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Musical Fidelity A5 ??

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by TheSeer, Oct 31, 2004.

  1. TheSeer

    TheSeer
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    Hello all,

    Anyone managed to get an audition of the new Musical Fidelity A5 integrated amplifier yet?

    I spoke to my local dealer and he was almost evangelical about it. Reckons it is better than amplifiers costing ten thousand pounds or more!!

    I'm planning to set-up an audition at some point but I should be very grateful if anyone who has managed to listen to this would share their thoughts.

    Thanks
     
  2. recruit

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    Have not heard 1 Seer but would be interested in your views once you have.

    John
     
  3. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    We have just received the A5 series and I must say I'm very unimpressed with it. They have cut a lot of costs compared to the A308 amplifier which I use. It is no longer a dual mono design, there are no nice WBT terminals on the rear and the ones that are there there are only one set of them and to be frank it just sounds coarse in comaprison to the sweet sounds from my A308. The CD player looks quite nice but again there have been corners cut like a really shoddy disc tray which is so loose it opens itself if you tip the machine up.
     
  4. TheSeer

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    Hello Crustyloafer,

    Thanks for replying. Very useful to get the opinion of a retailer.

    I must admit that I was a little sceptical of the claims of the dealer regarding the A5, but then MF do produce some giant-killing amplifiers and their web-sitte makes some VERY tall claims about the A5 amp & cd player.

    Have you had a chance to compare the X-PRE & X-P200 combination against the A5 (particularly with a couple of X-P200's bridged) and also the A308 seris of amps?

    I am looking to buy an amp or pre/power combination and have a fairly flexible budget. Any recommendations other than MF?

    Thanks again

    TS
     
  5. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    I haven't had a chance to try the X-Pre or X-P200 yet but Id expect similar things to the rest of the X series, very nice and punchy but a bit coarse sounding. The A308 series of amps are, in my opinion, nicer sounding than any of the X series or A5 amps. I was going to sell my A308 to buy the A5 but I'm glad that I had no serious offers as I still have it and prefer it to the A5 now that I've had a chance to listen to it. Don't get me wrong, the A5 series do still sound very good, just not as as smooth and sweet sounding as my A308. My other recommendation would be the Arcam C30 and a pair of the P1 monoblocks, very nice to listen to and never sounds harsh or shrill. May not excite initially but it is a sound you'd never get tired of listening too.
     
  6. William Shin

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    Hi Crustyloafer

    Is it because it needs to be burnt in for a while to get its best perfomance?

    Thanks to new A5 series I managed to get A3.2 cd player with a bargain price. First a few days it sounded really coarse, sometimes unbearable. After a couple of weeks later it begins to sound sweet.

    Any comments on this? Thanks
     
  7. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    We have run in the A5 quite extensively and it still sounds a bit rough around the edges, but hey each to their own.
     
  8. howesey

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  9. howesey

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    The A5 amp and CD still sound bad. :(
     
  10. Miron

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    Wait until Sam Tellig of Stereophile (or should I say of MF) gets hold of one of those, for his ears it will be best amp for that price and over :thumbsdow .
     
  11. Crafft

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    For about 2 years I was very happy, pleased, etc. with my gear:
    Meridian 588 cd
    Primare A30.1 amp
    Dynaudio Crafft speakers

    After one of my Dynaudio Crafft speakers broke down. (Someone accidently threw one over and it fell face down on the floor). I was offered the Special 25 by Dynaudio for the same money it would cost me to repair the Crafft. This was an offer I couldn't refuse.....

    I wasn't happy with the Dynaudio special25 and Primare A30.1 combo. With the new Dynaudio's, to me the Primare was uninvolving, it didn't do anything wrong though but......you know!

    For the last 6 months I looked everywhere for an integrated that could suit my needs. I've auditioned quite a few:
    Arcam FMJ a32
    Accuphase E212
    Classe cap 151
    Prima Luna Prologue two
    Krell 400xi

    None of these fine machines did it for me. But I never did audition a unit from Musical Fidelity!!

    Than I saw on the Net that MF launched the A5 series. The A5 Integrated specs looked very interesting so I arranged an audition. My dealer (great guy) said that I could compare it to an A308 at home. Because the A308 was offered to me for the same price as the new A5 I did audition them both:

    The last 7 days I listened extensively to the A308 and A5 at home. The A308 was a demo unit so it only needed a warm up time. The A5 needed te be fully broken-in. I gave it about 60 hours before I did some serious listening.

    I must admit that the A308 is a little bit cleaner and sweeter sounding and the components used in the A308 are of a higher quality than those used in the A5. However the A5 has far more grip and draws me more into the music. To my ears the A5 isn't coarse or bright sounding at all. It does retrieve more information in the upper regions than the A308 does.

    Both MF's are very fine pieces. To me, the A5 is the one I was looking for.

    For me the search has ended. The A5 integrated is a keeper.

    Happy listening,

    Crafft from Holland.
     
  12. Crustyloafer

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    Here is an update on the A5 series:

    I stand by my comments about the speaker terminals which are not as nice as the WBT ones on the 308 series and the comments I made about the CD tray also still stand, although with the cd player in its normal horizontal position this is not really a major issue. My statement about it not being a dual mono deisgn are also correct with respect to the A5 integrated amplifier. The unit I have purchased, the A5cr Power Amplifier, still has the full dual mono design, the choke regulation that worked so well in the 308 and has two full sets of speaker terminals. It is also worth noting that the A5cr Preamplifier also has a full dual mono design and choke regulation.

    However, after much running in of our in store demonstration models, it has come to light that the balance of sound from the A5 series is much more to my liking than it was upon initial listening. It no longer exhibits the coarseness or ferocity that put me off so much to begin with. It is still faster and snappier sounding than the 308 series, but maybe that is a good thing as the 308 series could on occasions be accused of sounding a bit unfocused. After much running in and with the substantial increase in power I am now quite confident that the A5 series, particuarly the pre and power amps which retain some their earlier heritage, will comfortably outperform the 308 series.
     
  13. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    This is a bit more in keeping with the experiences of one of our acoustic chaps who bought the Amp and CD. Run in period seems to be measured in geological time but once they are up and running, the pair sound pretty smart. Hasn't swayed me from my purchasing decisions though- after umming and ahhing over whether to buy a Sugden or a Prima Luna- I have decided to go for, um an Electrocompaniet EC3:D.
     
  14. Boleros

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    I've now had my A5 for 5 months; I was initially discouraged because of what I read here 4 months ago...after I already made the purchase. Although I also found that it became less bright over time, listening fatigue remains a factor. I'm sorry to say that I've been swayed by another company: Pathos. I had the chance to demo a similarly priced integrated amp, Pathos Classic One ($2300), and I was enormously impressed by it's greater openess, warmer treble but still highly detailed, and natural presence of the mid range vocals. True, it's 70 w/ch can't provide the bass management of MF's 250 w/ch, but there was no listening fatigue. The pathos was simply a pleasure...not to mention that it looks extraordinary. I think I'm finally willing to sacrifice the convenience of MF's home theatre bypass.

    B
     

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