History and Design of the Genesis I60 and M60
Gary Leonard Koh, Managing Director of Genesis, first met the owner of
China's Melody many years ago, just as he was starting to build amplifiers
in China. Those amps, sporting (using the term loosely) an industrial grey,
hammered metal finish, sounded to Gary as though they had a lot of promise.
Years later, Gary managed to get hold of one of Melody's 45 watt amps to use
at CES 2003. Unfortunately, it did not have enough power to adequately drive
the Genesis loudspeakers.
Aware that many long-time audiophiles are under the impression that only a
megawatt, megabuck amplifier can drive Genesis speakers, Gary set out to
prove otherwise. When he next headed to China to work with cabinet
manufacturers, he began working with Melody to develop a monoblock that
would complement the Genesis loudspeaker line. The results, the M60 60-watt
Genesis M60 monoblocks and I60 60-watt integrated amp, boast a high-gloss
black finish that matches Genesis speakers with a similar finish.
For power tubes, both the I60 and M60s use two KT-88s per channel. The I60
uses one 12AX7 per channel as the main voltage gain stage, and two 6SN7s
(military spec 6N8P to be exact) per channel as the driver stage. The M60's
tube complement is exactly the same, except that it uses a slightly lower
gain tube, the 6SL7. All tubes are manufactured by Melody expressly for
Genesis; the most recent batches carry the Genesis label. Manufactured in
the same factory that makes tubes for the Chinese Air Force, the tubes are
"Nothing about the Genesis
monoblocks is standard," says Gary. "They sound nothing like the $2500
Melody monoblocks that are available online. If these amps were made here,
they would probably retail for close to $20,000.
"We buy solid-core copper and stranded silver wiring from Japan. Depending
upon which part of the circuit the wire is in, sometimes copper sounds
better, and sometimes silver. Neither will do for the entire amplifier. And
instead of normal wiring, I use a solid strand of copper with a sheath of
cotton around it to create an air dielectric. When you talk about the
voltages inside a tube amplifier, an air dielectric is the best for high
voltage cables, including speaker wires. It would be very expensive to do in
Among the amps' other features are some custom-made, military-spec paper-in
oil capacitors with aluminum cans; a hand-built discrete resistor ladder
potentiometer used as a volume control that features tantalum-film
resistors; low-noise gold plated military spec ceramic tube sockets – I wish
I had them in my Jadis, they're so good – and point-to-point wiring rather
than a printed circuit board. Very little feedback is used – "just enough to
make the amp unconditionally stable." The output transformers are custom
designed with the output tubes in mind, and hand-wound with a core of
grain-oriented silicon steel.
All Genesis amps are burned-in
and biased before shipment. What's especially great is that the company
claims that 95% of maximum sonic quality is reached within 5 minutes of
turn-on, and that complete warm-up takes less than 10 minutes. One can
safely play music after a warm-up period of one minute.
The amp has four inputs: CD, Tape, Tuner, and Aux. There are two sets of
five-way binding post outputs, one for 4 ohm, and other for 8 ohm. The 4 ohm
tap is specifically tuned for Genesis loudspeakers.
Gary claims that when M60s are
used with expensive Wilson or Kharma speakers, both of which present low
impedance loads in the bass, the bass sounds fabulous. "I've got a customer
who uses them to run his $75,000 pair of Kharma speakers because of the
absolutely iron grip they have on the bass," he says. Others who use them on
Wilsons are equally satisfied, finding the sub-$4000 Genesis amps superior
to megabuck models from other companies." While I do not have the ability to
verify such claims, I can say that the I60 produces impressive bass from the
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