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maestrobation Part II

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I sent my maestro to Carlo for repair.While he had it I gave him the green light To see how far he can take his mods. I went for the purist setup, eliminating the remote board ,adding a dact 2. Bypassing the selector switch and balance controls. Only
using one input going direct from the dact.
Beefing up the power supply.Hats off to Carlo on this one.

post #2 of 26
Holy frigging Franken-Melos ! Carlo's insane, that amp's scary Little did you know you were funding a mad scientist...

How does it sound ? (if it sounds half as good as it looks...)

Enjoy the monster !

post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
I just put a nos pair of Amperex PCC88 pinchwaist Tubes In it and will let it burn in as well as all the new parts that have been installed.I will post my impressions of the amp once this happens. But I will say it sounds damn good now.
post #4 of 26
Hi Bozebuttons.....how's the Melos doing? I'd like to hear more about your impressions of it since I still don't have my amp back yet. Carlo and I have spent the last couple weeks trying to come up with a decent remote control solution for my amp. In the end I decided to ditch the remote and go with the DACT C2 like your amp. I'm sure it'll sound great but I'll sure miss the remote. FYI, John Chapman of Bent Audio is working with DACT to design a remote for the DACT.

post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 
I am Letting the melos break in.Also tubes are nos amperex pinchwaist pcc88 which are also breaking in.Since so many parts have been replaced it will take a while for everything to break in.It still has all of melos strengths and taken them further.
The melos is a more refined amp now, It flows music easily. I have already spent some late nights listening, saying one more song and listening to whole cds.
Once the amp is fully burned in I will
write a more in depth review. I am very happy with the results of Carlos handywork right now, and expect further improvements once it is fully burned in.
post #6 of 26
This is soooo great. Carlo has my amp right now
post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by Zanth
This is soooo great. Carlo has my amp right now
You are going to love it when you get it back.
post #8 of 26
I am very very excited as this will be my dedicated HP-1 amp. This little SHA-X of mine truly will be a unique bugger.
post #9 of 26
Excited ? LOL, I saw pics of Tom's amp. Had to change my shorts...

Carlo's da man. Did a real nice job on my Sugden. It's got internal organs it never had before

Good luck with the Melos, it'll be a monster !
post #10 of 26

Mod list

Low Voltage Supply:
2x 4700uf 35v Blackgate Standard, connected to board w/ Cardas cabling
2x 4700uf 16v Blackgate Standard
2x 2200uf 35v Blackgate PK
2x 1000uf 25v Blackgate NX
4x whatever 1uf 250v film cap normal Gold References use for the signal path
2x 1uf 200v Auricap
Harris FREDs

High Voltage Supply:
470uf 160v Blackgate Standard
100uf 160v Blackgate Standard
4x Rikens 2watters to Tube plates

Signal Path:
Direct Input (no balance or source selection: straight shot) wired with Cardas
DACT CT-2 Stepped Attenuator
8x Auricap 1uf 200v
4x Auricap 10uf 200v
8x Tantalum resistor
8x Caddock MK132 resistor
Left channel rerouted away from PS with Cardas

Much overbuilt toroidal transformer
Kester silver solder for all joints, including redoing several existing cold joints
The green stuff on the off-board caps were a saftey decision since I didn't CA them down until I got the new tranny

To those keeping score, this is the most heavily modified Melos SHA-Gold-Maestro-whatever in existence. Its only recommended to folks who have stuff like a Levinson DAC, Sony R10, and a couple of HP-1000s around the house.

post #11 of 26
What exactly do Blackgates bring to sound quality?

What about the extant issuses of an extremely long break-in period (months), as well as a warm up time that practically neccesitates leaving the components on 24/7?
post #12 of 26
Carlo....who's amp has all those mods? Is that a SHA-1? Not wanting to be outdone I think I'll have you take my SHA Gold Reference the distance. Might as well since you have to yank the PCB to change the tube sockets. Lets talk!

Panasonic DVD-H2000>Carlo da man modded Melos SHA Gold Reference>Sonic Frontiers Power 2>Monster Power HTS3000>Highly modded Marchand XM9 crossover>Ellis 1801s>Hafler SE240>Sonic Craft SCC300 sub in 4 cu. ft. sealed enclosure>Harmonic Tech Pro 9 Plus Bi-wire>DIY Superlatives & Zeus Tetra-Helix ICs>Headphones....what are those?
post #13 of 26
Thread Starter 
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Nikko
[B]Carlo....who's amp has all those mods?
That would be my maestro.
post #14 of 26
Alright, Carlo, I want mine to beat Tom's! Make mine the Maestrobator Terminator or something. Maybe you could do all the power supply mods and then gold plate the entire chassis or something.
post #15 of 26

I've outlined my impressions of Blackgates quite a few times on this forum, there's a power supply post here that summarizes my opinions about them (along with other power stuff). This amp's power supply is over the top, I took boze's request asking how far I could take it seriously.

Blackgates do take an extremely long amount of time to break in, but after the first 100 hours or so they still sound better than other electrolytics out there. They get scary after they completely settle in. As for long warm up, the Melos needs about 1 hour to sound its best anyway, tubes and FETs need to get to operating levels. bozebutton's amp has more power supply capacitance than a lot (a LOT) of audiophile power amps, all but one high voltage electrolytic is a Blackgate, and believe me it doesn't sound bad at any point. They and the Auricaps do sound their best after they completely break in, but that doesn't take months of constant use. boze's is most of the way there, but he's also breaking in new tubes.


If its a mod that makes it sound better and will fit in the chassis this one has it. If I ever start doing something else boze will get it retrofitted for the lowest price I can (as do all my past customers). Essentially it will never be beat because if I start doing something else that yields a huge improvement, something I doubt since I've tried a lot with the Melos platform, boze will get it installed at a later date.

But anyway, email
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