Meadowlark Kite Build Thread - Prime Minister Gets A New Pair of Speakers

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
So the "seeking" part of my question... I've a sneaking suspicion that if you're looking for more vivid colour it will be hard to find on the SS side of things, at least in any modern gear that would meet other criteria. Tubes are never going to be as quiet as SS, though both of my tube phono pre amps don't make enough noise to be audible unless one really cranks things with no music playing. The couple of chip-based pre's I had briefly were both noisier when it came down to it.
I don’t know that is true. Good SS comes in all manner of flavours. While maybe not as colourful as the wildest tube stuff, SS can be rich, warm and lovely sounding also.
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
I don’t know that is true. Good SS comes in all manner of flavours. While maybe not as colourful as the wildest tube stuff, SS can be rich, warm and lovely sounding also.
Oh, no doubt of that and I'm not suggesting otherwise. By design the range of possibility is however likelier to be narrower and less tweakable than tubes unless one gets into the realm of DSP.
 

Audionut

Next Round Is On Me
I've been looking for them for a while now, and much like many quality, but not audiophile fashionable pieces, they don't seem to come up for sale very often. I'm still hunting, but if not, the Schiit Freya seems to be a good fallback.
Does the Freya fit your bill?
Passive audio purist mode; check!
Tube buffering to round out any SS harshness or just add warmth;check!
Tube gain for long runs; check!
XLR balanced in/out; check!
Remote control; check!
Real world price; check!
Oh and if you decide to get an “incrementally” better unit for six times the price, you can easily sell this one and not lose your backside on it. (they hold their value fairly well)
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
Does the Freya fit your bill?
Passive audio purist mode; check!
Tube buffering to round out any SS harshness or just add warmth;check!
Tube gain for long runs; check!
XLR balanced in/out; check!
Remote control; check!
Real world price; check!
Oh and if you decide to get an “incrementally” better unit for six times the price, you can easily sell this one and not lose your backside on it. (they hold their value fairly well)
You aren't helping! :)
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
Does the Freya fit your bill?
Passive audio purist mode; check!
Tube buffering to round out any SS harshness or just add warmth;check!
Tube gain for long runs; check!
XLR balanced in/out; check!
Remote control; check!
Real world price; check!
Oh and if you decide to get an “incrementally” better unit for six times the price, you can easily sell this one and not lose your backside on it. (they hold their value fairly well)
And a 15 day trial.

Turns out they are out of stock. Not like I'm checking or anything. ;)
 
That it certainly does. And imagine the fun of being able to tweak how the cartridge sounds that way.
You can tweak your analog Config to suit your cartridge in the Input PEQ. To keep the phono EQ separate from any room EQ, start your room EQ at biquad 1, ascending, then begin any phone EQ at biquad 12, descending. That way your other Configs' room PEQ will be the same and in the same places.
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
You can tweak your analog Config to suit your cartridge in the Input PEQ. To keep the phono EQ separate from any room EQ, start your room EQ at biquad 1, ascending, then begin any phone EQ at biquad 12, descending. That way your other Configs' room PEQ will be the same and in the same places.
Im gonna have to do some thinking on that one.
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
I have very little experience with DSP, but it would seem to me that regarding source (of whatever type) it might be a little like cooking? Start with the best possible ingredients and then add the seasoning in the course of the preparation?
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
I have very little experience with DSP, but it would seem to me that regarding source (of whatever type) it might be a little like cooking? Start with the best possible ingredients and then add the seasoning in the course of the preparation?
That's about how it goes. I'm loving the sound I'm getting right now, and I've neither tweaked it to my taste yet, nor have I corrected it for my room.
 

airdronian

Junior Member
Yeah, I've been ignoring those on purpose. I've got too much money into my phono preamp to even think of changing. Plus, I really like the sound of it. My favorite audio purchase ever, before the Meadowlarks.

But damn, DSP phono preamps just make so much sense. Let the old guard have their views. That way we have someone to sell our gear to when we upgrade. ;)
Has @ICTWoody updated his Puffin experiences ? That's DSP phono at a real-world kind of price point.
 

ICTWoody

Junior Member
Has @ICTWoody updated his Puffin experiences ? That's DSP phono at a real-world kind of price point.
It’s currently sitting on a shelf. I need to get it back out and hook the empire to it and into the AVC pre. Maybe I’ll do that later tonight. I’m ashamed how little I’ve used it so far. The amount of adjustability is kinda overwhelming. I always find myself wondering if I have it dialed or not.

I need to dig in some more.

- Woody
 

ICTWoody

Junior Member
My long run of XLR’s are pro grade star quad. Amazingly simple and sound just great.
I did a ton of reading when I needed some 20’ XLRs to connect my Modwright 36.5 pre to my KWA150 SE at the opposite end of the room. I did a lot of research and ultimately I bought Mogami Golds. They sound great and aren’t fussy. I have some short ones, like 3’ I used between my Parasound A21 and P5 too.

Lots of dudes with stupid expensive gear running Mogami Golds.

- Woody
 

S0und Dragon

Junior Member
I really was planning on running Star quad through out my system. If I didn’t land on deals for DH Labs and later Zu Mission cables. That is where I still would be. I bought mine from a custom cable maker and it worked out great. Nothing against higher end cables. But it was hard to justify the costs when in studios this is what was being used.
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
I really was planning on running Star quad through out my system. If I didn’t land on deals for DH Labs and later Zu Mission cables. That is where I still would be. I bought mine from a custom cable maker and it worked out great. Nothing against higher end cables. But it was hard to justify the costs when in studios this is what was being used.
Whose star quad did you use?
 
I miss this thead... @Pat McGinty ... any chance you might have some time to share another build with us? I wish it were mine.
Sure! We're presently working on a non-audio millwork job, but have Black Birds and Kingfishers in the queque, plus the need to prototype a revision of our all-out Dual Band bass system. Here are two pics of the first production Kingfisher bass system using the 9.5" Satori driven by 1x500W, the same system as in Kite, but bridged. It's headed to mate up with a pair of Black Birds already in the customer's place.

The interesting thing about this idea is that we are not making a conventional "bookshelf/subwoofer" combination which relies upon matching the sub's low pass filter to the existing characteristics of the mains. A series of untasty compromises, there, and missed opportunities. Instead we reprogram the mains so that the system works like a three-way. So it's much better integrated. In Black Bird's case we impose a 5th order Butterworth HP at 120Hz, defeat its normal bass boost because that's now in the stop band, kill the peak output compressor which is no longer needed to prevent overexcursion and retarded the timing to match that of the woofer. So the main's performance gains ground on both midband clarity and overall dynamics.

The Kingfisher delivers a solid 30Hz at vigorous levels. I gotta say that the Satori 9.5 aggressively reveals bass detail that, until recently, were not evident to us. It really bring the smiles; just a really great next gen driver. Combined with Kite, which has splendid timbrel resolve, and the system's top-to-bottom continuity of dynamics and resolution are delightful.

FWIW - the Big Boy bass system is to have a single Satori 9.5 for upper bass and twin 10" pumps for low bass. Three amps. Dual Band Bass (TM). There's no such thing as a woofer that does well at both low bass and upper bass, so we divide the bass into two bands; a trick that was not really doable pre-DSP.

FWIW2 - It is possible to add those two 10" pumps to an existing Kingfisher as two stand alone units. So a guy could start with Kite, then add LF performance until satisfied. Or until the wife moves out.

Note the 0.75" dia. Viton spheres resting in little dimples. They do a nice job of isolating the mains and are grippy enough to prevent them from walking off onto the floor. And note the cubby at lower rear to accommodate your streamer; there's plenty of room for my Auralic Aries Mini or for a Bluesound Node 2i. Add a power strip and you've tidied the wiring up nicely. Ribbon Mahogany with Peruvian Walnut feeties.

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