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cafe67

What is the ME secret sauce?

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9 hours ago, cafe67 said:

Funnily enough the 2 other brands on these pages that seem to have an equally fervent following would be Sansui and Duntech 😎

Deservedly so. 

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14 hours ago, Wimbo said:

One day I'll have to listen to a good ME system of these days as the ME gear I use to sell back in the early 90's IMO was woeful except for the 850 PA.

You should Wim, especially with the Arty Vandelay mods, they are something. 

Anything you had question marks on will vanish totally.

https://www.stereo.net.au/forums/topic/248604-me850-mods-designed-by-art-vandelay/

 

Cheers George

Edited by georgehifi

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14 hours ago, Wimbo said:

was woeful except for the 850 PA.

.... but aren't most of the models ~variants of the 850?

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41 minutes ago, davewantsmoore said:

but aren't most of the models ~variants of the 850?

Yep the later ones 550? 750 850 1400 1500 the higher up the rung, the bigger the power supplies high v and more uf's.

and more stacked sub boards under the "main input board" which is basically the same on all models from 1 stack to 3 stack. (750-1500)

Same sort of thing with the earlier models 75 150 ect .

 

BTW the pics of the the modules below are for one channel only. 

 

Cheers George.

untitled 1.jpg

untitled1.jpg

Edited by georgehifi

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Yeah, I just thought it seemed strange that all were "terrible", except 850... when 850 is quite similar to the others.

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45 minutes ago, davewantsmoore said:

.... but aren't most of the models ~variants of the 850?

My experience of ME back then wasnt the best. I remember the 850 was better then the 750 in a lot of ways. To me, It was better value then the 1500. The 1400's were good but back then IMO the Krell KSA200B was better. IMO, the best sounding power amp that I sold back then was the KSA80. Never was into the Accuphase power amps back then. They just seemed gutless. So, this is all only my experience.

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4 minutes ago, davewantsmoore said:

Yeah, I just thought it seemed strange that all were "terrible", except 850... when 850 is quite similar to the others.

The 750 was for me, thin and harsh compared to the 850.

But obviously, people have refined them heaps compared to back then as far as the comments on SNA show.

Edited by Wimbo

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3 minutes ago, davewantsmoore said:

Yeah, I just thought it seemed strange that all were "terrible", except 850... when 850 is quite similar to the others.

Wim may have meant the 850 sounded better than the early models like the 150 and 75, which did have a different top main board, they weren't as regulated as the 750 850 1400 and 1500. 

 

Cheers George

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Fair comments Wimbo. However as George stated, they are at a much higher level of performance these days because of the upgrades.

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2 hours ago, MrRogers said:

Fair comments Wimbo. However as George stated, they are at a much higher level of performance these days because of the upgrades.

I understand mate☺️

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4 hours ago, davewantsmoore said:

.... but aren't most of the models ~variants of the 850?

More or less. Yep. The family sound of ME amps is clear and obvious. In fact, the ME550-II can accurately be described as a baby ME850 and the ME1400/1500 as an ME850 on steroids. 

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3 hours ago, davewantsmoore said:

Yeah, I just thought it seemed strange that all were "terrible", except 850... when 850 is quite similar to the others.

Indeed. A most ill-informed comment.

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10 minutes ago, Zaphod Beeblebrox said:

Indeed. A most ill-informed comment.

This isn't exactly where I was going with it.

 

3 hours ago, Wimbo said:

They just seemed gutless. So, this is all only my experience.

Indeed.   My question wasn't intended to infer that you "didn't hear what you heard".

 

Just that, as usual in audio subjectivity, there are a lot of things which could have been going on to produce the result you got.  :)

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6 minutes ago, davewantsmoore said:

This isn't exactly where I was going with it.

 

Indeed.   My question wasn't intended to infer that you "didn't hear what you heard".

 

Just that, as usual in audio subjectivity, there are a lot of things which could have been going on to produce the result you got.  :)

Nah, the Accuphase sounded too electronically refined. 500 watt stereo also couldnt get the Sovereigns up and running. Got better results with the Perreaux PMF3150.

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9 minutes ago, Wimbo said:

500 watt

90dB @ 2.83v and a flat impedance guarantees that there was something else at play than the number 500  ;) 

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4 hours ago, Wimbo said:

The 750 was for me, thin and harsh compared to the 850.

But obviously, people have refined them heaps compared to back then as far as the comments on SNA show.

 

From my experience the 850 is / was  definitely the sweet spot in PA range, and it punched well above its weight, both literally and in terms of price.  If someone wants to hear the "ME sound" I would nominate this amplifier as the best point of reference.  

  

Fwiw, the 750 looks similar from the outside but it's really just a tricked up ME75 - with fan cooling and an inferior (toroidal) transformer.  Not that it's a bad amp by any means; It's actually not a bad performer, but it's no ME 850, and it doesn't best a well preserved or refurb'd  ME75B or C either.  

 

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1 hour ago, davewantsmoore said:

90dB @ 2.83v and a flat impedance guarantees that there was something else at play than the number 500  ;) 

Nominal impedance 4 ohm and seriously hard to drive. I've heard them lots of times. My mistake as well. Amp was a P500, 250 watts @ 8 ohm.

Edited by Wimbo

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1 hour ago, Wimbo said:

seriously hard to drive

Duntech says the impedance varies between 3.0 and 4.5 ohm (ie. it is very flat) .... assuming they are correct, then the speakers is basically the opposite of difficult to drive.

 

 

EDIT:  Obviously, aside from needing an amplifier which is stable with a 3ohm load, which while it will sound some amplifiers out, isn't much of a challenge.

Edited by davewantsmoore

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59 minutes ago, davewantsmoore said:

Duntech says the impedance varies between 3.0 and 4.5 ohm (ie. it is very flat) .... assuming they are correct, then the speakers is basically the opposite of difficult to drive.

 

 

EDIT:  Obviously, aside from needing an amplifier which is stable with a 3ohm load, which while it will sound some amplifiers out, isn't much of a challenge.

You'd think they were a reasonable speaker to drive (the Duntech Sovereign), but they, most assuredly, are not. I've heard them many times and they really need serious horsepower to get them going. Even the ME850 doesn't do them justice. You need an ME1400 to kick them along. However, when suitably powered, the result is friggin' awesome. The Sovereign can reproduce scale like few other speaker are able. The first time I heard them, was in John Dunlavy's (rather spacious) office. He alternated between Krell KMA200 monos and Rowland Research Model 7 (?) monos. The result was very impressive. He proclaimed the ME1500 superior to both those amps, but Peter Stein and myself couldn't hear any significant differences.  

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Agree with the above post.

 

I worked for Grenfell Hi Fi in Adelaide for 7 years and the management were very close to JD.

We would always get the latest iterations of their range and almost always had Sovereigns in the shop....powered exclusively with an ME 1500. We never actually sold that 1500 but did take many orders for one after people heard it with the Duntech. We also had an 850 which was usually paired with the Crown Prince and Marquis speakers in another room.

Suffice to say that Duntech and ME were a permanent feature in the shop for many years.

Edited by rantan

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3 hours ago, Art Vandelay said:

 

From my experience the 850 is / was  definitely the sweet spot in PA range, and it punched well above its weight, both literally and in terms of price.  If someone wants to hear the "ME sound" I would nominate this amplifier as the best point of reference.  

  

Fwiw, the 750 looks similar from the outside but it's really just a tricked up ME75 - with fan cooling and an inferior (toroidal) transformer.  Not that it's a bad amp by any means; It's actually not a bad performer, but it's no ME 850, and it doesn't best a well preserved or refurb'd  ME75B or C either.  

 

Just some clarifications and some nits, Arty:

 

The ME75(A) (there was never an 'A' designator) arrived with a 1,200VA EI power transformer and 135,000uF of filter capacitance. Input impedance was around 100kOhms. 

The ME75B was fitted with the same power transformer and main capacitor banks. However, it was also fitted with extra capacitance close to output devices and superior regulation for front end stages. The result was a significant upgrade from the ME75(A). Many ME75(A) amps were upgraded to ME75B status.

The ME75C was identical to the ME75B, but was fitted with a 1,800VA, double 'C' core power transformer. The transformer proved somewhat fragile and could go noisy if the amp was dropped.

 

All ME75 amp power transformers were rated at <5% regulation and a high input impedance.

 

The ME750 first arrived with a 2,500VA, double 'C' core power transformer (same style of transformer fitted to the ME75C, but larger and more robust) and identical circuitry to the ME75B & C. Sound-wise, there was very little to choose between the ME75C and the ME750. However, the ME750 was produced with a low input impedance, which improved the sound quality somewhat. The transformer was tougher and more shock resistant than the ME75C. Many listeners reported an improvement in sound quality over the ME75C. This is possibly due to the low input impedance and the fact that the power transformer was physically placed further from the input circuitry (about 150mm).

 

The last generation ME750 was identical to the early (steel chassis) types, except for the chassis construction (now aluminium) and the superior, potted, toroidal power transformer (2,500VA @ 5% regulation). Some listeners felt that the last ME750 sounded better than the early types. This may possibly be due to the fact that the transformer was utterly silent and radiated less EMF. 

 

All ME750 amps were fitted with a sophisticated fan cooling system, ensuring the output devices remained very close to their optimum operating temperature. The ME75 amps lacked this feature. 

 

As for the ME850, well, it's hardly surprising that it hit the sweet spot. The first of the fan cooled ME amps was the ME750, followed by the ME1500, back in 1985-ish. Many listeners asked Peter for the ME1500 sound, but with less power and in a smaller chassis. The ME850 was born and was a direct result of consumer demand. 

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1 hour ago, davewantsmoore said:

Duntech says the impedance varies between 3.0 and 4.5 ohm (ie. it is very flat) .... assuming they are correct, then the speakers is basically the opposite of difficult to drive.

 

Of course it's not uncommon for manufacturers to be somewhat loose with the truth. 

 

The only tech review that I'm aware of was done by Louis Challis in Australia ETI magazine circa late 80's. I recall reading the review but can't recall the impedance specifics. Also, I chucked out most of my old ETI mags so it's unlikely that the issue in question is in my now condensed collection of oldies.

 

 

 

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I take all comments along the lines of "ME amps are not really up to the standards of serious world class amplification" with more than a few grains of salt.  I should, I've been hearing them for decades.  Aussies have absolutely no reason whatsoever to suffer from any part of the "cultural cringe", but they do.

 

I encountered ME amps in the early 1990s.  If you can cast your mind back that far, this was the era of Paul Keating's "recession we had to have".  That being the case, and it was, the Aussie Dollar was in the dumps and interest rates were through the roof, making foreign hi fi equipment prohibitively expensive and buying on the "never never" even more so.  All of that made it an ideal time to be introduced to GOOD Aussie gear, and ME certainly qualified  in my not so very humble opinion.  Did I compare them to other amps?  You betcha.  Was there anything better?  Yep, but they were invariably three to five times (or more) the price.

 

I agree with Trevor that the 850 was the sweet spot.  I also agree that even the 850 couldn't run the Duntech Sovereigns to what they were capable of.  I did hear a demo of the Sovereigns being driven by a ME 1500/24 combo.  Did I want it.  Yep.  Could I afford it?  🤣 Nope.  For the money being asked, ME was always a bargain.

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17 minutes ago, Zaphod Beeblebrox said:

but they, most assuredly, are not

... but they are a 3.0 to 4.5 ohm (assuming that is accurate) load which make 90dB SPL from 2.83 volts.   "Easy" is a relative measure, sure... but (?!??)

 

1 minute ago, Art Vandelay said:

Of course it's not uncommon for manufacturers to be somewhat loose with the truth. 

*nod*

 

Yes, I can only imagine they are only quoting the impedance over a certain frequency range.

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