Meadowlark Swallows...

Audio Refugee

Senior Member
I'd been moving towards a brand new pair of Meadowlark speakers. Changing direction and trying out Pat's new DSP technology. Unfortunately my workmate had his knee replaced, so we've been shut down work wise since November. It's been a little frustrating, but he's getting better as is the weather, so hopefully things will pick up soon and the bank account will start increasing so I can get back on track to make that purchase.

In the meantime I saw a pair of Meadowlark Swallows pop up for not a lot on money, so I snatched them up. I'll most likely give them to my son to replace the PSB Alphas he's using now with my old Jolida 202A amp. My friend John and I are finishing up a pair of stainless steel speaker stands that should work nicely with the Swallows.

I'll post pictures and thoughts once they show up and I've had a chance to compare them to my Swifts.
 

Audio Refugee

Senior Member
It's funny, Prime Minister, I know nothing about them. Didn't read ANY reviews at all berfore pulling the trigger this time. Just... bought 'em. They were cheap enough. I just love that era of Pat's enclosure design. It just... really resonates with me... it moves me. It's viceral. Irrational too maybe, but to me they're sculpted hand crafted artistic pieces of audio producing affordable fun. I really should stop and save everything for his new stuff, but... I can't help myself. I still so want a pair of Kestrel 2s.
 

Audio Refugee

Senior Member
They arrived last night well packed and intact. They came with grills which is really a lot of fun to see. I like how Pat made these. The construction is really robust too. Solid enclosures. I mean built like tanks. They share the same styling as the Swifts. They have a few nicks & scratches here and there, but all in all, fair shape. I set them on the new stands I built and plugged them in. Drivers and tweeters seem intact and not blown. First impressions are... they're a tad bright and get brighter with power on some music. The Swifts have quite a bit more base. That surpised me. The swifts also have more depth hence a better sound stage. I also noticed they're more sensitive to placement than the Swifts seem to be, but maybe I'm halucinating. I need more listening time. They can take power, but sound a bit fuller at a lower volume. I'm still running them through a some tracks to see what they might love. Interesting... I just switched to a Funk CD though the DAC and this sounds pretty good. Good bass. More later.
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
They arrived last night well packed and intact. They came with grills which is really a lot of fun to see. I like how Pat made these. The construction is really robust too. Solid enclosures. I mean built like tanks. They share the same styling as the Swifts. They have a few nicks & scratches here and there, but all in all, fair shape. I set them on the new stands I built and plugged them in. Drivers and tweeters seem intact and not blown. First impressions are... they're a tad bright and get brighter with power on some music. The Swifts have quite a bit more base. That surpised me. The swifts also have more depth hence a better sound stage. I also noticed they're more sensitive to placement than the Swifts seem to be, but maybe I'm halucinating. I need more listening time. They can take power, but sound a bit fuller at a lower volume. I'm still running them through a some tracks to see what they might love. Interesting... I just switched to a Funk CD though the DAC and this sounds pretty good. Good bass. More later.
Excellent. They will likely want a little bit of running to come fully back to life again. I look forward to more of your impressions. And pictures!

:wrtlss:wrtlss
 

Audio Refugee

Senior Member
Ok, ok. I get it. Thanks for gangin' up on me. I feel loved. ;) So, they cleaned up pretty well, but I'd still rate their condition as "Fair." That said, they're really pretty neat. I just love Pat's logos and product labeling from this era. That Meadowlark logo cut into the fronts of all his speakers bring a smile every time I see one. 20190201_091541.jpg
You can see here that they're VERY similar in design to the Swifts.

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There's that little Meadowlark singin' away.

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Love that product branding.

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The bottoms really show off the robustness of construction. These things are really sealed well.

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Here with the grill on...

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As mentioned, it was fun seeing how Pat made the grills. There's a really tight well connected line sewn or woven into the perimeter of the grill fabric. Takes some finesse and gentle tugging to get them to seat.

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Audio Refugee

Senior Member
Excellent. They will likely want a little bit of running to come fully back to life again...
Well, I'm an idiot. Music from the turntable was sounding... bad. Heh, maybe if yours truly would clean the dang needle a little more often. Did that and BAM... Much much better. Night and day difference. I also think you were right about a little more run time. I've been running them for several hours this morning and they seem to be opening up. Bass is there now, don't seem nearly as muddy as ysterday, but still not as deep as the Swifts. I could live with these, but I prefer the Swift. The Swift is a fuller richer more involving sound. They fill the room better than the Swallow. I'd be curious to see how they'd sound hooked up to a solid state amp where I'd have control over bass and treble. I think if I could back the treble out a little, they'd calm down. I'd try it, but my SX780 caps are toast.

I found an article last night that talked about them. They were paired with Swifts and a Swan center using the Swallows as rears in a 3.1 system. I could see that. I'd also guess that they'd do well on their own in a smaller room.

My son hasn't seen them yet, but I'll give them to him next week for his birthday. He runs his music though his computer into a DAC, then into the Jolida. His room is smaller and we'll have more adjustabity with his system. I think he'll like them. They walk all over the PSBs.
 

Audio Refugee

Senior Member
So today's the big day. My little buddy's birthday. Not so little anymore dang it. Made him a big breakfast and sent on his way. Went upstairs, cleaned his room for him cause... why not, pulled the PSBs, set the Swallows on the stands, re-biased the amp and started testing. I rolled a few tubes and ended up upgraded his 12at7s. A little better.:thinkThen I decided to try something different. I 86ed the stands I built and set the Swallows on his long wooden dresser. THAT did the trick. Much better sound! The dresser seems to have deepened the bass. His room is much smaller than the family room, so the Swallows have NO problem filling his room very nicely. They really sound damned good in there! Can't wait to see his face when he gets home and fires them up. :dance
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
So today's the big day. My little buddy's birthday. Not so little anymore dang it. Made him a big breakfast and sent on his way. Went upstairs, cleaned his room for him cause... why not, pulled the PSBs, set the Swallows on the stands, re-biased the amp and started testing. I rolled a few tubes and ended up upgraded his 12at7s. A little better.:thinkThen I decided to try something different. I 86ed the stands I built and set the Swallows on his long wooden dresser. THAT did the trick. Much better sound! The dresser seems to have deepened the bass. His room is much smaller than the family room, so the Swallows have NO problem filling his room very nicely. They really sound damned good in there! Can't wait to see his face when he gets home and fires them up. :dance
Great fun! Looking forward to his impressions.
 

Audio Refugee

Senior Member
Great fun! Looking forward to his impressions.
.
He LOVES them!! When he got homr from school I took him upstairs with the rouse of showing him some changes I'd made to his computer. He saw the Swallows and with eyes big said "What are these?!!!" Those are yours, dude. He was ecstatic! Picked one up and said "Wow. These are really heavy!" We fired up his amp to let it warm up and then I showed him how to adjust the sample rate going into the DAC from his computer. Showed him how to use the room correction feature and a few more enhancements he could experiment with from within the device properties.

He found a tune he wanted to try and turned it up. Good. Then a little more, OK, now we're getting somewhere. Then he dropped the hammer. His face was a combination of OMG and WOW! We spent the next hour taking turns choosing songs. It was really fun seeing him get into it. Later, after my wife and I had gone to bed he was still at it. She rolled over with a bit of a scowl and said "Really? You KNOW you need to talk to him about a music curfew, right?" I responded "I will, but not tonight. It's his birthday."
 
I absolutely LOVE those stands and the speakers look terrific too.

I let my cartridge get so dirty that I thought there was something major wrong with my system. Then I saw this horrible mess which after cleaning up everything sounded fine again. First I thought I had a preamp or crossover problem. When I eliminated that I thought I had worn the stylus out. So I was going to get a look at it under the microscope and when I removed it Eeww.
I use a Technics SL10 so its not as easy to see and clean the cartridge but I used to be anal about it. Then I got old. :(;):)
 

Audio Refugee

Senior Member
Thank you @Gene_StL. The stands were fun to build. I'd thought about having them powder coated, but have opted to keep them SS for now. After reading more on this site, including a post by Pat McGinty in another thread, I've learned that I need to "deaden" them by filling them with sand. I can do this pretty easily by drilling two holes on the bottom and one on the top, filling them with dry sand, and then welding the holes with plugs. That should stop any "ringing", and show off the bass a little better. ;)

Yeah, I'd thought I'd been careful about keeping my records and stylus clean, but I was sorely mistaken. I now clean the stylus after about five records or so. Sometimes I just get in my own way. :tongue:

As far as the Swallows go, my son plays them FREQUENTLY, which is great. He loves showing them off to his buddies when they come over, explaining his retro tube amp, cables, etc, and giving them a listen. I think I may have planted a healthy seed that may germinate into a lifelong love of audio. That's my hope anyway.
 
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jmo but if you were going to have them powder coated and decide to do that you could tell the powder coater to lay the powder on thick and I am pretty sure it would completely deaden the stands without resorting to drilling and sand. And you could always resort to sand after.

That said I love the brushed stainless look.

I have a DiscWasher stylus brush from back in the day. I always used to give the stylus a swipe. Put then I got out of the habit and soon trouble ensued. The good news is that careful cleaning totally solved the problem without having to have anything unobtanium repaired.

I am trying to get my two adult sons more interested.
 
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