Melos was a very good high quality component. I used to know George but that was 30 years ago....he was sick then...I'm not so sure he's still around. After such a long time, I wonder if your unit is playing well.
9 responses Add your response
Some bogus company took over Melos after George Melos. It was located in Las Vegas, not inappropriately. They hornswaggled several Melos owners on incompetent and overpriced repairs, etc. I don't know whether they still control the brand name, but beware of them. One of my friends sent them an amplifier that was first returned broken, then sent back to them, then not returned to him at all, ever. Albeit, this was at least 10 years ago.
Well I finally got the Melos MA220 coupled with a Music Hall MM7 running the original Goldring Eroica H MC Cartridge. I have to say it can sound quite nice at times! I still trying to figure the unit out. Not sure why it has 2 sets of outputs. One person said to run to 2 preamps. I guess its input is for only a High Output MC since it appears to work and there is no switch for Low Output cartridges. I have to gain it down quite a bit with my preamp gain adjustment to avoid clipping. I have not figured out what effect if any the load switching that steps from 47k Ohm to 1 Ohm does. So far I'm happy with it but would like to know more what this unit does.
I have never seen a Melos preamp. I am not sure what you've got. Is it a phono-only stage or a full-function preamp, which would have a built in linestage section? The way to know that is to look at the rear of the unit. Do you see multiple pairs of inputs, labeled variously "CD", "Tuner", "Tape", etc? If so, it's a full-function preamplifier with a built-in phono stage. And if that's the case, it makes no sense to run its output through your "preamplifier", which is probably a line stage. One reason you may feel it's "pretty good" and not very good is that you are using it as a phono stage. You will remove a layer of distortion if you connect it directly to your amplifier, assuming you do verify it is a full-function preamp.
The load resistances, varying from 47K to 1 ohm, by your own description represent the load seen by the phono cartridge as it "looks back" into the phono input. For high output cartridges, meaning most moving magnet (MM) and moving iron (MI) cartridges, and for high output moving coils (HOMC), set the load to 47K, and forget it. That probably includes the Eroica. The fact that the unit has the capacity to vary the load down to 1 ohm suggests to me that it may in fact have enough gain for a low output moving coil cartridge, most of which sound best with a load resistance of anywhere from 1000 ohms down to 50 ohms. There is no cartridge ever made that would work well into a 1 ohm load, so I don't understand that bit.
The Melos 220 is a stand alone phono stage; it is essentially the phono stage from the 222C full function preamp that I have owned for many years. It is a very good phono stage with a very full sound with powerful bass and tonality on the dark side of neutral. West German Siemens 6922's sound great in this phono stage and "turn the lights up" a little; a good thing here.
It benefits from placing it on hard cone-type footers instead of the squishy stuff and weight on top. I am confused by your comments about the "two outputs". Are they labeled as such? I believe that the RCA connections are two INPUTS (MM/MC) and one set of outputs. Are you sure you are connecting it properly?
The Load Input adjustment markings, which has independent knobs for Left and Right are marked 47k 23k 1k 510 390 270 180 91 47 22 10 and last 5 (not 1)ohms. It does have 2 outputs which are the same and I did test these to 2 line stage inputs of my preamp. It came with the cone spike feet which are in use! I read I should look into upgrading to "superior coupling capacitors" which I may look into since the unit is quit old. I'm also very interested in trying out the GOLDRING EROICA L MOVING COIL MC LOW OUTPUT CARTRIDGE as my Turn table came with the Goldring Eroica-H High Output Moving Coil Cartridge. I think I should be able to do this without the addition of a cartridge preamp before my phono stage preamp.
Can, there is one DIP switch for each channel. There are two pairs of switches situated toward the rear of the circuit board. Of those four switches, the phono gain switches are the two situated closer to the front of the circuit board (not the lone pair at the very front of the unit, those are low frequency cut-off switches)
1,2 ON 3,4 OFF = high gain (57db)
3,4 ON 1,2 OFF = med gain (48db)
1,2,3,4 OFF = low gain (42db)