Melos SHA Gold Reference Preamplifiers

2.63/5 (35 Reviews)


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 5 (35 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Benny2004 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: December 21, 2004

Bottom Line:   
In a nutshell, this Melos SHA Gold Reference is like NFL quarterback Drew Bledose: It is superb as long as it works, but it barely works, and you need to care it like God to protect it from failing.

Only idiot like me would pay over $1100 for it. I got it within 10 months of Melos Restoration Service. Within a month, the balance control is gone. Then the headphone jack died on me. Then 3 months later, volume control is gone too. I just felt like I invested in some dot.com stock.

What a piece of junk. Read the Melos website before buying even an cheap one. They even admit that the original parts and designs were messed up, so they would encourage the current owners to upgrade so to "address" the shortcomings.

I finally traded it in and took a major loss. This is the 2nd Melos product I used (the 1st one was an Melos 111 or something like that preamp - it died after one week). I swore to God and all of civialized universe that I WILL NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER subject myself to the Melos treatment ever again in my life.

So the sound is superbly sweet. So what? Would you like to marry a wife who'd frustrate you 95% of the time and give you joy only 5% of the time?

Stereophile Class A rated tells you how meaningless Stereophile's rating is. Whoever says great reliability from this unit must be the people who try to sell it soon.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1998

Price Paid:    $1150.00

Purchased At:   Audiogon



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Demon3 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: March 12, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I have posted a previosu review of the SHA-GOLD and have just read all the other reviews. I would like to make an important point not mentioned in the other reviews. This pre-amp has two completely different outputs. One set is passive, just going through the photentiometer volume / balance control and bypassing the tubes completely. The other is active and passes through the tube amplification stage. These two sound completely different. I want to make sure everyone realises that and tries both. The passive is extremely transparent, but volumes can be low and it can lack some punch. In contrast the SHA-GOLD (not reference, haven't heard that) tube outputs give a rich and solid sound but also smooths out a lot of the life and detail from the music.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1997

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:   Sweden



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by ken brown a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: September 12, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I don't have a clue why this pre got so many bad reviews. It is 1 of the best pres I have ever owned, and is also a long time favorite of stereophile magazine, where it received a " A " rating.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1996

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   second hand



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Greg Groscost a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: February 10, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Went from a Melos SHA-1 to this one. With upgrades its awesome. Too bad Melos cannot any longer represent thier product.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1998



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Dan a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 17, 2002

Bottom Line:   
This is a SHA GOld that had the Reference update then later the Maestro update.
I love what this did for my system. It is rich and detailed all at the same time. The soundstage is astonishing! Like having a live performance in my living room every night. Being able to roll the tubes helped a LOT. So far really like the Mullard CV-2492 and CV-2493 tubes here. However, the Siemens E88CC or 7308 from the 60's is also great if you are after really punchy and tight bass. With the Mullard tubes and either a BMI Whale or BME Eel power cord the bass depth and inner detail of this unit is amazing. It does have it's days though but I have learned how to counter it's quirks. It is not as rock solid and trouble free as a Sonic Frontier unit, but it outplays it in every aspect. Sort of like having a vintage Ferrari around, you love this thing every time you put it through the paces yet you always wonder if it's going to need a little attention first.
Headphone amp is killer too!
I love having access to either active or passive modes as the feeling moves me. Passive is breathtaking in the vocals but lacks a little Umph in the bass. Still, when you want to hear Diana Krall or other vocals just pull and plug in a few seconds and ENJOY!
A steal at under $600 for this Maestro Model!

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Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1998




Reviews 1 - 5 (35 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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