I've used the Meitner PA-6i preamp for about 2 years; got the full upgrade package about a year ago. Picked up a pair of MTR-101s about six months ago, but since they sound so good I have not felt any urgency to get the upgrades done. In general, I feel that Museatex/Meitner products offer far more for the money than the big names. The Bidat D/A converter is another good example of a giant-killer. It is probably no coincidence that Sony, who could have paid for the services of virtually any audio engineer on the planet, contracted Ed Meitner to assist with the development of the Super Audio CD format. I would only add that using the PA-6i and the 101s together is definitely the way to go. It's also worth mentioning that when Stereophile gave the combo the Class B rating, the reviewer also noted the synergy achieved when using pre and power together; moreover, Stereophile acknowledged that the units they reviewed were early versions that had already been upgraded by the time the review went to press. Overall, with the pre and power going on the used market for under $2K, in my opinion, nothing else comes close. Happy listening! Joel Tatelman.
I use them as bass amps (200hz on down) in a 4-piece system, but have also run them full range. Mine were revised just before I got them about 3 years ago, but I have heard a friend's original 101s in my system. I don't know the cost, but the revised version has more detail, depth and dynamics than the original--a more refined presentation. Sonically a very worthwhile improvement. The overall character of the sound is the same--it's a very rich amplifier and smooth. It won't wow you with detail, but that's because it's not bright or tilted towards the high frequencies in its balance. It may not be the best amp for rock in that respect, because there is less high frequency energy than some other solid state designs on transients; I personally think the Meitners are more natural sounding. Sounds quite tube-like in its presentation and tonal balance, but it has VERY powerful, and full, bass. I got it originally as a spare in case my Jadis JA80s went down, and now use it, together with the 80's on the midrange and tweeters in the biamped system, because it's a good match tonally with those amps. And they don't weigh 200 pounds, are compact and look great in their mahogany/rosewood cases.
Joel: I also have a PA 6 that I use as a spare when my Jadis preamp is acting up, and ultimately will move to my second system. Is the upgrade on that one worth it? I already have the current MC phono module, which I thought was a big improvement over the original module in my unit. I was thinking of upgrading, but not sure of the benefit. Incidently, I live two blocks from Arnie Balgalvis, the Stereophile reviewer of the Meitner system, who has been over to my place for some NJAS meetings, and on seeing the 101s in my system he mentioned that he still has fond memories of the Meitner components. I think they're innovative and a hell of a bargain, as you note.
Thanks for the help. I listen mostly to classical, also jazz and rock, but mainly acoustic. I presently have a c-j mosfet amp so I'm familiar with sound of mosfet amplifiers. I think I want more detail until I hear an analytical ss amp and then I run to find a more "natural" sounding power source. I have a Rogue 66 pre that I'm very fond of, but would consider the PA-6. I would be bi-amping Alon Vs w/2 pr Meitners. The c-j does many things very well and is a really nice amp, but bass is not one of them in my system. Thanks for your input. :-)
Rackon, I am late to the party on comments, but I owned the P6i preamp and 101 monos for several years. Had them as my second system up until I went hometheater and now wish I hadn't sold them to a friend. They are superb sounding amps with a lot of power for such a little box. And extremely attractive. My wife still bugs me about selling them because they were her favorite amps. They drove my B&W 801III's very well. If you know that speaker you know how inefficient they are. I have Krell Playback system into Krell 650MC monos which I absolutely love, but could have been just as happy with the Meitner for the money. Grab them if you can. Last comment, I agree they work and sound best with the preamp. They are designed to work together. They won't sound as good with other equipment.
Audionut: On your last point, while they are a synergistic match, the amps do work well with other equipment; my JP80MC sounds better than the PA-6i with them, for example, although you're talking ridiculous money there. The Rogue is a fine piece; it may work very well with the 101s, I wouldn't rule it out at all. If Rackon lives in the NYC/tri-state area, I could bring over one or both of my pre and amps to let him/her give it a listen and comparison (I did this for a friend in the NJAS, who's now looking for these pieces on the used market).
Ive used the PA6 for years. It is a stellar performer and years ago got a rave in TAS. Can anyone comment on the value of an upgrade ?
Rcprince: Thank you for your kind offer. Alas, I am in Indiana. Just have to take a chance, although it doesn't appear to be a great risk judging from the above endorsements. I love the Rogue but you never know until you compare. Thanks again. What is line is JP80MC?
Rcprince: Regarding the advisability of upgrading the PAa6 or PA6i. For me, it's very hard to say. I probably wouldn't have sent mine in to John Wright at Museatex/ADS in Calgary at all, except that it produced an annoying hum (or buzz, depending on your choice of words), which no local tech could get rid of. As it turned out, the only problem was a burnt-out ground resistor in the outboard power supply. However, at the time I sent the PA6 in, it seems that John Wright was very busy, and I didn't get the unit back for something like 8-10 weeks. It sounded --- and sounds --- great, of course, but my sonic memory can't really tell me how much, if any different from before the upgrades. Others have spoken highly of the results, but Ijust can't tell.
Rackon: The JP80 is the Jadis all tube unit; I got mine about 7-8 years ago when they were a little less expensive. I'm prejudiced, but I think it's still one of the best you can get, particularly for classical music. That said, while I miss the Jadis, the PA-6 is a more than capable replacement; it has a superb phono stage, soundstages very well and has excellent bass and dynamics, just lacks the last degree of dimensionality and refinement I feel you get from tubes in general and the Jadis in particular. Tatelman, thanks for your input; I'll probably send it in for an update when the Jadis returns.
OK guys, I bought the Meitner amps. :-) Thanks for the input. Guess I'm now hunting for another run of IC?? (I've never used mono-blocks before, always a single amp.) Thanks again for chiming in - I'll keep you posted.
Getting in late on this but if the Meitner's you purchased are in wood cabinets and have round, cylindrical heat sinks on the back, you just bought amazing amps. More amazing still at their price. These are some of the best "little" amps I've ever heard (and "little is not a put-down, just a reference to size for their power). They do not sound like solid state and also sound much more powerful than their power rating (100w I think). Heard these just recently driving the big Hales (Trans 8's?) beautifully. Enjoy, man.
Yep, they're the ones. Recommended for sweetness, dynamics and bass control. True they're "only" rated 100w but evidently they were engineered with enough high current capability to cope handily with low ohm bass driver demands - mine dip to 4 ohm and were still hungry being fed by the 200w c-j MF2200. I've been told of the Meitners driving Apogee Divas. Several people e-mailed me and they all recommended this amp for performance and musicality. Not one negative. So I thought I had to try them at the price. They are the updated versions. I think they look cool too. Only problem, I gotta get extra run of IC before they arrive. Oh, BTW, I bought the Meitner pre too; don't know if I'll like it better than my Rogue. We shall see. Anyway, these are my Christmas presents to me. :-) Thanks again for the tips and support. Couldn't have got into this much trouble without y'all!
You are a lucky man and made a damn, damn good choice. These are such good amps, will drive anything and look wonderful, too. Enjoy. PS I assume, since they are monos you will place them as close as possible to your speakers. If not, although Meitner said you can stack them one on top of the other with no problem, get some small blocks as spacers and stain them to match the finish of the amps. These puppies run bit hot, at least at the heat sinks. Doesn't hurt to take extra precautions. Again, I was so impressed with these amps --- and I am a tube guy. You're set for a very long time.
Jim - in fact, I'm a lucky audio gal, but appreciate the endorsement nonetheless. Since I have 10' tri-wire speaker run and short ICs, amps will have to be near equipment rack for now. Good suggestion about the blocks. I intend to place amps close to speakers eventually, when I have settled on speaker cable and can afford long run ICs. (Currently very pleased with Coincident CST1 speaker wire, like it better than Black Orpheus.) Good to hear from a tube lover - especially one who found so much to like and so little to fault in this ss amp. Alons Vs are voiced with tubes and really sing with them. Santa, however, informed me he wasn't bringing any Atma-Sphere MA2s, VTL Ichibans or ARC VT200s, not even a BAT VK500 down the chimney this Christmas. So I have been my own St. Nick. I'm looking forward to fine music with BASS this holiday season. Now - I wonder how Santa would feel about a Sony 777 SACD player...
Oooooops... Rackon, sorry to be so presumptuous. Being an audio guy, I guess making dumb mistakes goes with the territory. Actually, it's not that I found so little to fault with the Meitners, I found nothing to fault. Love these amps. They just seem to have that certain "rightness" that gets straight to the music. Fine music, indeed. You are quite the St. Nick, Rackon. In fact you are inspiring me to maybe drop some more audio goodies into my own stocking (Christmas stocking, that is). I envy you listening to music with BASS, which is something I don't get enough of with my electostatics (get lots of other good stuff, though). Will two REL's fit down the chimney? Happy Holidays and please let me know how it goes with your new toys.
My friend has a pair of 101's and he'd like to know how he can get them revised. Can anyone give information on this?
John Wright at EMM Labs (Ed Meitner's company) was the person whom I contacted, but I recall receiving a piece of mail or e-mail from him recently saying he had left there. I'll see if I still have it in my office on Monday. Possible Ed Meitner might be able to help, try emmlabs.com with a search, as he's venturing back into consumer audio with his DSD transport/DAC combination.
I just got an e-mail from John Wright. He has a new website, www.museatex.com, where you can get in touch with him regarding Meitner/Museatex repairs, upgrades, etc. He is the person who has been handling repairs and upgrades the past 10 years, and the work he did for me in the past was done very well.