ME Sound ME 850 Amplifiers

ME 850

Modular Construction.....naturally 70 amps Current Capability Class 'A' Operation to 8 Watts Immense 2KVA Quadfilar Power Transformer Unmatched 245,000 uF Energy Storage Matrix

User Reviews (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4  
Tassie Audio Tragic   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 25, 2013]

I am the third owner of this wondeful amplifier. I can't vouch for its age, but according to owner no2 it is late 90s. This version is upgradable to 450,000 microfarad storage (275,000 as is). Current capability is 70amps.
I am not particularly strong on technical stuff. I am also reluctant to use the usuaL parlance associated with audio gear. However, I must say I am having difficulty with the latter.
The ME 850 is simply superb in my system, which comprises a Thorens TD160/Rega RB300 Origin Live Counterweight mod, Decca London Gold (Garrot Bros), ME 25 Pre(early, no upgrades), Arcam CD72 CD player and Gale GS402 speakers with Cardas and Van den Hul interconnects as well as Chord Co. Carnival speaker cable. I should say that the speakers present an average load of about 4 ohms.
My previous power amp was old (like the Gales). It was an Adcom GFA-1A producing 250W+( the caps had been upgraded).
Initially, the change from the Adcom to the ME yielded almost indiscernable diferences. However, over time, it became obvious that the ME possesses a finess that the Adcom lacks. The overall sound quality is superior, albeit in a sublte way. The bass frequencies are simply better defined with more authority and power, particularly from DVD or BluRay
For me, comparison between the ME 850 and my Adcom GFA-1A is the point at which audio gets hard. Initially, if I had been asked to pick the difference between the Adcom and the ME in a one on one audition, I would have struggled. However, having substituted the ME for the Adcom, I have no regrets - I love the ME and I get the sense that it has the potential to really shine in a truly high end system. These days, I would pick the ME without hesitation. On the other hand, if the ME were to self desctruct, I could probably live with the Adcom again.
Summary: The ME 850 is a superb power amp. The sound is exceptionally clean, well defined and powerful. There is none of that harsh or edgy sound that sometimes accompanies solid state amps. I wouldn't say that the ME 850 is tube=valve like; I do not consider it to have that level of warmth. However, the power and authority and softness, yes softness, not like valves/tubes makes it every bit as good, if not better, because it has power and sublety on the same, solid state, level. It is the best power amp I have heard. Unfortunately, I have not heard too many My speakers do not reveal delicate treble frequencies, so I can't comment on that element.
It is Aussie made and it is superb, IMHO!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
lok   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 22, 2005]
Strength:

Build quality, current capability/drive, Hi Cap upgrade option, This amp can deliver power as well as finesse. The power of this sonic artform is severely underated at a quote 120 watts per channel, you will never need more than what this amp can dish out with its impressive 16 matched ( Motorola TO3 type )bi-polar output devices. Amplifier comes delivered in it's own wooden crate and carry/lifting straps !

Weakness:

None that I can see or hear !

I was first introduced to the ME Sound range of amplifiers back in the early 90’s when I went to my regular Hi Fi shop looking to upgrade into something that wouldn’t go into protection mode/shut down when the music being presented got harder to drive/control. Mind you, at the time I was using a NAD 306 integrated for its pre-amp stage going into a NAD 214 power amplifier and driving a pair of Jamo 707 speakers. In my books and salary at the time it really was an awesome system, but on certain tracks of CDs, at a reasonable level it just ran out of puff ( no, not a fault to be found in the NAD gear ). I was initially shown the ME240 integrated amp that was the same size of my NAD 306 but twice the weight and was driving a pair of large floor standing Duntech speakers, what a demo ! I wanted to buy the ME240 then and there but was told that this one was the last one and had already been sold and production of new units was delayed due to an internal update of the design. After waiting a while I decided to revisit my Hi Fi shop and decided to purchase the ME550 power amplifier. That was one of the best purchases for Hi Fi I had made and to this day I still have this amp ( even had an internal Hi Cap upgrade done to it several years ago ). Even though I was more than satisfied with my ME550, I had always “lusted” after the BIGGER models further up the ME range and even once demo’ed a ME1400 which had so much drive, it literally pushed the soundstage beyond the walls of my small listening room. I was lucky enough to audition an ME850 over 3 years ago, but at the time I lacked sufficient funds to commit to purchase and then shortly afterwards ME Sound had to close its doors due to personal reasons. I have spent the last 2yrs looking for a secondhand ME850 and let me tell you there’s a reason why they rarely come up for sale, it’s because it’s that good that you can easily spend double and not get much sonic improvement over the ME850. Well, I’m pleased to say the persistence paid off and I’m now the proud owner of an ME850. This amplifier has amazing grip and control in the bass and a very smooth mid range rarely found in solid state amplifiers. The highs are also detailed and extended but doesn’t become harsh when pushed. The design and build of this amp is incredible ( 40kgs ) and begs you to ask why other makers can’t manufacture this sort of exacting quality yet alone provide the possibility of future internal upgrades as well. I can safely say that I have arrived at that point where I have what I want in a Stereo Hi Fi system and the only way I’m going to get rid of this system will be in my will ! My advice to anyone who might see an ME850 come up for sale is to "BUY IT" because it won't be available for long ! My system now comprises of - Arcam Alpha 9 CD Player ( RingDAC ) Audiolab 8000Q Pre-amplifier ME850 Power Amplifier Ambience SuperSlim 1400 Hybrid Ribbon Speakers Tara Labs RSC Prism 500 Speaker cable van den Hul D102 Mkiii Interconnects Nordost Blue Heaven Interconnects

Similar Products Used: ME550 power amp, Krell KAV 300i, NAD 306, NAD 214, McCormack DNA 1
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Brian Munce   Audiophile [Jan 18, 2002]
Strength:

Dynamic sound. Plenty of power. Silent Fan.

Weakness:

Heavy.

This amplifier is so underrated. It has more than enough power and current delivery - spec 70 amps. I use transmission line speakers which I built myself with Vifa woofer and Dynaudio d28/2 tweeter. The sound produced by this combination which is fed by ME 15 pre amp is spectacular and very natural. The instruments are represented very faithfully.

The amp can deliver punch as well as finesse.

Similar Products Used: NAD, Pioneer.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Dennis Favorito   Audiophile [Dec 25, 2000]
Strength:

Power, control, sweet highs.

Weakness:

NONE!

The ME850 is far and away the finest amp, I have enjoyed in my system, to date. It offers remarkably realistic musical presentation, with flawless (so far) operation. The internal fan cooling is totally inaudible and seems to maintain internal temperatures to the design specs.

I have used three different speakers with the ME850. At no time has the ME850 put a foot wrong. I am presently using a pair of JM Labs Mini Utopias. The result is stunning. Prior to the JM's, I used B&W N804's and Infinity Kappa 8's.

Den

Similar Products Used: Krell KSA50 mkII, Audio Research D70, Mark Levinson 331
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-4 of 4  

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