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The Melos Modification Thread

post #1 of 278
Thread Starter 
I recently acquired Jahn's Melos SHA Gold Reference, modifid by MAR. I've been doing a lot of reading, and am very handy with a soldering iron (voltmodding computers for a few years). Therefore I've decided to try to bring my Melos up to the Maestrobation standard set by Carlo. The only thing I'm lacking is in depth knowledge of the schematics and modification process.

This is going to take a while - I'm in no rush. I want to do it right, and in addition, it's expensive. It will probably be done in stages to offset that fact.

The goal of this project is not only to take the amps SQ up to the best it can be, but also to make it as reliable as possible.

Anyway, I've uploaded some pics of the unit's innards so the more experienced people than I can take a look. I can provide higher resolution photos upon request.

Basically I was wondering what the biggest modifications would be in terms of sound quality. I was thinking that replacing the transformer would be a good start, as it sometimes has a slight buzz (not in the audio stream) and it can be annoying. After that, I was going to replace the caps with blackgates and auricaps.

I just have a couple of questions, mostly sparked by the fact that I don't have the schematic for the Gold Reference.

1. Does anyone have the schematic?
2. What type of toroidal transformer should I puchase? I was thinking Piltron, but I don't know which one is suitable.
3. What is a good place to source the componets such as resistors, capacitors?

Here are the pics:

http://img486.imageshack.us/img486/4249/melos1mk2.jpg
http://img486.imageshack.us/img486/3280/melos2wl2.jpg
http://img486.imageshack.us/img486/5740/melos3vt5.jpg
http://img486.imageshack.us/img486/6518/melos4ho1.jpg
http://img486.imageshack.us/img486/5276/melos5ii7.jpg


Hopefully we can keep this thread going as a reference for people wishing to carry out modifications to their Melos. It seems like ever since Carlo dissapeared, this has been a very quiet area. Maybe this thread can help.
post #2 of 278
Schematic: http://www.prism.gatech.edu/~gth676f/MelosSchem.pdf

Other threads you may want to look over if you have don't so already:

(Possible to DIY a Melos)
http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showt...ighlight=melos

(Melos tube rolling thread)
http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showt...ighlight=melos

(Melos amps and what makes them different)
http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showt...ighlight=melos

(maestrobation part II - with excellent pics of carlo's work still hosted by bozebuttons)
http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showt...ighlight=melos

(Melos mods - mecca of info from carlo)
http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showt...ighlight=melos


I'm sure I speak for quite a few here when I say I'm very excited to see what you may come up with. I have a stock SHA-Gold that I'm infatuated with, but have entertained the possibility of upgrading it many times. I would absolutely love to hear a blackgated and auricapped Melos.

If your results turn out well I suspect you will have a number of people interested in securing your services. Assuming you would even offer them of course, you can go ahead and add my name to the list.

Best of luck with the project! Please keep us updated.
post #3 of 278
Let's just say that a "ComputerPro3bated" service would bring in thousands of dollars from many Melos owners in waiting - no one has stepped up to try it since Carlos, which was years ago.
post #4 of 278
I wish you the best of luck. I have one of Carlo's maestrobators, and if you are interested, I could probably post some high rez shots of the innards if it will help you. I don't know much about tech stuff, so I cannot help you with that, but I can tell you that it is an astoundingly good amp, particularly with Joe Grados. Carlo loved the HP-1's and 2's, and he tuned the amp to it. We had really similar tastes, and I was lucky enough to live near him, so we were able to really tweak it well.
post #5 of 278
Yep, I've been hunting down a Carlos "Maestrobated" one forever, and I guess the cat's basically out of the bag that I finally hunted one down from the UK. I begged the folks in NYC to try to "Maestrobate" mine, but it seems no one really wants to take on Carlos' modding mantle. Who knew that my unit would have to leave me to get the treatment - oh, irony. I should've just learned to solder. Anyhow, more Melos goodness on the Eastern Seaboard is never a bad thing - let's all bring our Melos units to the NYC Meet and have a monster Melos comparo! *Updated sig now!*
post #6 of 278
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stuartr
I wish you the best of luck. I have one of Carlo's maestrobators, and if you are interested, I could probably post some high rez shots of the innards if it will help you. I don't know much about tech stuff, so I cannot help you with that, but I can tell you that it is an astoundingly good amp, particularly with Joe Grados. Carlo loved the HP-1's and 2's, and he tuned the amp to it. We had really similar tastes, and I was lucky enough to live near him, so we were able to really tweak it well.

I would greatly appreciate high res shots - in most of the threads that contained them, the hosting has expired.
post #7 of 278
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jahn
Yep, I've been hunting down a Carlos "Maestrobated" one forever, and I guess the cat's basically out of the bag that I finally hunted one down from the UK. I begged the folks in NYC to try to "Maestrobate" mine, but it seems no one really wants to take on Carlos' modding mantle. Who knew that my until would have to leave me to get the treatment - oh, irony. I should've just learned to solder. Anyhow, more Melos goodness on the Eastern Seaboard is never a bad thing - let's all bring our Melos units to the NYC Meet and have a monster Melos comparo! *Updated sig now!*

LOL I was wondering what you could possibly have upgraded to - now I get it!
post #8 of 278
Ok, give me a little bit. I will try to set it up and do it right...(tripod, lighting etc).

Jahn -- once I am more settled, you are welcome to come check it out. Or at the at the NYC meet. We'll figure something out.
post #9 of 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by stuartr
Ok, give me a little bit. I will try to set it up and do it right...(tripod, lighting etc).

Jahn -- once I am more settled, you are welcome to come check it out. Or at the at the NYC meet. We'll figure something out.
The NYC Meet sounds like a good idea - I think Nikogod is bringing his too, so that makes for four Melos amps in a row. Can you say "Photo Op?"
post #10 of 278
off topic, but what "ru" (the japanese syllable in your quote) are you feeling? What is that about. Also, do you know why there is a bunny named Stuart wandering around the boards? Thank you, I have been gone awhile...
post #11 of 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by stuartr
off topic, but what "ru" (the japanese syllable in your quote) are you feeling? What is that about. Also, do you know why there is a bunny named Stuart wandering around the boards? Thank you, I have been gone awhile...
"Ru" started because back when the Sony SA5000 first came out, you could only get info on it on Japanese Websites. Babelfish ran it through the wringer, and out came "This headphone really lets you feel the "Ru" (imagine it all in english except the japanese character "Ru") and compared to the Sennheiser HD650, the Sony SA5000 lets you feel the "Ru" more..." And so on and so on. Every point where we would want a detailed description of its sound, we'd read "Ru." It felt like "Ru" when you played jazz, it has more "Ru" than this or that...you can imagine. Pretty soon "Ru" was a running joke here where it represented that elusive "I don't know what, but the Japanese seem to" that we all pursue in our hobby

The bunny? A meme that's been viral all over message boards on the web this year. And yes, his name is Stuart.
post #12 of 278
Ok, here are the pictures. If you need any more, please ask me soon while it is still open and all the lights are still set up and so on. If you need larger files, I have them, but in the interest of bandwidth I limited these to 1200x800, which is still very large. The pictures are located here:

http://www.stuartrichardson.com/melos/melos1.jpg
http://www.stuartrichardson.com/melos/melos2.jpg
http://www.stuartrichardson.com/melos/melos3.jpg
http://www.stuartrichardson.com/melos/melos4.jpg
http://www.stuartrichardson.com/melos/melos5.jpg
http://www.stuartrichardson.com/melos/melos6.jpg
http://www.stuartrichardson.com/melos/melos7.jpg
http://www.stuartrichardson.com/melos/melos8.jpg
http://www.stuartrichardson.com/melos/melos9.jpg
http://www.stuartrichardson.com/melos/melos10.jpg
http://www.stuartrichardson.com/melos/melos11.jpg
http://www.stuartrichardson.com/melos/melos12.jpg

Enjoy.


Oh, and the reason that it does not have Black Gates was that they apparently did not fit the case well. Carlo actually designed a custom case, but it was not finished before he stopped doing the mods. We were going to wait for the case to do the final mods (which is also why it still had the stock transformer).
post #13 of 278
Hey, doesn't that look just like the one coming my way? Meaning that it doesn't have the Blackgates or the new transformer either?

Then again, it all looks like spaghetti and meatballs to me, what do I know.
post #14 of 278
Thread Starter 
Thanks a TON - I appreciate it. I think the first modification will be replacing the 4 cheapo caps that melos used in between the tubes with the auricaps. That should take about 10min. I'm going to make an order for those right now.

About the blackgates - I see that you have the same chassis as me. Are you saying that I can't use them because they won't fit?
post #15 of 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jahn
Hey, doesn't that look just like the one coming my way? Meaning that it doesn't have the Blackgates or the new transformer either?

Then again, it all looks like spaghetti and meatballs to me, what do I know.
Looks pretty similar to mine as well, but like you, I know nothing. Was yours modified by Carlo as well?
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