Review: Meitner MTR-101 Amplifier

Category: Amplifiers

Meitner 101- Comes with completely enclosed mahogany cabinet, multi rod cooling fins. Very high quality parts and meitner power supply technology used in these units. Excellent electrical characteristics afford very tight bass with huge reserve power for dynamics found in classical music. Warm to neutral midrange, that is controlled and not irritating. Wonderful soundstage, picking up most details of more complex music. The size does not dictate performance. Power handling doesn't tell the story. These are fantastic amps, still being serviced by the designers, Ed Meitner and John Wright. Can now be found at EMM Labs at 403-225-4161.
Sorry to say it, but if these amps are as good as you seem to think, then they should certainly be deserving of a better 'review' job than this, which tells us practically nothing - don't you think?. Why not try again - this time paying some attention to the A'gon review guidelines, because this really doesn't qualify as one.
I feel that Tupperz's review of the Meitner MTR-101 informative. I too, am a very happy owner of these amplifiers. If following the A'gon review guidelines means running down some other products to boost my ego, then, I am sorry, you wouldn't get it from me. I hope that others who read these reviews will bear in mind that pride of ownership dictates biased opinions towards specific comparable products. All I can say is if you are interested in power amplifiers that will not misbehave in the highs, have great rythm and pace, convey expressive musical performances well, then give the Meitner MTR-101 a listen. By the way, never buy any products you haven't listen to extensively.
It's good to know that we should "never buy any products you haven't listen to extensively".
Since Tupperz has "listen to extensively" to the Meitner, I for one, would welcome more info on his experience with this product. Specific musical passages, system (source, speakers), his musical tastes -- yes, maybe even comparisons with other amps. Cheers
My philosophy is, if you're going to ask of someones's time by prompting them to click on your thread, then at least do them the courtesy of taking the time yourself to make your thread a worthwhile effort. A'gon has no guidelines suggesting anyone should treat a review as an boost ego, AV_specialist, but that's what seems to be most of your motivation here. I realize Audiogon 'reviews' are free, but that doesn't mean we want to spend time clicking and reading an 'article' no one would be interested in buying. Sorry to sound so pissy, but after being shortchanged by enough of these lazy attemts at reviews (seemingly written only to enter the contest, or else why bother?), I begin to lose patience at a certain point. I've already put more sweat into my responses than is on display at the top. Both Tupperz and AV_specialist are probably more than capable of writing an interesting and informative review of this relatively uncommon product, but we're still waiting for it. Is it any wonder this thread never really garnered any response? Audiogon's forum is only as good a place to spend time as we try to make it.
I have the Meitner MTR-101 monoblocks. Leave them on all the time, run cool, sounds nice, looks great. Materializes dinner for me once in awhile and seconds as a holodeck chamber on dull nights. When I ask to be transported to a smokey nightclub featuring a jazz quartet, my girlfriend, also materialized from the meitner unit, makes me wash my clothes to eliminate the smokey smell. Now thats a realistic soundstage!
Gee Zaikesman, I guess your time to read a review is worth more than most other's to write one. If that's the case, I'd rather keep my opinions to myself. Thanks for your encouragement to contribute.
AV_specialist: I don't know you from Adam (at least not that I'm aware of), but acknowledge that you can do and say what you like - I'm open-minded and thick-skinned. But it does seem strange that as of right now, you have a grand total of all of TWO threads in which you have contributed to this forum, and BOTH of them basically amount to attempts at rebuttals directed squarely at ME. Now, what in the heck might up with that?! Well, whatever floats your boat - no matter. When you have spent even a fraction as much time (whatever your time is worth to you) as I have in contributing to this forum, then please feel free to come back and jump on me for presuming to comment on another member for giving me only a tease for my own time. Until then, please do us all a favor and try to come up with some stuff that's a little more relevant and interesting (not to mention diversified), OK? How's that for encouragement to contribute?
Zaikesman, I have no intentions on "jumping on you". I happened to open both threads that came up during my search for Meitner amplifiers. When I read your reply to Tupperz, I must take exceptions with how you belittled him and now me for not writing "better reviews" (in your own words)and worse yet, "lazy attemts at review" (verbatim quote). I was hoping to present another point of view where others like myself are appreciative of short and concise reviews. If I find a brief review of a product interesting, then I shall seek out the product for an audition. Now bear with me while I explain why I find it frustrating reading some of the reviews which you may deem "better". I do not read with any interest reviews that deal primarily with quantitative differences between products. That is more mids, less mids; more bass or less bass. More dynamic peaks or less. More depth or reverberation or less. Unless you know intimately how a recording was done, including knowing what the engineer had intended the tonal balance of his recording to be etc., judging various components by tonal balance or by the amount of ambience is imprecise at best. If an engineer had intended his recording to have a sound that I happen not to like, finding a piece of audio equipment that would change it to my liking would be foolhardy. That would be like making a bad situation worse for all other cases except for one. With various equipment that have different tonal colors, one can certainly change the quantity of bass, mids, highs or hall ambience to ones liking for that particular recording. But it wouldn't make other recordings sound more musical.
Now if you agree with me that quatatative differences should not be used as the absolute reference, then can you tell me what is a "silvery" sound? Or "liquid" or "full and rich"? And what in the world is "blackness between notes"? In a concert hall with long reverberation time, how can there be "blackness between notes"?! By the way, I have not read any of your reviews, and I don't know if you have personally used any of these as descriptions of what you hear in your evaluations. But this is the typical nonsense that I read over and over in so many reviews. If I have offended you or others who may have used these descriptions, I apologize. But I hope that this will be taken as constructive criticism. I am definitely not directing it specifically at you, Zaikesman. Back to my point: How in world can we use any of these as THE reference and deemed it to be absolutely correct when we were not present when the recording was done?
The only foolproof way of evaluating a product is by evaluating its rhythm and pace. Better rhythm and pace comes from tracking the amplitudes and frequencies of the musical information correctly. No amount of added distortions can cause the music to have better rhythm and pace. Whilst microphonic components when excited can give us more of a sense of ambience. Or a mild peak in the midrange can bring out "more depth" or sweeter sounding mid-tones. These distortions will cause the music to have a greater level of confused rhythm and pace. Music lovers will agree that it’s the expressiveness in the playing of the music that gives us greater goose-bump factors. I can get goose-bumps listening to a great concert in a not so great concert hall, but I cannot get goose-bumps from hearing a poor performance in a wonderful sounding concert hall. Unfortunately, informing others that a piece of equipment really gets the rhythm and pace of the music right is not glamourous. Besides being to hear the musicians better express their interpretations of the music, I cannot make it any more romantic. So you find my review short, dull and uninteresting? I hope that there are many other like me who find short reviews the opposite.
So, there you have it, Zaikesman, a somewhat longer than intended dissertation on how I evaluate my audio components. I no longer have much patience in reading reviews that do not deal with the rhythm and pace or the expressiveness of the music playing. The beauty of this is that rhythm and pace is in all forms of music, so I don't even have to tell you about my musical preferences. Does it really matter what kind of music one likes if one can hear greater expressiveness in the music making by a Stevie Ray Vaughan, a Winton Marsalis, a Miles Davis or a Glenn Gould? I hope some day you too will get rhythm and pace in your evaluation.
AV_specialist, thank you for taking the time to explain your viewpoint, and also for making clear the reason why you happened to come into the two threads and comment in response to me. I hope you continue to contribute to more forum discussions. (But I did not criticize you for not writing a "better review" - you have not written a review to criticize, just posted in response to one. Maybe you are not familiar with what constitutes a 'formal' review in the review section as opposed to other kinds of posts.)

About your points above:

I stand by my criticism of Tupperz' "review". You obviously disagree, but I find it almost useless to consider a "review" that is nearly written in the form of a haiku. I frankly have a hard time believing that anyone, including yourself, could actually get as much out of such a review as a more in-depth one, yet there are ways in which I respect your position. I basically agree that it can be at least as frustrating, if not more so, to try and digest any relevent info from a review that makes you wade through too many flowery but vague adjectives and specific musical passage references. But I am puzzled by your acknowledgement on the one hand of the lack of any absolute reference standard to which we can attribute the performance of a review subject, when it must be merely one part of a chain which includes the whole recording and record-making process as well as an entire reproduction system, and yet on the other hand defend a "review" style that provides little-to-no context in which to judge a writer's impressions of that subject. There are good reasons why Audiogon has suggested review parameters (although they may have shot themselves in the foot somewhat in this regard when they kicked off the review section with the contest).

Although I ultimately disagree about your apparent conclusions having to do with subjective evaluation's worth in assessing the sonic veracity of any component, I do agree with the philosophy which in effect states that audiophile writing oftentimes becomes a case of the tail wagging the dog, in which the terms of the descriptive language we have developed for communicating sonic performance attributes can sometimes seemingly lead our perceptions rather than follow from them. I also agree that many of these terms leave a good deal to be desired when it comes to describing any easily or universally recognized sonic property a system may display. The ironic thing (for me) about that - as it pertains to your comments - is that I believe the whole "PRAT" paradigm is among the worst, if not indeed *the* worst, of the offenders. (I am going to refrain, however, from going into here why I feel this is so.)

P.S. - If you want to read my review, click on "Reviews" next to my username (it's the review of the tonearm damper; the preamp test thread was placed there by mistake, presumably due to a glitch in the A'gon 'puter system - it is most definitely not a review).
Not only did I find Tupperz's review informative enough, I also liked Jetter's comments on the Meitners. Hey, Jetter, what do think we'd get if we put together a 5.1 SACD multi-channel system based on MTR-101 amplification?
I owned a pair of meitner 101's many years ago,driving a pair of b&w 801's.My impressions were that these amps had a
good solid base line,not krell,levinson or the like but still deep with excellent resolution.The mid range was very
natural with sufficient detail and depth, not exceptional
or in aleague with classe or bat.The high end was a little
rounded at the extremes but did have a very decent amount of
air and space.I have progressed to classe omega mono's since then with stints of classe omicron,bat vk500& 1000's
the meitners did not have the ultimate resolution of some of the aforementioned amps nor the blackness or air or stage
of them but, still remember these amps being very good.
Hi, I've had the Mitner FM tunor, AV pre, Transport, Bi-Dat, and this amp.
I find they have a similar sound. You ask, if the source or pre can be recorded onto CD and compared with other similar devices, how can an amp have a similar sound without being dependant?
Well, compare the spectral "10" pre to the Mitner and you'll find smooth, less harsh highs, less airy mids, slightly nasal, and warm bass. Same if you compare the 101 amp to the spectral "90" amp.
comparing a FanFair tunor to the Mitner, I find the Mitner to have a certain sound that is warmer, with silky highs and slightly nasal mids.
Just like people say McIntosh all have the same sound.
It's a big little amp. it has some reserve, and other than the pper mids, is quite nice.
Hi- I have one remaining monoblock Meitner amp....and would love to either sell it OR buy another one to match it. any one have any suggestions? thanks in advance