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Foto © Lab12 | LAB12 melto1 Tube MC/MM Phono Preamplifier
Foto © Lab12 | LAB12 melto1 Tube MC/MM Phono Preamplifier

LAB12 melto1 Tube MC/MM Phono Preamplifier

The Greek company Lab12 is expanding its range of phono preamplifiers. The LAB12 melto1 Tube MC/MM Phono Preamplifier is the latest addition from Athens, which once again relies on tubes.

With the LAB12 melto1 Tube MC/MM Phono Preamplifier, the Greek company Lab12 is expanding its product range with a new phono preamplifier that is once again based on tube technology.

Once again, the Greeks have set themselves very high goals, because with the new LAB12 melto1 Tube MC/MM Phono Preamplifier, audiophile music lovers should be able to achieve nothing less than outstanding results when playing back their records.

Based on tube technology

The fact that a new phono preamplifier is based on tube technology is not really surprising; countless solutions in this field have this feature. In the case of Lab12, it is equally unsurprising, as many of the company’s products are based on tube technology.

Nevertheless, on closer inspection it is surprising, because Lab12 sees itself as a technology-oriented company and describes itself as a state-of-the-art high-end manufacturer. The fact that this claim is based on tube technology, of all things, seems exciting, but is not a contradiction for Lab12.

Lab12 was founded in 2012 by Stratos Vichos, an electronics engineer with over 20 years of experience in audio design, who claims to pursue a deeply progressive vision.

“Phono stages are the most important links in the chain of any high-end sound system. When we designed melto1, we had in mind a thoroughly musical phono stage that would excite audiophiles about analogue sound and its merits.”

Stratos Vichos, Founder Lab12

LAB12 melto1 Tube MC/MM Phono Preamplifier – Not the First Phono Preamplifier

The new LAB12 melto1 Tube MC/MM Phono Preamplifier is by no means the first phono preamplifier from Lab12. Previously, the Lab12 melto2 Fully Adjustable Phono Preamplifier was available, which, like the new solution, merges the past and present into a true high-end product for the 21st century, according to Lab12.

It is striking that the new LAB12 melto1 Tube MC/MM Phono Preamplifier presents itself in a much simpler way, it lacks the display of its brother, as well as the rotary encoder, so that on the front there are only three status LEDs, but no control elements.

  • Foto © Lab12 | LAB12 melto1 Tube MC/MM Phono Preamplifier
  • Foto © Lab12 | LAB12 melto1 Tube MC/MM Phono Preamplifier
  • Foto © Lab12 | LAB12 melto1 Tube MC/MM Phono Preamplifier
  • Foto © Lab12 | LAB12 melto1 Tube MC/MM Phono Preamplifier
  • Foto © Lab12 | LAB12 melto1 Tube MC/MM Phono Preamplifier

All settings of the new LAB12 melto1 Tube MC/MM phono preamplifier are made solely with the help of so-called DIP switches on the rear panel, so it must be stated that this solution does not invite experimentation, but is aimed solely at users who are satisfied with settings once they have been made.

The input impedance can be set between 32 Ohm and 100 kOhm, the impedance up to 300 pF. Equalisation is done using the RIAA curve. The gain is 41 dB for MM cartridges and 66 dB for MC cartridges.

Suitable for MM and MC cartridges

Nevertheless, the new LAB12 melto1 Tube MC/MM phono preamplifier is equally suitable for MM and MC cartridges and allows the user to adjust the settings sensitively and optimally to the cartridge used.

The new LAB12 melto1 Tube MC/MM phono preamplifier is equipped with a pair of RCA sockets for both input and output, and is focused on the essentials in this respect as well.

High-quality circuitry with Lab12 SRSG topology

The circuitry is optimised to the highest possible degree, using Lab12 Fine Symmetry and the Lab12 SRSG Topology for optimum channel separation and signal processing free of interference.

Two glass bulbs of the type 6N1P-EV Dual Triode as well as two 6n2p-EV Dual Triode are used, as the manufacturer states.

The power supply is provided by a toroidal transformer and all this is packed into a solid aluminium cabinet, which is presented in matt black and weighs in at an impressive 6.5 kg with dimensions of 43 cm in width, 11 cm in height and 29 cm in depth.

Getting to the point

The new LAB12 melto1 Tube MC/MM Phono Preamplifier is a phono preamplifier from the Greek high-end hi-fi manufacturer Lab12, which can be described as a kind of little brother of the Lab12 melto2 Fully Adjustable Phono Preamplifier. The manufacturer promises excellent performance at a more than fair price and thus speaks of “the real deal” for price-sensitive, audiophile vinyl enthusiasts.

PRODUCTLAB12 MELTO1 TUBE MC/MM PHONO PREAMPLIFIER
Price€ 2.280,-
BrandLAB12
ManufacturerLab12
Distribution AustriaHiFi Team Czesany
Distribution GermanyCM-Audio – Flöter Technology Service
Distribution Switzerlanddafraud GmbH
More about this manufacturer at HIFI BLOG

About Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and sempre-audio.com, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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