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REVIEW: Meier Audio Concerto headphone amp - Page 55

post #811 of 833
Originally Posted by Chris_Himself View Post

You guys, I listened to one of these with HE-500's the other day. Has to be the best **** amp you could ever buy for 300+ dollars used. 

I respectfully disagree, but I suppose it depends on type of sound you're looking for. I bought a Concerto and HiFiMan EF5 around the same time for my D7000s. The EF5 beat it hands down, displaying more warmth, power, and overall musicality. The Concerto was detailed and generally sounded good, but was bright and somewhat dry in comparison.

post #812 of 833

Didn't know you can get an used Concerto for $300 now. I think it's a steal at $300 and probably the best amp you can get at that price range. The EF5 is no doubt a better amp but it sells at $500+.

post #813 of 833
Originally Posted by 1974 View Post

I respectfully disagree, but I suppose it depends on type of sound you're looking for. I bought a Concerto and HiFiMan EF5 around the same time for my D7000s. The EF5 beat it hands down, displaying more warmth, power, and overall musicality. The Concerto was detailed and generally sounded good, but was bright and somewhat dry in comparison.

A tube section will do that to an amp sometimes haha!


But yeah I would figure a D7000 would be transparent enough to the point where you could use them as reference to give a decent perspective on headphones. I don't think I could find an EF5 anywhere though


As for price, yeah they're around 3-400 now.


Everyone is getting rid of theirs so they can pair their StageDAC with the new Corda Classic that is coming out. Jan's being very secretive. I'm not fortunate enough to be able to partake in Jan's desktop amps but these things are like sports cars to me haha. I get really excited whenever a new Meier product rolls around...

post #814 of 833

I have the Concerto paired with the StageDac to drive Beyer T1 headphones.


Would like to try something clearly better to evaluate an upgrade to this system. Don't have strong budget limitations as long as the improvement is very noticeable. What do you suggest?



post #815 of 833

Take a look at the Decware CSP2 thread if you don't mind tubes. I don't have experience with it myself, but there's a consensus it's one of the outstanding combinations with the T1.


Mind you, I think the Concerto/T1 is extremely good too. IIRC FrankI - who had both Concerto and CSP2 - considered the Concerto the best SS match he had tried with T1.


I regard the StageDAC very highly and it is my preferred DAC with my speaker system. Very clean, detailed and neutral, and reproduces loud/soft contrasts superbly. However, with my HP rigs, I think I begin to prefer the Eastern Electric MiniMax DAC with Concerto. The MiniMax is more energetic, and seems to unleash more of the Concerto's dynamics - which it has in abundance.


Edit: here's the thread http://www.head-fi.org/t/338147/review-decware-select-zen-csp2-tube-headphone-amp/360

Edited by Argo Duck - 10/4/11 at 12:40pm
post #816 of 833

Hi .. 
I recently bought a LCD-2. I'm looking for an amp that has a good parity with good cost-benefit ratio. I'm almost buying a used CONCERT Meier and I would like to know if you've tested this COMBO (2-LCD + CONCERT). 

I'm new to this forum and I am Brazilian. I apologize for wrongly written ... 

thank you

post #817 of 833
CONCERTO and LCD 2 is a very good combination, well respected by many here. It has a lot of energy and drives my LCD 2 rev 1 very well.

Compared to Meier's newest amp the Classic, the Concerto is slightly dry. Harmonics decay just a little bit faster. This is good with the rev 1, not sure about the current LCD 2 which I have not heard.

Overall it is a very good match, resolving and transparent.
post #818 of 833

Thank you for the quick reply! 
My LCD-2 is Rev1. 
I'll buy the CONCERT. 
I read the specification that the maximum voltage is 13Vrms and 500mA. You think it's also a good combination with the Sennheiser HD 650 by having a dry, more neutral sound? 

I ask this because I also have a HD650 currently paired this with a WooAudio WA3 - OTL.

post #819 of 833
I haven't heard the 650 I'm sorry. However, Jan Meier originally designed for phones like beyer T1 and Senn HD800. When he designed the Concerto I don't think he'd heard the LCD 2. It's a good chance it will work with 650 as I understand it's a little dark?

You could ask Jan by email. He's terrific to talk to and gives terrific service for his products
post #820 of 833
I have both the hd 650 and LCD2.2. The pairing with the 650s is phenomenal, however I would recommend you find a vintage pioneer to run with the LCDs instead for the same amount of money or less. The concerto is very detailed, but can be a bit lacking on power (especially with quiet classical recordings) and it doesn't do the best job of bringing out the awesome low end of the LCDs. See if you can find a SX-950 or 980 in decent condition, you won't be sorry.
post #821 of 833
^ I wondered if the Concerto might match less well with the 2.2 based on reviews of the 2.2's differences from the 2.1 - have you tried the Concerto with the 2.1? If so any thoughts?
post #822 of 833
Haven't heard the 2.1, but if you read through the vintage gear thread, the pioneers match very favorably with orthos with plenty of power to spare. It's a ton of amp for the same amount of money. The tone match might be better with the 2.1 and concerto, but I couldn't imagine the power issues going away.
post #823 of 833
^ Thanks!

IIRC an oddity with the Concerto - assuming the specs in the manual are right; sometimes they don't seem to match those on the website, suggesting an older manual was not fully updated! - is that it needs 3-4V to reach full output. On 2nd thoughts that's not surprising, comparing peak to rms.

Anyway, FWIW I found my Eastern Electric MiniMax DAC (2.5Vrms in SS mode; 3.0Vrms tube) drove the Concerto/2.1 combo with much greater authority and dynamics than e.g. Jan's own StageDAC or the Schiit Bifrost. This is interesting as MacedonianHero figured the Concerto at about 500mW (see the original LCD2 thread 2-3 years ago), whereas if the figures in the manual are correct I figured the Concerto's capability to be nearer a watt given higher input. Again, FWIW.

Very much along these lines is the Decware Taboo II (primarily speaker) amp, which needs more than 2Vrms to bring it alive according to its designer. (This changed with the latest model the III - preamp or high-output DAC no longer required).

Yes I recall Skylab got pretty enthused about vintage gear. In my part of the world, the better vintage stuff didn't seem to come up much so I didn't follow through...
post #824 of 833
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post


The Concerto, the newest amp from Meier Audio, is essentially equivalent to the top Meier, the Symphony, with a less features and a few tweaks. As such, it employs Meier’s Active Balanced Ground topology, and includes his famous Crossfeed image enhancer (which is supposed to be improved from the Symphony, and as always is defeatable), and a gain switch. That’s it for “features” – one input, one SE output. There is, however, also a new volume pot, which Jan described as a discrete volume control with a total of 64 positions (versus 32 steps on the SYMPHONY) and with typical step-size being around 0.7 dB.


I read the manual, I saw that there is the possibility of changing the GAIN LOW-HI to LOW-MED. 
For use with LCD-2, which option do you suggest? Gain Medium or High? 
Currently the concert is in the High Gain. 

thank you 

Edited by bblegram - 5/30/14 at 8:01pm
post #825 of 833
Thread Starter 
This depends on the output level of your source. Remember, gain does NOT equal output power! If you feel you don't have enough play on the volume control, meaning you always listen at the beginning 1/4 or 1/3 of the volume control, then try the lower gain. Otherwise, leave it like it is.
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