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

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
So what's it like listening to the Kites? Had an interesting example pop up. On one album that I use often for component testing, a revealing system will expose the body of the accoustic guitar being played in a really lovely way. However, it isn't immediately evident, and you have to "lean into" the recording, and pay attention to find it. It's a lovely reward when you do.

I gave this recording a try the other day and something odd happened. I'm concentrating hard and listening as deep into the recording as I can, but I'm not hearing the guitar. However, I was hearing all kinds of other stuff that I had never heard before. Strange.

Took me a moment to realize what was happening. The Kites are so revealing, that the accoustic guitar body I was listening for was almost in the foreground. I was actually listening past the guitar and picking up an entirely new level of the recording that I had never heard before. Astonishing.

Again, I don't want to make the Kites sound as if they are one of those annoying, Audiophile, "all detail, no music" type of speakers. Nothing could be further from the truth. I missed the accoustic guitar the first time, because it was so beautifully integrated into the mix, but just more vividly then I had ever heard it before. All the detail I could want was there, if I paid attention and listened for it. If not, I would just lose myself in the emotion of the musical performance.
 

Pat McGinty

Senior Member
Hi @Pat McGinty I'm new to the board and to the hobby in general so my question may be naive but why did you not use processors that support 32bit 192KHz? Thanks in advance.
Hi Doug - I expect that 32/192s will soon become available to OEMs as integrated plate amp systems. Our maker has recently released a 32/192 four channel processor/streamer standalone. Plates likely to come.

The industry has concentrated its efforts on very modestly priced stuff to start out because 'proof of concept' was just not going to happen at higher price points. Sales volume had to be good enough to justify taking the next steps. Considering that, it's quite surprising just how well things have worked out for v1.0. My take is that first-round stuff already puts us well ahead of conventional audio and that there's nowhere to go but "up". The next round should be very exciting.

I just worked with a 64 bit system that could process 32 channels in by 32 channels out at 192. Dandy. (But ouch $$$$)

Hopefully, the whole data density thing becomes a non-issue. All that needs be done is to barely exceed the limits of human hearing.
 

Pat McGinty

Senior Member
Clamps to cartons in a week. These are done and have flown the coop. This is the entry level bird, and quite petite at 9"W x 15.5H x 11.75D.

front and rear small.jpg


Check out the 75mm low mass titanium, heavily vented coil former, vented neodymium motor entirely inside the coil, with just a 'cap' to complete the magnetic circuit. Nicely open frame for free and easy breathing, good cooling. We juice the crap out of it with LF EQ :-)

DSCN1259 small.jpg
 

Audio Refugee

Senior Member
Those are really cool, @Pat McGinty. If I were to pop for a pair these would more than likely be what I could afford. Still working on it. Something always seems to come up to re-deplete what I've saved. I'll get there eventually. On a good note the NOS drivers I got from you a while back for my Swifts seem to have broken in! It seems like it happened a of the sudden and all at once. It's hard for me to say because I've never had to break speakers in before. They just, all of the sudden seemed to have bloomed big time. So in love with them right now. Thanks so much for making those drivers happen. Someday I'll get a new set from you, but they'll be wrapped in new cabinets.
 

Pat McGinty

Senior Member
Are those Erik's speakers?
Nope. Pics of Erik's shiny Kites in Santos Rosewood appear earlier in this thread. Those are Black Birds, a lower priced model, done in Sapele - sometimes called Ribbon Mahogany. They're headed to the sales floor of Wolfsong Audio north of Atlanta.
 

Kpatch

Junior Member
This may have been discussed before ... but do you turn-off the speakers at the end of the day or do you always leave them on?
 

Pat McGinty

Senior Member
This may have been discussed before ... but do you turn-off the speakers at the end of the day or do you always leave them on?
Either way. They'll sound right from a cold start. But, since they draw milliwatts at idle, you can just leave 'em on. Class D is the greenest, anyway.

It's kinda nice, on a whim, to reach for the tablet and play a tune. So modern. No switches or knobs, just a touch on a slip of glass. My streamer is hiding inside it's bay in the rear of the Kingfishers. So - nothing to see but the iPad and the speakers. So, yeah, ignoring the switches just seems right.

I gotta say that it never gets old - controlling an idiotically powerful rig with a fingertip. You get so darn spoiled by the ease of it that you just don't feel like flipping switches ;-)

Thanks for the question. Here's a link to the Meadowlark Public Folder:

 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
I've had mine turned off twice since I owned them. That's only when I went away for a few days. Otherwise, it is much like Pat said. The music is pretty well always on. I usually shut the music off just as I'm walking out the door.
 

Kpatch

Junior Member
Either way. They'll sound right from a cold start. But, since they draw milliwatts at idle, you can just leave 'em on. Class D is the greenest, anyway.

It's kinda nice, on a whim, to reach for the tablet and play a tune. So modern. No switches or knobs, just a touch on a slip of glass. My streamer is hiding inside it's bay in the rear of the Kingfishers. So - nothing to see but the iPad and the speakers. So, yeah, ignoring the switches just seems right.

I gotta say that it never gets old - controlling an idiotically powerful rig with a fingertip. You get so darn spoiled by the ease of it that you just don't feel like flipping switches ;-)

Thanks for the question. Here's a link to the Meadowlark Public Folder:

And one more question if I may ... if your source is fed into the ‘master’ speaker’s amp, how does the
master ‘talk’ to the slave speaker amp? How is the connection made? By way of a trigger cable?
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
And one more question if I may ... if your source is fed into the ‘master’ speaker’s amp, how does the
master ‘talk’ to the slave speaker amp? How is the connection made? By way of a trigger cable?
Oops.
Sorry that this was missed. Yes, one speaker takes the input, and then it's cabled to the second one. All connections are just balanced ones. Quick and easy.
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
I know I've mentioned this before, but it's astonishing how BIG the Kites sound. If you closed your eyes, you'd swear they were a MUCH larger speaker. And not like the Totem Mani-2, which is a monitor with big bass. These just don't sound like any stand mount speaker at all. Yet, they do detail and soundstage like a monitor. Pretty amazing stuff.
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
Almost more surprising is Foreplay/Long Time. The Kites handle the quiet organ parts gently and softly, building to those incredible crescendos without any weirdness or compression. The kick drum has real impact, while the accoustic guitar has air and body. And the bass guitar just snaps. Brad Delp is in my room in full, 70s, arena rock splendor. Fantastic speakers!
 
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