I cannot comment on the amp you are choosing, but HIGHLY
recommend the Rogue 99 pre amp. It is simply amazing.
i would strongly recommend a melos preamp for the same, or less money than the rogue. i auditioned the rogue 99 & the melos ma333/music director, & there was absolutely no comparison - the melos is far nicer, in all areas, imho.
there are currently 2 ma33's f/s on a-gon - one, recently updated by melos audio restorations, the guy is asking $1995. while i tink this unit would compete w/*any* preamp at *any* price, it's still f/s after 19 days, so the guy mite negotiate! ;~) another older model w/o remote was yust listed @ $1295. an absolute steal for the sound, but i wood no longer suffer w/o a remote! :>) for ~95% of the goodness of the ma333, there's a melos sha-gold recently listed for $700 - w/remote. again, a sonic bargain, imho. re: amps, i like my electrocompaniet, but i've heard good tings about the odyssey amps - may be a good deal if buying brand-gnu is important...
One thing about the Rogue, is you have to switch your
speakers cables positive to negative because it inverts
polarity, and if you hook everything up the standard way
it will not sound good at all. No bass no soundstage...etc.
Depends on your amplifier, check the polarity specs.
I just wonder if that's the way sedond heard his when he had
it?? I had the Melos SHA gold for 1 day and took it back,
it was slow & muddy, maybe needed new tubes??
I have been going through pre amps now very fast, and I can
tell you their may be better pre's but nothing is going
to "blow" it away in it's price range.
Can't comment on the music director, but hey if sedond likes
it that much, give it a try.
If you are interested in the SHA gold I told you about, I
can give you the # of where it is for sale. $800 with
remote, balanced & SE and in excellent condition. Might
throw some new tubes in it and see what happens.
i had the rogue in my home for ~2 months, & no, it wasn't hooked-up incorrectly. re: its inwerting polarity, this is a wery minor diference that many people cannot even hear; many recordings inwert polarity back-n-forth on several tracks on the same disc, so ya really don't know what polarity yure listening to anyways. the only time yule run into a problem is if polarity is reversed from the left channel to the right channel. my melos m-d has a polarity-reversal switch on the front-panel, & i'd be hard-pressed to tell the difference between one & the other.
in my system, the rogue was quite coloured (this was enjoyable, ackshully, yust not accurate!), & there was no bass response whatsoever. i'm not referring to yust electronic/synth-bass, but, acoustic upright bass was m.i.a. i attribute this to an impedence mismatch; rogue sez the 99's output impedence is 100 ohms, but my real-world tests, crossing the outputs w/resistors, indicates 2-2.4k-ohms is more likely. this, combined w/18' i/c's from my pre to my 25k-ohm input x-over, is what i believe was causing my loss of bass response.
prior to buying the melos, i also auditioned the cary slp98 (rated output impedence of 800 ohms), and this was slightly better than the rogue in all areas, except accuracy & low-end response, where it was significantly better than the rogue, in my system. (also, testing impedence w/resistors in the same manner as w/the rogue, indicated the resistance is as claimed by the mfr.) still, the melos m-d is in another league altogether, imho... ( i was kinda hoping it woodn't be, ackshully - i *love* the looks of that cary!)
re: your friends' (dealers'?) melos sha-gold, i'd say it definitely is due for a toob-replacement, or perhaps somsthing else altogether different is wrong w/it? i've heard this unit, & it's anything but slow & muddy, imho - if it weren't for the soundstage depth & bloom, yude tink it was solid-state! ;~) i'd be innerested in your comments listening to it w/some gnu toobs...
regards, doug s.
I may pick the Melos and re tube it, then see what it sounds
like. What the heck, it it sounds better than the Rogue I could sell it, I may be able to pick up the Melos even
cheaper than $800.
BTW...Should I have any worries about the customer service
I have heard so much about?? And reliability??
i'd have no concern w/melos' current operation, melos audio restorations. talk w/brant nordlund 702.248.6754. firstname.lastname@example.org. i sent him my m-d due to a couple issues i had w/it when i 1st got it - due to the problems the *old* melos had! ;~) my unit was an updated older unit that, it turned out, dint have all the updates as melos represented to the seller, & the seller had represented to me. brant, at the new operation, was more than fair, and the work was good, & turn-around was also good.
brant also offers mods to the preamps that improve the units beyond the last iterations the factory had. i will prolly send my pre back to him for these, after he finishes developing an updated photentiometer wolume-pot, which i want installed in my pre. the photentiometers, i tink, are the most transparent pots out there, but melos *did* have reliability issues w/these, cuz they were so sensitive to proper alignment - brant sez they had about a 25% failure-rate yust due to shipping! due to that, their last products - the *maestro* wersion of the sha-gold, & the music-director wersion of the ma333 - used conwentional hi-quality alps analog pots. still excellent pots, but i want a photentiometer in my melos! ;~)
hope this helps, doug s.