Melody AN211 Tryout

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Melody AN211 Tryout
« on: 10 Oct 2012, 10:49 pm »
I’m really fortunate to arrive at a place where I feel that the performance of my system is at a level that we are able to enjoy just about any type of music genre we can throw at it and be pretty happy with the output.  I feel no need to change much - maybe a Mac front end - but given the fact that performance audio has always been a hobby of mine, we are always substituting pieces of equipment if for no other reason, to learn and possibly discover something that bests what we already have. And knowing that our system is nothing less than the sum of its parts it’s always interesting to plug in different pieces.

I had the opportunity to plug in Melody’s AN211 graciously loaned to us from the distributor Hugh. It’s a sexy looking integrated amplifier that by looks, upscales my Joule Electra’s which look a bit like something Frankenstein might have created. Not so with the Melody which has a combination of finely sheened metal flanked by well finished wood sides and of course, the warmth of glowing tubes.

It must be known that I am comparing a product that retails for about ¼ the cost of my current preamp amp combo, the Allnic L3000 and the Joule Electra VZN100’s.
My first impression of the Melody was very favorable. It had very good tonality, nothing jumped out and created problems with my room and generally sounded well controlled. Piano and vocals were warm and full sounding, a bit thicker that than my reference, a bit slower too (the speed of the OTL Joules is crazy good), but overall really nice. I found it tamed some of the overly bright recordings that often plague music these days. It did not sound rolled off nor did it hide the recordings nuances, it was simply smoother and totally non- fatiguing. Dynamics were very good considering its power. Unfortunately I cannot comment much on the Melody’s low bass performance and my speakers are wired with built-in servo subwoofers, but I can say that its mid-range performance I found was exceptional.
Had I not stumbled upon the very expensive combination of the Allnic and the Joules, I might call this a keeper! Or, I might consider Melody’s upper range mono blocks which I have not had the pleasure to hear but I'm hopeful that will be soon remedied.
Thanks again for the test drive!