Recently gifted a Melos SHA-1 Headphone Amp/Pre-Amp

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by Darthvegan, Jul 15, 2017.

  1. Darthvegan

    Darthvegan n00bie

    Sep 1, 2016
    This past week I was lucky enough to be gifted a Melos SHA-1 Headphone Amp/Pre-Amplifier. One of the best headphone amps ever made! Just hooked it up to make sure it works. Until I find a better setup it will in my PC audio setup. Currently using it to drive my Beyerdnyamic DT 880s and using it as a pre-amp in conjunction with the N22 Desktop Amplifier paired with the Audio Engine P4 bookshelf speakers.

    Any ideas for getting the most out of the SHA-1? Willing to spend a little bit of money if necessary.

  2. pippenainteasy

    pippenainteasy Limp Gawd

    May 20, 2016
    Take it to a shop, make sure the capacitors are in good shape, replace them if they aren't?
  3. HammerSandwich

    HammerSandwich [H]ard|Gawd

    Nov 18, 2004
    I didn't see this thread coming. Nice surprise! Nice present!!!

    Do you know the amp's history? Internet discussion hints that SHAs are either bulletproof or a bit troublesome, so...

    Checking the caps makes sense on a 20yo amp. Some caps sit right next to the output transistors (which run warm for sure), but you'll probably find they're fine.

    Consider a different physical setup. You're blocking a few of the cooling vents, and tubes don't like vibration. Pearl tube coolers or similar might be worth a look as well.

    Because the SHA-1's input wires runs parallel for a long distance, the inputs feed into each other. Use shorting plugs on unused inputs, & leave connected sources running.

    And you can find a ton of discussion about tube rolling & more involved mods. I'm fairly skeptical about that stuff, especially when the tubes are in only the front end.
  4. MrSneis

    MrSneis 2[H]4U

    Apr 5, 2006
    Wow you are a lucky mofo!

    Electro Harmonix Gold pin 6922s are great for the money, if the amp eats them after a few years no big. I like them better than the genalex gold lions and many common vintage tubes.

    Don't stress over the caps. Pulling the board generally sucks as all connections are soldered. If you see any bulging caps when you replace the tubes then it would be a concern.

    The bridge rectifiers could go but they are cheap to replace, the gold model with the photentiometer is the one that got Melos their bad rep with reliability.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017