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

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
I've gotta have you guys over for a listening session sometime. You'll be astonished by his these things scale. Doing the Styx test right now (Yes, these are the best of times). I've never heard a speaker smaller then a large floorstander that will really rock. All the monitor types always cheat with weird bass humps and stuff that work ok at low levels, then fall apart once you get them moving. But I am listening to these guys LOUD and they are just as clean as at low level.
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
I’m sure someone is wondering how they sounded. Now forgive me for not getting into too much detail yet, but I did hear them in a large, unfamiliar room, fed by unfamiliar sources. And we did listen to a bunch of music I didn’t know.

However, my first impressions are:

Incredible coherence between the woofer and tweeter. They just sound like one driver.
Astonishing detail, without sounding detailed. No audiophile spiking of the high end to artificially create detail.
Absolutely unrivalled speed and dynamics.

The most astonishing them about them? I really can’t tell you what they sound like. They just don’t seem to have a sound. Just when I’d think I had my finger on this or that aspect of their sound quality, we’d change recordings, and I’d realize it was the recording I was hearing, not the speaker. They are just absolutely, stunningly, neutral. If you want your speaker to sound a certain way, then these may not be for you. If you just want your gear to get out of the way, and just be true to the recording, then I haven’t heard anything like the Kites.

My biggest concern was whether I could hear the DSP in action. Whether there was a digital edge to everything. If there is, I sure didn’t hear it.

Bravo, @Pat McGinty .
Hah!
I’ve gotta keep reminding myself of this impression. I’ve caught myself chasing a few issues, only to realize it is just the speakers being totally transparent and sharing what the source is doing.
 
I’ve caught myself chasing a few issues, only to realize it is just the speakers being totally transparent and sharing what the source is doing.
You do raise an issue that we all face as we continue our journey towards audio nirvana. Do we want a perfectly clear window to the music that lets all the flaws become apparent? Or is it better to err on the side of musicality so that one can enjoy all one's records/files/streams, even when they're not perfect? As I get older, I lean more and more in the direction of musicality, even when I know it's not 100% accurate.

---Gary
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
You do raise an issue that we all face as we continue our journey towards audio nirvana. Do we want a perfectly clear window to the music that lets all the flaws become apparent? Or is it better to err on the side of musicality so that one can enjoy all one's records/files/streams, even when they're not perfect? As I get older, I lean more and more in the direction of musicality, even when I know it's not 100% accurate.

---Gary
I don’t mean to imply that it’s overly detailed sounding, as many “High end” systems try to be. It doesn’t hit you over the head with it. It’s just there, for good and for bad. If I end up not liking it, I can tweak it in many ways. We can tweak the crossover to roll some brightness out of it. Or I can out my preamp back in, and use my dac to tweak the sound. Or I could add a tube preamp.

I don’t think the speakers should sound any different. Let the stuff before it tune the sound.
 
Last edited:

Pat McGinty

Senior Member
You do have twelve biquads of PEQ on each of the four Presets on each side, so you can make your system sound any way you like.

The trick on the resolution front is to keep res about equal throughout the band or the thing will sound out of balance.

But there sure is a two-edged sword as res improves. I too am noticing some trouble with source mastering that wasn't apparent before. One of my fav currently touring band's studio recordings on Tidal all sound the same kinda funny. It sounds like what I'm hearing is the inverse of their mastering system's problems.
 

S0und Dragon

Junior Member
And that is the worst part of having a super resolving system. When the source material is good, the sound is good. When the source material is not so good, it is amplified and sometimes unlistenable.
 

Pat McGinty

Senior Member
And that is the worst part of having a super resolving system. When the source material is good, the sound is good. When the source material is not so good, it is amplified and sometimes unlistenable.
I hear ya. Perhaps in a future generation of processors we'll dial in a way to 'throw away' some resolution. Hush my mouth!
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
And that is the worst part of having a super resolving system. When the source material is good, the sound is good. When the source material is not so good, it is amplified and sometimes unlistenable.
To clarify, the Kites never make it unlistenable. I've heard a lot of detail oriented systems that use resolution as a parlor trick ("Hear that? The first violinist just leaned over and broke wind! Isn't my system great?).

The Kites never sound like they are trying to be resolving. They basically just disappear and let the music thorough. For good and for bad. The bad ain't bad, and the good is incredible.
 
Wow. Just came across this thread. Truly impressive design/build/finish. The attention to all the details is utterly amazing. I do remember Meadowlark back in the early 2000's. I was just getting into what I thought was hi end audio/video. I look back at and now feel pretty embarrassed that I spent way too much money trying to achieve audio nirvana buying products from B&W, Proceed, JL Audio, KEF, Lexicon, Levinson, etc. All great companies but the dealer driven model soured me over time. I have dabbled designing/building speakers and amps and spent many hours looking for the best drivers from the likes of Madisound. Came across Hypex over 10 years ago and still listen to their UcD modules. I now know that the limiting factor was the source content and have truly adopted streaming as the way to source music. Found another company that is as passionate as you are and they have purpose built an audio streamer that leverages Roon and all their DSP functionality. Combine with the likes of MiniDSP and room correction SW and all I can say is wow.

@Prime Minister Congrats on a speaker that will last you a lifetime.

@Pat McGinty Would love to connect with you and see how I can map out a future speaker project.
 
Last edited:

Pat McGinty

Senior Member
Wow. Just came across this thread. Truly impressive design/build/finish. The attention to all the details is utterly amazing. I do remember Meadowlark back in the early 2000's. I was just getting into what I thought was hi end audio/video. I look back at and now feel pretty embarrassed that I spent way too much money trying to achieve audio nirvana buying products from B&W, Proceed, JL Audio, KEF, Lexicon, Levinson, etc. All great companies but the dealer driven model soured me over time. I have dabbled designing/building speakers and amps and spent many hours looking for the best drivers from the likes of Madisound. Came across Hypex over 10 years ago and still listen to their UcD modules. I now know that the limiting factor was the source content and have truly adopted streaming as the way to source music. Found another company that is as passionate as you are and they have purpose built an audio streamer that leverages Roon and all their DSP functionality. Combine with the likes of MiniDSP and room correction SW and all I can say is wow.

@Prime Minister Congrats on a speaker that will last you a lifetime.

@Pat McGinty Would love to connect with you and see how I can map out a future speaker project.
Sure. What'd'ya have in mind? The Madisound guys stock both the Satori driver line and the new Hypex Fusion plates, which are based on the NCore modules, a dandy step up from UcD. About amplifiers, I am one picky SOB yet find the NCore to be flawless. You being a talented DIYer, would have a fair shot at "ringing the bell" that eluded you with all of that blue chip stuff.

I should probably keep my mouth shut, but the big companies design product by committee, so it's part engineering and part politics, after that the bean counters rake over the designs. It rarely results in the products they boast about.
 
First off. Sorry for hijacking this part of the thread. I'll move future discussions to a separate PM/email.

As a DIYer...My ideal my wish list would be a Sonus Faber Nova 1 type of enclosure with a single Camerton driver. My front end (which I should have by the end of the month) will be an all in one box that streams Tidal/Qubuz via Apple IOS, leverages a Roon core, built in DAC and Purifi amps (Bruno's new stuff) to drive these speakers. I would run the speaker levels out to a Jensen - Isomax transformer and send the signal through a MiniDSP 2x4 to drive multiple subs driven by Hypex amps (or Preditors...). Top it off with Home Audio Fidelity room correction SW.

Whadda think?

Unknown.jpgScreenshot-2019-09-06-at-13.06.10.jpg
 
Last edited:
Top