This review page is supported in part by the sponsors whose ad banners are displayed below

Srajan Ebaen
Financial Interests: click here
Source: 2TB iMac 27" quad-core with 16GB of RAM (AIFF) running OSX 10.8.2 and PureMusic 1.94g in hybrid memory play with pre-allocated RAM, Audirvana 1.5.10 in direct/integer mode 1, Metrum Hex, SOtM dX-USB HD with Super-clock upgrade & mBPS-d2s, AURALiC Vega, Aqua Hifi La Voce S2, Apple iPod Classic 160 AIFF-loaded, Cambridge Audio iD100, Pure i20, Pro-Ject Dock Box S Digital, RWA-modifed Astell&Kern AK100
Preamplifier: Nagra Jazz, Bent Audio Tap-X, Esoteric C-03, Goldmund/Job Pre2 [on review]
Power & integrated amplifiers: FirstWatt S1 monos, SIT2; Crayon Audio CFA-02, Bakoon AMP-12R, Goldmund/Job 225, Gato DIA-250, Aura Note Premier
Loudspeakers: soundkaos Wave 40, Albedo Audio Aptica, Boenicke Audio W5se and W5, German Physiks HRS-120, Zu Audio Submission
Cables: Complete Zu Event loom; KingRex uArt, Zu Event and Light Harmonic LightSpeed split USB cables; Tombo Trøn S/PDIF; Van den Hul AES/EBU; AudioQuest Diamond glass-fiber Toslink; Arkana Research XLR/RCA interconnects and speaker cables [on loan]
Powerline conditioning: GigaWatt PF-2 on amps, Vibex Granada on all components
Equipment rack:
Artesania Exoteryc double-wide three tier with optional glass shelf, Rajasthani hardwood rack for amps
Sundry accessories: Extensive use of Acoustic System Resonators, noise filters and phase inverters
Desktop system: iPod/AK100 digital transports, Wyred4Sound minT, Gato Audio DIA-250, Gallo Strada II + TR-3D
Room size:
Irregularly shaped 9.5 x 9.5m open floor plan combines the living/listening room, kitchen and office. Added to this space the speakers see the air volume of the entry hall and a long corridor plus the 2nd-storey 6 x 9.5m loft. Wood-panel ceiling slopes up to the loft. Parquet flooring. Lots of non-parallel surfaces ('vertical gable' windows, twin-angle ceiling, spiral staircase enclosure, fireplace enclosure). For a pictorial tour, see here.
Review component retail in Europe: €2'000

The Melody 212 Everest mono amps combine, on one deck, one each Western Electric 373A and 429A, then a 274B and 212 for 50 watts of class A SET power with a claimed response of 18Hz - 30kHz ±0.5dB, an input sensitivity of 1.3V, an SNR of >86dB, dimensions of 34 x 41.5 x 88mm WxHxD and a massive weight of 75kg/ea.

The emailer was Nadia introducing their company. "Pacetech is the official exclusive distributor, local supervisor, appointed partner of local dealer selection and worldwide promoter for some major brands like Melody Valve Amplifiers. I deal with export customers and distributors globally to be your contact here at Pacetech. We would like to submit to your attention our newest product release from Melody: the Pro 34 and Pro 88 models. We hope to have the chance to get our products reviewed and I notice that you already reviewed a number of Melody models in the past. The product range we distribute now is only meant for Western countries so it is a brand-new series of tube electronics."

By return email I confirmed familiarity with Melody's Mr. Wang—I'd visited him in his PRC facility many years ago—and also his prior European importer. "Pacetech have handled Melody since 2011 and yes, the previous company could have done a better job. We've been working hard and still are at reestablishing the brand in the market and are proud to say that our efforts are paying off. Many customers and dealers are moving their attentions away from the dominant classic brands and to our Melody range instead which is gaining more interest all over Europe to have greatly expanded our sales network."

In December 2006, our then Aussie correspondent Warwick Freemantle had generously submitted this report of his visit to the People's Republic of China and Melody. By December 2008, I had my own opportunity to visit Mr. Wang at his facility outside Shenzen to produce this 12-page pictorial report. At the time he'd been in the midst of assembling an enormous collection of vintage tubes stored on the roof of his factory. He wouldn't divulge their various identities to avoid driving up prices whilst he quietly built up his enviable inventory for future amplifier and preamp models. When Psvane finally reissued Western Electric's big 212, Mr. Wang's part of the collection housing original WE 373A, 429A and 274B could lift its news embargo and reappear on the global scene put to good use in the sleek 212 Everest monos. Obviously those are extreme flagships and for deep pockets.

Today's review will focus instead on a new 'everyman' model which delivers the same power in a single chassis and includes a linestage to eliminate the need for a separate preamp. At €2'000, the new class AB1 Pro 88 with remote control includes its own exotica by way of a pair of XF184 noval pentodes and a quad of 6BA11 12-pin double pentodes.

Pro 34

At 45wpc, the matching Pro 34 integrated with remote-controlled volume runs the same 2 x XF184, then adds 2 x 3EJ7 noval pentodes and 2 x 5BK7. The Platinum 211 integrated gets two 4P1S, the Platinum 845 two 6EM7, the Platinum 101D preamp two WE404A. Mr. Wang's years of secretive globe scouring for NOS valves are paying off.