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What is the ME secret sauce?

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2 minutes ago, Zaphod Beeblebrox said:

 

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. 

 

Thanks for that clarification Zaph. 

 

I've only heard the latter toroidal version of the 750 and to my ears it didn't sound as good as a 75B or C. Obviously, there are many variables that contribute to sound quality, particularly with age and usage.   

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10 hours ago, Art Vandelay said:

 

Thanks for that clarification Zaph. 

 

I've only heard the latter toroidal version of the 750 and to my ears it didn't sound as good as a 75B or C. Obviously, there are many variables that contribute to sound quality, particularly with age and usage.   

Correct. 

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10 hours ago, davewantsmoore said:

... 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 (?!??)

 

 

John Dunlavy was a consummate engineer. I cannot imagine that any published specs were not very accurately enumerated. That said, there are two possible ways to verify the figures:

 

* Simon from VAF may have a more accurately measured set of figures.

* I have one client who owns a pair. I visit him regularly. Maybe I'll take the equipment down and measure directly.  

 

Trust me when I tell you that the Sovereigns MUST have the most serious, high current amplification available. As I stated before: Even the ME850 struggles.

Edited by Zaphod Beeblebrox

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And that's where the game has moved on. Now you can get excellent sounding high quality speakers that dont require over-powered amps. Vaf and Hulgich are great examples.

 

Does the new ME range still have them secret sauce?

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26 minutes ago, AudioGeek said:

And that's where the game has moved on. Now you can get excellent sounding high quality speakers that dont require over-powered amps. Vaf and Hulgich are great examples.

 

Does the new ME range still have them secret sauce?

 

Ive never heard or auditioned a ME...   

But I can assure that whatever speaker you throw at a ME 850 or a 1400/1500 im very confident at what the outcome would be.   All you have to do is look at the modules employed, the output devices and the tolerances needed to get an ME to work properly and not to go into details of the PSU.    Like one have posted that some are aging and may need work to get them back to there  original design parameters when they were new.  If you were to get anywhere close to a parameter of a ME850 or 1500, I hate to see what the replacement cost would be brand new.

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38 minutes ago, AudioGeek said:

And that's where the game has moved on. Now you can get excellent sounding high quality speakers that dont require over-powered amps. Vaf and Hulgich are great examples.

It has always been possible to obtain easy to drive loudspeakers. Just as there are many difficult to drive speakers available today:

 

https://www.stereophile.com/content/wilson-audio-specialties-alexia-series-2-loudspeaker-measurements

https://www.stereophile.com/content/kef-reference-5-loudspeaker-measurements

https://www.stereophile.com/content/quad-esl-2912-loudspeaker-measurements

*** https://www.stereophile.com/content/wilson-audio-specialties-alexx-loudspeaker-measurements  ****

https://www.stereophile.com/content/focal-sopra-no3-loudspeaker-measurements

https://www.stereophile.com/content/bowers-wilkins-802-d3-diamond-loudspeaker-measurements

https://www.stereophile.com/content/wilson-audio-specialties-sabrina-loudspeaker-measurements

https://www.stereophile.com/content/bowers-wilkins-683-s2-loudspeaker-measurements

https://www.stereophile.com/content/kef-blade-two-loudspeaker-measurements

https://www.stereophile.com/content/focal-aria-936-loudspeaker-measurements

 

There are many, many more. High current amplification is not yet out of fashion. 

 

And, a quick word about VAF speakers:

 

I have always been impressed with the intelligent design and superb sound quality of VAF speakers. Yes, they are not horrible to drive, but they do benefit from a high quality, high current amplifier (well, the i93 does). 

 

 

 

Quote

 

Does the new ME range still have them secret sauce?

You should direct that question to @PonyTail

Edited by Zaphod Beeblebrox

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On 25/08/2018 at 2:24 PM, jakeyb77 said:

 😁

Also it’s easy to work on which gives good turn around time.

 

 

 

 

I wish. Can anyone actually help with a recommendation for someone who can service my 1400 and do the latest 25 mod in a turnaround time of less that multiple months? 

I am also interested in the Art Vandelay mods if OK'd by those who police such things :). 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Zaphod Beeblebrox said:

John Dunlavy was a consummate engineer. I cannot imagine that any published specs were not very accurately enumerated. That said, there are two possible ways to verify the figures:

Weren't the Duntech Sovereign an off/shoot twin of John Dunlavy's,  Dunlavy Signature SC-VI when he shut shop in the US and moved to Australia?

 

https://www.stereophile.com/floorloudspeakers/162/index.html

 

Cheers George

 

The  Dunlavy Signature SC-VI

2f00254ed0b423c54852e3588cfbc256--audiop

 

 

Another SC-VI version using dome midranges and carbon fiber bass

fa8394fe0b36f2d5a6370171a92c8cf5--speake

Edited by georgehifi

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Wow Zaph - that is a super expensive list of overseas made speakers you have there. It's like the more you pay - the harder they are to drive.

 

Which modern Australian speakers have curves like that? My limited experience with owning Osborn and Lenehan speakers showed they were very easy to power. No doubt even easy loads perform better with higher power/current amps.

 

I see the ME850 can output 70Amps -  impressive! Something like a Magtech which people rave about for stats does not even list current output.

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1 hour ago, AudioGeek said:

Wow Zaph - that is a super expensive list of overseas made speakers you have there. It's like the more you pay - the harder they are to drive.

I didn't look at prices. I was only concerned with impedance curves and to demonstrate that there is still a need for high current, high quality amplification. 

 

1 hour ago, AudioGeek said:

 

Which modern Australian speakers have curves like that?

No idea. AFAIK, Stereophile haven't run impedance curves on any Australian speakers recently. I don't regard a manufacturer's claim to X Ohms impedance characteristic. The actual impedance curve is vital. 

 

1 hour ago, AudioGeek said:

 

 

My limited experience with owning Osborn and Lenehan speakers showed they were very easy to power. No doubt even easy loads perform better with higher power/current amps.

Well, again: You should ask to see the measured impedance curve.

 

1 hour ago, AudioGeek said:

 

I see the ME850 can output 70Amps -  impressive! Something like a Magtech which people rave about for stats does not even list current output.

OK. 

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1 hour ago, georgehifi said:

Weren't the Duntech Sovereign an off/shoot twin of John Dunlavy's,  Dunlavy Signature SC-VI when he shut shop in the US and moved to Australia?

 

https://www.stereophile.com/floorloudspeakers/162/index.html

 

Cheers George

 

The  Dunlavy Signature SC-VI

 

 

 

Another SC-VI version using dome midranges and carbon fiber bass

 

Nope. The Duntech Sovereign predates the Dunlavy DC-VI by several years. Others can probably fill in the history better than I can. Here's what I know:

 

John Dunlavy was involved in high tech communications equipment for NASA for many years. In 1981, John moved his company to Adelaide, due to the SA government's aggressive tax initiatives. Duntech released it's first speaker system back in 1982. Prior to that John had a long list of patents WRT loudspeaker design. Most of which were shamelessly copied by many other companies. The Duntech Sovereign was released back in 1986. 

 

After that, there were some nasty financial shenanigans, which cost John a great deal of money and he left Australia (sadly). At least, that is what I've been told. I certainly do not know the full story. 

 

John set up Dunlavy in the US, sometime in the early 1990s. 

 

Which is better? The Sovereign or the SC-VI? No idea. I've heard both (I heard the SC-VI in 'Vegas in the early 1990s), but not in the same room and not with the same electronics. They're both impressive though.

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3 hours ago, christosd said:

I wish. Can anyone actually help with a recommendation for someone who can service my 1400 and do the latest 25 mod in a turnaround time of less that multiple months? 

I am also interested in the Art Vandelay mods if OK'd by those who police such things :). 

 

 

You should contact Peter Stein to ascertain if there is someone in your area to perform those tasks. The ME1400 should probably be serviced locally, but the ME25 can be shipped easily and inexpensively. The ME25 can be serviced in a week or two, but the ME1400 will likely take longer. It depends on what has to be done. If the support foam has not been done in the last decade or so, then it should be done and the time/cost can be substantial. Figure on around $500.00 ~ $600.00 for that job alone. 

 

A point about Art's mods: The most significant part is the DC servo mod and full credit to Art for working this one out. It can make a big difference to ALL ME products. I perform this mod on almost every ME that crosses my bench. Peter Stein fully supports the changes. The emitter resistor changes are part of a standard service for very old ME amps, as these components can shift in value over time. 

 

WRT to the ME1400: If there is nothing wrong with your amp, you might be well advised to wait until early next year for an important announcement. 

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7 hours ago, Zaphod Beeblebrox said:

ME850 struggles

With a 3 to 4.5 ohm load ?!

 

If we call the above a resistive load ... then what causes the severe amplifier (power) requirements ?!

 

7 hours ago, Zaphod Beeblebrox said:

John Dunlavy was a consummate engineer. I cannot imagine that any published specs were not very accurately enumerated

Indeed.

I wonder what is going on.

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2 hours ago, Zaphod Beeblebrox said:

 

 

WRT to the ME1400: If there is nothing wrong with your amp, you might be well advised to wait until early next year for an important announcement. 

 

You tease, you!  What a naughty thing to do, to toss that out so casually.

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22 minutes ago, davewantsmoore said:

With a 3 to 4.5 ohm load ?!

Have you seen the impedance curve? 

 

I haven't. 

 

22 minutes ago, davewantsmoore said:

 

If we call the above a resistive load ... then what causes the severe amplifier (power) requirements ?!

When I see the impedance curve, I may be able to tell you more. 

 

22 minutes ago, davewantsmoore said:

 

Indeed.

I wonder what is going on.

The impedance curve may possibly drop to well below 3.5 Ohms. Alternatively, perhaps the ME1400 can supply the extra Voltage required to move the drivers to acceptable levels. 

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1 hour ago, Zaphod Beeblebrox said:

Have you seen the impedance curve? 

When I see the impedance curve, I may be able to tell you more. 

The impedance curve may possibly....

No.

Me too.

I'm assuming that 90dB/2.83v and the impedance is as reported... as like you say "engineer".   :)

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1 hour ago, Zaphod Beeblebrox said:

The impedance curve may possibly drop to well below 3.5 Ohms. Alternatively, perhaps the ME1400 can supply the extra Voltage required to move the drivers to acceptable levels. 

 

I think you might be on the money with the last point. 

 

Large speakers in a large room need plenty of watts to fill the room, and in the case of Duntech Sov's and a few others similar, the very low distortion levels at all frequencies allows for fatigue-free listening at higher SPL's than is typically the case.   

 

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38 minutes ago, andythiing said:

a little off topic but given the mentions above I always enjoyed this article with John on his design approach (yes im a biased duntech owner and would love to hear them with an ME)

https://www.stereophile.com/interviews/163/index.html

 

Excellent interview. Invaluable insights into speaker design from one of the very best.

 

Incredible too, to now know that just 10 years further down the track he was in a care facility with advanced Alzheimer's, and passed away in January 2007. 

 

 

 

 

  

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always knew we would eventually find something to agree on Art ;-)

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12 hours ago, georgehifi said:

Weren't the Duntech Sovereign an off/shoot twin of John Dunlavy's,  Dunlavy Signature SC-VI when he shut shop in the US and moved to Australia?

 

https://www.stereophile.com/floorloudspeakers/162/index.html

 

Cheers George

 

The  Dunlavy Signature SC-VI

2f00254ed0b423c54852e3588cfbc256--audiop

 

I just realised that speaker is standing next to a door and how big it really is OMG!

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13 hours ago, Rockford said:

I just realised that speaker is standing next to a door and how big it really is OMG!

Oh yeah. I thought the Sovereigns were big (and they are). Right up until I saw the SC-VI speakers. They sounded damned good too. 

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On 27/08/2018 at 10:55 AM, Zaphod Beeblebrox said:

WRT to the ME1400: If there is nothing wrong with your amp, you might be well advised to wait until early next year for an important announcement.

 

Waiting, waiting, waiting.

 

I live in hope.

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Have you contacted Rage Audio?

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