: Melquíades sound very deferent form any other amps that am familiar. You see, all other amplifiers juts sound better or worth, do certain things better or worth, and the very best of them do those things in the best possible ways. With Melquíades this dose not happen because it juts do not do the “know typical things”. I meant that Melquíades has no entry point for any PURE AUDIO evolution assessment. It juts produce sound, which is so radical departure form typical amplifiers sound that when you hear it for a first time you will not understand what is happening. The state between music do sound and do not sound is so peaceful and so not abusive that it even frighten. We in audio are not really accustomed to perceive music in non-amplified fashion and when our audios play we always identify that we hear sonic reproduction. Melquíades so much STRIP FROM SOUND ANY SIGNS OF REPRODUCTION ART-EFFECTS that Music in a listening room actually does not sound as it being amplified (and please do not even think that it sound “clean” because you make even my Cat laughing)

In addition to all of this the Melquíades Sound has an extraordinary sense of softness and elasticity but at the same time it maintains a high contrast, speed, humongous dynamic and a superb transients response. Actually I said it and begin to question if it’s so. The problem is that I’m, being a transient response and dynamics freak, (have you seen any high-sensitively person who would not?) when I listen Melquíades I never was able to judge how fast of how dynamic it is. It has that remarkable ultra-softness but while it dose “it” the Melquíades for whatever reason maintain so “interesting” dynamic, acceleration and speed that I never questioned it or even paid my attention to any deficiency or even to the any “events” in that domain. Be advised that I can write many volume books describing how different amplifiers screw the vibrant quality of music (including the ML2 which dose it order of magnitude better then many others) but with Melquíades the vibrant-dynamic aspect is completely out of attention (It is what identified as a “Beach Effect”).

More then this, this damn Melquíades actually has a mind of his own and he actually reacts to music in it’s own way. It has almost a dynamically no “none-linearity”. The amp actually knows when and how to play music and this is absolutely unbelievable. It sort of self adjust volume and the speed IMITATING HOW THE NONE-AMPLIFIED MUSIC SOUND. This all deliver a phenomenal sense of realism and very severely reduce, up to point of abolition, of any listening efforts and listening labor.

Another amassing aspects, and absolutely not anticipated that Melquíades do have inside the means to inject into Music the X-factor that I described in the “Preamplifiers: keys to mystery” thread. The funny part that scale of that X-factor is way larger then L2 does but it has NO negative consequences the L2 inject into sound. In fact to hear the introduction of X-factor without the screwing that L2 does to sound it quiet of amassing experience. I do not know if it is Melquíades dose more or it is the bad things that L2 does mask out most of L2’s X-factor benefits but the L2 is for sale now: when L2 drive the Melquíades there is no X-factors benefits anymore. How and why the Melquíades dose it is a mystery not only for me but also for anyone who was evolved into the project.

Furthermore, Melquíades has a certain sense of endlessness in whatever it does (it is when ML2 was severely inadequate). Whatever Melquíades do to notes, they have direct pointers to something infinite and none-restricted. The process of sounding is not relay distinct form the process of none-sounding and notes do not present as sound-no-sound sandwich. Rather the Melquíades Sound pretend as an organic melt when you dive into the ocean of mixed sonic sensations and let the musicality to abuse your senses. Interesting the Melquíades does not take advantage of your vulnerability (here is where the Lamm ML2 acts as a Gestapo interrogator!!! – and this was one of the major reasons of my dissatisfaction with Lamm ML2 since 2001 when I begun to recognize it). Instead of being mad with own apparent on shallow surface strength (here is where ML2 replicates the behaved of own creator) the Melquíades lead your gently and respectfully, treating the presented music with a great sense of precociousness and courteousness.  It is amassing but at the very same time, if the musicality demands it, the Melquíades suddenly converts itself into a bitten in ass Godzilla and present the level of testerone similar to my Lamm ML2 would be able to do only if I drive ML2 directly coupled with the generators of the Hoover Damn!  I remember a year or so ago Dima have informed me that he had detected this quality and he purely attribute this to the unique sonic quality of this Russian tune of his. (Do not hold me in suspense - there is not tricks in the Melquíades – it is a regular class “A” with fixed bias, well the “fixed” in Melquíades’ case should be spelled as “fixxxed”) Anyhow, I can’t judge about the reasons of the abovementioned effect but this “intelligent allocation of amplification wisdom” is absolutely extraordinary and it creates, combined with everything else, a mind-boggling effect of REALLY OF PRESENTATION.

Another interesting observation is that Melquíades do not reproduce frequencies. I mean it has a completely different and absolutely not heard by my before way to present and the frequency ranges. If does not reproduces a single note but it presents it ALONG WITH THE ENTIRE FREQUENCY RAGE holding the sonic mental projection to the beginning of that endlessness range. I think it is partially because it has absolutely insulting LF stricture, radically different form anything than I heard in audio.

You see, it dose not has a better bass but it has it very STRUCTURALLY different LF. Also it’s bass VERY differently penetrate into the entire frequency range including the tweeters (and my tweeters are sitting at transition slope at 65kHz) I use the $30K worth Lamm ML2 with my woofer tower not because I am reach Moron but because the Lamms objectively produced LF that is absolutely unmatchable by the hundreds amplifiers the I am intimately familiar with. The Melquíades not juts informed that ML2’s bass is not serious but also educated the ML2 has a fundamentally NOT as good bass as it COULD be. I meant Melquíades has ABSOLUTELY DIFFERENT BASS and the bass of ML2 can’t be evaluated even at the same scale with the Melquíades LF. Here is the interesting part: after I heard the Melquíades LF I took a function generator and scope and tested the ML2’s and Melquíades bottom end. The ML2 has way more potent measurements at the bottom, however sonically it was really out of the game and even subjectively the Melquíades sound at least at 10H lower then ML2, not to mention much greater scene of dynamic. Actually even with not “an ultimate” transformer the Melquíades bass subjectively do not feel any bottom and all. I rely mean it! It is very much like “live” sound when LF is ending up with volume goes down but not with the frequency truncation. In fact after I heard the Melquíades LF I commission myself to a 3-chanal Super Melquíades project when the LF channels will be optimize for sub 3000Hz performance and will pump a full Melquíades 15W down to 9Hz-10Hz

Anyhow, it was my fist draft about the Melquíades sound. I will continue this writing later on when I got more time and intentions to wake up my Cat with clicking of the keyboard….

BTW, one more. Last week, I decided for a fan to expose some guys that I know to the effect of Melquíadesinisation. There were 3 guys who heard the amps. All of the installations were sub-acceptable from a perspective of my modest judgment anyhow the reaction was very interesting. One guy was complexly lost and did not understand what he heard at all. It was also a completely knew to the system and it was a system which did require VERY “acquired” taste or at least a lot of convincing to yourself that the taste was “acquired”. Another guy, (quite experiences fellow) did recognize that it was absolutely different sound. He admitted a very strong, unseen before level of realism, but he was not able to give deeper into the Melquíades capacity because I he was a heavily conditioned. The third guy actually was able get the message that I was trying to deliver to people via exposing them to the Melquíadesinisation but he unfortunately has his system by-amped and ~500Hz (he thought that it was 100Hz) and the Melquíades was able to deal unfortunately only with the midrange drivers. However, I have to say that I was very pleased with what Melquíades converted his room into. So was he. (The Very first time in my life I actual heard the damn Fostex singing!) 

Still, none of the people for whom I showed what Melquíades is capable of were able to grasp to what they where exposed. I think in a few week I will try some my experiments with some audio people that I know in my own home and I will see if the process of education a dark public about an “absolute capacity of audio methods” would go in my own listening room more productively and effectively … :-)

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
03-03-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,249
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 7
Post ID: 697
Reply to: 695
More on “Melquíades” Sound.


Another interesting observation....
 
A remarkable things about the Melquiades’ sound is that the Melquiades' notes have much more "spaceal load" then anything else out there, and I do not talk about harmonics but actually "Space". Also the Melquiades allow with much greater ease then any other amps out there to travel across the “clouds of sound”. ...

When I would like to focus my listening attention to one of another instrument/participant then Melquiades relay furnish that life-like ability to observe a subject of music in focus but holding the subject within the fabric of the entire musical presentation. It kind of really freaky because while you’re listening you might literally to spotlight your attention to a specific part of music, to the group of the instruments, you might even dissect them out of the whole musical presentation but while you do so, the amp for whatever reasons do not remove your awareness about the rest of music and keep a listener’s alertness very informed about everything sonically-else. The Melquiades has that “side vision” and I have no idea how and why but this is very tangible and very astonishing quality.
That spaceal, 360-degree, extended-vector-length presentation that I mentioned has nothing to do with “air around the instruments” or similar BS that the audio reviewers-idiots keep dumping to the audio suckers. When I mentioned the “lengthy 360-gegree” I did not a geometry of sonic clouds but rather the ability of sonic sources to be perspected. I’ll try to explain what it is because this concept unfortunately does not east in the realm of typical hi-fi understanding.

Pretend you look at real world via TV and see for instance a group of people from 50 feet. Now you decided to approach this group of the people closer and you zoom the camera in. You do it with longer focus lens and not can recognize more details on the person face. However the interesting fact was that you did not approach the person but you moved the image of the person closer to yourself via the transfocator lens. Zooming-in and to move physically with the cameras closer to the subject are although superficially serve the same purposes but fundamentally they are very deferent methods. Any person who familiar with the culture of visual presentation within a second, juts by looking at a print, will tell you if the image was taken by the zooming or by the actual approaching. Zooming-in screw Reality up by compressing the perspective but to move-in with camera does not. Our human eyes have a normal for us sense of perspective and we know how the projection of the subject to it’s backhand changes since we move closer or further to the subjects. The moving closer or further to the subject via an optical system introduces an instant perception of artificiality. (No wonder that Henri Cartier-Bresson and alike him hated any lenses that were longer then a diagonal of negative). So, I never heard any amp that allowed me to mentally accent my attention on a certain aspect of music in the way I do it with “life” music or sound. Reproduce sound always presents the musical messages as Booleans: get this or get this. It always has a certain hierarchy and “fixed” sound: you can get it or you not but if you do get it and if you dive in then you should listen it only in “this” way. With the Melquiades everything is absolutely different: it is completely free form any structural abuse of listening. You can go in and out, go “across” and turn your back to the event (certainly I do not talk about physical positioning relative to soundstage) or just allow yourself to do whatever consciousness experiments you wish.

For the last 2-3 weeks that I am running the Melquiades I made some listening experiments with the amps that previously found were absolutely unspeakable within context of a playback and only were achievable with “live” music. Some of those “tricks” partially could be performed with audio but it always introduces some different backfire.  Believe me not but since I was playing with Melquiades I did not detect (so far) any negative consequences with my listening awareness. For whatever reason this amp really operate at the very different level of Realism.

To be continue…

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
03-03-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,249
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 8
Post ID: 698
Reply to: 697
Melquiades - the Reality trip!
Another “interesting” thing...

 Any amplifier that I know is absolutely disabled to let me as a listener to extract from music something without unavoidable loosing a perspective to the whole musical peace. The Melquiades swallows this task with such a fantastic ease that it really too good to be true.  You remember that feeling when you see your friend 500 feet away and there are 2000 people taking and screaming between you and your friend? You look at your friend while s/he is taking with somebody and although any rules of physics indicate that you even theoretically can’t hear what they are talking but you without any affords can recognize their voices? It mean you conscious filters out all none-relevant noise and interferences and brings your hearing directly to what you wish to hear. How the hell the Melquiades does THAT? Why this amp presents the fabric of sound in live-like browseble-random ways but any other amp just throw an “as is” fixed snapshot of sonic reality?

For the people who do not know me personally I might appear that I artificially glorify the performance of Melquiades. I would like believe that I do not, at least I work quite hard with myself in order do not do it. You see, I am very demanding, very critical and very fast on negative judgment listener. It takes a LOT to please me with the audio results and this very seldom happened – the general level of audio is juts too drastically below my reference points. It all sound like a heavy attitude and heavy self-promoting narcissism, and it is probably what it is. However, that also is based on the actual facts. If you close your eyes in my comment of this paragraph to all that my emerge to you as “Romy’s The Cat self-declaration of his worth” then whatever data that will be left will be the actual very objective representation of what actually Melquiades does. In addition pay attention that that when I began this paragraph I said “for the people who do not know me personally”. For those who actually are welcomed in my room and heard (will hear) Melquiades my comment will not sound like a Cats’ puffing herself up.

Do you remember that during “live” musk (if you keep your eyes opened) you pick a minute detail of body language of a player/s and then associate it with a specific Musical phrase, most likely the phrase that instrument was playing? Those moments never distract listening attention, frequency quite apposite –n they work beneficially. Nevertheless they very rarely get transferred into permanent associative memory. Contrary to this if you see the same event on TV and listen music as a recording then the “body language event” most likely will be permanently fixed within your listening association. Deriving from this, the “vulnerability of distractions” with amplified music is way higher then with live music. The inner-relations between the none-auditable sensations while a person hears amplified music are completely distinctive then with a live auditioning. With the Melquiades, the conflict between the primary and secondary in musicality, between the presentation and the language of presentation are completely unlike to reprobation media - it juts do not sound like an amplified music.

The Melquiades sound very much like a hologram when by masking out the large part of the hologram you still in each fraction of the hologram have the data about the whole picture. Interesting that with Melquiades you have no disturbance when you look at the whole picture “as is” or if you look at the whole picture only via a10% of the hologram entire size.

That all build up absolutely innovative, totally new and unseen before level of Realism of reproduction. One again it has absolutely no relation to the come o audiophile idiocy “I am always was there” or “They almost were here”. What I’m describing is completely different presentation and it rather feels like Realty Reinstating Process then amplification.

……………..

I think I should begin to sell tickets to the audio Morons letting them to audition Melquiades. I might call it “Audio Freak Show” and charge .29c per a heard note. I have to calculate how much I can make by spinning day at night that Patricia Barber disk. Perhaps I can spin it twice faster to make more money – the audiofools will not note a speed difference anywahy…

……………..

About the Melquiades sound to be continue…

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
03-04-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,249
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 9
Post ID: 699
Reply to: 698
Melquiades - more abnormalities!


I keep discovering that Melquiades possesses a lot of things that I have absolutely no explanations. It almost sounds like a Bermuda Triangle of audio amplification!

For instance today I discovered a totally strange thing: Melquiades does not care about speakers or care way less then I expected. I do not mean the impedance drops, the sensitivity deficiency or any other audio elementary things. I mean that Melquiades, for whatever reasons, maintains a certain default presentation and hold “own sound” regardless (or much less then I would expected) from what speakers are capable. Let me put it even more radical: - despite of what a bad speaker tries to do the Melquiades revises and makes them sound less faulty.

What I discovered (when I used speakers with way greater amount of problems that I would normally consider as “appropriate”) that Sound after Melquiades the sound of the speakers was way more acceptable. For instance the tonal (amplitude) deviation suddenly become way more annoying then they usually are.  Actually that was VERY strange: the Melquiades was able to musk out some absolutely ridiculous tonal distortions (in phase-coherent context).

I arrange my playback with some picks and drops of plus and minus 20dB, the amplitude that should convert any listening into a torture but being driven by Melquiades the listening awareness surprisingly fast tuned itself into the new tonal balance and after 3-5 minutes I did not experienced any major audio problems to listen music. I spent years with horns building; interpreting of the results of RTA and building the correlations between the measurable response and auditable experiences and I feel that I could perfectly predict what should be my perception of music when I have +20dB across 2 octaves. However, Melquiades somehow altered this pattern.

I even went for some even more radical experiments by turning off the drivers on my acoustic system. I was VERY surprised to realized that I had no hostility to Sound in my room when I played music via juts one midrange driver that coved from 1KHz to 12KHz. To my surprise the driver being driver by Melquiades after a few minutes of listening filled the room surprisingly self-contained Music. Then I just for fun flipped the driver to any other amps that I have in room the driver begun to sound more like a band-pass channel with not self-contained Musical value.

There is something VERY strange going on with this amp.

…to be continue…
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
03-04-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Antonio J.
Madrid, Spain
Posts 269
Joined on 08-16-2004

Post #: 10
Post ID: 700
Reply to: 699
Very surprising
I think I understant pretty well your descriptions and it's surprising the amp can overcome speakers flaws. Is this using the Lamm L2 or any other preamp, or just driving the Melquiades with the source directly? I wonder if that what you describe could be understood as some kind of coloration, or if it's just due to Melquiade's power to achieve real-like speed on transients without screwing anything else.

If things are as you describe, a pair of Melquiades with some crossoverless - high sensivity - quasi fullrange speakers might be a good ticket for a very very good musical experience at home, regardless of room size and other limiting factors.

Please keep posting your findings, this is very interesting, also entertaining ;-)

Regards,

AJ.
03-04-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,249
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 11
Post ID: 701
Reply to: 700
Re: Very surprising

 Antonio J. wrote:
I think I understant pretty well your descriptions and it's surprising the amp can overcome speakers flaws. Is this using the Lamm L2 or any other preamp, or just driving the Melquiades with the source directly?

Nope, I do not use L2 for a month. Melquiades pretty much eliminates the L2 necessity. What whatever reasons the L2’s contribution to sound is insignificant with Melquiades and in the result that I’m getting driving the Melquiades “direct” does have all those X-factor attributes that L2 injects into signal and even take it further! (In addition I do not have all the negative nastiness that L2 inflict to sound) Well, I said about the insignificant L2’s contribution while sound being “Melquiadesised” but I would not propose it as a final judgment. I think I need to view this subject one more time. Unfortunately it is quite complicated to do this type evaluation objectively as it requires a LOT of boxes rearrangements and some other things. I still I will give to L2 a chance as the L2 dose a LOT of VERY smart things to sound and I would like to make sure that I did not miss anything.  There are many things that I admire in Melquiades juts because I learned them with L2….

 Antonio J. wrote:
I wonder if that what you describe could be understood as some kind of coloration, or if it's just due to Melquiade's power to achieve real-like speed on transients without screwing anything else

I think it has nothing to do with speed on transients. There are faster and more racy amps. I think “it” has to do with … something that I really do not know. The funny part that since I got “this sound” I really stopped to care what made it. I have a general curiosity “why it is” but no real motivations to do anything to discover what “it” was. Building the amps it is not what I do in audio – I am juts a user and since I get what I need I’m content

However, Antonio, I do not think that the Melquíades’s maintaining integrity being abused by speakers has to do with some “colorations” that provide some kind of masking effect. This would be a way of thinking that really is not applicable to Melquíades.

(This is a beginning of the important part)

When I said the Melquíades does have VERY different TYPE of Sound I really meant it. The colorations, tonal deviations, speed, transient and the rest of the things that we are accustomed in Audio are deeply beyond the class where Melquíades operates. It does something VERY different and at the level where it operates all issues regarding dynamics and tonalities are resolved and they are not at a picture anymore.  I rely do not know how to explain it – the Melquíades is juts TOO DEFERENT then anything I even seen or heard. I’m sure if you hear it you would have the very same feeling: it juts sound “as is” and you really can’t name anything that you know about sound while you hear 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
03-04-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Antonio J.
Madrid, Spain
Posts 269
Joined on 08-16-2004

Post #: 12
Post ID: 703
Reply to: 701
Bidat with volume pot?
I wonder if you're doing your listening with the Bidat using its volume pot or you're using only vinyl with your phono correctors or maybe the ET-T-834 EAR using its volume pot. Maybe the Melquiades has its own attenuators. I'll be glad to know how you handle the volume control and if perhaps the kind of design you've applied to the Melquiades might be applied to a preamp. That would be a simpler way to get that X-factor without handling with output transformers.

I can't help two half brains, one asks for music and just focus on performance, meaning, load, intentions... but the other half "wants to know" how it works, how "the sound" influences the capability of a system to leave "music alone". So if you whenever know why Melquiades sound is so different and unique, so right, then I'll be thankful knowing it.

Regards,

AJ
03-04-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,249
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 13
Post ID: 704
Reply to: 703
Re: Bidat with volume pot?
I use now a voltage divider sitting at the Melquiades’s inputs (The older, ‘better” version of EVS attenuators). As the sources I use whatever: CD, LP, Tuner…. it does not mater. Currently I’m working (or tying to force myself working) on an interesting “L2 replacement project” but it is too premature to report any results.

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
03-05-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Antonio J.
Madrid, Spain
Posts 269
Joined on 08-16-2004

Post #: 14
Post ID: 709
Reply to: 704
Preamp Project
Thanks for the comments. I believe that a preamp giving the same kind of benefits of Melquiades and being able to deliver them with any power amp and speakers would be something truly great. I know it won't be the same than the amps, but probably something easier to build and try at anyone's system.

Regards.
03-05-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,249
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 15
Post ID: 710
Reply to: 709
Re: Preamp Project

 Antonio J. wrote:
Thanks for the comments. I believe that a preamp giving the same kind of benefits of Melquiades and being able to deliver them with any power amp and speakers would be something truly great. I know it won't be the same than the amps, but probably something easier to build and try at anyone's system.


Actually the preamp will use the very same idea that made the Melquiades to sound (probably) in the way it does. It will be basically the rip off of the Melquiades’ driver stage. I did it before but without the current Melquiades biasing kinkiness. The preamp uses a low gain 6C19P and it sounded satisfactory very good transparency-wise. However, it was completely disable to facilities that X-factor that I described in the following thread:

http://www.goodsoundclub.com/TreeItem.aspx?PostID=257

My first objective was to learn how to make a line level to sound fine at unity gain. The first version of 6C19P preamp did it. Now, I am looking to learn how to shape the necessary sound with the preamp. If it dose not make sound better the why it should be used? I might only hope that the techniques that we used in Melquiades would be working in the preamp with the same benefits. It would be interesting to see what would happen with Sound if Sound will be pre-Melquiadized before Melquiadized. :-) Anyhow, something suggests me that at line-level it will be more complex.

You see, there are certain aspects of “spaceal” presentation that I “kind of” know how to get, but there is something else. For instance L2 corrects positioning. After the Melquiades amp (for whatever reasons) there are not frustrations about luck of correct positioning. The musicians in orchestra do not sit anymore at thier “locations”. One again – it is absolutely different presentation with no relativity to “presentational geometry”. Nevertheless, although I do not feel that the L2’s “geometrical talents” are really necessary after Melquiades’ I still would like my preamp be able to handle this task if it wants to. I do not know where I’m gong with this and most likely it will be unnecessary after it will be conquered but I still would love my preamps to have those scales under it’s belt.

*********** From here, read carefuly because it is important ***********

The positions of the instruments are an arteffect of sound reproduction and in real "live" you do not recognize the instruments positioning. You acknowledge thier presents “somewhere there” but you never recognize it as “right” or “left”. The real "SPACE" of “life” musical event is “instantaneously dimensional” and our awareness ever-present at each single particle of the performing space. When you listen "life" music you do not listen first violins and then migrate your listening attention to right where the cellos are. Our listening consciousness performs multitasking, instantaneously sampling space within an unlimited amount of locations, and then instantaneously (and without any hierarchy of events) allows us to experience the sensed. Sound reproduction never furnishes the same opportunity as space presented in reproduction has a hierarchical and sequential pattern. The only sound that I even heard that was very much different from a typical “reproduced Sound” was the sound of Melquiades. I am not kidding: when I said that Melquiades produce VERY DIFFERENT sound I really meant it.

*********** End of important part ***********

Anyhow, I do not know what will be happen in the preamp when I enable it to do all that I learned today and I don’t know if some tricks that L2 applies to sound would be beneficial in my preamp (not to mention that I do not know how L2 does it). I anticipate that to making the preamp to sound in the way I visualize sound will be quite complicated journey. I will have some first premature results in a few weeks and I will be posting them…

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
03-05-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Antonio J.
Madrid, Spain
Posts 269
Joined on 08-16-2004

Post #: 16
Post ID: 711
Reply to: 710
How right you are
 Romy the Cat wrote:

*********** From here, read carefuly because it is important ***********

The positions of the instruments are an arteffect of sound reproduction and in real "live" you do not recognize the instruments positioning. You acknowledge thier presents “somewhere there” but you never recognize it as “right” or “left”. The real "SPACE" of “life” musical event is “instantaneously dimensional” and our awareness ever-present at each single particle of the performing space. When you listen "life" music you do not listen first violins and then migrate your listening attention to right where the cellos are. Our listening consciousness performs multitasking, instantaneously sampling space within an unlimited amount of locations, and then instantaneously (and without any hierarchy of events) allows us to experience the sensed. Sound reproduction never furnishes the same opportunity as space presented in reproduction has a hierarchical and sequential pattern. The only sound that I even heard that was very much different from a typical “reproduced Sound” was the sound of Melquiades. I am not kidding: when I said that Melquiades produce VERY DIFFERENT sound I really meant it.

*********** End of important part ***********

 



Fascinating. This is one of the things that makes reproduced music always easily distinguishable from live music (appart from many other factors) and that makes mono recordings very enjoyable to me once you manage to have them sounding "wide", and of course if the music is interesting. I've managed to voice my system, which probably you wouldn't like at all, to have certain "coherence" in the imaging thing to have it quite "difusse", I mean conveying the sensation which you have in a live performance, that the music is somehow carried on the air and brought to you with the players' positioning mixed and blended making for a unique huge sound source. Of course there's left and right and front and back, but there's always some sense of "unity" of the whole sound product. If the Melquiades can do that right then it would be the most impressive piece of electronics I might listen to. If a single preamp could do it with any "average" power amp then my life would be much easier, ha ha ha. I don't think I had the skills and knowledge to build a Melquiades amp (provided I could find the parts) but a preamp would be a different thing.

Will you ever post "how to"?

Regards,

AJ
03-05-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,249
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 17
Post ID: 712
Reply to: 711
Yes, I know.
 Antonio J. wrote:


If the Melquiades can do that right then it would be the most impressive piece of electronics I might listen to. If a single preamp could do it with any "average" power amp then my life would be much easier, ha ha ha. I don't think I had the skills and knowledge to build a Melquiades amp (provided I could find the parts) but a preamp would be a different thing.Will you ever post "how to"?

Yes, WE most defiantly should. However, we are still in process of learning how to get the best of it (for instant something “huge” was learned .... today) When everything will be mentally settled down I do not see any reasons why the information about the Melquiades should not be shared publicly. Melquiades is not really a “secret” but rather our desire to now release misleading, partial or impulsive information

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
03-05-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Chirag
New York
Posts 32
Joined on 06-13-2004

Post #: 18
Post ID: 713
Reply to: 710
*Spaceal* Inequities

Dear Kitty,

[The positions of the instruments are an arteffect of sound reproduction and in real "live" you do not recognize the instruments positioning. You acknowledge thier presents “somewhere there” but you never recognize it as “right” or “left”.]
 
In live music yes, but in reproduced music, my major concern would be the screwing up and intentional L/R creations in the recording morons.  This really felt like one of the reasons I liked headphones so much...the spatial relationships existed less in the same way as my old small 2-ways (but introduced a number of other problems). The artificial and forced spatial relationships set up in most equipment/systems really strangulates/dictates the musical message.  Its like listening to a Turk talk in Spanish about the new Amusement Tax rate increase by the city of Chicago.  Kind of funny and sad but otherwise meaningless to my english ears.

This is also a reason I like the L1 in the same system...there is a serious lack of standardly understood emphasis in spatiality and depth.  My old 12AU7 based preamp really wanted attention at the expense of clearly attempted communication.  I plan to throw it off my 50 story rooftop during the next winter storm.

[The real "SPACE" of “life” musical event is “instantaneously dimensional” and our awareness ever-present at each single particle of the performing space.]

You know, this is much easier for some people to understand from the perspective of personal learning curves.  A friend of mine actually learns science very differently from the way I do.  His approach to listening to music is also amazingly different and parallels his scientific abilities.  These are just preliminary ideas, but where he tends to see music in a note to note relationship, I look at the overall impact, flowing concepts, macro held up by the micro and vv...etc etc....

The instant dimensional is much harder to approach for him.  OTOH, his appreciation of the micro/B level dynamics are more interesting than mine.

[When you listen "life" music you do not listen first violins and then migrate your listening attention to right where the cellos are. Our listening consciousness performs multitasking, instantaneously sampling space within an unlimited amount of locations, and then instantaneously (and without any hierarchy of events) allows us to experience the sensed.]

You're a seriously spatial cat!

[Sound reproduction never furnishes the same opportunity as space presented in reproduction has a hierarchical and sequential pattern. The only sound that I even heard that was very much different from a typical “reproduced Sound” was the sound of Melquiades. I am not kidding: when I said that Melquiades produce VERY DIFFERENT sound I really meant it.]

This is very promising to hear about and thanks for the updates.  Its really very much like when I realized that my 12au7 preamp based system could only be listened to in an OK manner if I was over in my kitchen.  The L1 fixed that, but as of yet, it has introduced (for me) only a teasing change in the reproduction.

Best,
Chirag

03-05-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Antonio J.
Madrid, Spain
Posts 269
Joined on 08-16-2004

Post #: 19
Post ID: 714
Reply to: 712
It will be funny
***********
Yes, WE most defiantly should. However, we are still in process of learning how to get the best of it (for instant something “huge” was learned .... today) When everything will be mentally settled down I do not see any reasons why the information about the Melquiades should not be shared publicly. Melquiades is not really a “secret” but rather our desire to now release misleading, partial or impulsive information

Rgs,
Romy the caT
***************

I understand your precautions, one has to live with a system and getting accostumed to its sound to realize if it's as good as initially seemed. And once you've learnt to tweak the electronics to shape the sound I suppose you must be willing to try things to get the best you can. Take your time, ha ha ha, but keep us posted on your findings.

Rgrds,

AJ
03-16-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,249
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 20
Post ID: 756
Reply to: 672
Melquiades Sound: a month later

After a month of listening exclusively Melquiades and decided yestoday re-switch everything and to play Lamm’s ML2.

I was quite shocked with the result and I did not anticipate the ML2 could be so way off. I will not elaborate about the areas where ML2 did not perform well – it was way above the differentses that might be quantified. ML2 delivered absolutely different TYPE OF SOUND – it was a REPRODUCED SOUND with all characteristics of imitational efforts. In many instances I realized that I did not even recognized certain musical phrases in some known to me peaces - they were so burden under a threshold of reproduction efforts that I had to needed a LOT of efforts to convince myself that the shadows of the phrases actulay were there. Actually I was stunned how bad ML2 performed. Even if to take under consideration that it did not work for 30 days and that it should be burn-in a little still the result was quite appalling. (I know very well how ML2 sound being “cold”, however I run it for 15 hours toady…)

ML2 was not an accidental amp for me. I heard a countless amount of SE amplifiers, including all amps that the industry considers to be the contestants to Lamm ML2. The Lamm’s single-ended always was atop and it always demonstrated a certain musical-acoustic integrity that never was reached by any other single-ended challengers. There were incalculable amount of tacky and midrangey 2-3-stages 300B with thier gluey and honey sound. There were dehydrated and washy-washy Japanese crap-amplifiers along with those Moronic faces of the amplifiers distributors and thier sound of full of pretentiousness about nothingness. There was some glossy sounding 6L6 and “kinky” 2A3 that converted musicians from orchestras into residences of the retirement homes. There were some vulgar and none-evolved 211-based amps that sound like diluted Hot and Sour Soup from a bad Chinese restaurant. There were vicious 845-based that sound like an elephant stepped on a monkey and bathe of them are screaming at the same time. There were some OTLs, the best of them, with thier expedited and emancipated sound that good only for the “nouveau riche” of consumer consumption era.  There were a bunch of DIY amps and many commercial, not to mention some bridged and PPs.  (I mentioned the tubes juts in order do not mane the brands, which I do not necessarily remember)

I did not mean to knock the amplifier’s design – I have no rational to technically justify the negative, but where I was not mistaken was the fact that all of them did not performed in the way I demanded and did not deliver Sound that I might consider worth any attention.

Then there was the Lamm’s ML2. It is 3-stages SET with regulated Russky 6C33C - the rude and discourteous tube, as most of Russian tubes are. Everything about this amp suggests that it should not be interesting: the economically-made (not to say cheaply) PS supplies, gratuitous regulation of the output tube, none-serious input stage around a tube that should not used in power amplifiers, the a huge crappy 20uF coupling capacitors between the first and second stages, layout made convenient to assemble but "bad for sound", with a Russian version of 5687 in driver stage (the most critical stage to drive hungry 6C33) that almost-almost good enough in this application (actually it is not good enough and it should be change after 6 month of use because as soon the 6H6P drops even a minute fraction of it’s transconductance then the entier amp begins to sound like a wet dog) ... and many-many other things.
 
However, in spite of all those things the Lamm's ML2 does sound head and shoulder more interesting then any other SET. Interesting that the advantages of ML2 are not within some audiophile scale (although ML2 does in there very fine) but rather in some very strange “sound reproducing intelligence” that make this amp sort of to know what and when to do with sound. So, how come that with my exposure to Melquiades all that dependency from “sound reproducing intelligence” suddenly got evaporated and the performance thatML2 delivers make me today to look at the Lamm's ML2 sound as at a videbut of sub-talented tanager-pianist?

After quite long thinking and analyses (a few years) I believe and know the answer now. The answers does not derive form some kinds of technical limitations of Lamm ML2 but rather from a deep-imbedded original intentions and motivations that where the fundamentals of the ML2 creatior. I always said that audio is not about audio but about people and the performance of ML2, as I see it today, is a great illustration how an incorrect mental approach to a subject could lead to incorrect results. Yes, the mindframe of ML2 creator is the major problem and impediment of the ML2 amplifier. I do believe that the ML2 designer designed a magnificent amplifier that portrays his vision and his philosophy of sound reproduction - the philosophy that I found today fundamentally faulty, conspicuous, hazardous  or even menacing and evilish to a degree. Later on, whan I get time, I write up more detail observations about the flawed mental design principles of ML2 where I will elaborate on the subject.

Meanwhile, considering that ML2 is a fundamentally unsound and audio-limited devise and considering that ML2 still is hugely superior then any SET that I have heard out there … you may imagine how many REALY horrible amps we have in audio…

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
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